Enterprising students lead the way in virtual Welsh business skills competition

ENTERPRISING students were victorious in a Wales-wide Coronavirus business challenge.

Ellie Jones, Aoife Edwards, Haf Edwards, Gabby Ransome and Niamh Bennion – all learners at Coleg Cambria Yale in Wrexham – competed against eight colleges in the Skills Competition Wales Enterprise Challenge.

Held online this year due to the pandemic, participants were asked to develop an idea that would help communities reconnect post-lockdown.

The quintet – who had previously beaten 26 teams from Cambria to represent the north east Wales institution on the national stage – worked together virtually after initially sharing their ideas with the college’s leadership team, including Chief Executive Yana Williams and Principal Sue Price.

The final winner has yet to be announced, but Ellie, Aoife, Haf, Gabby and Niamh have already been crowned with the Learner Choice Award, having been selected by their opponents on the day.

Mel Henry, Curriculum Lead for Yale Sixth and Lecturer in A Level Business, is proud of how well the team presented and delivered a successful pitch while operating remotely.

“This is an excellent example of how our learners are willing to engage in opportunities despite the disruption the global pandemic has had on their learning,” said Mel.

“From their bedrooms, they worked together to think of their innovative idea, which was to focus on reconnecting Welsh speaking primary school children through a local treasure hunt, supporting both schools and families.”

She added: “Under challenging time constraints, they produced a business plan and pitched their idea to the panel of judges.

“Whilst the top three have yet to be announced, our team impressed their peers, who awarded them the Learner Choice Award.

“The last two academic years have been extremely challenging for all in education, However, our team are an example of how resilient and adaptable young people are.

“With hard work and commitment, they can still be successful, even when the odds are against them.”

Learner Experience and Enterprise Manager Rona Griffiths said the college is aiming to compete in further skills events in the months ahead.

“Coleg Cambria is leading in 16 of the 50 pan-Wales Skills competitions at present, which is a remarkable achievement,” she added.

“Our students – particularly in Engineering, Business, Beauty and IT – have always performed well on the big stage, notably WorldSkills UK, and we hope to be able to demonstrate that again as soon as it is safe to do so.

“Due to Covid restrictions competitions are running online, to ensure all competitors are offered the opportunity to gain valuable employability skills and represent the college in a pandemic year.

“In addition, 156 representatives from Cambria have registered in 34 competitions taking place in this current cycle, so we hope to see further wins in the near future.”

For more information, visit the website: www.cambria.ac.uk