Congratulations to Cymoedd’s A Level learners at Debating Competition

Coleg y Cymoedd are delighted with the success of members of its Debating Society who secured ‘Runners up’ position at a recent competition, narrowly losing out to the Debating Team from Atlantic College.

Cymoedd’s newly formed Debating Society was set up within the A Level Centre, in October this year, with four of the learners receiving training from a debating expert from Cardiff’s Sixth Form College. The four learners, keen to grow the ‘Society’ trained up further learners and now boasts almost 20 members.

Three members of the Society Lilia Simonov (16) Rebecca Mardon, (16) and Cerys Baker (16) are all studying A Levels at Coleg y Cymoedd and were keen to represent the college in their first competition.  The competition was part of the ESU (English Speaking Union), South Wales Branch, where they competed against schools and college teams from across South Wales.

The learners made it through two rounds of the competition before facing Atlantic College in the finals – a brilliant achievement at their first competition. The debating topics were topical and included “the repatriation of cultural artefacts” and the “removal of controversial monuments”. The talented learners spoke with clarity and a strength of argument, demonstrating an awareness of current affairs to effectively debate the topic.

Speaking after the competition Lilia representing Cymoedd’s team said” We have really enjoyed setting up the Debating Society and representing the college at our first competition. We’ve gained valuable oratory skills over the past few months which will improve our public speaking. We’ll share our experiences with other learners and hopefully encourage them to join the society”.

Congratulating the learners, Holly Richards, Lecturer at the A Level Centre said “I am extremely proud of what the learners have achieved in such a short space of time. They have shown great initiative in setting up the society and it continues to grow from strength to strength.

Watching them in action during the debating rounds you would never believe they are novice debaters. I am really excited to see how this society develops further. They done so well to finish Runners Up in their first competition”.

Cymoedd sets learner on exciting career path in Television

“The college really cares about its students and always tries to give everyone the best experience as possible” – the words of Cymoedd’s learner Sophie Batt who is set for an exciting career in television, securing a BBC Apprenticeship.

Seventeen year old Sophie from Ystrad Mynach attended Lewis Girls Comprehensive School, and throughout her studies her focus was set on a career in Television.

Prior to leaving school Sophie researched the relevant courses available and attended an Open event at Cymoedd’s Nantgarw campus. She discussed the courses with the staff, who were so helpful and the Television & Film course was exactly what Sophie had dreamed of studying, to achieve her future aims/goals.

The information gained at the Open event and positive comments from family and friends who were already studying at the college reinforced Sophie’s decision to enrol on the Level 3 Diploma in Creative Media Production and Technology (Television & Film) at the college’s Nantgarw campus.

Speaking about her time at the college Sophie said “If it wasn’t for this course I wouldn’t have secured the apprenticeship at the BBC which I’ll be starting in January. The course not only improved my skills but provided the opportunity for me to work with others.

The college provides support and always goes out of the way for its students. I felt comfortable at the college and knew that if I ever needed help, someone would be there for me.

Studying at Cymoedd has given me the confidence and helped me prepare for my future. I’ve gained a range of skills that will be beneficial in future situations and I now feel confident in myself. I would definitely recommend this course and Coleg y Cymoedd; it has been the best thing that has happened to me.

My experience has been amazing and this course is a once in a life time opportunity that nobody should miss out on. I’ll be sad to leave Coleg y Cymoedd but I’m looking forward to starting the apprenticeship in January”.

Course Tutor, Amanda Stafford said “It has been a pleasure to teach Sophie and to see her skills and confidence develop. Her commitment to her studies and to her creative work has been inspiring and it’s wonderful to see her hard work rewarded in this way. She will be an asset to the team at the BBC and we wish her every success with her career.

Coleg y Cymoedd shows its commitment to Welsh Language Rights

December 7 is Welsh Language Rights Day. This day was created by the Welsh Language Commissioner to promote the use of Welsh language services provided by public bodies in Wales under the Welsh Language Standards of the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011.

This year, Coleg y Cymoedd seized this opportunity to showcase the Welsh language services it offers and promote the idea of Welsh language rights under the banner of ‘Mae Gen I Hawl’ (I Have The Right).

The college’s Welsh Language Team and Welsh Language Ambassadors (roles funded by the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol) toured all four campuses with a board declaring ‘I have the right to use the Welsh language’. Learners, staff and visitors were invited to sign the board to show their support for Welsh language rights and the provision of bilingual services at Coleg y Cymoedd. Those who signed the board were given special ‘iaith gwaith’ cupcakes prepared by Coleg y Cymoedd Entry Level 3 Catering learners and two of the Welsh Ambassadors. Hundreds of signatures were collected throughout the week, with learners and staff embracing the event.

The whole event was inspired by the ideas of one the college’s Welsh Ambassadors, Llinos Maynard. Speaking on the Nantgarw campus, Llinos said, “I thought it would be great idea to create something visual to celebrate Welsh Rights Day this year. This board now acts a symbol of us coming together to celebrate the language. And the cupcakes are delicious – even if I do say so myself!”

Lois Roberts, Coleg y Cymoedd’s Welsh Language Manager who helped organise the event, noted, “It’s been an incredible week. Staff and learners on all four campuses have signed the board to declare their commitment to protect the rights of Welsh speakers. As a College located in Wales, we think it is important to celebrate our language and be pro-active in helping our learners use their Welsh language skills. Thank you to everyone who took part.”

The college’s Deputy Principal, Jonathan Morgan, added, “This sends a strong message to the Welsh Language Commissioner that we at Coleg y Cymoedd are committed to compliance with the Welsh Language Standards set out in the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011”.

Cymoedd alumnus soars to a successful career within the Aviation industry

Cymoedd alumnus Arjundeep Singh from Cardiff beat off stiff competition at this year’s Caerphilly Business Club Awards ceremony, to secure the prestigious title of Apprentice of the Year.

Twenty one year old Arjundeep from Cardiff, attended Fitzalan High School and from a young age showed a keen interest in engineering. His choice of subjects at GCSE level included mathematics, triple science, engineering and product design; an excellent choice to pursue a career in engineering.

He was fortunate that during his school years, his interest in engineering was recognised by his teachers, who working with personnel at British Airways Interior Engineering provided an opportunity for Arjundeep to spend a day at the organisation; which is where his journey with them started!

Keen to follow his passion Arjundeep attended an Open Event at Cymoedd’s Nantgarw campus and, impressed with the facilities and knowledgeable staff enrolled on a BTEC Level 3 in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering course, alongside a Work Based NVQ Level 3 qualification.

Speaking about his studies at Coleg y Cymoedd, Arjundeep said “Although whilst studying you may feel that you do not have much time to do other things or that it’s difficult, all the hard work pays off. During my course I was always given the support I required. The tutors made the lectures engaging which enabled me to absorb the knowledge and apply it at my work place –putting me in good stead to secure employment at the end of my apprenticeship.

I would definitely recommend Coleg y Cymoedd to future learners as I feel that it provides you with a head start, due to the uniqueness and quality of the college.  I enjoyed the course as it goes into such depth of engineering without making you feel that you have been overloaded with work. The practical aspect of the course was also great with state of the art tools, equipment, and machinery it allowed you to learn what it is like in the field and makes you more excited to get a job doing this and encourages you more to get good grades”.

After completing his apprenticeship at British Airways Interior Engineering, Arjundeep secured full time employment at the company. Within his first month an opportunity to work in the Materials Team was advertised, he applied and was successful. Arjundeep was seconded to the department, where he deals with finance and supply chain within engineering. He enjoys this role and looking to his future, feels it is possibly the area that he would like to work in.

Stephen Manning, Work Based Learning NVQ Assessor (Aviation/Engineering) at Coleg y Cymoedd who provided Arjundeep with support whilst at the college said” This has been the most difficult time for any apprentice but Arjundeep remained focused, dedicated and committed, amazing for someone so young. Arjundeep has demonstrated maturity and resolve beyond his years, this experience will stand him in good stead as he embarks on his new role with the Materials Team for British Airways. He has been an utter pleasure to work with and I know his new work colleagues will enjoy watching him develop further. The icing on the cake however was winning the CBC Apprentice of the Year 2021, the sense of pride written on Arjundeep’s face and that of his very proud family is a memory to truly treasure.”

Congratulating Arjundeep on his success at the Awards ceremony Sarah-Jane Worley, Head of Operations at British Airways Interior Engineering added “Deep has been an integral part of our team from day 1 of his apprenticeship.  He’s grasped every opportunity with both hands and delivered a truly professional result. During a visit by HRH The Prince of Wales, he represented our facility and spoke confidently and with true passion about the work that we do, and I have every confidence that this is only the start of his journey at British Airways. Myself and the rest of his colleagues are looking forward to seeing where his path leads him in the future.”

Ambitious Mum Returns to Cymoedd to Fulfil Career Ambition

After taking time out to raise her young family, Claire decided it was the right time to return to Further Education to gain a qualification; which would help fulfil her career ambition of returning to employment in a busy role within a reputable growing business.

In September 2020, Claire enrolled on the Access Diploma to Higher Education Business and Finance course at Cymoedd’s Ystrad Mynach Campus. Working hard to manage family and college commitments, Claire successfully completed her qualification in July 2021 with Distinction profile. She engaged with Futures Employment Bureau to seek advice on career opportunities and support with writing her CV.

The Futures Team receive regular requests from businesses seeking suitable candidates to fill positions within their company and identify learners who would suit those positions. Such was the case when Michael Plaut, Director at Northmace & Hendon contacted Futures Employment Bureau to determine if there were any Level 3 Business learners who were keen to join their growing business. The vacancy of Customer Service Executive was shared with learners nearing completion of their business qualification, who were seeking employment opportunities and were a good match to the vacancy.

Speaking about the job opportunity at Northmace & Hendon, Michele Harris-Cocker, Futures@Cymoedd Co-ordinator stated” When Michael made contact and talked me through the role I thought of Claire straight away, her skills and attributes were a perfect match to the job specification.

After consulting with Claire, we submitted her CV for consideration. Claire was shortlisted for interview and successfully appointed; her determination and hard work paid off. I would encourage anyone who is considering Further Education to support career progression or change of direction within their careers, to go for it!
It really is, never too late. I wish Michael and his team at Northmace every success for the future, it is always great to hear success stories around business growth especially during such unprecedented times.

Claire’s role as Customer Services Executive, involves processing sales orders, commercial invoices and dealing with customer complaints. The role has also provided an insight into finance and credit control along with international sales and everything entailed with shipping products overseas. Claire continues to juggle family and work alongside the USW Foundation Degree Business Management which she is studying at Coleg y Cymoedd.

Commenting on her recent appointment Claire said” I want to thank the Futures Employment Bureau at Coleg y Cymoedd, especially Michele for matching me to the role of Customer Service Executive at Northmace and encouraging me to apply. Michael, Tracey and all of the team have been welcoming and supportive. Not only in my new role with the company, but supporting my continued education. Thank you to all.”

Following Claire’s appointment Michael Plaut said “Northmace is delighted to have worked in conjunction with Coleg y Cymoedd to recruit the latest member of its team. Coleg y Cymoedd has been a pleasure to work with and we would particularly like to thank Michele Harris-Cocker for all her assistance. Northmace is pleased to welcome Claire to her new role”.

Cardiff based company, Northmace in creating professional in-room appliances and accessories that are designed specifically for hotels.


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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