First Minister Carwyn Jones today officially opens the new £22m Coleg y Cymoedd campus in Aberdare in the Cynon Valley.
More than 600 students will attend the new state-of-the-art campus, which was supported with £11m from the Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools and Education programme.
The 21st Century Schools programme is the largest investment in Welsh schools and colleges since the 1960s, which will see over £1.4bn of investment in the 5 years to 2019.
As well as offering courses in more traditional subjects such as computing and science, Coleg y Cymoedd offers practical courses including bricklaying, carpentry and joinery, electrical installation and plumbing that are designed to meet the demands of local employers.
First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, said: “I am proud the Welsh Government has supported this new college with £11m of funding. When you look around this fantastic site, you can see it has been money well spent.
“This new college provides students with an impressive learning environment and the very best resources to help them reach their full potential. As well as benefitting teachers and students, the college will be an invaluable community resource for the people of Aberdare to use and enjoy.”
“We believe that it is the right of all in Wales to have access to high-quality education and training that leads to real employment paths.
“We are grateful to Welsh Government for joining us in our mission to ensure that our communities in Rhondda Cynon Taf and Caerphilly can access the facilities and opportunities they deserve.
“Our thanks also go to the businesses who work with us each year to allow our learners to gain the experience and job opportunities that will see them prosper.”
The official opening was also attended by Aberdare-born Dr Lyn Evans, who flew home to Wales from the CERN site in Switzerland to talk about the importance of encouraging people to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics.