Cymoedd learners inspire pupils at ‘What Next’ event

Cymoedd learners have been inspirational in providing information on FE courses to pupils from schools across Caerphilly and Rhondda Cynon Taf.

A group of Entry Level 3 learners from the Ystrad Mynach campus provided Catering demonstrations throughout the day.  The aroma of their variations of cous cous certainly drew the crowds, giving the learners and their Course Tutor Gary Humphries the chance to chat to the pupils – offering advice on the content of the courses on offer and opportunities at the college.

The Level 1 Hairdressing learners from Cymoedd’s Aberdare campus and tutors Karen Fenn and Pam Wilson were also kept busy throughout the event as their skills were put to the test providing a range of hairstyles including French plaits, waves and curls.

Careers adviser and Event organiser, Jayne Tilley, said “I’ve received a lot of positive comments from staff and pupils who attended the event; the activities offered by the Cymoedd learners and their interaction with the pupils is appreciated.

Photos: Dawn Bowden A.M for Merthyr with Hospitality & Catering learners, Ystrad Mynach campus/Hairdressing learners, Aberdare campus.

Alys Evans shines through at the Worldskills UK final

Fantastic to see Alys Evans shine through at the Worldskills UK final at the Skills Show in Birmingham during Global Entrepreneurship Week.  Already a winner, VQ Learner of the Year plus many culinary awards – Alys continues to amaze us with her determination, skill and confidence.

Against tough opposition, Alys has managed to secure a place in the Worldskills Long Squad for Kazan 2019.  Alys will now have to compete with other members of the long squad to be chosen for the UK team heading for Russia, and the College looks forward to supporting her.

The Skills Competitions Wales have begun and Coleg y Cymoedd’s first competitor through to the Welsh final, is Rajan Singh. Rajan will compete at the Welsh Culinary Championships Coleg Llandrillo in February 2018.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish all Coleg y Cymoedd competitors Good Luck with their forthcoming Skills competitions. Watch this space!


Students set sights on sustainability

Twenty-five learners from Coleg y Cymoedd have capitalised on an opportunity to discover how developers are creating a more sustainable Wales.  

The learners, who are currently studying towards a Foundation Degree in Sustainable Construction and Surveying at Coleg y Cymoedd’s Nantgarw campus, had the opportunity to see how a former industrial site can be regenerated into a new community and how solar farms are generating renewable energy for thousands of Welsh households.    

The learners visited St. Modwen’s Glan Llyn housing development, located on the former Llanwern Steelworks site, and the Oak Grove solar farm outside Caldicott.   These were guided by two former graduates of the course, Lee Tillott from Littlewood Renewable, and Sean Barlow from St. Modwen Homes.

Like Lee and Sean before them, most of the learners are mature students currently working in the construction industry. Their course at Coleg y Cymoedd is designed to enable learners to upskill and advance their careers by transitioning into more senior roles and new sectors within construction such as quantity surveying, and project management.

Robert Kilvington-Thomas is currently employed as a dry liner and plans to pursue a new career as a Quantity Surveyor. Following his foundation degree, Rob hopes to complete a BSc (hons) top-up in Quantity Surveying at the University of South Wales.

Following the site visits Rob, said: “Many of us on the course have experience working in specific construction disciplines and trades, but the course opens up new opportunities for us to progress into new careers. When you’re working in an industry it’s difficult to gain experience outside of your discipline.

The course allows us to learn about developments in modern construction and the importance of sustainable practice, but these site visits have allowed us to see what we’re learning in class put into practice. Being able to see it for yourself first-hand and speaking with those who have previously studied on our course themselves is very beneficial.” 

Following completion of their foundation degree, learners may choose to continue their studies at university, or progress into new roles with their existing employers. The course is delivered by Coleg y Cymoedd in partnership with the University of South Wales, with all tutors having extensive experience working within the construction sector.  

Commenting on the construction site visits course leader Karen Le Feuvre explained: “The site visits allow learners to contextualise their classroom learning.  The construction industry is constantly advancing and implementing new practices and innovations. Sustainable practice represents a key pillar of government policy and therefore has a significant economic impact on industry. It’s always positive for learners to meet former graduates as it allows them to gain a better understanding of the real-world career paths that are open to them.”

College leaners’ horror SFX creations are a screaming success

20 special effects makeup artists from Coleg y Cymoedd have been busy bringing to life zombies and ghouls for this year’s X Scream scare event at the Rhondda Heritage Park.

Taking place at an old colliery site, the immersive and interactive event sees guests try to dodge zombies, movie monsters and a whole host of other terrifying characters, as they are chased through underground tunnels in a real-life abandoned Rhondda mine. 

A combination of HND Creative Production Arts Make up learners and Year 3 BA TV and Film: Hair, Make-Up and Special Effects undergraduates, were selected to work on the event as part of a collaboration between the college and the X-Scream organisers.

The learners were responsible for the monstrous transformations of live actors taking part in the event, using the latest techniques in special effects make up, and were also tasked with creating terrifying props to contribute to the overall ‘Fright Night’ experience.

Ffion Cox, 19, of college learners involved in the production said: “It was amazing to be involved in the XScream event and to play such a key role in creating the experience. Seeing the public’s amazed response, and hearing all of the positive comments about our work been a real confidence boost and reinforced my plans to pursue a career in the industry.

“I have loved creating zombies and gruesome characters over the last two years in college and so being able to put these skills into practice has been great fun and will help me achieve my career goal of going into the industry.”

The organisers behind the event, which saw attendees take on the role of unwilling cast members forced to audition for a horror movie directed by a fictional mad film director, chose to enlist the help of the college’s learners following their successful collaboration for X-Scream’s initial launch event last year.

The college was first approached to assist with the production after organisers were impressed by the quality of learners’ work for other events in Rhondda Cynon Taff including previous Halloween events and a zombie run.

Based at the college’s Nantgarw campus, the specialist courses at Coleg y Cymoedd, introduce learners to the professional media make-up and prop-making skills required within the areas of film and theatre.

Throughout both courses, learners take part in a variety of work placements with a range of production companies to gain real life industry practice and boost their employability.  

Course tutor, Jane Beard said: “Working on the X Scream event was a fantastic opportunity for our learners to develop their talents and gain an insight into the professional opportunities available to them in the sector.

“While the course provides learners with the skills and knowledge of special effects, it is experience on projects like these, where learners can put their skills into practice, that will grow their confidence and equip them with the expertise needed to secure placements and enter a career within the industry.”

Now in its second year, commenting on the involvement of the college learners, Helen Gibbons, Event Manager of X Scream, added: “X Scream is a unique, theatrical scare event in South Wales and it grows annually.  In 2017 we delivered a plan which contained a complicated mix of characters and the Coleg y Cymoedd students played a vital role in helping us to achieve the variety, authenticity and character visuals for our actors.  We are privileged to have an on-going relationship with Coleg y Cymoedd and hope that we can continue to create fantastic horror experiences with them”

Coleg y Cymoedd goes higher with event for learners

Coleg y Cymoedd’s Nantgarw campus recently played host to over 12 Universities from Wales and England at the Coleg y Cymoedd annual HE Convention.

The HE Convention which is now in its third year, is aimed at current learners of Coleg y Cymoedd together with the local community who are interested in University as a progression option after their studies at College.

The Universities that attended were identified as being the 12 universities that are chosen by Coleg y Cymoedd learners each year. Alongside the Universities, information stands were present offering advice and guidance for learners

At the event, current Coleg y Cymoedd HE Learners work was showcased with activities also taking place for event visitors to take part in.

Al Koursaros, College HE Coordinator said “Events like these are so valuable for our learners and the community.  I am so thankful for the number of Universities who attended the event today and I know those attended benefited enormously from their advice, support and presentations provided”

Coleg y Cymoedd named College of the Year at Insider Awards

Coleg y Cymoedd were recently crowned ‘College of the Year’ at the Insider 2017 Business and Education Awards in recognition of their work with local industry and employers.

In 2017, Coleg y Cymoedd engaged with more than 800 employers and grew income from business services through employer engagement to £4.8 million.

If you are interested in working with Coleg y Cymoedd or any training services, contact our Business and International team on


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

  • Associate
  • Associate
  • Associate
  • Associate
  • Associate
  • Associate
  • Associate
  • Associate
  • Associate
Link takes you to our YouTube page Link takes you to our Instagram page Accessibility
Staff / Student Access News and Blogs ALN