Minister eyes up The College Merthyr Tydfil

Kirsty Williams during her visit to USW, with students and Dawn Bowden AM. Neil Gibson

Kirsty Williams during her visit to the college, with students and Dawn Bowden AM.


A Welsh Government Minister dissected an eye, learnt how to make a print, and practised welding - all during a visit to The College Merthyr Tydfil.

Kirsty Williams AM, Cabinet Secretary for Education, and Dawn Bowden, AM for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, spent a morning at the college, learning about the facilities available to learners across the region.

The first part of the visit was spent with science learners, part of the Cwm Taf Healthcare Academy which is organised between the college’s science staff and staff from the Health Board. Bev Pritchard, Pathways to Employment Project Manager, and Claire Williams, Workforce Development Officer, were also present during a demonstration of the anatomy of the eyeball.

The group was then shown around an art & design studio – where students from Brecon were carrying out printmaking and ceramics.

Finally, Ms Williams and Ms Bowden met engineering students, including General Dynamics Apprenticeship Scheme learners. Ms Williams experienced a virtual welding machine, which students use to safely hone their welding skills.

Education Secretary Kirsty Williams said: “The College is a fantastic learning environment and will help raise education standards and employment opportunities across Merthyr and beyond.

“This is an exciting time and I wish pupils and staff all the very best.”

College Principal John O’Shea said: “We were delighted to welcome Kirsty to the college and showcase to her the excellent opportunities we are providing for learners not just from across Merthyr Tydfil, but those that are travelling to the college from Brecon, Rhondda Cynon Taff and Rhymney each day.

“The college has made a significant difference to the lives of people in Merthyr Tydfil and we are proud of the many successes we have achieved over the past three years.

“This visit has provided an ideal opportunity for the Minister to see first-hand some of these successes and how we have taken forward and developed key subject areas like science, technology and engineering.”

The College Merthyr Tydfil is part of the University of South Wales Group.