From education to employment

Land-based college marks 100 years but plans are on hold due to pandemic

Elin Roberts

A LAND-BASED college (@colegcambria) is marking 100 years at the forefront of education and agriculture.

Staff and students at Coleg Cambria Llysfasi have put centenary plans on hold due to the Coronavirus pandemic but look forward to celebrating when it is safe to do so.

Currently operating online and serving small groups of learners at the Denbighshire site – with strict social-distancing measures in place – the college is currently limited to sharing memories and photos online to honour the occasion.

They are also holding virtual ‘talk and tour’ events this weekend for prospective students to find out more on the wide range of courses available, meet tutors, take part in Q&A sessions and view the cutting-edge facilities on campus.

Elin Roberts, site lead and Assistant Principal of Technical Studies at Llysfasi, says while they are unable to welcome people in person or unveil a programme of events to honour the landmark birthday, they hope to be able to announce more in the months ahead.

“This is a momentous time for the college, but due to the pandemic we will have to revisit our centenary celebrations later in the year,” she said.

“Our priority is the safety of students and staff, and prospective students and their families, which is why open events are being held virtually at the present time.

“We would like to be able to organise and confirm activities to mark the anniversary this summer and at the start of the next academic year, though for now these plans are on hold as we continue to deliver virtual lectures online – and in person where it is safe to do so, given many qualifications delivered at Llysfasi are practical and vocational.”

Having taken the helm in September, Elin is pleased with progress made in the last five months despite the negative impact of Covid-19, including completion of a £1.2m rural education hub.

With plans for a carbon neutral farm forming part of the £1bn North Wales Growth Deal, and burgeoning partnerships with innovative organisations such as Kubota, Tilhill and AGCO, she is confident the first 100 years of Llysfasi have laid the foundations for future success.

“There are so many opportunities and options for anyone joining the college,” said Elin.

“We will continue navigating the challenges of Covid but are also thinking long-term as our curriculum, technologies and facilities continue to advance.

“The talk and tour sessions will be a great way for prospective learners to find out more about the career pathways available in agriculture, from countryside management and farming to forestry, engineering, and animal care.

“Until we can showcase our offering in person, we will do so virtually and hope to see a good number of people joining us this weekend.”

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