Completion of the multi-million pound Motor Vehicle Training Centre of Excellence in Ystrad Mynach is set to put learners from the area at the forefront of major developments in the industry in South Wales.
The £2.1m facility at Coleg y Cymoedd’s Ystrad Mynach campus will meet the growing demands in the industry for state-of-the-art training facilities. The new centre will provide industry-leading motor vehicle repair, maintenance workshops, as well as diagnostic and testing facilities for over 60 learners each year.
Multiple investment opportunities in South Wales - including St Athan as a main contender for the new location of Aston Martin’s next production centre, Ford’s £181m investment into Bridgend, and a possible multi-million pound automotive factory development in Ebbw Vale – could significantly expand the motor vehicle industry in region.
Thefull time learners currently on the Motor Vehicle course at Coleg y Cymoedd will not only perfect their trade at the new facility, but position themselves as skilled workers in line to fill a potentially huge labour force in the South Wales.
Along with staff and learners, Julie James AM, Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, attended the official opening of the Ystrad Mynach site.
At the event, the Deputy Minister said, “I was delighted to attend the official opening of the Motor Vehicle Training Centre of Excellence in Coleg y Cymoedd’s Ystrad Mynach campus and would like to thank all who I met there for the warm welcome I received.
“Today I have seen at first-hand the college’s commitment to training learners. Through this new facility Coleg y Cymoedd is able to develop a highly skilled workforce in an area of high deprivation and allow individuals to gain the skills needed for working in the motor industry”.
The high quality commercial standard facilities will benefit younger learners via the college’s participation in the School Links programme. The scheme means pupils from neighbouring schools can attend the Ystrad Mynach campus one day a week for their Level 1 qualification on the course, which also offers a Welsh speaking strand to the course. School Links has proven especially beneficial in the past to secondary school pupils who prefer a vocational route, with 40 pupils from School Links currently taking part in the course.
Previously based at the Rhymney campus, the new location for the facility will also significantly reduce the commute for many of the learners on the course.Christopher Phillips, 27 from Cilfynydd said, “In my first year on the course, it took me around 45 minutes to get to the Rhymney campus. It was an investment I was willing to make as I loved the course, but it now only takes me about 12 minutes to get to the Ystrad Mynach campus. Not only that, but these are the best facilities I’ve ever experienced.
“I came back to learning after leaving education when I was 18 to dedicate time to my family, and the college have been really understanding of my needs with a young son. Once I complete the course I am hoping to join a big franchise dealership. My dream is to work with Land Rover.”
Celebrating the completion of the facility, Principal Judith Evans, said, “We’re delighted that the Motor Vehicle Training Centre of Excellence is complete and our learners are already benefiting from our specialist training and equipment. We remain dedicated to delivering the latest training, education and career opportunities to young people in the Valleys.
“With major developments for the motor industry on the horizon in South Wales, it is vital that we can offer the highly skilled workforce the industry requires, and Coleg y Cymoedd is committed to ensuring our learners are at the forefront of any employment and skills opportunities that could come their way.”
On 17th November, Coleg y Cymoedd will host an Advice Day. The Advice Day will run from 4pm to 7pm and will provide an opportunity for prospective learners and their families to explore the college’s facilities and learn more about available courses.