Coleg y Cymoedd learner lands role working on hit Netflix series

A creative college learner from the south Wales valleys is set to spend her summer working on the set of a hit Netflix series after impressing industry bosses with her costume creations.

22-year-old Jaye Wakely, from Bridgend, who is currently studying a course in costume construction at Coleg y Cymoedd, has bagged herself a placement working on the second season of popular Netflix teen drama, ‘Sex Education.’

Taking place over three months, the placement will see Jaye assist the show’s costume department in sourcing and preparing costumes for cast members. She will also be responsible for making quick alterations to garments ready for filming.

The talented learner, who hopes to pursue a career within costume for TV and film in the future, applied for the placement to gain more experience within the costume for screen sector.

Speaking about the experience, Jaye said: “It’s so exciting to be a part of such a big and popular show. While I’ve only just started my placement, I have already learnt so much. The opportunity is giving me practical experience of costume construction as well as a great insight into what it’s like to work in the TV industry, which is very fast paced. 

“The costume team, along with the whole crew, have made me feel very welcome and I’m really enjoying working with them on set all day, every day. Working behind the scenes on a filmset is really interesting and teaching me a lot – it’s great to be learning while on the set of such a highly regarded show.”

‘Sex Education’ tells the story of a socially awkward teenager whose mother, played by Hollywood star Gillian Anderson, is a sex therapist. Filmed in various locations across Wales, including Newport, Monmouthshire and the former campus of the University of South Wales, the series has provided a number of work experience and job opportunities for Welsh students in the creative industries.

For Jaye, the experience is her first industry employment outside of education. She added: “In the future, I’d love to work in a job creating costumes and dressing for screen, as making and constructing costumes is something I really enjoy. I’m so thankful to have secured this opportunity to work on Sex Education through my course as it’s provided me with amazing, invaluable industry experience straight out of college.”

Coleg y Cymoedd’s two-year foundation costume construction course, which is delivered in partnership with the University of South Wales, aims to give learners a thorough introduction to costume construction within the industries of theatre and film. The college also offers a 1-year BA (Hons) top up Costume Construction course.

Coleg y Cymoedd learners meet Ministers at Cardiff Bay event

Two Coleg y Cymoedd learners from the new Aberdare campus were invited to join the First Minister Mark Drakeford and Education Minister Kirsty Williams at a recent event in Cardiff; to celebrate the success of the first phase of the 21st Century Schools and Education Programme.

Connor Vockins and Felix Eates joined Mark Thomas – Campus/Curriculum Director, Aberdare campus at the Pierhead Building, Cardiff where pupils and staff from schools across Wales had gathered for the celebratory event.

Both Connor and Felix are studying Computing at the new Aberdare campus building which received funding from the 21st Century Programme. The state of the art campus features excellent workshops and facilities providing learners with 

Speaking at the event, Mark Thomas highlighted the benefits of the new campus, with its new town centre location to learners, staff and the wider community.

Coleg y Cymoedd supports Welsh Government aspirations for British Sign Language

Coleg y Cymoedd is delighted to be working with the Welsh Government to support its ambitions to deliver British Sign Language courses to its employees within the Welsh Government.

Coleg y Cymoedd has a proud history of its provision of British Sign Language courses and a commitment to the Deaf community; and was pleased to secure the tender to provide this pilot programme.

The 15- week programme saw 15 employees with little or no experience of BSL enrol in November 2018 with the aim to raise awareness and the use of British Sign Language in the workplace. The course involved face to face teaching and also an online Level 1 BSL course (Welsh Regional dialect), this is the first full Level 1 in the UK; and has been produced by Course Tutor Sarah Lawrence.

The first cohort of staff enjoyed the initial course and some have now progressed on to an extended 15 -week programme. It is envisaged the delegates will complete and achieve the full BSL level 1 qualification.

Course tutor Sarah Lawrence, a first language BSL user holds the highest- level qualification in BSL, being the only BSL teacher in South Wales who teaches the IBSL Level 6. Sarah’s employment at Coleg y Cymoedd spans over 20 years and her reputation for teaching excellence has led to her work on the standards of BSL teaching for the British Deaf Association.

The pilot has been successful, with positive comments received from the Welsh Government employees, one member of staff said “When I was offered the opportunity to participate in a BSL pilot programme I jumped at the chance. I had experienced some engagement with BSL in the past, which had planted the seed of interest. Learning a new language can be daunting but Sarah and Simon’s enthusiastic and engaging teaching style made the whole experience very rewarding and enjoyable.

The online resource enables us to practice between classes, I am looking forward to continuing my BSL learning journey further”.

Valleys learners to study at some of the UK’s leading universities

Four college learners from the South Wales valleys are set to spend their summers experiencing life at some of the top universities in the UK.

Josie Wood (17), Rhys Bracher (17), Daphne Rosser (16) and Josephine Lee (17), have secured places on the prestigious Sutton Trust Summer Schools scheme which will see them attend free summer schools within their chosen fields at some of the most esteemed universities across the country.

The summer school placement will give the Welsh learners the chance to experience life in a new city as well as an insight into university and their chosen courses as they attend lectures and workshops within the subjects they are hoping to study in the future.

The learners, who are all currently studying at Coleg y Cymoedd, will take part in a week-long residential stay at some of the UK’s leading institutions including the University of Cambridge and University College London.

Rhys Bracher from Pontypridd, is one of the learners who has been selected to take part in the summer school, securing a place to study Psychology and Behavioural Sciences at the University of Cambridge. Speaking about the opportunity, he said: “At first I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to go to university, but felt if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be achieving my full potential, so I decided to look into the summer schools further.

“I’m excited to have secured a place at such a prestigious and highly regarded university as Cambridge. I’m really looking forward to getting an insight into how psychology is taught at a higher level and to gain first-hand experience of studying at the university.”

Josie Wood, from Blackwood, will be heading to summer schools at both Bath and Durham University to study Chemistry. She said: “I’ve always wanted to go to university but was unsure where, so I thought this would be the perfect chance to see what university will be like. I’m excited about meeting other like-minded people that are interested in the same subject as me and the summer school will give me great experience for the career in science that I am hoping to pursue.”

Designed to give young people the chance to learn more about the subject they’re interested in and to experience what life at university will be like, the Sutton Trust Summer Schools programme aims to equip learners with the knowledge and insight to make a better-informed decision about their future in higher education.

Also taking part in the programme this summer will be learners Daphne Rosser and Josephine Lee, who are both set to study at University College London for a week.

Pontypridd learner Daphne will be studying Psychology with Education and believes the placement will be invaluable for her CV and university applications. She said: “After reading comments from previous students that have taken part in the Sutton Trust summer schools, I knew this would be a very beneficial opportunity for me. Studying at UCL will highlight what the subject will be like in a different learning environment and will be extremely helpful for me when I make my university decisions and put together my application.”

Josephine, from Rhydyfelin, will be getting a taste of a degree in English. She hopes the experience will provide her with the opportunity to see whether she’s ready to move to the capital. She added: “Attending university has always been an aspiration of mine and I’m very excited to get a taste of what studying in the city of London will be like. College has already acted as a stepping stone to uni, but this programme will give me the opportunity to interact with new people and better prepare me for life at university.”


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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