College builds on business relationships with latest appointment

Coleg y Cymoedd has made a key appointment to strengthen its engagement with employers, and plans to build on a client portfolio which already exceeds 800 businesses.

The College, which has campuses in Aberdare, Nantgarw, Rhondda and Ystrad Mynach, has appointed Matthew Tucker as Director of Business Services. This new role will oversee a department that has forged longstanding training partnerships with multinational companies and some of the leading SME businesses in Wales.

Mr Tucker will focus on engaging with external organisations and businesses to continue with the development of partnership opportunities, which offer bespoke commercial solutions, training and apprenticeship programmes for employers.

Speaking about his appointment and plans for the role, Matthew Tucker, said: “We have an excellent commercial provision at Coleg y Cymoedd, with outstanding tutors, trainers and facilities. In my new position I’ll be looking to engage with more local employers with a view to supporting their business needs and adding value in terms undertaking training needs assessments, upskilling their workforce and providing work ready employees for the future.

“In order to be successful today’s businesses need to have well trained and qualified staff who are able to multi task to meet the changing demands. I see our role as working partnership with businesses and their employees and potential employees to ensure they have the knowledge and skills to do this.” ­­

Matthew’s expertise and detailed understanding of the training needs of businesses has been gained from roles in both the education and private sector. In 2001 he was responsible for delivering apprenticeship pathways as a Sector Coordinator at the College Ystrad Mynach before moving into a private sector role where he spent four years developing his commercial skills.

Since his return to the College in 2009 as the Head of Work Based Learning, in addition to bringing in private sector ethos and pace back to the college he has grown the contract which supports apprentices in the workplace from £1m to £3m.

Mr Tucker continues: “We have developed excellent working relationships with a range of businesses to develop bespoke and affordable training programmes. This can include part or fully funded programmes supported by Welsh Government.”

Judith Evans, principal at Coleg y Cymoedd, spoke of Matthew’s new role: “Matthew’s skills and expertise make him the perfect person to fill this position, with years of experience in both the public and private sectors. This allows him to forge the best working practices from both to ensure the College is meeting the needs of local employers through our bespoke programmes. We’re looking forward to continuing our relationships with businesses in the future led by Matt.”

Coleg y Cymoedd’s Business Services Department is currently working with McGinley Support Services delivering its innovative rail apprenticeship programme, as well as Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council to develop a shared apprenticeship programme engaging with over 20 SME organisations.

Rugby legend inspires Cymoedd learners

Coleg y Cymoedd learners were recognised for their achievements at the annual Prize Evening event, held at the Showcase Cinema, Nantgarw.

Over 200 guests joined the celebrations to congratulate the learners as they received their awards from guest speaker, Welsh Rugby legend Gareth Thomas. The learners from across all departments had been nominated by their tutors, who were in attendance to support their learners.

Welcoming the guests, Principal Judith Evans said “Each year I am overwhelmed to hear the success of our learners, some overcoming personal barriers to achieve their goals. We are so proud of your success and wish you well for the future.  Recognition should also be given to parents, partners who have been there, supporting you along the way and also to our staff who I know will have gone the extra mile to help you”.

Joining the guests were members of the Corporation Board including the Chair Nigel Bayford who opened the event, representatives from industry, sponsors who supported the event and college staff.

In his address guest speaker Gareth Thomas congratulated the learners and gave a truly inspirational account of his personal background and how he motivated himself to achieve his successful career.

The Performing Arts learners, studying at the Rhondda campus provided the evening’s entertainment with two excellent performances of ‘Dancing on my own’ and ‘Can’t stop the feeling’. Delyth Way, also a Performing Art learner compered the evening. Each member of the Senior Leadership Team played a part in the event, introducing the award winners and sponsors.

The college was delighted to welcome Dr Sarah Cockbill PhD, Master of the Worshipful Livery Company of Wales, who presented a certificate and cheque to Kristian Hallett, who achieved excellent grades in his A Levels and will start his degree course at Oxford University in October 2017 to read History.

Securing one of the overall Awards for Overcoming Barriers was Christopher Rhys Thomas, despite facing health related difficulties from a teenager, he was determined to achieve his qualification and always put 100% effort into his work.  He completed his Level 1 and 2 computing courses, progressing to Level 3 which he passed with DDD (Triple Distinction).  He’s been accepted at the University of South Wales to study Computing.

Scooping one of the top awards for Outstanding Achievement for his exceptional ability, dedication and work ethic was Calum Haggett; who achieved A* & A’s in his recent A Levels. A true all-rounder, Calum captained the college rugby team and Wales Under 18 Rugby Team on their tour to South Africa.  He has secured a place at Imperial College, London to study Biomedical Sciences.

Receiving his award Calum said “It has been a great pleasure studying at Coleg y Cymoedd.  I’ve received a lot of support from my lecturers.  I feel extremely honoured that they have put me forward for this award, I can’t thank them enough for it”.

Also receiving an Outstanding Achievement Award was apprentice Przemyslaw Nalej who was nominated for his steely determination to succeed and excellent standard of work; no mean feat as he has only learnt English from 11 years of age. He was also awarded Apprentice of the Year at British Airways Maintenance Cardiff’s Graduation Day.


Wellington Street
Rhondda Cynon Taff
CF44 8EN


Heol y Coleg
Parc Nantgarw
CF15 7QY


Rhondda Cynon Taff
CF40 2TQ

Ystrad Mynach

Twyn Road
Ystrad Mynach
CF82 7XR

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