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Education

National success for graphics student

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Gold medallist: Jacob Lewis of St Clears

A 19-YEAR-OLD from St Clears has won a gold medal in the 3D digital game art final of a national skills competition.

Backed by the Welsh Government through the European Social Fund, Skills Competition Wales is a series of events held in colleges across the country, designed to celebrate vocational skills and create highly skilled, talented employees for the Welsh workforce.

Jacob Lewis, who is currently studying for a BA in Digital Graphics​,​ competed against five other students from across Wales in a series of 3D digital game art challenges within a four-hour time period.

The competitors were tasked with creating a relic for a game that a character in a 3D digital game could hold, with Jacob designing a sword.

Jacob said: “I’ve taken part in graphic design competitions before, including Skills Competition Wales last year, but this is the first time I’ve tried my hand at 3D digital art.

“I really enjoyed the competition and I’m looking forward to the next challenge ahead. It has made me realise I want to pursue a career in digital game design in the future and winning gold has given me the confidence to do it.”

More than 50 competitions are taking place this year, across a wide range of different vocations from bricklaying and hairdressing to aeronautical engineering and culinary art. The successful youngsters may then go on to be shortlisted for the UK Squad, competing against the world’s most talented young people at the EuroSkills competition in Austria, in 2020, or the WorldSkills international final in Shanghai in 2021.

Minister for Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning, Eluned Morgan said: “Competitions like these are imperative for establishing transferable skills for the future, and allow young people at the start of their careers, to flourish.

“They provide young individuals from Wales with the opportunity to demonstrate their skills as well as the chance to go further and compete on a national, or even international level.

“I would like to congratulate Jacob on his brilliant achievement and wish him the best of luck in the next stage of the competition and I look forward to seeing him prosper in his future career.”

Education

Extra investment in 21st Century Schools

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Announced £100m extra: Kirsty Williams

£100​M ​is to be invested over the next three years to accelerate the delivery of the flagship 21st Century Schools and Education programme, Cabinet Secretary for Education, Kirsty Williams and Minister for Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning Eluned Morgan ​has said.

An extra £75m, has been allocated to the 21st Century Schools and Education Programme a major, long-term and strategic capital investment programme to modernise education infrastructure.

In addition, £30m will be released from the programme in future years for immediate investment in capital projects that will contribute to the goal of reaching a million Welsh speakers by 2050. This is a shared priority with Plaid Cymru.

The money will bring the total invested over the life of the programme to almost £3.8bn. The first phase of the programme will finish in 2019 having invested £1.4bn to support the rebuild and refurbishment of more than 150 schools and colleges across Wales. The second phase will see a spend of £2.3bn.

Kirsty Williams said: “Our national mission is to raise standards, reduce the attainment gap and deliver an education system that is a source of national pride and confidence. Our 21st Century Schools and Education Programme plays a key part in this and is the largest investment in our schools and colleges since the 1960s.

“Having a comfortable, modern, fit-for-purpose environment in which to learn is vital to ensuring young people have the best possible education. This extra funding will mean that even more of our students will be able to benefit from having the best possible facilities in their schools and colleges.​”​

Eluned Morgan said: “Reaching a million Welsh speakers by 2050 is a significant challenge and education is key to the success of this ambition. This means we need to invest in new Welsh medium schools and improve and increase the teaching of Welsh in English medium schools. Bringing forward this funding for immediate investment allows us to ensure there is no delay in the work to achieve this target.”

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Education

Aber hots Apple programmers’ conference

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Aberystwyth: Firmly on software development map

IOSDEVUK, the UK’s leading conference for Apple software developers, will be returning to Aberystwyth in September 2018.

Now in its eighth year, iOSDevUK is hosted by Professor Chris Price and Dr Neil Taylor from the Department of Computer Science at Aberystwyth University.

The dates for iOSDevUK 8 have been confirmed as 3-6 September 2018, with the list of speakers and themes due to be announced in the coming weeks.

Further-more, the Aberystwyth based conference has been voted one of the World’s top 10 iOS conferences for 2018, the only one in the UK, by tech website www.raywenderlich.com.

Last year’s iOSDevUK 7 saw representatives from thirty nationalities travel to the three day event at Aberystwyth, with all 200 delegate places taken.

Professor Chris Price said: “We are delighted to confirm that iOSDevUK will be returning to Aberystwyth once more this year. Over the years iOSDevUK has put Aberystwyth firmly on the software development map, and we are delighted that so many developers from around the world feel it is worth their while travelling to Aberystwyth. Indeed, for many it has become an annual pilgrimage.”

“From the outset, our aim with iOSDevUK has been to encourage creativity by sharing expertise and experiences and we are confident that this year’s conference will once again achieve this, both for our delegates and for our students who will be able to attend free of charge.”

Previous iOSDevUK gatherings have focused on the most recent developments announced by Apple and this year’s conference will be no different.

One of the features of the conference has been the end-of-conference hack which challenges delegates to work together to develop innovative and exciting applications using Apple’s latest software.

The most recent hack focused on ARKit – Apple’s latest augmented reality software, which has proved so popular in games such as Pokemon Go.
Further details about the conference will be released on the iOSDevUK website.
Organisers also plan to announce the ‘Early Bird’ offers online in April 2018, for those who want to avoid disappointment.

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Education

Night on the tiles for students

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Master ceramicist: Richard Miller speaks at Coleg Sir Gâr

A​SPIRING​ ceramicists at Coleg Sir Gâr’s Carmarthen School of Art welcomed a master craftsman from the BBC’s The Great Pottery Throw Down into college recently for a bespoke lesson in tile-making.

Richard Miller is a Surrey-based ceramicist who runs his own business, Froyle Tiles, which produces traditional, contemporary and bespoke tiles for both domestic and business environments. The company works with​ ​independent retailers as well as undertaking luxury projects in London with clients including Wagamama and BBC.

The ceramicist gave a talk to ceramics degree students on his work on the BBC show and how he grew his business.

Thomas Fisher, Carmarthen School of Art ceramics lecturer, said: “Students learned about what inspires Richard’s work and how he responds to individual, business and agency briefs.

“They really benefited from his experience of such a wide range of clients and briefs, from English heritage to modern architecture, and how he grew his business to the materials and processes used in his company.”

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