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A College Ystrad Mynach apprentice cements first place at Welsh bricklaying competition

Bricklaying Competition


A BEDWAS construction apprentice at The College Ystrad Mynach has won a Welsh bricklaying competition, beating off opposition from finalists across the country.   

Dean Jones, an apprentice bricklayer, won the regional final of the Guild of Bricklayers' Junior Annual Contest, held at The College Ystrad Mynach.

He has now qualified for the national final, competing against nine other regional winners across the UK.     

Participants were given six hours to showcase their brickwork skills – by interpreting building plans and constructing a wall - before industry professionals judged their work.

The 19 year old has been plying his skills as a bricklayer since his school years, after attending the college for one day a week as part of the School Links course.

Dean then joined The College Ystrad Mynach full-time to study for a qualification in bricklaying, before starting his apprenticeship.

He was carefully selected to take part in the competition, as a result of his exemplary attitude and commitment to the trade during his lessons.   

Competition winner, Dean, said:

“It was a great feeling winning the competition.

“We had a very short period of time to interpret the brief and build an attractive piece of brickwork to be presented to the judges, and I’m proud to say I won.”

Martin Watkins, head of the School of Construction at The College Ystrad Mynach, added:

“We’re delighted that Dean has won this competition and moved on to the national finals.

“Dean’s commitment to the trade is second-to-none and he’s passionate about working to the highest standard – that’s why we put him forward.”

Bryn Davies, principal of The College Ystrad Mynach, said:

“We’re thrilled that Dean has achieved such a brilliant result at the Guild of Bricklayers' Junior Annual Contest.

“His work is of the highest quality and we wish him the best of luck in the national competition.

“Our tutors strive to ensure that students have the best support and mentoring, and this result underlines that level of commitment put in.”

Posted by marketing at 14:10

The College Ystrad Mynach student win is a piece of cake

             Cupcake Competition

A MERTHYR Tydfil student has baked her way to victory, after winning Gold in a catering competition against professional chefs from across Wales and England.

Eloise Powell, who is studying Level One Professional Cookery at The College Ystrad Mynach, took part in a master-chef style competition by baking 16 cupcakes in limited time at The Welsh International Culinary Championships.

The 22 year old had just 30 minutes to create four different cupcake designs, assessed by judges from the Welsh Culinary Association - a body recognised for promoting excellence in cookery within Wales.

The panel presented Eloise with the Gold Award after recognising excellence in her originality, style of presentation and assembly of products and flavours.

Hosted by Coleg Llandrillo Cymru, the championships are designed to showcase Welsh culinary talent and celebrate skills in developing quality food.

The College Ystrad Mynach has participated in competitions at the Rhos on Sea based institution for nearly a decade, giving students an opportunity to experience challenges in the work place.

Furthermore, Eloise is the second student from The College Ystrad Mynach to receive the ‘best in class award’ at the championships.

An aspiring pâtisserie chef, she commented that her success is due to a mixture of passion, determination and support:

“I am thrilled to win both the gold and best in class awards. I have been baking from the age of six, but recovering from a spine operation three years ago gave me the determination to cook professionally.

“I would not have been able to enter this competition without the support of The College Ystrad Mynach and have applied for my second year at The College.

“Once I gain my qualifications, I plan to move to New Zealand, as I’ve already been offered a job by one of the judges.”

Liz Jones, Head of Service Industries, Hospitality and Catering at The College Ystrad Mynach, said Miss Powell’s aptitude for cookery was recognised at an early stage:

“I am delighted that Eloise has been offered such a fantastic and nationally recognised award. Creating high quality cupcakes in half an hour is very challenging and Eloise’s sheer creativity and passion for baking carried her through the competition.

“As a college, we try to drive students to participate in as many competitions as possible in order to give them a chance to showcase their hard work and abilities.

“We recognised Eloise’s gift for baking very early on and both awards are a testament to her incredible talent.”

Bryn Davies, principal at The College Ystrad Mynach, commented:

“I am very proud that one of our students has achieved such a splendid result.

“Our students are driven, intelligent and talented individuals and Eloise’s accomplishment signifies the professional standard of our students.

“Our staff work incredibly hard to ensure great prospects for each individual and we are thrilled to be partly responsible for Eloise’s bright future.”

Posted by marketing at 11:57

The College Ystrad Mynach students cut and finish in top three of competition

Hairdressing Competition Winners

STUDENTS from The College Ystrad Mynach have bagged the top three places in a prestigious South Wales hairdressing competition.

Lisa Williams, Kristian Reed and Curtis James finished in first, second and third place respectively in the Association of Hairdressers and Therapists (AHT) Men’s commercial cut & finish competition.

Students across South Wales competed in the competition, aimed at trainee hairdressers and therapists, and the top three in each category have won a place at the national finals later this year.

The ceremony took place at The College Ystrad Mynach.

Lisa Williams, winner of the competition, and studying for a Level Two BTEC in Hairdressing, said:

“I was absolutely thrilled to win the competition and never expected my name to be read out.

“I cannot wait to compete in the national finals and I think in order to win, I need to step it up a gear to compete at the next level, and I’ve certainly got a few ideas in mind as to how I can do that, such as experimenting with different types of colours and styles.”

Competition Director, David Bassett, added:

“The students gain so much valuable experience from entering a competition like this, as it gives them the chance to compete with their peers across the country.

“I’ve judged many hairdressing competitions in the past and the standard this year has been far higher than I’ve seen before, so I think we’ve got a great chance of picking up some silverware at the finals.”

Commenting on the success of his students, Bryn Davies, Principal at The College Ystrad Mynach, said:

“We’re delighted that our students have reached the top three of a competition running across Wales.

“This result demonstrates the talent that our college is consistently producing and also the high-quality of teaching offered from tutors across the college.”


Posted by marketing at 12:55