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We're celebrating Adult Learners' Week

18 June 2019

In celebration of Adult Learners’ Week we’re introducing you to some of our mature students and sharing their success and journey through college so far to mark this week-long celebration of lifelong learning.

Meet Julie Morphet who is 48 years old and a Skills For Further Study student at our City of Newport Campus. Julie is retraining and aspires to go into nursing or the health and social care sector so is currently undertaking the Skills For Further Studies course before progressing onto an access course.

“Leaving my job was the biggest decision I have ever made. Speaking to my tutor helped to give me the confidence to quit my job in retail and come to college full time. I was worried that my age would go against me but that hasn’t been the case at all – Coleg Gwent welcomes people of all ages.” Julie, who’s won Learner of the Month, says the skills she’s learning on the Skills For Further Study course has boosted her confidence to progress onto the access course.

“I like the whole journey, learning to use power point, word processing, and using a computer – something that I’ve never done before!” And her advice for anyone thinking of returning to learning at Coleg Gwent. “Do it, enjoy and embrace the course, your confidence will grow. Even though Skills For Further Study is an extra year it’s very beneficial for the access course the following year.”

Level 2 Women’s Hairdressing (year 2) student Adam Gould, 31, also encourages adults to join a course at college, as he follows his dream of becoming a hairdresser.

“I’ve always wanted to do this – there are pictures of me doing hair when I was eight-years-old! I only wish that I had done this a long time ago,” said Adam.

“My favourite parts of the course are doing root colours and cutting.” He says the support from staff at the Blaenau Gwent Learning Zone has been great, especially with the theory aspects of the course which he’s found more difficult. “I’d like to work in a salon to see what it’s like and then open my own business.”

Another learner, Access to Higher Education student Katy Price, 28, aims to go onto university to become either a paramedic or a nurse. The mum who took time out of education to start a family, chose the course at Blaenau Gwent Learning Zone as she hopes it will help her achieve her dream of going to university.

“The teachers are brilliant, the facilities are good and we have tutorials to raise issues, catch up on work and prepare our personal statement for university,” said Katy. “I came here to do an access course as I’d been out of education for so long and I also wanted guidance on the UCAS personal statement and the college offers this support. “I was nervous about returning to education after a break but most people in my class are in their 20s, and I’ve got all distinctions so far in my work.

“The course is really interesting, I love biology and microbiology, especially when we’re learning about infection – there are also different modules focusing on different aspects such as psychology and sociology. “My aim is to work either as a nurse or paramedic and stay in Wales. I have a young family. You get the NHS bursary to study in Wales so your fees are paid as long as you stay for two years after completing your degree.”

Level 2 Motorcycle Maintenance and Repair student Daniel Pegg, 24, decided to follow his passion for motorbikes and enrol on the course at Crosskeys campus last year. “After trying different courses and jobs, I finally decided to follow my passion and apply to Coleg Gwent. I’ve grown up around bikes so I really enjoy working in the workshop on different bikes. I get on great with my tutors – they’re like friends. “Once I’ve competed my level 2, I plan to progress onto my level 3 and then gain some work experience and ultimately open my own workshop.” Daniel, who won student of the year at the 2019 campus awards, added, “If you’re interested in motorcycles, apply as it’s a really great course.”