College News

Flying the flag for women in construction

Women who are currently enrolled on construction trade courses at Coleg Sir Gâr have attended a regional seminar in Cardiff to discuss the economy and gender equality.

The British Islands and Mediterranean Regional Conference, held at the Senedd was hosted by the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP), which works towards the mainstreaming of gender in legislation. 

In partnership with the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and Joyce Watson, AM, three students were invited from Coleg Sir Gâr’s Ammanford campus to attend the event. 

Jessica Richards has a physiotherapy background but aspired for a change of career and is now working towards a modern apprenticeship in wood occupations, employed by Cyfle Building Skills. She has recently worked in Uganda to help construct a new maternity ward as part of the EFODE South West Wales project.

Zoe Evans is enrolled on a full-time painting and decorating course and is currently challenging her abilities taking part in regional skills competitions.  

Josephine Jones left her role as a manager in the cosmetics industry to study a full-time wood occupations course with the aim of gaining an apprenticeship. She has also entered the Wales region of the Institute of Carpenters competition. 

Daryl Thomas, Built Environment curriculum head at Coleg Sir Gâr’s Ammanford campus, said: “We were delighted that Jess, Zoe and Josephine were invited to such a significant event promoting women in the industry and we’re thrilled that they decided to carry out their studies with us.”

Picture: Coleg Sir Gâr construction students Josephine Jones, Zoe Evans and their tutor Clare Johnston, at the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians Regional Conference


Business development team supplying Bluestone with training needs

The Business Development Innovation team at Coleg Sir Gâr is offering bespoke and tailored training solutions for business that offer flexible delivery and a training plan designed to suit the needs of the company.

The team is currently working with many companies including Bluestone Wales, a five star national park resort, to offer staff management training.  

Carla Roberts, training coordinator at Bluestone National Park Resort, said: “We developed a relationship with Coleg Sir Gâr to enable Bluestone to offer qualifications and training for our staff.

“The relationship between Bluestone and Coleg Sir Gâr started when they offered us the opportunity of training our staff in an ILM qualification at both level three or level five.

“What drew us to using the college was that they offered our staff bespoke training courses which is crucial to us and we now have over 30 members of staff undertaking an ILM qualification.  This has had a positive effect on our staff members and the company as a whole.”

Coleg Sir Gâr is also delivering bespoke workshops in disability awareness that are designed to suit the needs of Bluestone and its staff.  A trainer with first-hand experience will be delivering workshops and practical sessions for staff to help break down barriers and share best practice.

Carla Roberts added: “All our training plans are considerate of our budget and is therefore made as cost-effective as possible by the college.”

Jemma Parsons, Coleg Sir Gâr business development officer, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be working with Bluestone.

“Our team is very enthusiastic in wanting to help businesses access the training they want, as every company and organisation have very different needs and it’s why we pride ourselves on our ability to listen to businesses and deliver a product that is relevant and individual.”

The college is also delivering a level two and three play-work apprenticeship at the resort.

For further information about how Coleg Sir Gâr can help your business, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Hairdressing show takes to the catwalk


Hairdressing students at Coleg Sir Gâr showcased their skills in a catwalk show held at the Stradey Park Hotel.

Learners designed and styled models’ hair in a range of innovative styles, including bridal chic, avant garde and high street fashion.

Jackie Kelshaw, curriculum area head, said: “Learners were challenged to come up with new and experimental styles and they created a show stopper.  

“I am proud of their professionalism and creativity and I would like to thank them, their models and the hairdressing team at Coleg Sir Gâr for all their hard work.  Diolch yn fawr iawn.”



Fashion students scoop gold and silver in Wales-wide competition

Two fashion students from Carmarthen School of Art at Coleg Sir Gâr have impressed judges with their window dressing talents by winning a gold and silver at a Wales-wide competition.

Carys Brandon, who won the gold award and Catherine Pugh, who won silver in the Visual Merchandising category of Skills Competition Wales, are both studying a BA honours degree in fashion at the art school.

Competitors worked in individual booths to display their designs, to a brief, which asked for an autumn/winter 2017-18 design influenced by Julian MacDonald and Iris Van Herpen to the theme of ‘in the shadows’.

Using props and materials, including a surprise prop on the day, competitors had to work with specific items, provide two mood boards and dress a mannequin using the given theme.

Jamie Hawkins, head of fashion at Carmarthen School of Art at Coleg Sir Gâr said: “The brief was designed to test creativity and understanding of visual merchandising window display design.

“I’m proud of all our students who took part.”

Pic: Carys Brandon (left), Catherine Pugh (right)


College play stretches boundaries in performance art

Performing arts diploma students at Coleg Sir Gâr have stretched the boundaries of performance in a creative interpretation of a Midsummer Night’s Dream by inviting the audience to take centre stage.

The show, which was sold out, took on a new dimension in theatre style as performers played their parts entwined by an audience placed in the centre of the play seated at guest tables.

Bryony Evett-Hackfort, course leader said: “I am extremely proud of my students, they’ve performed brilliantly and every one of them has also contributed live music to the play using accordians, piano, drums and ukuleles some of them using a musical instrument for the first time.”


Aspiring young artists’ exhibition

An exhibition of work from aspiring young artists will be on display in Carmarthen as part of the Criw Celf Potfolio Project delivered by Coleg Sir Gâr’s Carmarthen School of Art.

Students with a particular flair for the arts at secondary level, are selected to take part in Arts Council of Wales Criw Celf initiative. The Portfolio Project is a scheme for learners in years 10 and 11 which enables them to develop skills in the visual and applied arts. 

Students attend Coleg Sir Gâr’s Carmarthen School of Art once a month to develop a range of new art, design and craft skills, using the college’s specialist facilities. The exhibition will include artwork produced in drawing, painting, studio and dark room photography, digital/laser cutting, 3D metal casting, traditional printing and digital fabric printing master classes.

The exhibition will be open to the public in May and presents work of students from Ysgol Gyfun Bro Myrddin, Maes y Gwendraeth, Ysgol Bro Dinefwr, Ysgol Glan y Mor, Ysgol Gyfun y Strade, Bryngwyn Comprehensive and Ysgol Bro Teifi. 

Work will be exhibited at Oriel Origin Gallery in King Street, Carmarthen. The Private View and official opening will take place at 6pm on Friday May 5. The exhibition will then be open from Saturday May 6 to Thursday 18 May from 10am to 5pm, Monday to Saturdays.


Three Gastronomic Welsh Golds

Three students from Coleg Sir Gâr have won gold medals in the professional cookery, restaurant service and patisserie finals of a national skills competition.

Backed by the Welsh Government through the European Social Fund, Skills Competition Wales is a series of events held in colleges across the country, designed to celebrate vocational skills and create highly skilled, award winning employees for the Welsh workforce.

Daniel Morgan from Gorslas, studying a City and Guilds level 2 in professional cookery and hospitality, won the restaurant service competition, Caitlin Lewis Jones from Llanelli, studying a City and Guilds level 2 in catering, won in the patisserie final, and Ollie, who is studying a City and Guilds level 2 in professional cookery and hospitality, scooped gold in the cookery final. The trio competed against students from across Wales in a series of challenge. 

While Daniel showcased his skills serving up a banana flambé and steak diane, Caitlin was tasked with creating a soufflé, ganache filled truffles and marzipan decorations and Ollie made a three-course fine-dining menu of seabass, chicken mousse and apple dessert – each within a three hour time period

Caitlin, a second year student at Coleg Sir Gâr said she couldn’t believe it when they called her name. 

“I was so thrilled to have won, I’ve been practicing for weeks making the same dishes over and over again, and my kitchen at home is filled with hundreds of marzipan bunny rabbits and elephants. 

“My tutors and family have been so supportive in helping me through the competition. This was my first ever competition so I was quite nervous on the day, but luckily I’d managed to get all my timings right and my hard work paid off.

“I’ve been interested in patisserie and baking since I was little, making cakes with my Gran. I’ve come a long way from making Victoria sponge cakes with her, but I still ask her for advice and she’s been my go-to taste tester for the competition. I know she’ll be cheering me on if I get to the UK finals.”

More than 35 competitions are taking place this year, across a wide range of different vocations from plumbing and beauty therapy to aeronautical engineering and accountancy. 

The successful Welsh competitors may go on to challenge youngsters from across the UK at the WorldSkills UK national finals, held at The Skills Show in Birmingham’s NEC this November. Competitors who excel at The Skills Show may then be shortlisted to compete against the world’s most talented young people at the international WorldSkills competition in Kazan, Russia in 2019.

Minister for Skills and Science, Julie James said: “At the Skills Show last year, the Welsh team topped the leader board of UK regions winning a total of 45 medals, which demonstrates that we’re producing some of the most highly skilled young people across the nation.

“In a year when Wales is celebrating legends of the past, competitions like these showcase the talent across the country and provide a platform for emerging Welsh legends of the future.

“Along with David, Caitlin and Ollie’s hard work and determination the support from their tutors is an important factor in their success, and I would like to extend a special thank you to all the local businesses, schools and colleges across Wales who support these talented individuals.

“I would like to congratulate them on their fantastic achievements and wish them the best of luck in the next stage of the competition and their future careers.” 

(PR Golley Slater)

Sculpture students to compete in America

Sculpture students at Coleg Sir Gâr’s Carmarthen School of Art are preparing to visit Alabama for the National Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art and Practices. 

The international conference is a biennial union of students, educators, academics, and professionals dedicated to exploring and advancing cast iron as an art medium.

Five degree students following a BA honours course in sculpture in Carmarthen will be travelling to Birmingham, Alabama to compete in the student cupola competition at Sloss Furnaces – a former and significant iron-manufacturing site established in 1881 which played a large part in Birmingham’s economic development.  

Students have a flat-pack furnace which they will take with them to compete at the US competition.

The art school has established links within the metal casting industry in the UK and USA and is well-known for its unique metal-casting facility in Carmarthen.

Degree student Ashleigh Harold said: "I’m so excited to go over there and get involved with such an amazing event. 

“We've had so much support from our tutors and friends both here and state side. Now we're looking forward to melting iron and hopefully bringing home the trophy!”


Equine lecturer recognised with UK award

An equine lecturer at Coleg Sir Gâr has been presented with a Torch Trophy Trust award at the British Olympic Association HQ in London. 

Nominated by British Dressage, Briony Cutler has been recognised for her passion, dedication and drive in supporting young riders and for taking on the challenge of the BYRDS Ambassador for Wales role and the appointment to its national level committee that agrees strategy, focus and direction across the UK. 

Briony Cutler volunteers with British Riding Clubs, is a recognised British Horse Society assistant instructor and is training to be a British Dressage judge, well-equipped with her previous experience of competing for Wales.

Julie Frizzell, British Dressage marketing director attended the awards and played a part in Briony’s nomination. She said: "Briony is a young lady we are immensely proud of.  

“To have the opportunity to share the selfless work she does for the love of dressage and the engagement of young riders is an honour. 

“To have the chance to share her story and see one of our young shining lights recognised by the Torch Trophy Trust is priceless."

The Torch Trophy Trust is a charity that rewards, recognises and supports volunteers in sport and recreation 


Pic: Coleg Sir Gâr equine lecturer, Briony Cutler, receiving her award from HRH The Earl of Wessex. 

Photo credit - Torch Trophy Trust


Students visit university to research method in wound control

Health and social care students at Coleg Sir Gâr visited Swansea University’s department of Human and Health Science to find out how medicinal maggots are used in modern health care.

The level three group met with Dr Yamni Nigam, associate professor at Swansea University and the lead for Swansea Maggot Research Group. 

Dr Nigam is raising awareness of how maggots are used in clinical treatments to help heal chronic wounds such as pressure and leg ulcers. 

Students handled live maggots, studied various types of wounds and learnt about the maggot life cycle and how clinical maggots are reared.   

Sarah Govier, Coleg Sir Gâr health and social care lecturer, accompanied the group to the university.  She said: “The visit was of particular interest to our students as several have been offered places to study health related degrees such as nursing.”

The Love a Maggot campaign raises awareness of how medicinal maggots are effective in helping to reduce the spread of infection, cleaning up dead tissue and healing wounds faster.




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