Employers from across the city of Cardiff and beyond have provided words of encouragement and advice the class of 2023

Employers from across the city of Cardiff and beyond have provided words of encouragement and advice the class of 2023, as they near their A-Level and GCSE exam results days in August.

Brought together by TheCardiff Commitment,industry leaders from a range of sectors including construction, engineering, health and the arts, have written messages of support to young people who will be deciding on their next steps, with the aim that their experiences willinspire, reassure and open their eyes to the range of opportunities available to them, whether that be in education, employment, training and volunteering.


What did they say?

Terry Collier,Apprenticeship program manager at Celsa Manufacturing

Former pupil at Holy Family Primary and Bishop Hannon High school


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"You are coming to the end of School years, which I remember as being a scary and exciting time for me and all students. However, you must remember you are unique, resourceful and an individual who will make their way through life, building on the knowledge and skill sets you already have gained through your school studies. So be kind to yourself (and of course others!)

I have been working in Education roles for around 20 years and let me assure you that employers are looking for people like you!

"Whether you have aced your exams or not, there will be employment out there for you. Some companies recruit individuals on their attitude to learning new skills some on qualifications. Whichever your circumstances do not give up.

"Engineering is booming throughout South Wales and currently I work with 50 plus apprentices. Apprenticeships are key for young people learning a new skill set. I also know of lots of other companies who are using apprenticeships to develop people like you. So shine at your interview.

"Some advice when getting to an Interview be prepared. Research the companies you are applying too. Understand what they do, maybe their values, and do their values match yours? Go in prepared as no matter of your background it is about looking forward and excelling.

"Find a job that you love and you will never have to work a day in your life" (M Twain / Confucius)

You've got this!!"



Michelle Perez,Executive Director atTheatr Iolo 

Former pupil at Whitchurch High School 

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"As a producing theatre company that creates theatre shows and cultural activities for children, we are very aware of how difficult the last couple of years have been for young people.

We are continually inspired by how resilient young people are. No matter your results, just remember that there are so many options open to you, concentrate on the things you are good at and the things you enjoy.

"Believe in yourself and everything will fall into place, we wish you all a calm mind and a steady hand to find your path. Pob Lwc!"


Adrian Jones, Head of Live Music, Ministry of Life Education CIC

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"You've reached that point where many around you are worrying about exam results and what the future may hold. You've got this far and survived an education experience that has been littered with disruption, upheaval and uncertainty due to the pandemic. Not only that but where other students in the past have received school-assessed grades you've had to sit exams. This in itself shows great strength of character and resilience.

Regardless of any results you receive, it will be these qualities that will prove to be your greatest achievements and even if you may not be taking the route you expected, there will always be opportunities available for you to develop.

"Never forget to put time into the things that you love to do, even if it is in your free time. Remember to have fun as well as work towards your goals. Keep your dreams and your passions alive, work steadily towards them and don't let anyone tell you to stop dreaming!

Whether you enter the world of work or further education, remember: everything you experience is a lesson, and more often than not, life has a strange way of showing to us that the things we think are somehow irrelevant at the time prove to be invaluable later on. In this way, we make for ourselves a life filled with experiences and learning so that in time we will become accomplished people that go on to inspire others.

Wishing you every success!"



Ryan Davies,Architectural Technologist at Rio Architects

Former School - Ysgol Glantaf

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"To the class of 2023, you may be feeling excited, or you may be anxious about your results. It's easier said than done, however - try not to worry, you've worked hard, especially given the added stress of the last couple of years. Embrace the results you receive and be proud of them, regardless of the outcome.

"There are multiple routes to success, and your journey will be as individual to you as it is to anyone else - don't let comparison be the thief of joy - explore all the options available to you and find out what fits best with your interests and strengths. Grades alone can't tell an employer or a university what makes you unique, more often than not - it's what value as a person you bring to a team.

"Remember, education is a lifelong journey, even if you're unsure about your plans - give yourself the opportunity to explore new subjects, hobbies and experiences and embrace your flaws and all the mistakes you make along the way.

No matter what your results may be - remember that your journey has only just begun."


People Resourcing Team, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board


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"As you come to the end of your exams, and you feel a sense of relief that you have done all that you can, you will no doubt be worried or anxious about your results and what that means for your future and your choices. Take a moment to be proud of yourself and your achievements, because no matter what the outcome, there are opportunities out there just waiting to be explored and we are more than happy to help. The NHS provides a wealth of opportunities no matter of your skills or abilities. Understand that life is full of curve balls, that will have you reconsidering your path and some can bring an unexpected silver lining.

"It is important to remember that you do not need to have your whole career planned out before you, you just need to be prepared to take yourself out of your comfort zone and take a leap of faith into the unknown. Only when you do this will you thrive and build a career that you can be proud of.

"Be bold, take that first step and let success be something that is realised steadily over time rather than achieved in one decision or outcome."



Keith Jones,ICE Wales Cymru

Former pupil at Cantonian High School.

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"Become a civil engineer. The civil engineering profession covers a broad spectrum of jobs, specialisms and careers spanning every industry. There are a wide range of sectors predominantly in the infrastructure sector. Civil Engineers plan, design, construct, manage, maintain and ultimately demolish or decommission the infrastructure of society. From roads to buildings, tunnels to stadia, footpaths to drainage systems. Rail, water systems, bridges, dams - all the very essence of our society that enables us to live and prosper. Opportunities exist for students to undertake academic studies, from Level 3 (BTEC Level 3) through to BSc, BEng to Master's courses. These would be at colleges and universities across Wales and the UK. In addition, Apprenticeships are available with a ‘work and learn' ethos."



Georgios Kyvetos, Assistant Civil Engineer at WSP        

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"Dear Class of 2023, be proud for your effort and time you have dedicated in studying for your exams! Regardless of whether the results are the ones you were expecting or not, the journey does not end here. I assure you the skills you have developed over this long process and the knowledge you have accumulated will stay with you and help you evolve further to the person you want to be.

"Grades do not tell the full story, neither can be solely relied upon to determine someone's future. Everyone has their own path to follow, and there many routes into higher education or a chosen career. As you proceed into creating your own path ahead, whether this is through university or work, please remember to have faith in yourselves and your potential. Things may not often evolve the way we expect them, but it is how we navigate ourselves around these challenges that allows us to grow and evolve. I know that each and every one of you can overcome any challenge that may come your way.

"You did so with the disruption of Covid. In unprecedented conditions you managed to persevere and continue your education. That's a fantastic achievement and something to be proud of! Keep that spirit and continue writing your own story!"

Kaya Vandermeer,Apprentice Marketing Co-ordinator at Arup

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"I never really knew what I wanted to do when I ‘grew up' and didn't consider an apprenticeship as my school pushed going to university as the only option. For some people uni is great, but for me, I wanted to get into work. After finishing school in 2016, I started working in hospitality and eventually moved to working in call centres for a few years, but I was never really content.
"I eventually found a love for digital marketing through the work my parents were doing to promote their own business and decided that's what I want to pursue. The unknown was scary but it is one of the best decisions I've made.
"I came across Arup apprenticeships, applied, interviewed, got the job (yay!), and started in September 2021.Fast forward to 2023 and I have completed my Level 3 Digital Marketing qualification, had a promotion in work and will be starting my Level 4 soon - all while having fun, meeting new people, gaining hands on experience from experts in their field and earning whilst learning.
"What I am trying to say is it you don't have to take the standard route that society expects of you, be bold, be you and go for whatever your goals are. It doesn't matter if you don't know exactly what you want to do, eventually everything will fall into place."


Ryan Hokins, Senior Transortation lanner at Arup

Former pupil at Cathays High School

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"Gosh, you must have had a funny few years, enduring the pandemic, studying from home, and then being launched into exams - but I'm sure this has taught you and your peers to be the most resilient and adaptable generation!

"What is my story? I finished school and did okay. I moved on to study my A-levels and then went to university. However, I quickly learned that university wasn't for me. As a bit of an introvert, I found the huge change too daunting. So, after a quick visit to the career's advisor, I found out about my apprenticeship, and that has shaped the next 15+ years for me.

Through the apprenticeship, I learned my "trade" as a Transport Planner, studying Civil Engineering part-time and surrounded by a great support network of colleagues and friends (I even got paid to study).

"Now, I get to work alongside some of the smartest people who went to some of the most prestigious universities, and we collaborate on some amazing projects. This proves that there are lots of routes to get to the same place, and your results do not have to dictate your final career path. Through my work, I've had the chance to help design arenas, train stations, and whole transport systems. I have worked in Sydney, New York, Dubai, and everywhere in between."



Jemma Hunt, Staff Learning and Development Officer at ACT.

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"Leaving high school is the first step you take into adulthood. Your life so far has led up to this point of deciding about what you will do for the rest of your life...or at least it feels that way. But in truth, the decisions you make now will impact what happens in your future, but only as part of the journey. You are not at a crossroads with nice straight roads, your path, like all of ours, will have twists and turns all along the way...or even like mine, go back before moving forward.

Whatever your future holds, embrace every experience with the joy and determination that has brought you this far. Balance school, work and life in equal measures and remember to be happy in whatever you do."


Sheila Hendrickson-Brown


Cardiff Third Sector Council (C3SC)


Congratulations! Be proud of what you've achieved in school as it's the first step in to the next stages of your life.  I went to school in Cardiff - I did 'A' levels but had no idea what I wanted to do next.  I did not go to University as I did not believe University was a place for people like me.   The one thing I took away from school Careers lessons was that I was better suited to working in an office than working outside - and they were right.  I took on different roles over the next few years, all working with people which is what I enjoy, and found I had a range of soft skills that had value in the employment market.   I took a degree in law when I was in my late twenties and had already started my family - and got first class honours, because I found something that really interested me, and I have gone on to become CEO of local social organisations.  So don't be fearful if you did not get the grades you wanted, or you don't quite know what you want to do.   Start by doing something that fits with the things you enjoy, and you'll surprise yourself about what you know, what you have to offer, and where these can take you.



Young People can find a host of information on the ‘What's Next? Cardiff' websiteHome - What's Next (


Aimed at 16 to 24-year-olds, the platform is a one-stop shop containing information on education, employment, training and other opportunities in Cardiff, making it quicker and easier for young people to find out options available to them when considering their futures. The platform also contains information on the range of pathways that are available for young people looking to get into in demand careers within a range of priority sectors in the city.

The Cardiff Commitment - the Council initiative that brings together the public, private and third sectors in partnership, with schools and education providers, to connect children and young people to the vast range of opportunities available in education, training and the world of work.

Cardiff Commitment is working closely with Cardiff Capital Region partners to provide young people with information on growth sector opportunities and the skills and qualifications that will be needed for these roles in the future.


You can also view a series of video messages here:

Rhys Bebb - Screen Alliance WalesClass of 2023 - Employer Messages - Screen Alliance Wales - YouTube

Max, Apprentice, Galliford & TryClass of 2023 - Employer Messages - Galliford Try - Eng - YouTube

Max, Apprentice, Galliford Try - Welsh -Dosbarth 2023 - Negeseuon Cyflogwr - Cymraeg - YouTube

Jamie, Ministry of Life Education -

Sabrina - Ministry of Life Education

Class of 2023 - MOL - messages - YouTube