The latest in Skills & Talent across Southeast Wales

There was much to celebrate across the CCR skillscape in November, with Coleg Gwent posting a record performance at WorldSkills UK 2022, Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board being recognised for its pioneering apprenticeship programme, Educ8 leading the Training Sector as ‘Best Company to Work For’ in the UK, ITEC investing in bespoke mental health support for learners, and the Principality supporting 3,000 pupils to gain vital money management qualifications …

Coleg Gwent posts record performance at WorldSkills UK 2022

November saw Coleg Gwent celebrate their best-ever results in WorldSkills UK 2022 – climbing into the top-three colleges in the UK for both mainstream and foundation competitions, as well as being recognised as the best-performing college in Wales.

With 63 different award categories, the WorldSkills competition is often likened to the Olympics of vocational and technical learning – showcasing skills that are essential to many different careers, while challenging learners to perform and think outside the box in a ‘working’ environment.

Competing against the UK’s most skilled students, no fewer than 11 Coleg Gwent learners shone at the WorldSkills UK final, – scooping gold, silver, bronze and highly-commended medals.


  • Ceri Duke, Hairdressing.
  • Sam Smith, Foundation Skills: IT Software Solutions for Business.
  • Chloe Vicary, Creative Media Make Up.
  • Ryan Williams, 3D Digital Game Art.


  • Kelsie Evans, Commercial Make-Up.
  • Niah Lewis, 3D Digital Game Art.


  • Sacha Ellis-Stych, Foundation Skills: IT Software Solutions for Business.
  • Kenzie Randal, Foundation Skills: Motor Vehicle.
  • Dylan Taylor, Commercial Make-Up.
  • Ethan Thomas, Foundation Skills, Restaurant Service.

Highly Commended:

  • Eleanor Styles, Creative Media Make Up.

Health Board wins prestigious award for pioneering Apprenticeship

A CCR-based health board pioneering an industry-leading apprenticeship to produce the next generation of specialist healthcare professionals has won a coveted national award.

Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board (CTM) was named Macro Employer of the Year at the prestigious Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2022 – for their inspired programme aimed at meeting the future challenges posed by an ageing Welsh population. 

Having identified that 1-in-4 people in Wales will be aged 65 and over by 2036, CTM has evolved its strategy over the past four years, embracing work-based learning to open up its recruitment opportunities to a wider audience.

Its numerous apprenticeship offerings now include a Higher Apprenticeship (Level 4) in Health Care Science – the first of its kind in Wales, bridging the gap from a Level 3 health-related qualification, allowing the learner to access a degree and become a registered scientist – supporting learners into scarce-skill roles such as audiology, blood science and clinical engineering, developing bespoke apprenticeships that are relevant to both the health board and the individual.

The programme is already bearing fruit, with 553 staff accessing an apprenticeship qualification, and 215 people currently employed in permanent positions – as part of the 15,000-strong CTM team that delivers a wide range of health services to 450,000 people living in the Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taf boroughs.  

Educ8 leads the Training Sector as ‘Best Company to Work For’ in the UK

Leading apprenticeship provider Educ8 Training Group has been named the Best Education & Training company to work for in the UK – the eight year in succession that has seen this Caerphilly-based enterprise commended in the Best Companies Awards.

Since launch in 2004, Educ8 has grown from 14 employees to a 250-strong team across the three main brands of Educ8 Training, Aspire 2Be and Haddon Training Ltd – with everyone in the team benefitting from an extensive programme of wellbeing initiatives, and this year’s transition to an Employee Ownership Trust, which means that employees now collectively own 51% of the company.

Feedback from Educ8 employees found that 92% were happy with their wellbeing at the company and 98% had a positive relationship with their manager – with particular stand-outs being the company’s bespoke workforce development programme that supports employees to transition from assessors to trainer coaches, to both fulfil employee potential and address the skills gaps in the sector.

ITEC invests in bespoke mental health support for learners

ITEC has become the first training provider in Wales to partner with a leading health and wellbeing platform, after recent data revealed that 49% of 16-24 year olds ‘do not feel well-prepared for training or to get the job they want.”

ITEC’s investment in the Red Dot 365 software – which provides tailored, evidence-driven health and wellbeing solutions for its users – enables the Itec regional centres to monitor what issues have the greatest impact on their learners: enabling the team to understand what areas of support to focus on, creating a positive emotional climate for the learners to succeed.

With regular pulse surveys providing ongoing insights, the platform also enables the learner to track their own mental health and wellbeing – understanding what solutions work for them, and why.

The personal portal includes a 24/7 365 feature that is directly linked to a qualified mental health therapist and coach at the press of a button – as part of a holistic approach aimed at removing as many barriers as possible for learners in their quest to reach their full potential. 

Principality supports 3,000 pupils through £100,000 skills fund

A £100,000 fund set up by Principality Building Society at the start of 2022 has seen more than 3000 secondary school pupils learn vital money management skills and gain recognised qualifications.

The fund was set up in partnership with The London Institute of Banking & Finance (LIBF), helping make qualifications accessible to as many schools and students as possible, across Wales.

This year saw 2,797 qualifications achieved, from Level 1 to Level 3, with 1,962 students gaining a Level 2 qualification – and 106 students achieving a Level 3, which is an A level equivalent qualification.   


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