I was thrilled to attend an event on Wednesday, hosted by the University of South Wales to learn more about their fantastic partnerships with external organisations. The USW is one of three renowned Universities we have here in Cardiff Central. USW hosts 30,000 students from across 200 countries, and the University itself generates £1bn in gross value added to the Welsh economy each year.

It was great to see the real impact the University having, both for students, and residents of Cardiff Central through their meaningful partnerships and programmes.

Film

The relationship the University has established with Screen-Alliance Wales has created some incredible opportunities for future film makers in our City. This offers brilliant work experience, and paid opportunities for students to develop their skill set ahead of graduation. Many USW graduates have worked in Cardiff’s Bad Wolf Studios, contributing on the BBC’s hit series “His Dark Materials”, which was filmed here in Cardiff! Over 500 students have benefited from this partnership, which is great to see in an ever-competitive graduate market.

Sport

Not only are over 8000 people in the local community benefiting from use of the Universities sport park each month, but the University is also showing a commitment to sport through their exclusive partnership with the Football Association of Wales (FAW) Trust. This partnership provides a unique opportunity for students to access quality coaching qualifications whilst they study, and work experience opportunities with the FAW, to further their development. This important commitment will contribute to the success of the sport here in Wales, raising standards, and creating new opportunities for the next generation.

Digital

It was brilliant to learn more about how the University is addressing the gap in digital skills, with the Welsh Government fully funded BSc (Hons) Digital and Technology Solutions apprenticeship. This apprenticeship is unique in the sense that it offers opportunities through a partnership with Capgemini, providing work placements in the sector, whilst students achieve their qualification. This is great for people looking to start a new career, or those already in the industry wanting to broaden their knowledge and achieve professional qualifications.

World Renowned Hospitality Opportunities

The University has harnessed a brilliant working relationship with The Celtic Manor, offering USW Students on the Hotel and Hospitality degree excellent work experience with the venue, that is home to both the Ryder Cup and a NATO Conference. Opportunities like this are invaluable and provide students with the skills they need for a successful career in the industry. I was really pleased to learn that the University will be extending this partnership with a new course launching in 2020, “International Events Management”. I wish all the new students enrolled on this course the very best of luck!

Working with Refugee Communities

USW have built a strong and meaningful relationship with the Welsh Refugee Council, providing TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) courses, run by both students and voluntary qualified language teachers. These classes are helping to transform the lives of refugees in Cardiff, providing essential support for people to achieve their potential, and giving students an excellent opportunity to develop their skills and made a real meaningful difference. This relationship emphasises the importance of our Universities and our students.

Again, I would like to say a huge thank you to USW, and good luck to all students with their studies making the most of these opportunities!

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