Young Pembrokeshire students have been learning practical engineering skills thanks to a successful school-college partnership.

The collaboration, developed between Pembrokeshire College and Ysgol Caer Elen in Haverfordwest during the last couple of years, provides Year 10 and 11 pupils with a vocational opportunity to enrol on a Welsh-medium/bilingual GCSE Engineering course.

This year, the College has welcomed 38 learners across Years 10 and 11 who are working towards WJEC GCSE in Engineering. Not only has it given the learners an opportunity to widen their studies, they have also been able to continue learning bilingually.

Emma Clegg (pictured), a Year 11 pupil on the programme said:

“I'm very interested in things that are being created for the future and what's emerging in engineering. This Level 2 course has been fantastic. It has prepared me to go on to study Advanced Engineering Level 3 here at College to be able to pursue a career in engineering.”

Ffion Scourfield, another Year 11 pupil at Ysgol Caer Elen added:“I've really enjoyed this two-year course at the College. It's been a whole new experience for me and very different from school. I've learnt practical skills in the engineering workshop I never thought I'd learn. I think I've been very fortunate to have this opportunity.”

Lamps made by Emma Clegg and Ffion Scourfield
Lamps made by Emma Clegg and Ffion Scourfield (Pembrokeshire College)

Caer Elen headmaster Mr Dafydd Hughes said:

“We are delighted that we are able to collaborate with Pembrokeshire College in order to offer important and relevant vocational courses to our learners through the medium of Welsh. This means that we are further preparing our learners for fundamental career opportunities in Pembrokeshire and beyond.”

The learners have been supported by a team of Welsh speaking lecturers including Curriculum Area Manager William Bateman, lecturers Jake Mowbray and Morgan Lewis, who are fluent Welsh speakers, and also James John and Rhys Hutton who currently both learning Welsh.

The GCSE is a two-year course where the learners are split 50/50 on a weekly rotation between classroom and workshop. In the classroom they are developing their design skills, learning engineering calculations and creating engineering drawings. While in the workshop they are learning how to use hand tools, lathes and milling machines to make components from various materials. In their final year, they will be putting their new found skills to the test to make an individual workpiece.

Morgan Lewis, Engineering Lecturer at Pembrokeshire College added:

“The Engineering Level 2 programme with Ysgol Caer Elen school pupils has proven to be a very popular and successful vocational option. Learning takes place bilingually and gives pupils the opportunity to use their bilingual skills in a vocational context. Year 11 pupils have created lamps that are operated with USB as part of their final project and they are all very proud of what they have achieved.”

Jake Mowbray, Engineering Lecturer at Pembrokeshire College concluded by saying:

“It has been a pleasure to work with Ysgol Caer Elen on delivering the WJEC Engineering GCSE bilingually.

“The learners have been successful in gaining both theoretical knowledge from classroom teaching, and practical experience from producing engineering components in the mechanical workshop.

“The opportunity to enhance Welsh/bilingual engineering specific communication skills can only benefit learners in their future careers. The learners have developed valuable manufacturing skills that place them in good stead for progressing onto a Level 3 further education programme - leading to an apprenticeship or higher education. I look forward to meeting next year's cohort of keen engineering learners."

To find out more about the College’s wide range of engineering programmes, visit