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It’s Official! The College Merthyr Tydfil is the top performing vocational college in Wales

The College Merthyr Tydfil was the top performing vocational college in Wales in 2016-2017, achieving an overall success rate of 87% - 3% above the Welsh sector average of 84%.  

The success rates, published in the Welsh Government Learner Outcomes report also highlights that the college is the second best college in Wales for all main qualifications.

The Learner Outcome Report, which is published annually, shows each further education provider’s overall performance as taken from the Lifelong Learning Wales Record (LLWR). The report includes information on the percentage of all qualifications achieved by learners against current ‘national comparators’ – the average rate achieved across all FE institutions in Wales.

The college also has the highest main qualification success rates in four subject areas: science and maths; ICT; languages, literature and culture; and construction, planning and the built environment.

It is also pleasing to note that our success rate for main qualifications has increased by 5% and our success rate for all qualifications by 7%.

College Principal, John O’Shea commented, “These are our best learner outcomes ever – and very much a team effort.

The college continues to go from strength to strength, providing a high quality learning experience for all our learners.”

The college offers a choice of over 60 vocational courses from entry level through to level three. Our outstanding learner and pastoral support together with a fantastic enrichment and work experience programme and these excellent success rates, means that now has never been a better time to study at our vocational centre of excellence.

For further information, come along to our next open evening on Wednesday 14th March, 4-7pm or pop in and speak to one of our admissions advisers.

The College Merthyr Tydfil – Your Choice, Your Course, Your Future

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College is open, Wednesday 13th December

The college will be open as normal, tomorrow, Wednesday 13th December.

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College receives a fantastic review for its performance of Julius Caesar

The college’s creative industries division has received a fantastic five star review for its powerful performance of Julius Caesar. The production, which was staged as part of the Shakespeare Schools Festival, provided a bold and creative version of Julius Caesar at the Sherman Theatre, Cardiff.  

Reviewing the production, Anja Conti from the Shakespeare schools festival commented "Students and teachers alike have put hard work, imagination, determination and passion into this production. You are all a credit to the college."

Anja went on to say "This was a stunning piece of theatre and I hope you are incredibly proud of your work. Your high-spirited energy gave this piece a real difference. You are a highly skilled and competent cast who work with fairness and focus. You were really forthcoming with ideas and took on your own choices which gave the piece a thought-provoking edge. Your lyrical style of movement really helped to tell the story. The audience were kept engaged and bought into the world you created onstage.

"You had a clear determination to get the most out of the experience and I congratulate you on this care and attention to detail. Something that really stood out for me was the fact that every company member had an integral part to play. The ensemble was extremely slick and made sure to give confidence to the whole. You were beautifully caring towards the other teams and made sure that everyone had confidence before going on.

"This was a bold and energetic Julius Caesar from a slick and professional cast."

Congratulations to all of the cast and crew who made it happen and we look forward to seeing next year’s production.

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College will reopen, Tuesday 12th December

The college will be open as normal from 8am to 9pm, Tuesday 12 December. Please can all learners and staff take care when traveling in and also ensure that you allow plenty of time as roads and pavements are still icy.



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Best Practice accolade for College Merthyr Tydfil Carpentry provision

The College Merthyr Tydfil’s carpentry provision has received a best practice accolade for the success of its Creative Solutions Carpentry and Joinery pilot scheme.

Initiated for the 2016-2017 academic year, the carpentry provision was chosen as a pilot because it is an area in high demand that is normally oversubscribed. Not only has the scheme enabled us to meet this demand through allowing us to accommodate an additional cohort of learners but it has also enabled us to help these learners to successfully achieve a level 2 qualification in one year. Furthermore, five of these learners have now successfully progressed on to a CITB MA apprenticeship route and one learner is in the process of signing up as an apprentice. Many of these learners also had the opportunity to engage in European work experience through our Erasmus + programme.

This is a tremendous achievement for these learners, many of whom would have disengaged with education if they had not had this opportunity. Shane Brunker is one such learner.

Shane started on the Creative Solutions accelerated L2 Diploma Carpentry course programme in September 2016. During the first few weeks of the course, Shane was unfocussed and somewhat disconnected with the learning process. With the help and encouragement of his tutors, Shane applied for the opportunity to participate in the autumn 2016 Erasmus+ visit to Schleswig in Germany. During the visit Shane seemed to change, his attitude towards staff and the working situation became much more focused.  He engaged with the German employer very well, not complaining about the long working day that is normal in the German construction industry and fully participating in the social aspects of the trip. Shane turned a corner during the experience, in his words:

“I wised up and realised that I wanted to be different, I wanted to succeed on my course– I wanted to make something of myself – Germany showed me I could do it.”

On his return to Wales Shane set about his studies with a renewed attitude. He put 100% into his studies and put himself forward to compete for the college in a number of skills competitions against older and vastly more experienced students from all over Wales.

In June 2017 the college was approached by a new company that was setting up in the Merthyr area and were looking for a number of apprentices. Head of Construction Simon Robson was tasked with providing 15 candidates for the 5 apprenticeships on offer. Shane was the first on the list. Unusually for construction employers the company wanted to conduct a 4 day interview process with training and testing. Shane was the first candidate chosen for a position and has now signed up formally as an apprentice. Dan Howard the Company training manager for Property Development and Construction company ‘How Refreshing’, commented after 2 weeks of employing Shane that

“He is very mature, working well and we would hope to place him in a supervisory role very soon.”

Shane has subsequently enrolled to complete a Level 3 diploma in carpentry as part of his advanced apprenticeship and is looking forward to competing in further skills competitions.

Head of Construction, Simon Robson, commented “Shane’s attitude, confidence and outlook is completely different and through Erasmus+ participation and guidance and support from tutors Shane is proof that young people can thrive and develop given opportunity.”

Shane will now accompany Simon to the Creative Solutions conference on the 14th December to talk about the Carpentry pilot at the college and share best practice with other learners.  

The  ‘Creative Solutions’ programme is designed to offer apprenticeship opportunities and career pathways in priority sectors, reflecting the future skills needs identified by the Regional Skills Partnerships.

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Creative Industries students showcase outcomes of Neon Art Project for Merthyr Tydfil

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sports award

College recognised for Outstanding Sports Development!

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