Cardiff and Vale College has held an inaugural graduation ceremony for students it has re-engaged with back into education or training.

The College’s Widening Participation team provides a range of progression opportunities for young people aged 16-25 who have found themselves not in education, employment or training (NEET) to give them a second chance. This includes the Fast Forward programme which focuses on personal and social skills development, work related education and essential skills that can lead to a unique ‘Passport to Progression’ guaranteeing an interview for a mainstream course at CAVC.

The successful students have either re-engaged via the Connect programme supported by Families First programme in Cardiff, referrals form partner agencies or have been signposted onto the European Social Fund - Inspire to Achieve programme which support students in maintaining their studies.

It has been a successful year for the College’s Widening Participation learners. Nearly 90% of students successfully completed their courses despite many of them facing personal challenges throughout their time. Meanwhile, 100% of those who did successfully complete are progressing into education, training or employment.

The learners, their families and friends were treated to performances by two very talented students Sabrina Islam and Shaun Edwards, who expressed their views through rap and spoken word.  There were also excellent videos of students’ work who had been studying Creative Media and Music Technology.

The Graduation Ceremony, held in the College’s Theatr Michael Sheen at its City Centre Campus, saw students from the Fast Forward courses held in East and West Cardiff, Connect to CAVC, alongside partnership courses with third sector partners, Ministry of Life and Media Academy Cardiff collect their certificates.

Many of the learners collected a special award for 100% attendance, quite an achievement considering many of them had been or had been at risk of becoming NEET before coming to the College.

There were also a series of awards presented with Most Improved Learner going to Marcus Barry from the Vale of Glamorgan, Most Inspirational Student going to Joel Curtis from Cardiff and the overall CAVC Widening Participation Learner of the Year was Cole Chick who studied Creative Media at Media Academy Cardiff.

CAVC Widening Participation Manager Wayne Cater said: “It was a very tough decision in selecting the overall Widening Participation Learner of the Year, but it was felt that Cole epitomises the inclusive, influential and inspirational vision of the College. Both his personal and academic progress during the year has been remarkable and his determination to succeed, alongside supporting others, is testament to the award recognition.


“We recognise the collaborative approach needed to support young people back into education and we take great care in providing pastoral support alongside the academic provision, which is brokered in partnership across the public, private and voluntary sector. This ensures early identification of needs of young people on engagement, creating innovative and relevant provision and securing progression routs for our students.”

Cole offered unwavering support to his colleagues throughout his time on the course and often led discussions on everything from social media to politics and film. Throughout the year he navigated through personal challenges while supporting fellow students, volunteering for LGBT charities and forums, and producing excellent work thoughout. Cole is progressing to a Level 3 Digital Media Production course at CAVC in September – skipping the Level 2 as he has already amassed so many credits on his BTEC.

“I heard of Media Academy Cardiff and that it was for people who had problems at school,” Cole said. “I wanted to do film so I got in touch and came in and saw it was really cool.”

“It’s been amazing – I joined late but I caught up quickly. If I don’t enjoy a project it can take me a long time to finish it and I get frustrated but here I’ve been very passionate about what I’m doing and the atmosphere is so relaxed and everyone on the course is part of a close-knit group. Everyone helps each other and we co-operated all the time.”

Cole made short films about specific areas of interest such as health and wellbeing and LGBT history on his course, as well as collaborating on a stop-motion animation.

“I’ve always wanted to make films; I’ve wanted to be a director for as long as I can remember,” he said. “I’ve now got on to a Level 3 Media Production course at Cardiff and Vale College and I’m really looking forward to it. Hopefully I will go on to university to study film writing and film studies – that’s my long-term goal.”

He was not expecting to win an award. “I was really surprised,” Cole said. “It was really, really cool - I got to phone my mum to tell her and she put it all over Facebook. The award now has pride of place in my room.”

For more information about Cardiff and Vale College’s Widening Participation provision click here.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel shared a video in channel. 6 hours 57 minutes ago

Evaluation survey and what you need to know: Uni...

This video provides more information for school and college learners who have been asked to complete an evaluation survey as part of the Uni Connect...

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 6 hours 58 minutes ago

RT @FENews: Are we doing enough for disadvantaged learners? #SkillsWorldLive 2.7: On #SkillsWorldLive tonight, guests include: David Hughes…
View Original Tweet

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page