Coleg y Cymoedd achieve record number of medals at the World Skills UK awards

Coleg y Cymoedd has achieved record-breaking success at this year’s World Skills UK awards, bringing home seven medals – the highest the college has ever attained at the competition.

A partnership between employers, education providers and governments, World Skills UK is an independent charity that supports young people across the country to develop and showcase their skills via competitions-based training, assessment, and benchmarking.

The variety of competitions available champion the talents of learners in a range of fields, with entrants also having the opportunity to apply to represent the UK at the global World Skills ‘skills Olympics’ where they will compete against national teams from over 80 countries around the world.

This year’s awards saw 13 Coleg y Cymoedd learners compete in the nationwide competition with more than half securing medals.

Matthew Watts, Enterprise, Skills and Employability Coordinator at Coleg y Cymoedd said: “World Skills UK is an exciting opportunity for our learners to enhance their skills and become more employable. A lot of work and extra training is put into preparing for the awards by both the tutors and learners which is reflected by the brilliant success we achieved at this year’s competition.

“Each learner that has been involved in the competition has shown a dedication to their field, excellence in their work and a determined attitude to excel within each of the stages of the competition. The results speak for themselves.”

This year, two Coleg y Cymoedd learners, Ruben Duggan and Cole Peters, brought home gold medals at the awards in the plumbing and Network System Administrator communication technology categories respectively. Four silver medals were won by Lewis Hart in communication technology as well as by GE Aviation apprentices, Megan Christie, Pawel Abramowicz and Jamie Williams who were each awarded in the Manufacturing Team Challenge Aviation category.

 A further bronze medal for Network System Administrator communication technology went to Coleg y Cymoedd learner Zack Morris, while Caerdav apprentice and Coleg y Cymoedd learner Kaleb Szymanski received a highly commended award in the  Aircraft Maintenance competition.

 The World Skills competitions, which run at regional, UK wide and international levels, are an opportunity for learners to finesse their skills and training in their chosen field, access great higher education opportunities, and increase their employability.Each skills competition is judged by an expert panel within the industry through a range of practical and scenario-based tasks, with the best performing participants progressing in the competition.

Coleg y Cymoedd has worked with industry partners such as GE Aviation and Caerdav to provide the essential additional training and practical experience needed for learners to excel throughout each stage of the competition.

Matthew added: “Alongside the dedication of our learners and tutors, we’re also grateful to our industry partners who have given up their time and facilities to support learners’ training. It’s been a group effort by all, and it’s great to see that effort rewarded.

“We’re continually working on ways to improve learners’ industry and enterprise skills – it’s something we’re always developing and aiming to embed throughout curriculum areas at Coleg y Cymoedd. We’re looking forward to congratulating the learners who took part in the World Skills UK competition in the new year, alongside announcing the new international squad for 2023.”

Coleg y Cymoedd help light up Nos Galan race

A group of Coleg y Cymoedd staff recently helped save a key element of one of the UK’s most famous road running races, Nos Galan.

The Nos Galan road race committee approached Coleg y Cymoedd to assist in the urgent repair of the torch used at the event after it received significant water damage during flooding in 2019 (prior to COVID-19).

The innovative brains of Engineering, Construction and Creative staff at Coleg y Cymoedd worked extensively over several months to restore the torch to it’s original glory and fit for use.

David Howells, Head of School Engineering said “The team have done a superb job in restoring the torch.  It was in a really bad way when we received it, not working and arrived in multiple parts.  After some planning, the team have developed a brand new torch containing 3D printed parts, an ignition key, branded RCT logo and a wooden storage box for use for many years to come”

Ann Crimmings Chair of the Nos Galan Committee said “A huge thanks to Coleg y Cymoedd for their assistance and saving one of the main elements of the event”

Nos Galan, is one of the UK’s most famous road races, attracting on average nearly 1000 entrants each year from all of the UK. Founded in 1958,at it’s height  it even attracted live BBC coverage as part of it’s new year’s eve celebrations.

Each year, a mystery runner runs the 5k route with a torch (now restored) which takes in the streets of Mountain Ash.

‘Yma o Hyd’ and celebrating the World Cup

Although Wales’ journey in the World Cup championship has come to an end, the whole of Wales has enjoyed the team’s successes and enjoyed seeing their country compete on an international stage for the first time since 1958. All over Wales, there were countless celebrations during the team’s time in the championship, and Coleg y Cymoedd was certainly a part it. This was a unique opportunity for learners and staff of the college to celebrate their Welshness and be proud of their country’s achievements.

There were incredible efforts on each campus to celebrate during the week and the community area of ​​each campus was turned into a Fan Zone.

On the Aberdare Campus, there were many different activities to celebrate the World Cup and to celebrate Wales. The Welsh DJ Roughion came to the campus to play a Welsh set for students during their lunchtime on Wednesday, with a wide variety of music, from dance to pop. The students also had the opportunity to take part in a Welsh arts and crafts activity, a World Cup quiz and a special “Pin the bun on Bale” game.

On the Nantgarw Campus, there was a long list of activities throughout the week. There were live acoustic sets in Welsh; a folk dancing workshop; mocktails and Welsh food prepared and served by the students of the Catering Department; a VR soccer competition; a Welsh graffiti workshop and a prestigious ‘Keepie-uppie’ competition between the principals of the College and the students!

At the Rhondda Campus, there were fun competitions throughout the week such as ‘guess the name of the dragon’ and a sweep stake. Red white and green cakes were available to buy and students and staff joined in the fun.

At the Ystrad Mynach Campus, there was a selfie booth for everyone to take a picture with Gareth Bale and other famous faces from the Welsh football team, and a ‘sweep stake’ competition.

It was also an opportunity to strengthen external partnerships with organisations that promote the Welsh language locally. There were sporting activities with the Urdd on the Nantgarw Campus and the College took part in the ‘Gorau Canu Cydganu’ project with Menter Iaith Rhondda Cynon Taf. With the special booklet published by the mentrau iaith, Rhys Ruggiero, Facilitator of the Welsh Language for Sport and Public Services, held ‘Codi Canu’ workshops with the students of the Sports Department in order to learn the words to ‘Yma O Hyd’ – the Welsh football s infamous anthem. That meant they were all ready to cheer and sing before the big game!

The culmination of all the week’s celebrations was the Wales match against Iran on Friday 25 November. Everyone on every campus was encouraged to wear red for Wales and to watch the game live. Half time everyone had the opportunity to enjoy hot dogs, pizzas, burgers in order to keep up their energy levels!

With staff and students coming together over the week there was a real feeling of pride for our little country with everyone working together to celebrate Wales. Lois Roberts, Coleg y Cymoedd’s Welsh Language Manager, said, “It’s been amazing! The atmosphere on each campus has been electric. The College is always thinking of new ways to celebrate our proud heritage and this was a golden opportunity to celebrate who we are, where we come from and where we are going. Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to organize the countless events; the staff an learners on all campuses have been amazing.”

Coleg y Cymoedd celebrates best ever World Skills Results 

Huge well done to all staff and learners who took part in World Skills competitions.   

Following a recent virtual results ceremony, Coleg y Cymoedd recorded its highest ever performance in World Skills UK competitions, finishing a highly impressive 4th in the medal points table out of all organisations who took part in the UK, and joint second highest for Welsh organisations 


  • Aircraft Maintenance – Kaleb Szymanski – entered under Caerdav (Coleg y Cymoedd apprenticeship learner) – Result = Highly Commended
  • Manufacturing Team Challenge – Megan Christie, Pawel Abramowicz & Jamie Williams – entered under GE Aviation (Coleg y Cymoedd apprenticeship learners) – Result = Silver
  • Network Systems Administrator – Cole Peters – Result = Gold
  • Network Systems Administrator – Lewis Hart – Result = Silver
  • Network Systems Administrator – Zack Morris – Result = Bronze
  • Plumbing – Ruben Duggan – Result = Gold

The following learners who participated also finished in the top 8 for their category in the UK  

  • Aircraft Maintenance – Bence Kormos, Shaun Bennett & Cameron Forbes – entered under Caerdav (Coleg y Cymoedd apprenticeship learners). 
  • Cyber Security – Matthew Lawrence (studying at USW this ac. year but entered through us) & Jacob Smith. 

Alumni IT Learners  Cyber Security Efan Headford & Xander Appleby, who are now in the University of South Wales Result = Silver


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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