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Student from The College Ystrad Mynach bids for Apprentice of the Year award

Rhys Apprentice Award.jpgA hard-working student from The College Ystrad Mynach is in the running to become Apprentice of the Year in a Wales-wide award scheme.

Rhys West, 20, from Penpedairheol, is a finalist in the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru which celebrate the achievements of apprentices, employers and learning providers.

The awards, which are split into eight different categories, are organised by the Welsh Government together with the National Training Federation Wales.

Rhys has been invited to an awards ceremony at the Mercure Cardiff Holland House on November 16 where he will find out if he has won the top prize in the Apprentice of the Year category.

After gaining a handful of low-grade GCSEs at Lewis School in Pengam in 2007, Rhys decided to give plumbing a go and began a four-year apprenticeship with Brecongate Projects Ltd in Treforest. While gaining hands-on experience four days a week with the firm, Rhys was also in the classroom once a week.

For the last two years, he has been studying under the expert tutors at The College Ystrad Mynach and has successfully completed an NVQ Level 3 in mechanical engineering (plumbing).

Rhys has also added to his skills with gas and electrical qualifications by going to evening classes at the college. He said the apprenticeship not only helped him to learn a host of practical skills but also boosted his confidence.

He said:  “The apprenticeship has given me the inspiration and confidence to continue to gain new skills to further develop my career. My self confidence has been boosted having to deal with so many varied situations over the past four years. I also learned a lot about myself and my capabilities.

When he first started at Brecongate, he was doing small tasks under supervision but very quickly found himself being given a lot more responsibility and, by the end of the second year, was regularly working on his own.

Rhys, who enjoys going to the gym in his spare time, said:  “Training with the college and the support of the tutors and the engineers at Brecongate has been absolutely priceless.”As well as setting him on the road to success, Rhys’ hard work has had other benefits.

He has inspired his father Paul to re-train as a mechanical engineer at The College Ystrad Mynach after 30 years as a full time welder/fabricator.Paul has also been taken on by Brecongate and father and son often work as a team together.

College Principal Bryn Davies said: “Rhys is a shining example of what hard work and determination can achieve. He has worked extremely hard during his apprenticeship and we wish him all the best for the awards and in his future career.”  


Posted by Marketing at 10:39
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Achievement rewarded at The College Ystrad Mynach Annual Awards"

Anna Prize Giving.jpgLearners have been rewarded for their achievements in the college classroom.

The College Ystrad Mynach held its annual awards presentation evening at Caerphilly Castle where 60 learners were honoured for their hard work over the last 12 months.

Students were presented with awards in a number of different areas including care, technology, carpentry, plumbing, sport and hairdressing.

Anna Gordine, 22 from Bedwas, won the College Basic Skills Award. Anna had been in a special needs class in school, with little opportunity for academic work. Both Anna and her family fought for her to participate in mainstream secondary education and she was finally allowed to take three GCSEs, but not English or Mathematics.

After leaving school, Anna set out to gain the qualifications and learning experience she felt she had been denied, attending a basic skills class in 2008 to enable her access a Child Care course at The College Ystrad Mynach.

She was accepted onto the course and enjoyed a rewarding year, passing all of her exams.

Her tutor Tina Huish said: “Anna is an inspiration. By looking to the future and taking control of her life she has been able to progress in her career, gain independence and has also been able to benefit from the joy of learning.”

Anna is currently studying towards her Level 3 Diploma in Children’s Care, Learning & Development  and also continues to study basic skills at the college.

Anna, whose parents Kerry and Douglas were there to cheer her on at the ceremony, said: “I really didn’t think I had won. I was really, really chuffed though and it’s nice that my hard work has been recognised.”

She works part time at the nursery at Ty’n-Y-Wern Primary School in Trethomas where she is able to put her child care skills to great use. She also has a Saturday job at John Lewis in Cardiff.Anna, who has a twin brother Christian and an older sister Natalie, hopes to become a teaching assistant when she completes her studies.

Conna Johnson, 19, from Trethomas, was presented with the CACHE Level 2 Full Time Care Award. He was the only male in a group of 19.

His tutor Angela Jones said: “Conna has consistently achieved a high standard in placement and course work and always gives his all to his work. A day never passed without Conna making people feel good with his continuous smiling face.”

The awards were presented by Jeff Cuthbert, AM for Caerphilly, who was also governor of the college until May this year.As the Welsh Government’s Deputy Minister for Skills, he is responsible for identifying the skills needs of employers, learners and learning providers across Wales.

Mr Cuthbert told the students and their proud families and friends:  “All of you here are shining examples of where combined action has achieved a common goal. We have scores of awards being celebrated and every one is very well deserved.“Only by working together will we do our best to tackle the Welsh economy’s short-term challenges head-on, but also plan for the current recovery and the future by building our long-term skills base. All of the learners here tonight will be at the heart of that journey.”

College Principal Bryn Davies said the last year had been a very busy and very successful one for the college, with students and staff working tremendously hard to achieve their goals.And he said how hugely proud he was of the award winners.

“Congratulations to you all. Each and every one of you should be proud of yourselves, for everything you have achieved over the last year,” he added.

Catering at the ceremony on Tuesday, October 18, was provided by the College’s school of catering and hospitality and the evening ended with a performance by Caerphilly Male Voice Choir.Prize sponsors included Caerphilly Rotary Club, Amazing Glazing, Beauty Express, BIIAB, Caerphilly Social Club, CR, Dry Wall Systems, Howells Coaches, Keith’s Fruit and Veg, Latham Properties, Mainline Travel, Morgan Cole, OCR, Rabart Decorators Merchants, Cottage Loaf Bakery, Thomas Morgan and Associates, UWIC and USL Audio Visual.


Posted by Marketing at 10:36

Paint Brushes at the Ready as Dulux Decorator Centres Searches for its 'Apprentice of the Year'

It’s that time of year again. Dulux Decorator Centres is calling all apprentices to come forward with their overalls and artistic flair, as the much anticipated, national Apprentice of the Year 2011 competition launches and heads to The College Ystrad Mynach on 29th March. 

The hugely successful competition, which is now in its fourth year, will see Dulux Decorator Centres search high and low across the UK for the most talented painters and decorators of the future.  

The competition, which will comprise of nine heats around the UK, will test the skills and creativity of apprentices, to see who can paint their way to victory and be in with a chance of winning a place in the grand final which takes place at Bridgend College on 9th June 2011. 

The Dulux Decorator Centres’ Apprentice of the Year 2011 competition is open to all apprentices between the ages of 17 and 24 years, who are on a recognised painting and decorating course, studying an NVQ or SVQ level two or three, alongside working in the industry.  

Jason Stokes assistant store manager of the Cardiff Dulux Decorator Centre on Colchester Avenue, commented: “Dulux Decorator Centres’ is committed to supporting colleges and painters and decorators, and the Apprentice of the Year competition is going to be bigger and better in 2011. The accolade that comes with winning this prize is fantastic and it is a highly respected reward across the painting and decorating industry. 

“It is a great chance for colleges to put forward their best apprentices and to receive recognition for the high standard of skilled teaching on offer to aspiring young talent. The prizes on offer also reflect the prestige this competition holds and will go some way to help start the winner’s career.” 

The competition aims to cover elements of painting and decorating, and each student will be tasked with a series of applications. Wallpapering, stencilling, waterborne glosses, and special effects, will all be included in the practical heats and the overall winner will be selected for showcasing skills across the board. 

The winner of the Ystrad Mynach College heat will go on to compete against eight other regional winners in the national final, which will take place at Bridgend College on 9th June, where the overall winner will be presented with the title of ‘Dulux Decorator Centres’ Apprentice of the Year 2011’ at an awards ceremony. 

The winner will receive £1,000 cash and a variety of other prizes, including £200 worth of Dulux Decorator Centres’ branded work wear, a Red Letter Day, Nectar points, Dulux training and a host of prizes for their college for all painting and decorating students to use. There will also be runners up prizes of £500 and £250, plus £100 worth of Dulux Decorator Centres’ vouchers each, for those finishing in overall second and third place. Individual regional heat winners will win £100 each, a certificate and a Dulux Decorator Centre goody bag packed with fantastic products donated by the company’s suppliers.  

Peter Doyle, technical training consultant at Dulux Decorator Centres, comments: “We are always on the lookout for exceptional talent in the painting and decorating industry and this year we are once again searching for our apprentice of the year. The recognition that comes with winning this competition can really help to start a career for any up and coming painter and decorator, and the prize on offer is a great reason to enter.” 

For further information visit www.duluxdecoratorcentre.co.uk or for regular updates join the Facebook group - Dulux Decorator Centres or follow on Twitter at DuluxDecCentre.


Posted by Marketing at 09:35

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