A Gold for Horticulture!

Rhys wins at Inspiring Skills Wales comp.

Last week Rhys won Coleg Elidyr’s first gold medal in the 2023 Inspiring Skills Competitions. The ceremony was broadcast live, and we attended a regional screening at Coleg Sir Gar. It was an AMAZING night, and everyone felt tremendously proud of Rhys and his achievements.

Skills Competitions in Wales

Skills competitions in Wales are a series of events that showcase the talent and skills of Welsh apprentices, trainees, and young professionals in a variety of industries. These competitions aim to inspire, encourage and motivate individuals to push themselves to new heights, and to recognise excellence in their chosen field.

Encouraging Rhys to Compete in Skills Wales

At first Rhys was a bit reluctant to compete, he found it hard to see how entering a skills competition would help him to develop skills for the future, but staff offered some sound advice.

“I suggested that he forget about the task itself, and look at the skills required to compete – time management, dedication, commitment, creativity, independence and working under pressure. All relevant skills and qualities employers would be looking for. We didn't put any pressure on him and thankfully it was his idea to continue attending the skills" Sue Hope-Bell, Deputy Head of Education

The Horticulture Competition Brief

For the horticulture competition Rhys had to design a plant pot based on a theme – Valentine's Day.  First he had to draw a design on paper and then choose different plants that went together well. Once his plan was ready, he had follow the design and arrangement of the plants chosen. After the competition was over it was a few weeks wait until the results were announced ...

The Winning Moment!

We took a small group to the award event, with lots of our supporters watching live at home. The moment Rhys' award was announced everyone was overjoyed!

A tweet that says: what can we say?! Woooooo hoooo!@ISEinWlaes our team are BURSTING with pride. We have a gold medal to complement our green fingers! emoji pointing down, heart, medal #SW23
A tweet that announced the win!

“It felt really cool, alright, happy and collective to compete in this competition as I'm 100% not competitive.

When I found out that I'd won the gold medal, I was completely speechless and shocked that I'd won. I am not used to not winning these kinds of things and knew that I'd just lose. I don't care for medals it's the taking part that really counts to me.” Rhys, Gold Medal Winner

3 images. A group at an award ceremony, a young man with a gold medal and 2 woman and a young man look very happy!
The team at the award ceremony, Rhys with his gold medal, Sue, Katie and Rhys when they found out they won!

“Llongyfarchiadau Rhys! Representing our college Elidyr Communities Trust and winning gold. We are all very proud of you. Chocolate biscuits all round tomorrow for tea break!!”   On Facebook … Gareth Jones, Tutor

Coleg Elidyr Team Pride

Several learners competed in skills competitions this year. They have been brilliant for building confidence, technical ability and social skills. They have given learners opportunities beyond their usual college life, enabling them to mix with peers from all over Wales.

“Getting involved in competitions involves extensive training to prepare. This structured process provides our learners with valuable experience that they can then use as they move forward into work experience." Geraint Wadley, Head of Education & Training, Coleg Elidyr

Rhys will now be entered into the UK WorldSkills competitions, heats are held in the summer term and successful competitors will go on to compete in the UK finals in November as part of team Wales.

Although the gold medal went to Rhys, the positive vibes have impacted everyone in the team, both his peers and tutors have been revelling in his success.

Skills competitions have become such an inspiring way for our young people to learn, that we’re having our own in-house skills week during May to imbed this way of learning further into our curriculum.

More on this very soon!