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News Archive

College Students Trading Places, “Apprentice” style!

For the second year running, students from across six colleges in South East Wales will have the opportunity to participate in the Trading Places ‘apprentice-style’ enterprise challenge. The project, launched in 2013, is led by First Campus, in partnership with Welsh Government and the Morgan Quarter, Cardiff.

Coordinated through the Regional Enterprise Hub, students from colleges across South East Wales, including Bridgend College, Coleg Gwent, Coleg Y Cymoedd, The College Merthyr Tydfil, St David’s Catholic College and Cardiff and Vale College will be flocking to Cardiff to sell a variety of products at the historic Morgan Quarter.

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, products will be romantically themed, enabling shoppers to purchase last minute gifts for that special person in their life.

The challenge is spread over the course of three days, during which time students will gain first hand advice, skills and experience on developing and marketing a business strategy, including researching, negotiating, buying, promoting and selling their products.

To provide a real life enterprise experience, the Trading Places team have secured Number 1, The Royal Arcade for use as a pop-up shop on Thursday 13th February. In true ‘Apprentice’ style, each team will have to negotiate for the products they wish to sell in this pop-up shop and then work hard throughout the day to promote and sell these products to shoppers.

The pop-up shop will open for business from 9.45am – 5pm, commencing with a grand opening ceremony to mark the final phase of the challenge.   Local businesses and members of the public are invited to come along and support this innovative venture and view the products on offer from each of the teams.

The winning team will be the one that displays the most effective business management skills and demonstrates the best teamwork throughout the course of the project.

Chris Bissex, Head of Enterprise and Employability at The College Merthyr Tydfil and lead of the South East Wales hub, said “Trading places provides a fantastic opportunity for the students to gain experience of effectively presenting and selling their products in a real life business situation”.

Rory Fleming, estates manager at the Morgan Quarter said: “The Morgan Quarter is proud to be associated with this initiative. Three quarters of our retailers are independent traders which gives us a uniqueness when compared with other shopping complexes.

“We wish all participants every success in the Trading Place Initiative and hopefully in years to come we will see several of these entrepreneurs on the high street.”

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College Merthyr Tydfil students gain invaluable European work experience.

Two groups of College Merthyr Tydfil students have recently returned from two weeks experience in Jena, East Germany. 

Twelve business, travel and tourism students and ten hairdressing and beauty students were chosen to attend a Leonardo funded work experience placement in Germany.  They had the opportunity to learn German before they went and to experience the culture, language and work ethic of the East Germans. 

The students also took part in cultural visits during their two weeks in Germany including a visit to Berlin. The trip is fully funded by Leonardo. Although a little nervous about holding down a work placement in a foreign country, all of the students thoroughly enjoyed the experience and gained confidence and skills during their time abroad.

The college was successful in securing funding for seven cohorts of students in its last bid to Leonardo and the next group of Engineering students will be leaving for Germany on the 2nd February 2014.  For the first time this year the college will also bid to host European students here as well.

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Poetry Award for College Merthyr Tydfil student!

Ethan Evans, an AS level student at the College Merthyr Tydfil has won Merthyr Tydfil Library’s Creative Writing Poetry Competition for a poem he compiled called ‘Homecoming’.

Homecoming is a Holocaust Memorial Themed poem and tells the story of Bernard, an old man going to visit his mother. The car he is riding in breaks down so he has to make the last stage of the journey on foot. Snow falls “clinging to him like white spiders” and Bernard’s hands, bloody from the thorns of the roses he’s clutching, drip “ketchup tears” onto the whitening ground.  When he arrives at his destination he crosses “through a garden of twisted wire” praying not only for his mother, but his father and sister too, all of whom are


  “Buried but not forgotten/Deep beneath the snow,

  Together at last/in the claws of Auschwitz.”


Caroline Darch, English Lecturer at The College Merthyr Tydfil commented “Ethan had the Holocaust Memorial Day in mind when he penned his poem and has managed to create a fantastic piece of writing as a moving commemoration of such a horrific event. It has captured everyone who’s read or heard it”


Ethan, who has a keen interest in creative writing, had the opportunity to read out his poem to a group of staff and students as part of a Holocaust Memorial session which was organised at the college in partnership with NIACE Dysgu Cymru.


Ethan belongs to The Writer’s group within the college and several writing groups across the local community. He hopes to go on to study English Literature at University.


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Global Enterprise Challenge
Global Enterprise Challenge

Students at The College Merthyr Tydfil have been invited to participate in the Global Enterprise Challenge as part of a host of activities that were launched to coincide with National Enterprise Week.

The competition, open to all colleges across Wales will take place at the Urdd Centre in Cardiff Bay on the 11th and 12th March 2014, with the winning Welsh team going on to compete in the global challenge against teams from across the world.

The college has been busy encouraging students to take part in the challenge to ensure that they take advantage of this fantastic opportunity.

Global Enterprise Challenge

Christine Bissex, Head of Entrepreneurship at The College Merthyr Tydfil said “We are excited to launch this years’ Global Enterprise Challenge selection event in the college. The competition will enable the students to enhance their educational experience whilst at the same time providing them with the opportunity to gain key entrepreneurial skills and improve their employability skills”

A number of our students have already demonstrated their fantastic enterprise skills as part of a Dragon’s Den competition that the college recently organised to identify fundraising ideas for Children in Need. This provided the students with the opportunity to present their ideas to a panel of key industrialists and celebrities.

College student Angharad Hegarty said “I think the GEC competition is great because it enables all students to get involved and contribute their innovative ideas.

All college entries will be judged in February 2014, with a winning college team selected to participate in the GEC Welsh final in Cardiff in March 2014.

For further information, please contact Chris Bissex, Head of Enterprise at The College Merthyr Tydfil.

GEC Competition — Key dates and milestones

  • Activity to be delivered in class/tutorials anytime between now and the 24th January 2014
  • Submit completed presentations from groups by Friday 31st January 2014
  • Judging process of presentations w/c 3/2/2014
  • Winning team announced 10/2/2014
  • Training for winning team provided by Enterprise department/external facilitators between 10/2 and end of February (maximum 8 hours)
  • Winning team to attend the GEC Cardiff final on Tuesday 11th and Wednesday 12th March 2014

Inset: College students present their fundraising ideas to key celebrities – Sophie Evans and Wynne Evans.


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The College Merthyr Tydfil students excel at Welsh Colleges Football Trials

Two students from the College Merthyr Tydfil have been selected for the Welsh Colleges’ Football Squad after participating in the trials last week.
BTEC level 3 Sport students Chloe Lloyd and Maria Martins were successful in gaining a place in the squad after displaying their excellent footballing skills in the trial games. In addition two other college students, Lisa Owen and Jess Osborne were successful in gaining a place in the stand-by squad.

 “Our students performed extremely well against a competitive team of women,” said Sarah Kerrigan, Head of Sport at The College Merthyr Tydfil”

 “They demonstrated their excellent football skills and positive team ethic by playing so well in such a competitive trial.”

The successful students will not only represent the college, but also the Welsh College’s Sport regional team playing in the British Colleges League against a range of national and international teams, including Australia, England and Scotland and culminating in the British Colleges Championships in Loughborough in April 2014.  

The College Merthyr Tydfil has a growing reputation for sporting success, with all of the sporting teams currently performing well in the Welsh Colleges cup.    
In addition, a number of students have also recently excelled at individual sporting activities. 

Rhiannon Griffiths, currently a second year student on the BTEC Level 3 Sport, has been selected as the goalkeeper for the Welsh Water Polo team. Rhiannon, who has played water polo for a number of years, is also tipped to be selected for the Welsh team who will compete in the Commonwealth Games, Glasgow 2014. 

Jordan Cleaver, second year student on the BTEC Level 3 Sport, has also represented Wales in the Karate World and European Championships which have been held over the last two months. 

Sarah Kerrigan added: “The College Merthyr Tydfil has invested significantly in the sports facilities and equipment to provide the best possible team and individual environment to support and enhance our students’ abilities and give them the edge to compete at a local, national and international level. Our successes to date show that this investment is starting to pay off. We are really proud of all of the students’ achievements to date”

Picture: The brand new Sports Hall at The College Merthyr Tydfil 


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