Meet our Extended Team: the CCR Graduates


On November 1st we were extremely excited to take on our first cohort of graduates into the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal team. They have all come from a wide range of disciplines and backgrounds but are all united on one thing with one objective in common – wanting to add value and contribute to achieving the vison of the CCR and do their bit to create greater economic prosperity throughout our region. They all spoke brilliantly about wanting to add real value in linking our goals and ambitions in being a more connected, competitive and resilient region for all and we are already seeing the value of their hard work and ambition starting to come into fruition.

So now they are 5 weeks in we caught up with each of the 10 to find out a bit more about each of them from what their backgrounds are, how they found out about the scheme and the CCR and what they hope to gain from their time with us.


Matt Ball

Matt is from Cardiff, has a BA in Politics from the University of Exeter and has a passion for photography and videography.

“I found out about the CCR Graduate scheme online via google jobs and saw it as an amazing opportunity to work in an ambitious organisation that is passionate about developing Cardiff (the town in which I was born and raised) and the wider region. I currently work in the governance department in which I assist in improving the overall quality of quarterly performance reporting and other governance activities like helping project leaders in the identification and reporting of risk. I am also hoping to use my passion for photography and videography by assisting in the activities of the Marketing and Communication team.

I believe that this Graduate scheme will give me an amazing opportunity to gain experience in working within the public sector; develop my skills in working successfully in a team environment and to play my role in increasing the overall prosperity of SE Wales. I have an ambition to work for the UK government or Civil Service in the future and believe that the CCR Graduate Scheme provides me with the perfect first-step in this journey.”


Nat Hughes

Nat is from Old Colwyn, a small village in North Wales, and moved down to Cardiff after graduating from Bangor University with a first in Business and Management in 2018.

I found out about CCR’s graduate scheme through Cardiff Council’s website when I was searching for graduate roles more suited to my studies and experience. I was delighted to be offered a role with the team and have since been working across the Investment and Innovation teams, looking specifically at the development of CCR’s priority clusters. This suits me as I get to speak to a wide variety of people, from all different sectors and businesses, and have learnt so much already whilst gaining insights into the various strategies and processes. I hope to forge strong business relationships with those I work with across the industry and continue to build my confidence and ability, working with government and private sector companies to improve the lives of those across SE Wales and I’m excited to see where this experience takes me!”


Ynyr Clwyd

Ynyr grew up on a small farm on the outskirts of Denbigh in North Wales and completed an undergraduate degree in Politics and Economics and a Masters in Welsh Government and Politics at Cardiff University.

“After deciding that I wanted to move back down to Cardiff, I learned about the CCR graduate scheme whilst looking for jobs on Linkedin. I applied more on the off chance really, so I was delighted to be offered a role with this brilliant team. I am working in more of a general capacity as part of the skills hub – engaging with businesses, listening to their needs and helping them develop, whilst also working with the region’s workforce, developing and highlighting the roles available to them. I have a keen interest in the general work that the CCR does as a whole, and therefore working across the board with everybody is an ideal opportunity for me to gain insight into the brilliant work each person does.

As for my future career ambitions, I do not have an overarching goal that I want to achieve or a particular avenue that I want to go down, and so this role with the CCR is a fantastic opportunity to network with a wide variety of people from a whole host of different sectors to continue my professional development. Above all, I am very eager to make a positive contribution to the region, helping development and deliver a real improvement to the lives of the people of South East Wales.”


Jake Thompson

Jake is from Caerphilly and studied Business Management (Finance) with a year in industry at Swansea University. He graduated in 2021, completing his final year following a year in industry at the Football Association of Wales. 

“I found out about CCR’s graduate scheme from Cardiff Council’s website, having been searching for graduate roles, and I felt that it suited my abilities and previous experience. I was ecstatic to have been offered the role, and have since been working across the infrastructure team, looking at Energy, Transport, Housing and Digital. This suits me as it involves engaging with a wide variety of stakeholders, and I pride myself on being an excellent communicator, so I hope to be able to make a meaningful impact not only in the aforementioned areas, but also on South East Wales as a whole. I haven’t got a specific career progression in mind so far, but I would say that I’m interested in Project Management and believe that the CCR graduate scheme provides great experience in this area.”


Jac Perry

Jac grew up in west Wales in a village called Upper Tumble and moved to Cardiff to study Biomedical Sciences at Cardiff Metropolitan University. He was a member of the British squad in the sport of Tumbling and competed a number of times internationally.

“I came across Cardiff Capital Region online one day after searching for a new job for a while. I work in the Venture Graduate programme which is a part of the larger Venture portfolio. This programme is designed to retain and attract graduates to the CCR. We do this by working closely with universities, regional businesses, and graduates, helping to find those graduates excellent jobs in the region. This role is perfect for me as I thrive from meeting new people and helping others getting a good start in their careers. During my time with CCR I hope to gain a thorough understanding of the relationship between the public and private sector and what we as the public sector can do to attract and nurture new business to Southeast Wales – creating more well-paid jobs and increasing the quality of life for all those that live in the region.”


Rhys Owen

Originally from Melbourne, Rhys grew up In Wrexham and moved down to Cardiff to undertake an undergraduate degree in Politics at Cardiff University. Following graduation, he decided to enrol onto the Welsh Government and Politics postgraduate degree at Cardiff University.

“I was made aware of the Graduate Associate role at CCR through LinkedIn. Following a year away from Cardiff I knew the opportunity on behalf of the largest region in Wales was an opportunity that I had to grab. I am working on a range of different projects which aims to foster innovative solutions to the issues caused by, and to alleviate, climate change. I am honoured to be part of these projects that aim to bridge the gap to net-zero as part of central and local government prerogative. Hopefully, during my time working for CCR I can prove my worth within the Energy and Transport team as I look to pursue a career in sustainable development policy making.”


Fariah Rahman

Fariah was born and brought up in Cardiff and graduated from University of South Wales studying BSc Human Biology. She has a passion for learning about new businesses in different sectors.

“I found out about the CCR graduate scheme through my University Career website when searching for graduate job roles. CCR was one of the first application I had submitted, and I was delighted to be offered a role with this fantastic company after my interview. I am currently working as a Graduate Officer within the Venture Team, my role involves helping to recruit for graduates to find Graduate Schemes with SME businesses within Cardiff and our other surrounding local authorities. Also engaging with various businesses in Wales, engaging with current cohorts who have successfully already been placed in current Graduate Jobs, and working with our 4 local Universities including Cardiff Uni, Cardiff Met, USW and Open University.

Landing myself a position in this department has really suited me as I have a passion for helping others and hope to build my confidence even more when communicating with different people from various backgrounds and abilities. In the future I aspire to build my own business with the influence of other successful entrepreneurs around me and hope to inspire other women to become their own entrepreneurs. This will also help with the economic growth within Wales and beyond.”


Charlotte Davidson

Charlotte graduated earlier this year with a degree in Business Management from Cardiff University and has a passion for travelling and exploring new places.

“I found out about the CCR Graduate scheme through Cardiff Council’s website after I had graduated and was seeking an exciting role suited to my studies and professional interests, and I found just that! I currently work in the Energy and Transport team where I am engaged on a range of projects that aim to create the conditions for a carbon neutral economy and society in the CCR and improve the connectivity across the region whilst maintaining a laser-focus on clean growth.

I am really excited to take this opportunity of working at CCR with both hands, a committed organisation pioneering the development of the South East Wales region. I believe that this graduate scheme will give me the opportunity to gain experience of working within the public sector, the ability to connect and liaise with a variety of people from different sectors and businesses as well as strengthen my ability. I am keen to start a career in project management and believe working at CCR will provide me with the insight of working on various projects, build my confidence and ability and ultimately allow me to acquire the knowledge, skill and competencies to embark on my career.”


Rory Pugh

Rory was born in Cardiff, raised in small village near Caerphilly and had a seven-year stint in Cornwall until the age of 18.  He completed an undergraduate degree in Business Management at Cardiff University and a postgraduate in Logistics and Operations Management.

“Throughout my life I’ve been a keen sportsman, with a particular passion for rugby, tennis and boxing. I like to spend my free time partaking in sports and socialising with friends & family. I have a longstanding interest in regional and economic development in the UK, and particularly in the context of Wales. Therefore, when I saw the graduate opportunity on CCR’s LinkedIn, I didn’t hesitate in applying for it. Since joining CCR, I have been placed in the Innovation and Cluster Development team. I am thrilled with this placement, and I am enjoying the challenge of how best to nurture, strengthen and build upon the strong asset base in the region. I am looking forward to developing both personally and professionally in the next 12 months, and I hope to develop transferable skills that will stand me in good stead wherever my career may take me.”


Jack Harrison

I was born and raised in Penarth and attended a Welsh medium school in Barry. He studied Archaeology at Cardiff University and graduated in 2020. He’s a big lover of rugby and has played for school, club, county and represented Cardiff at various levels.

“I was drawn to CCR by its ambition to tackle big issues facing the region that I grew up in. Having taken advantage of the Cardiff region throughout my life I saw an opportunity not only to give back to the region but also play a role in guiding its future and improving people’s lives. I was ecstatic when I was offered a role. So far, I have had the opportunity to meet a huge variety of people from all over the region and its sectors. It is exciting to see the enthusiasm the people of the region have for this project and the possibilities it presents.”


We are delighted at the impact our 10 talents are having already and would urge any business to consider the benefits that employing graduate talent can bring. Our Venture graduate programme offers businesses a free service to overcome barriers to recruitment, including human resource support and region-wide marketing of their role, while graduates on the scheme get to participate in a coherent graduate scheme and complete a fully funded internationally recognised ILM qualification and we would be delighted to discuss your requirements with you.

For an informal chat get in touch with us at or take a look at our website


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