Cymoedd learners support work at Memorial Garden

Coleg y Cymoedd is proud of its links with the Armed Forces, being the first FE college in Wales to achieve a Silver Employer Recognition Award in 2018. An award reserved for organisations that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to defence and the Armed Forces community and align their values with the Armed Forces Covenant.

When Phill Adkins, from The Royal Welsh Comrades Association and Project Coordinator for the Memorial Garden approached the college for its help in constructing a Memorial Garden, in Aberdare Town Centre, there was no hesitation on behalf of the college.

Phill Adkins, spokesperson for the group visited the college to discuss the project and it was agreed that the construction learners at the college’s Aberdare campus would support the project.

The learners studying on the Bricklaying course, together with tutors John Wayman, Steve Jones and Steve Llewellyn visited the Aberdare site for a briefing on the project. The project, whilst supporting such a worthy cause would also provide practical experience for the learners and enhance the CPD opportunities for the tutors.

Speaking on behalf of the tutors at the Aberdare campus, John Wayman, Brickwork tutor said “The learners worked well as a team on the project and the quality of their work was excellent. The staff are proud of the way they worked and conducted themselves; they are great ambassadors for Coleg y Cymoedd. This experience has given them the opportunity not only of practical work but also to work on a project that has a positive impact in the community”.”

The learners were tasked with laying the slabs at the Memorial Garden, which were kindly donated by Jewsons, Aberdare. Throughout their time at the project they received numerous comments from passers-by including, veterans of all eras and Welsh Guards Falklands Veteran Errold Jones for the excellent work undertaken at the project.

On completion of their work, the stonemason was able to inlay the granite plaque and memorial stones in memory of a loved one or comrade. To complete the area, the flagpoles, donated by Aluminium Lighting Company were given a trial run in preparation for the opening ceremony.

Phill Adkins said” The work to lay the slabs went well and on behalf of the Royal Welsh Comrades Association I would like to thank the college for their participation, the learners worked hard and their finished work is excellent. I hope they enjoyed the project and are proud of the part they have played in preparing the Cynon Valley Combined Services Memorial Garden”.

The official opening will take place on Sunday November 3rd at 10:30a.m.

Cymoedd learner set to compete at World Para Athletics Junior Championships

Staff and learners at Coleg y Cymoedd will be routing for one of their learners when he competes at the World Para Athletics Junior Championships, next month.

Nineteen year old, learner John Bridge from Caerphilly will gain an international cap when he competes in the Under 20 Men’s T47 400m event.  John is one of 15 athletes selected to compete for Britain, at the Championships in Nottwil, Switzerland from August 1-4 2019.

The event is the second World Para Athletics Junior Championships and provides an important step in the Paralympic performance pathway, which will help him prepare for major events.

John regularly competes at Indoor and outdoor competitions for his Club, Cardiff AAC and is no stranger to international competitions, having already competed in Italy, Holland and Germany this year.

Course Tutor David Howells said” We all wish John every success in the Championships next month. His commitment to athletics and juggling his college work has been exemplary. John enrolled on a Level 2 Computing course at Coleg y Cymoedd, progressing to Level 3 Computing, which he has just completed – achieving 100% distinction grades – he is a top guy!”

Cymoedd’s investment equips future engineers

Coleg y Cymoedd has seen a significant increase in the number of learners and the academic qualifications of its Engineering learners following continued investment at its campuses.

The latest project at the Rhondda campus follows a £3.1 million investment in a Railway Training Centre of Excellence at the Nantgarw campus, designed to deliver high quality training and £260,000 in workshop equipment for its Nantgarw workshop.

The £230,000 investment of the Engineering Workshop at the Rhondda is part of the college’s ambitious Capital Programme and was highlighted as a priority to address the skills shortage in the sector.

The new facility is equipped with industry standard machines to provide the learners with experience and employability skills to seek employment on completion of their course.

The workshop boasts 9 new Lathes and 6 Milling machines which enhanced the learning environment making it more conducive to learning, this allowed the students to work independently gaining skills and progressing their individual engineering skills.

The new workshop is a welcomed addition to the engineering facilities.  Each year the college trains around 500 full-time and part time engineering learners, which includes around 120 apprentices, across its four campuses at Aberdare, Nantgarw, Rhondda and Ystrad Mynach.

John Williams, Engineering lecturer at the Rhondda campus said, “The new facilities at the campus have played an important part in helping the learners to achieve their full potential and gain excellent qualifications. We have been able to train the learners on the fundamental skills required in today’s industry through to the more complex techniques, providing hands on experience in milling, turning and bench fitting.

Many of the learners enrolled on the Foundation course at the Rhondda campus and over a three -year period have progressed to the Level 3 qualification. This year the Engineering staff at the Rhondda campus are delighted with the 100% pass rate of its learners with EAL and VRQ qualifications.  Seven of the Level 1 learners studying the VRQ in Engineering Technologies achieved Distinction, from the cohort of Level 2 learners, 14 achieved Distinction and 10 Merit and from the Level 3 Course 9 learners achieved Distinction and 3 Merit grades.

The tutors are so proud of all the learners and their achievements both academically and socially. Their results are testament to their hard work and commitment, a motivated staff and well- equipped workshop. It makes a great difference to be provided with the correct resources to enhance and develop the young engineers of the future…the results say it all”.

Engineering is a major growth sector in the Rhondda Cynon Taf and Caerphilly area, with the potential of exciting career opportunities for our learners. As a college, we work closely with employers to ensure our curriculum meets the needs of the industry. The college has been at the forefront of apprenticeship training for GE Aircraft Maintenance for over 20 years and recently British Airways Maintenance division and Axiom Manufacturing Services have worked with the college to train their apprentices. Many of our apprentices have gone on to complete their HNC and Degree qualifications in Engineering and Aerospace Engineering and secured employment in exciting organisations.

Cymoedd are still accepting applications to join Engineering courses for September 2019, for more information and to apply, visit  

Cymoedd Construction learners rise to the challenge

A group of Level 1 Diploma Construction learners went head to head in a ‘Freshers’ competition held at the Aberdare campus. The competition is the first internal Construction competition held at the new campus and was the result of a conversation between the tutors to provide the learners with an opportunity to put their skills to the test.

All thirteen first year bricklaying learners rose to the challenge of building a wall to a high standard from a building plan / diagram, within a time limit of 4.5 hours. The competition, designed to reflect the role of a bricklayer and to help improve the learners’ confidence, to take the first step into a career in bricklaying. The learners put into practice the skills they had acquired in the workshop, and were marked on areas such as, setting out, dimensional positioning and bond, gauge, level, plumb and all skills required for the build.

Steve Llewellyn and John Wayman were impressed with the professional way the learners set about the challenge and the high quality work they produced. Speaking on behalf of the Construction staff, course tutor John Wayman thanked Jewson building suppliers for their generous sponsorship of the activity and congratulated all learners for their involvement and enthusiasm towards the challenge.  He added” We wanted to give the learners the opportunity to make themselves more employable and a competition such as this has a positive impact on their studies. It was pleasing to see how proud the learners were as they show cased their skills throughout the competition.

Speaking after the challenge, learner Owen Jones age 19 from Cwmbach, Aberdare stated, I really enjoyed the competition it was a good experience preparing us for work and we were marked on all the skills required for work in the Construction industry.

Lloyd Carter, area manager at Jewson Suppliers, Aberdare commented” We were happy to support the challenge at the college and it was amazing to see the standard of work produced by these learners. With an upward trend in the sector, the learners have an excellent opportunity at the college to acquire the relevant skills to succeed in the industry. The staff are so enthusiastic and supportive and the facilities in the new campus are first class”.

Mark Thomas, Campus Director at the Aberdare campus added, “We are grateful to Jewson’s for sponsoring the challenge and I have to thank all the staff and the learners for supporting the challenge. Since moving to the new campus we have seen a significant interest in applications for our construction courses. Competitions such as this have such a positive impact on the learners by stretching and challenging them to achieve their potential”.

To find out more and to join one of our Construction courses for September 2019, visit our website

Cymoedd staff member gains Welsh Cap

Congratulations to Cymoedd staff member Adam Saunders who has been selected to represent Wales at this year’s European Masters Hockey Championships.

Adam will be part of the 18- man squad heading to Rotterdam later this month, where they will face Germany, Denmark and Ireland.

From September 2018, Adam together with 80 players attended monthly training camps as part of the selection process; and was thrilled when he was informed that he had been selected as part of the squad.

In June, he travelled to Glasgow to compete for Wales in the Home Nations Tournament where he gave a strong performance, playing at the centre forward position. The team were pleased with their performance.

Adam gained his passion for hockey from his roller hockey days as a teenager in Cardiff and rekindled that love when he secured a place at Luton University. Throughout his three-year studies, he played for the university team and also Luton Town Hockey Club.

After graduating from Luton University Adam returned to Wales and joined Llanishen and Caerphilly Hockey Club, where he played for 9 years before joining his current club – Gwent Hockey Club.

The three years he has spent at Gwent Hockey Club has benefitted Adam, with its rigorous training schedule and matches against tough opposition from across South Wales and the West of England.

Adam, who is employed as an Employer Engagement Officer at Coleg y Cymoedd said” In April 2018, I set my sights on selection for the Welsh Hockey Squad, and trained hard to improve my fitness and game. I am delighted to have achieved my ambition, making all the training throughout the months worthwhile. I am so proud to be representing Wales and would like to thank the college for their support”.

Rhondda Childcare learners celebrate top grade results

There were celebrations all round at this year’s Care Presentations at Coleg y Cymoedd’s Rhondda campus as learners focussed on the next steps of their learning journey.

Four learners studying on the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Children’s Care, Learning and Development (NCFE Cache) were recognised for their excellent grades – Kiera Jones, Jessica Davies, Bethan James and Caitlin Daniels each received A*,A, A grades in their three externally marked research projects, which is equivalent to 4 A grades at A Level.

The course provides learners with the knowledge and practical skills necessary for working in a variety of Childcare settings. As part of the course, the learners studied a range of units including Theories of Child Development and recent policies and initiatives in Childcare and undertook 50 hours of work placement within a variety of real work environments.

Two of the learners have been offered places at university, one has secured employment and one will return to Coleg y Cymoedd.  We wish all our learners Good Luck for the future

A bright forecast for Cymoedd learners

As the academic year ends, Coleg y Cymoedd celebrated the success of its learners at the Nantgarw campus. Principal, Karen Phillips welcomed the learners, guests, Governors, sponsors and staff to the ceremony, before introducing the Guest Speaker for the evening – Weather Presenter Behnaz Akhgar.

Behnaz congratulated the learners who were receiving awards for their achievements in recognition of their hard work and commitment. She gave an overview of her career, outlining some of the disappointments she had experienced during her career and emphasised the power of self- belief.

Amy Williams, studying Performing Arts at the Rhondda campus compered the event and provided the amazing musical entertainment with fellow learner Rachel Evans. Over fifty awards were presented to the learners who had been nominated from over 10,000 learners across all departments at the Aberdare, Rhondda, Nantgarw and Ystrad Mynach campuses.

Tayanne Williams was presented with the Bev Harding Award for Creativity and the Emily Kendrick Award for Optism in the face of adversity was presented to the family of Siobhan Mullan.

Mr Geoff Hughes, Master of the Worshipful Livery Company of Wales presented this year’s Welsh Livery Award to two A Level learners Thomas Tiltman and Daniel Bray. Both learners have just completed their A Levels and on receipt of their results; Daniel will go on to study Computer Science at Bristol University and Thomas, Maths at Bath University.

The evenings programme culminated in the two final awards – Overcoming Barriers and Outstanding Achievements.

The Overcoming Barriers Award; is presented to the learner who has overcome barriers during their studies. This year’s recipient was Charlotte Bell who is studying on the Events Management & Marketing at the Ystrad Mynach campus. Since attending college she achieved Distinction Distinction* in her first year and this year has been predicted to achieve three Distinction* grades. Charlotte has also worked tirelessly as a Student Governor, taken part in Skills Challenge Wales Enterprise and been an excellent role model for all college learners. She is planning to join the Network 75 scheme at University South Wales – and has received 3unconditional offers to study Events or Business Management

Josh Jenkins and Brychan Probert were presented with the Outstanding Achievement Award in recognition of their academic results and creative collaboration. Their short factual film ‘A Red Documentary’ won the 2019 Wales Skills Competition for Digital Video and their Extended Project film ‘Retribution’ is one of the most outstanding pieces of Level 3 film work the course tutors have seen to date.

Alongside their coursework, they have also set up a production company and have taken on editing work, produced short films, promotional and wedding videos. Their talent, professionalism, work ethic and creativity has been an inspiration to learners on the course.

Both Josh and Brychan are progressing on to the BA (Hons) in Film Production at the University of Gloucester.

Closing the event, the Principal thanked everyone involved with the evening – the Hospitality and Catering learners who prepared and served an array of delicious canapés’ and beverages throughout the evening, the sponsors, Governors, guests and staff and wished the learners every success as they travel along their exciting Career path.


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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