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Apprenticeships, News

COVID 19 – Apprentice and Employer FAQs

 

Bath College is committed to supporting our apprentices and employers to progress with their programmes during the COVID-19 outbreak.
 
We are continuously investigating new and exciting way to ensure that apprentices are provided with a high quality learning experience during these challenging times.
 
This resource has been designed to support our apprentices and employers by providing detailed information on a range of circumstances which you may be facing related to your apprenticeship programme.
 
If you cannot find your answers here please send your questions to your assessor who will pass it on to our Apprenticeship team who will ensure that you query is answered
 

Bath College approach to supporting Apprentices during COVID-19

 
The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) is implementing new measures, for the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic, to make it easier for apprenticeships to continue and complete in a different way. This is designed, where possible to prevent a break in learning and avoid an apprenticeship programme needing to be resumed at a later date. This will allow apprentices to continue with their learning and complete as planned.
 
The Bath College approach to learning and assessment in the current situation is:
• Delivering training to apprentices remotely and via e-learning as far as is practicable
• Using remote end-point assessment arrangements wherever practicable and possible
• Ensuring that apprentices ready for assessment, but who cannot be assessed due to COVID-19 issues, can have their end-point assessment rescheduled.
• Providing extensions to the assessment timeframe if Gateway needs to be delayed
• Confirming that, where apprentices are made redundant, it is our ambition to find them alternative employment and continue their apprenticeship as quickly as possible and within 12 weeks
 
Please note we may update these details from time to time as we continue to be informed by the ESFA.
 

Frequently asked questions and further information

 
These questions and answers will be updated regularly in line with advice from central government, the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) and Public Health England (PHE).
 
For queries not covered by this guidance, please contact apprenticeships@bathcollege.ac.uk to speak with one of the Bath College Apprenticeships team or contact the National Apprenticeship Service helpline who can be contacted by telephone on 0800 150 600 or email helpdesk@manage-apprenticeships.service.gov.uk.
 
This section covers anything that affects how learning will be conducted and learning activity that will be carried out.
 

Changes to learning and employment

 
1. If I need to self-isolate, what will happen to my apprenticeship?
If you need to self-isolate, please talk to your employer and assessor about the best way to continue with your apprenticeship.
 
Options include:

• an increase in online learning
• a short pause of less than 4 weeks in your apprenticeship while you are in self- isolation. This will not affect the planned end-date of your apprenticeship
• re-scheduling a planned end point assessment activity for a later date.
 
The appropriate steps will be agreed based on you and your employer/training provider’s situation.
 
2. I need to take care of myself/a family member. Can I continue my apprenticeship learning at home?
 
Yes, this will be possible using online learning and telephone/video conferencing support. Please contact your assessor for further information.
 
3. My employer is enforcing a work from home policy and my classroom provision has been withdrawn. What are my options?
 
• Bath College will provide digital or distance learning solutions in most cases.
• In unique cases, agreed with the college, you can take a short pause if it is likely your apprenticeship can resume in less than 4 weeks, and you will still be able to complete your apprenticeship by the planned end-date.
 
Please talk to your assessor to agree the right approach for you.
 
4. My employer is asking me to take a period of unpaid leave/furlough, what happens to my apprenticeship during that time?
 
Where you are no longer able to work, but have not been made redundant, you can continue with your apprenticeship and resume practical work when you return to work. Please get in touch with your assessor who will ensure that remote learning is in place. Once you are back at work, you can resume the practical elements of your apprenticeship.
 
You should refer any queries around terms and conditions, including wages, to your employer in the first instance. We would also ask employers to consider using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme before making apprentices redundant.
 
The ACAS website may also be a good source of information.
 
5. What happens to the apprentice during a period of unpaid leave in terms of monies. Do they have access to Universal Credit?
 
Universal Credit may be available for both workers and the unemployed alike, as long as they meet the other conditions of entitlement (including that the applicant and their partner have savings of under £16,000 between them). Apprentices may be entitled to access Universal Credit during a period of unpaid leave. They may also have access to Universal Credit even if they were working and being paid. Being laid off or on a lesser number of hours could increase the rate of Universal Credit entitlement.
 
Apprentices on unpaid leave may also be eligible for other benefits.
 
Through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.
 
6. How do I record progress towards my apprenticeship while I am subject to different working conditions like working from home?
 
You will already be recording your off-the-job training activity using an approach agreed with your assessor. Please continue to use this in the coming weeks. If your work circumstances change because of COVID-19, so that the minimum 20% off the job cannot be met in the workplace, you will need to liaise with your employer and assessor to agree other relevant distance learning that can be completed during normal working hours, that compliments your apprenticeship programme.
 
7. My employer is laying me off/making me redundant. What happens to my apprenticeship?
 
Please speak to your assessor who will report the situation to our Apprenticeships Manager. If you are made redundant, your apprenticeship training will still be able to continue. Your assessor will still be able to offer training, based on your circumstances, in the short term. The college will support you in finding a new employer as quickly as possible and within 12 weeks. All attempts will be made by the college to work with your current employer to look at all options to avoid any redundancy situation.
 
We would urge all employers to consider using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.
 
8. If I can’t work/attend training, will I still be paid?
 
An apprenticeship is a job with training, so even when you are not able to do your training, you are still employed. You will be paid in line with the details in your employment contract.
 
Where you are unable to work, we suggest speaking to your employer about their polices on pay. The government is providing a range of support to employers to help them retain and pay the wages of employees (including apprentices) during the coming months.
 
9. Due to business continuity measures all staff are required to be available at their usual place of work. How can apprentices continue their learning?
 
If apprentices are unable to attend their scheduled learning events, there are several options available to you:
• Bath College will be providing apprentices with high quality digital or distance learning opportunities to continue with their training. This will continue to go towards their off the job hours and improve their overall skills. The apprentice will need to be provided with time to complete this work during their normal working week.
• they could be offered additional on-site mentor support and shadowing
• they could take a short pause in their learning of less than four weeks while still completing by their planned end-date
Please speak with your assessor to plan the best approach for your circumstances.
 
10. I am having to move staff into different and/or business critical roles that aren’t related to their apprenticeship. What happens to their apprenticeship?

 
It is our goal that apprentices can promptly resume their apprenticeship and continue to successful completion of end-point assessment. In these cases, the apprentice can continue to works towards their apprenticeship programme and distance learning will be provided to continue to deliver all knowledge and theory elements of the current programme. This will need to be monitored closely by their assessor so please keep in contact with them during this time.
 
If that move becomes permanent, you should look to see which alternative apprenticeship your apprentice can transfer to.
 
Please speak with your assessor if this situation is affecting you.
 
11. What do I do if I think an apprentice is not well enough to work (especially in a health setting)?
 
Employers should follow the government’s guidance for employers and businesses on coronavirus (COVID-19).
 
12. I am a non-levy paying employer recruiting for/having apprentices due to start. Can I still go ahead?
 
Yes. Please take guidance from the college as you would for an apprenticeship start in any other circumstances. We will need to enrol your apprentices remotely via skype/phone but a full information, advice and guidance session will still take place ensuring a successful and well planned start for your apprentices.
 
13. What happens to my funding reservation as a non-levy employer, if my apprentice can’t start?
 
Reservations will expire if they are not turned into a commitment within 3 months of the apprenticeship start date, detailed in the reservation. Where a commitment is needed, and a previous reservation has expired, a new reservation must first be made.
 
14. Should employers use the ‘Stop’ or ‘Pause’ apprentice facility in the apprenticeship service?
 
In circumstances related to COVID-19, employers should use the ‘Pause’ function in the service once they have consulted and agreed this with the college. Employers must only use the ‘Stop’ function when they are certain that training will not resume at any point. Using ‘Pause’ will stop payments temporarily and allow the employer and apprentice to resume the apprenticeship at a later date. We are reviewing options to simplify the process of re-starting apprentices on the service, including to facilitate a transfer to a different apprenticeship or employer in due course.
 
Levy employers should contact your dedicated account manager for further details apprenticeship.
 

Changes to assessment

 
This section covers all questions related to completion of the apprenticeship.
15. I am on a fixed-term contract, which would ordinarily have given enough time to complete the training and the end-point assessment. If the training is delayed, and I have not completed my EPA before I leave employment, can I do the end-point assessment afterwards?
 
You should be employed when you are taking your end-point assessment so, where a where a programme has been delayed, and the planned end-date for your apprenticeship will be hindered, please speak to your employer and assessor to arrange how best to facilitate the EPA.
 
16. What will happen if I am not well enough to take my end-point assessment?
 
If you are unwell, or in a period of self-isolation, and unable to attend your end-point assessment, please contact your assessor as soon as you are able, to allow them maximum time to re-schedule your assessment.
 
17. Gateways are being delayed and we cannot complete the end-point assessment in the required time frame. Can we extend the EPA timeframe due to the current disruption?
 
Apprentices who are deemed ready for assessment, and cannot be assessed due to assessor illness, or Covid-19 related measures, are allowed to take a break before taking their EPA, and for the EPA to be rescheduled.
 
If the EPA timeframe needs to be extended beyond what is allowed in the assessment plan (where specified), EPAOs are responsible for agreeing extensions to EPA timeframes during the current disruption. EPAOs should work closely with EQAPs to ensure quality of EPA is maintained.
 
18. Where the end-point assessment plan states that assessment must be conducted face-to-face, but cannot be under the current circumstances, can we conduct these remotely?
 
Where an assessment method requires face to face engagement, this can be conducted remotely, subject to the following conditions:
 
• arrangements are cleared in advance by the EQA provider
• the apprentice’s identity is verified
• remote tests are supervised by an appropriately trained invigilator or assessor:
o who has the necessary qualifications, training or experience
o who has not been involved in the training, preparation or line management of the apprentice
• appropriate technology and systems are in place
• the impact that remote assessment may have on apprentices is to be taken into consideration, to ensure a fair and reliable assessment of occupational competence
• where alternatives are not appropriate, a pause and rescheduling might be the only action. An extension of 12 weeks is allowable for those Endpoint Assessment Plans (EPA) where a time limit is specified from gateway to EPA. It is to be logged on and shared with EQAPs on a timely basis.
 
19. How will invigilation of assessments be conducted remotely?
 
Remote tests should be supervised by an appropriately trained invigilator, or assessor who has the necessary qualifications, training or experience, and who has not been involved in the training, preparation or line management of the apprentice.
 
Tests must only be carried out within a supervised and controlled environment. EPAOs must ensure all testing meets security requirements, and that the details of invigilators are recorded and available for confirmation by EQAPs.
 
20. If the current situation continues for a long period of time, would you consider awarding the apprenticeship without the end-point assessment?
 
Unlike some other exams, the Government would not consider this to be appropriate at the current time.
 
21. Can the timeframe for completion be extended if the completion of EQA activity cannot take place?
 
EQA activity should be delivered remotely and continue within current guidelines. EQAPs should reschedule audits where this is appropriate.
 
22. We can deliver part of the end-point assessment, but some sections require direct observation. How do we deal with these components?
 
These elements of the EPA will need to be rescheduled if they cannot be undertaken remotely. If the EPA timeframe needs to be extended beyond what is allowed in the assessment plan, the EPAO should seek agreement from the EQAP. Where a specified assessment method for a specific standard might be adjusted, without threatening safety, and in a manner in which it meets the original intent, EPAOs should discuss this option with their EQAP, who may refer it to the Institute for authority.
 
The substitution of assessment methods is not considered appropriate at this time.
 
With the prior authority of their EQAP, assessments may be conducted in an appropriate simulated environment, such as a training facility.
 

Additional Information

 
There may be instances relating to some of the circumstances above where a break in learning may need to be considered. If you believe this to be the case, please discuss this with your assessor. This query will be passed on to the Apprenticeship Manager at Bath College for further investigation.
 
Other Useful Links
COVID-19: Guidance for employees, employers and businesses can be found using the link below
www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19
 
Detailed advice from ACAS for employers and employees related to COVID-19 is available here:
www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus
 

News

Covid-19 College Updates

**Updated 14.05 3rd April** Fully accessible link here
 
 
Bath College campuses are closed to all but a small selection of learners until further notice following the Government’s announcement regarding the Coronavirus. Tutors and teaching staff will keep in touch with students during the closure to aid learning from home.
 
Bath College’s Safe Space for vulnerable learners is due to open on Friday. Students will be contacted individually with invitations.
 
Staff are all working remotely at this time, so are contactable via email, but may take slightly longer to respond than normal as they are teaching online.
 
Please check the website, social media and your emails regularly for updates.

 

All students and parents have been emailed. If you have any queries please contact the College on closure@bathcollege.ac.uk. You can also read the letter sent to parents/guardians here.
 

Laurel Penrose, Principal & Chief Executive

 
 

 
FURTHER INFORMATION
 
Click here for Department of Education Guidance: Closure of educational settings: information for parents and carers
 
Click here for Ofqual’s guidance on exams and awarded assessments.
 

Click here for B&NES information on applying for welfare support.
 
Click here for Parent/Carer FAQs
 
Click here for a list by B&NES of useful links about support for council tax, food banks, housing, debt and grants.
 
Emails are being sent to students and parents/carers that students have consented to be informed. If you did not receive it, you may wish to change your email address the College holds for you on ProPortal.
 

‘Closed’ does not mean you don’t need to study
Neither of our campuses will be open for normal lessons. This means that during the next few months, you will be having online or remote learning that you’ll need to do at home. Our lecturers and managers have been planning for this over the last few weeks and have done a great job in setting up arrangements for this to happen. The way it will work will be slightly different depending on which course you are doing but all College staff are committed to ensuring you are successful in your course this year.
 
Tutorials
You will still be supported by a Primary Tutor during this period. This Tutor may not be your regular Primary Tutor but they will be a lecturer you already know. All Primary Tutors have been planning how this will happen and will ensure that you get all the support you need to progress on your course. They will be ringing you every day and will share tutorial schedules with you at the start of the week. (When they ring you, their number is likely to who as ‘withheld’.
 
English and Maths
If you are studying towards English and/or Maths GCSE or Functional Skills, you will have no doubt heard that many exams have been cancelled this year. Grades are still likely to be awarded though and so it is going to become even more important that you take part in the work that your English or Maths teachers are going to be giving to you as those grades might be given based on what progress you have made in class (and now at home). Your teachers will explain more.
 
Welfare and Safeguarding
Our Welfare and Safeguarding Staff are still around to support you and so if you have a problem or if you have been talking to one of the team up to now, you will be able to do so, just not in person. They will be available during normal College hours on the numbers below.
 
07815 491988
07966 980534
 
Accessing IT at home
Please contact your lecturer or Primary Tutor if you know that you will not be able to access IT from home.
You’ll get another email today or tomorrow from me with some FAQs and advice on working at home but in the meantime please email closure@bathcollege.ac.uk if you have any specific questions.
 
Apprentices and Employers
Please read our full Q&A here.
 
 

News

A spring forward for vocational training

 

An exciting new event called Spring Forward is taking place later this month, focussing on new skills and opportunities.
 
The event is ideal for anyone interested in finding out more about training opportunities in and around Frome; whether you’re a young person getting ready to enter the workforce for the first time, or someone looking to retrain or return to work. Or maybe you could just be looking to learn some new skills and gain some new experiences.

 

Taking place on Wednesday 25th March at Somerset Skills & Learning in Frome, this new event was borne out of a steering group that Frome Town Council set up last September. The group’s aim was to explore what vocational training opportunities are available in and around Frome. The evening will showcase what is currently available, as well as finding out from residents in Frome what other types of training they would like to see in the future.
 
As a collaborative effort, training providers from Somerset Skills & Learning, Edventure, Frome Community Education, Strode College, Bath College and Wiltshire College will be on hand to give advice about the training opportunities they offer. These include a wide range of courses from subjects such as Agriculture; Arts/ Creative Media; Business Management; Catering & Hospitality; Construction; Digital; Engineering; Health & Safety; Music & Performing Arts; Social Care; through to Sports & Leisure.
 
These courses are offered on a full-time or part-time basis; but there are also other practical ways to train including placements, apprenticeships and traineeships. Jobcentre Plus and Skill Up Somerset will also be at the event to give advice.
 
Cllr Maxine Crawley who is part of the steering group said, “The event offers a great relaxed space to come and find out about what’s on offer to learn and train locally. There will be delicious free food available courtesy of the catering students from Frome College, and we will have DJ workshops and Virtual Reality experiences running throughout the event to keep everyone entertained”.
 
The free event takes place at Somerset Skills and Learning, 15 Palmer Street, Frome and starts at 4pm and goes through to 7pm, and you are welcome to drop in at any time.
 

News

Students prepare for official Bath Half Massage Tent

 

Students from Bath College have been busy learning sports massage techniques ahead of the Bath Half Marathon on 15th March.
 
Spa Therapies, Sport and Beauty Therapy students from the College will be running the official massage tent in the Runners’ Village.
 
They have been practicing a four-minute cool down lactic acid flush sports massage to relieve the painful muscles of the competitors, who will have just completed the 13.1 mile course.
 
Diana Rowe, Spa and Complementary Therapies Lecturer at Bath College, said:
 
“After the success of last year’s massage tent we have had 50 students together in our College Spa practising their techniques.
 
“This is a fantastic opportunity for them to progress their skills and also lots of fun. We can’t wait for race day.”
 
The College students will be offering all runners a cool-down massage for £5, donating 10% of the proceeds to Bloodwise.
 
Students are offering pre-event massages on 12th March in the College Spa for £17 and post-event Thai compress massages on 18th March for £25. To book in, call the Bath College Academy on 01225 328511.
 
 

News

Bath Half Family Fun Run 2020 sponsored by Bath College opens for entries

 

The 2020 Bath Half Family Fun Run is open for entries and with 1250 spaces for runners, it is set to be the biggest fun run the race organisers have held to date. This year’s Fun Run is sponsored by Bath College, who are also providing massages in the Runner’s Village to those who are running the half marathon.

 

The Family Fun run is open to all ages and abilities and takes place immediately after the start of the half marathon, starting and finishing under the main gantry in Great Pulteney Street. The course is ¾ mile long and completely traffic free. Runners use the first section of the half marathon course, running down Pulteney Road to North Parade Road before turning and running back again.

 
Entry to the Family Fun Run costs £6.80 for a child under 16yrs and £10.80 for an adult, and there is a free t-shirt for every entrant and a medal and goody bag for all finishers.

 
Race Director, Andrew Taylor said “We are delighted to welcome Bath College back as a local partner for the Bath Half. As the largest community event in the city, we particularly value the support of the local community”
 

“The Family Fun Run is an ideal way to introduce people to running in a safe race environment and to find out what it is like to run a bit of the main course too. It is great fun and open for people of all ages and abilities to take part. It is hugely popular and every year the fun run sells out very quickly, so if you are keen then my advice is to sign up as soon as you can.
 

“If you have a loved one running the Bath Half you can take part in the fun run and still have plenty time to be finished and support them on the course, it is also a good way to keep the kids entertained while you are waiting to cheer your runner over the finish line.
 

Laurel Penrose, Principal and CEO of Bath College said “We are delighted to be sponsoring the Bath Half Family Fun run again this year. We know what an important event this is to the Bath Community and as a college with our roots in the heart of the city, we feel this is a fantastic partnership”
 

The Bath Half Family Fun Run 2020 takes place on Sunday 15th March. Entries can be completed online at www.bathhalf.co.uk/entries. General entries for the Bath Half are sold out but there are still some charity places available on the website www.bathhalf.co.uk
 

Apprenticeships, News

Bath College Apprenticeships and Jobs Fair returns this March

 
Young people will get the opportunity to meet potential apprenticeship providers and employers at Bath College’s annual Apprenticeships and Jobs Fair.

 

This year’s event, which will be more interactive than previous years, is taking place at the Assembly Rooms on 4th March between 11am and 4pm, giving local businesses the chance to showcase their vacancies to local people.
 
This year’s lead sponsors are B&NES, Curo, EDF Hinkley Point C and Persimmon Homes all whom will be found in the Octagon offering apprenticeship opportunities.
 
The fair will be categorised by the types of careers on offer and will include Agriculture, Environmental and Animal Care, Business and Administration, Care Services, Catering and Hospitality, Construction, Creative and Design, Digital, Education and Childcare, Engineering and Manufacturing, Hair and Beauty, Health and Science, Legal, Finance and Accounting and Sales, Marketing and Procurement.
 
Last year’s event was attended by over 1000 young people, with a number of these going on to secure positions at local companies after attending and making the most of networking opportunities.
 
The Apprenticeships and Jobs Fair is open to people of all ages as opportunities will vary in level. Students from schools and colleges will be in attendance but adults looking for opportunities are encouraged to attend also.
 
Ellie Selway, Electrical ApprenticeEllie Selway is currently doing a Level 3 Electrical Apprenticeship through Bath College.
 
She said: “Personally from my experience this is the best route to go down you get paid whilst you’re learning and get a variety of hands on work and theory, an apprenticeship offers a lot of opportunities for progression and as long as you have the right attitude and make the most of what is being offered it can take you far.”
 
Event organiser John Jefferies said: “The fair is a great opportunity to find out about local apprenticeships at Bath College and beyond ranging from Level 2 right up to degree level.
 
“The fair is growing year on year and we have lots of new employers joining us for what will be a more interactive event than ever before.”
 
The event is taking place on 4th March 11am-4pm at the Assembly Rooms and is free to attend.
 

Limited spaces are available to exhibit, please contact john.jefferies@bathcollege.ac.uk for info.
 
For more details about apprenticeships at Bath College visit www.bathcollege.ac.uk/apprenticeships
 

Sketch view of proposed building - looking east from James Street

Announcement, News

Bath College reveal initial plans for Digital and Creative Innovation Centre

 

Bath College is developing proposals for a new academic building, to be located along the northern boundary of the College with St. James’ Parade.
 
The new building is required to enable the College to better meet the skills need for the digital and creative industries and provide specialist facilities which are not currently available to students, employers and small-to-medium enterprises in the locality. It is envisaged that the new building will comprise of innovation learning spaces, public spaces and pre-incubation spaces.
 
Whilst the design of the new building is in the early stages of development, it is expected that it will comprise an additional 1,300m² of internal floor space for the College and be designed with due regard to the character of the historic buildings in the immediate context of the campus.
 

This new building will replace an existing area of car parking and a plant room, roughly on a footprint matching the extent of the adjacent parade, which formerly continued further to the west. Given that the proposed development is contained within the existing campus, it is not considered that the development will cause any detrimental impacts to existing residents or businesses.
 
The College’s consultant team has commenced pre-application discussions with BANES Council and is in the process of notifying other identified key stakeholders. A public consultation is also planned for early 2020, in advance of a planning application due to be submitted in March 2020.
 

Carole Stott, Chair of Governors, cutting the ribbon

News

Bath College launches new state-of-the-art SEND Centre

 

Bath College has opened a new Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Centre, Wellow House, which houses a whole range of state-of-the-art facilities which include a sensory room, a de-escalation calming room, an accessible kitchen and a fully operational one-bedroomed flat.
 

Wellow house is at Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus in Radstock and has had a £300,000 investment from B&NES Council.
 

The new facility has allowed the College to welcome a cohort of pre-entry level learners with profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD). These learners follow a curriculum designed around Pathways for Adulthood and making good choices for their lives. This new programme is an addition to the College’s successful Life and Independent Living Skills (LILS) programme, designed for 16-25-year-old learners with SEND.
 

LILS students with Inclusion Staff and Glastonbury Festival StewardsWellow House has attracted attention in Somerset, with the Glastonbury Festival stewards raising £740, which was used to purchase items for the sensory room such as bean bags and weighted blankets.
 

There are exciting plans for the future of the centre, which include a café, market garden and on-site residence.
 

The launch was also the LILS and Pre-entry students’ annual Christmas fair, for which they prepared hampers, cakes and soup, a raffle, homemade chutneys, gifts and games for the visitors of the facility to purchase. The learners will spend the proceeds on a small reward for themselves for their hard work, donating the rest to CLIC Sargent, a charity that has helped many of them through cancer diagnosis and treatment.
 

Students Singing and Signing
 

Carole Stott, Chair of Governors at Bath College, officially opened the SEND Centre with a ceremonial ribbon after the students welcomed guests by signing and singing Christmas songs. She said: “We are delighted to launch Wellow House.
 

Students manning hamper stall“This initiative is part of the ‘Local First’ policy, where young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities are educated in their local community rather than being sent ‘out of county’.”
 

Chris Wilford, Head of Education Inclusion Service at B&NES Council added: “It’s been an absolute pleasure for us at the local authority to work in partnership with Bath College to bring a much-needed facility to young people in B&NES and the surrounding area.”
 

For more information about Bath College’s SEND provision, click here.
 

News

Bath College ranked 6th in the country in annual league table

 

This year’s NICDEX rated 172 FE colleges across England in four categories: employer satisfaction, learner satisfaction, 16 to 18 positive progression and adult progression into work.
 
The criteria is based on performance measures published by the Department for Education.
 
Bath College is ranked 6th in the country overall, beating the two previous years’ rankings of 17th and 16th.
 
52% of Bath College’s Adult learners on benefits progressed into work, while 80% of 16-18-year-old learners went onto positive progression, whether this be employment or Higher Education.
 
Employer satisfaction with the College is at 86.6% while Learner satisfaction is at 82.7%.
 
The annual college league table, now in its fourth year, was created by FE Week editor Nick Linford.
 
“The NICDEX was an enjoyable intellectual challenge to create an annual performance table with an overall score, from a mix of key measures,” said Linford.
 
“Most importantly, NICDEX is transparent. The four measures that make up the NICDEX are published by the DfE.”
 
Laurel Penrose, Principal and CEO of Bath College is delighted with the ranking: “We’re really proud to be listed as sixth in the country. This is a brilliant reflection of the passion, commitment and hard work of Bath College staff.
 
“It is great to see that our learners have a positive experience with us and that we aid them to reach their full potential after they leave College.”
 
Read the full report here.
 

News

New Project SEARCH Interns Experience World of Work

 

Ten young people with learning disabilities have started a year-long internship with Bath & North East Somerset Council.
 

It’s the 11th year the council has welcomed interns from Project SEARCH – an initiative led by the council in partnership with Bath College and Virgin Care. The aim of the scheme is to support young adults with learning disabilities into work.
 

Over the next twelve months the interns will work in three placements across the council. The aim is enable the interns to develop skills, gain experience and grow in confidence and independence.
 

Councillor Richard Samuel, cabinet member for Resources, said: “The average employment rate for people with a learning disability in the UK has dropped to just six per cent. We need to address that and increase the opportunities available to young people with learning disabilities. Project SEARCH enables the interns to develop the skills they need to find sustainable employment. Over the years we’ve had huge success with our graduates finding employment through the programme. I’m sure this year’s cohort will benefit enormously from their time with us.”
 

During their time at the council the interns receive on-site tutoring from Bath College and Job Coach support from Virgin Care. The partners also work with local organisations to help interns find vacancies and apply for jobs.
 

Following the successful completion of their internships next June all graduates will be presented with certificates at a special ceremony at the Guildhall.
 

For more information about Project SEARCH click here.
 

News

Bath College to host Preparing for Adulthood Fair

 
On Thursday 14th November from 4-8pm Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus will be hosting the event supporting teenagers with special needs to prepare for adulthood.

 

A collaboration of Bath and NE Somerset’s special schools, Fosse Way, Three Ways and Bath College will allow parents, carers and young people to explore services in the local area. This brings together employment, healthcare, community and independent living options which have previously been exhibited separately.
 
The fair will give the opportunity for young people and their carers to chat to providers about what is best for each individual and how to access the services. Stand holders include Curo Independent Living Service, Dimensions HealthCare, The Life Project and Mencap Supported Employment Team.
 
Jo Stoaling, Head teacher at Three Ways School comments that “Knowing what your choices are and who is able to support you through a time of transition is vital. At Three Ways, we aim to support the young people and their carers through transitions and give as many relevant options as possible.
 
“The fair showcases some of the options local to our families and gives a chance to start thinking about ideas.”
 
Julie Knight from the Bath & NE Somerset Inclusion Team says “We want to start as early as possible to explore independent living options and pathways to employment, as well as the support and healthcare the young people will have available as they move into adulthood.”
 
Sally Eaton, Head of Inclusion at Bath College says “We are delighted to invite so many different providers to Wellow House, the new SEND Centre at our Somer Valley Campus at Bath College. It will be a great opportunity for young people with SEND and their families in B&NES to see what is on offer so they can start to make plans for their future.”
 
The event is free and fully accessible with plenty of parking and refreshments on offer and open to the public from 4-8pm.
 

News, Student Spotlight

Case Study: Emily Bryan, Sport and Exercise Science Student

 

We spoke to Emily Bryan, a passionate Irish dancer who is currently studying Bath College’s new Level 3 Sport and Exercise Science course.
 
 

How did you get into Dancing?
When I was in year 1 (5 years old) there was an after school club for Irish dancing and I really liked the sound of it so I went to it and haven’t stopped since.
 
What is your favourite aspect of competing?
My favourite aspect of competing is performing in front of the judges and showing them how much I love to dance. I also love travelling and meeting lots of people. Its also an amazing feeling when I do well at competitions as it tells me that all the hard work I put into dance is worth it.
 
What is the highest level you have competed at?
International. I qualified for the world championships in November 2018 and attended the worlds this April in North Carolina.
 
What attracted you to the Sport and Exercise course at Bath College?
P.E. was always my favorite subject for GCSE as I found it very interesting so when I saw what the sport and exercise science course consisted of I knew that’s what I wanted to do as I knew I was going to enjoy it and find it interesting.
 
How do you balance college/training?
I can find this difficult sometimes, especially leading up to bigger competitions. But whenever I’m not dancing I just do any college work I have and make sure I still have time to do it even when I have dance a lot of the time. When I do not have training I usually do any college work I have then practise dance at home after.
 
How do you feel your course at the College has helped you?
In the future, I know that doing this course will benefit me a lot and give me an option of pathways that interest me.
 
What are your aspirations after finishing College?
My biggest aspiration when I leave college is to travel the world in a dance show. However I also love the idea of being a physio or something along those lines. I would also love to become a qualified dance teacher one day as I like teaching others how to dance.
 
 
For more information about the Sport & Exercise Science courses, click here.
 

Molly Cook SU Equality & Diversity Officer

News, Students Union

Meet our SU Equality & Diversity Officer, Molly Cook

 

We spoke to our Equality & Diversity Officer, Molly, who got elected onto the Students’ Union after running a successful campaign at the end of last academic year.

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Molly Cook and I have autism. I love to socialise with different people. I like to make new friends and get to know people. I love music and I like to chat to people about things. I love to be out and about with people and on my own. I go to clubs outside of college. I am a lovely person. I just love chatting to people to get to know them.
 
What course are you doing at Bath College?
I am doing the LILS (Life and Independent Living Skills) course at Bath College at Somer Valley Campus.
 
Why did you apply to be Equality & Diversity Officer?
I applied to be Equality and Diversity Officer because I want to make a difference around the college and make college a better place. And I want to share my personal experience of autism and raise awareness of other disabilities and make college a more equal place.
 
What would you like to achieve during your time on the Students’ Union?
To make college a better place and to make people aware that I am the same as everybody else in college including all of my college friends. And I want to plan some events about different things. I’m looking forward to starting my campaigns.
 
Where can you be found on campus?
I can be found in the Wellow Building at Somer Valley Campus.
 

Group Photo - Agricultural Mechanics Alumni

News

Agricultural Mechanics students return to College after 50 years

 

Nine ex-students of Norton Radstock College returned to what is now the Somer Valley Campus of Bath College to have a 50-year reunion.

 

They studied Agricultural Mechanics from 1967-69 and decided to meet up to catch up with each other, share memories and see if the course itself led to the paths they took with their careers.
 

The alumni had a tour of Somer Valley Campus in Radstock, where they spoke to lecturers from a range of disciplines including carpentry & joinery, bricklaying, refrigeration, electrical, plumbing, animal care, stonemasonry, engineering and motor vehicle.
 

Stuart King, Head of English & Maths at Bath College, led the tour and gave the group a brief overview of how College has changed since they left. He said: “it’s been fantastic having the alumni with us. Hearing their stories of 50 years ago and how successful they have gone on to be is really heart-warming.”
 

The ex-students very much enjoyed their tour of the College before heading off to a reunion lunch at a local pub.
 

Steve Crowe said: “Years ago when we studied here it was far more based on mechanical and hand-skills. Now I get the impression it’s much more diverse focusing on many different skills. I’ve been so impressed, especially with the stonemasonry workshop which is a real unique selling point.”
 

Mike Church said: “Coming back to the College has shown an incredible change. Like everything, including all the people here today, everything has moved on. I have been very impressed seeing the broad curriculum that is taught here, it has really opened my eyes.”
 

Nick Dee Shapland, who organised the reunion added: “We couldn’t have asked for more this morning, what an enterprising college! Each lecturer has really given us an insight.”
 

Football Academy, News

Bath College secures funding for women’s futsal team

 

Bath College is delighted to have been selected as one of thirty colleges to receive English Colleges FA Growth Funding to support the formation of a new women’s futsal team.
 

The college was chosen out of 100 applicants to receive the funding which will help establish a sustainable futsal team over the next 3 years, allowing new and existing students to participate and therefore creating a more inclusive extra-curricular offer.
 

The money will help provide qualified and licensed coaches, referees and kit to help the futsal team improve their skills and abilities, and give them a positive and enjoyable experience of futsal whilst studying at college.
 

Bath College is extremely passionate about ensuring their students are able to join a sporting community to keep them physically active and positively impact their mental wellbeing.
 

Shaun Mullen, who will be head of futsal provision, is a UEFA B licence futsal coach and FA Tutor.
 

Shaun reflected on how the funding would help the college by saying that this would: “Increase the participation rates among not just sports students but also the wider student community of the college. This will give students an opportunity in potentially a new sport to learn core values and skills and create a new social group within a team environment.”
 

Callum Cocks unveiling the stone seat for Ralph Allen Mine Project

News

Historic stone wall restored and made into bench in Combe Down

 
A Bath College Stonemasonry student has been restoring part of a historic wall as part of the Ralph Allen stone mine project by the Museum of Bath Stone, B&NES Council and the UNESCO World Heritage Enhancement Fund.

 

The shaft wall, where Combe Down freestone used to be hauled out, has been turned into a seat, which has been supported by many locals who have crowd-funded the project and came out to see the finished result.
 
Callum working on the stoneCallum Cocks, Stonemasonry student at Bath College, said: “I’ve been working on the lettering on the coping stone that sits on top of the remaining wall.
 
“The things I most enjoyed about this project were working the stone and seeing the remarkable result of how it looked when it was finished.”
 
The stone reads: “Rebuilt in 2018 site of access shaft to Ralph Allen stone minesthe stone that built Bath”.
 
Callum’s tutor, Joe Leber, Stonemasonry lecturer at Bath College said: “Callum came to the college in 2017 age 16, he has been a pleasure to teach, improving his skills year on year.
 
“Last academic year he achieved his level 2 diploma and his NVQ ahead of time and got involved in designing and building a garden for the special educational needs centre.
 
“He also set out and produced the lettering for the Ralph Allen stone mine project with some help from Stephen Shute our technician. He is now working towards his level 3 Stonemasonry diploma and his NVQ level 3 here at Bath College.
 
“We are all very proud of Calum and are expecting him to achieve more stretch and challenge tasks at the college after completing his diploma with us.”
 
For more details about stonemasonry at Bath College, click here.
 

News

Bath College and Bath & North East Somerset Council are hosting “Have a Go” as part of the nationwide Festival of Learning

 

• Bath College offers local communities the chance to try and learn a new skill
• 30th September 2019 10am till 12pm at the Roman Baths
 
As part of the 2019 Festival of Learning, Bath College and B&NES Council are inviting local residents to small taster sessions i.e. try their hand at a range of new skills or take part in a taster session.
 
Festival of Learning, led by Learning and Work Institute, invites organisations and communities to take part in adult learning activities to showcase the wide range of opportunities and resources available to adults hoping to continue or resume their education. The Festival recognises the inspiring achievements of adult learners nationwide.
 
**At the “Have a Go” visitors will have the opportunity to try and experience an Art Class, Mindfulness, Health and Wellbeing **
 
Stephen Evans, CEO of Learning and Work Institute, commented: “The Festival of Learning helps people to learn and to discover the wide range of opportunities there are to gain new skills, expand their abilities and transform their lives.
 
“I hope that people take advantage of this exciting event at the Roman Baths and recognise that you’re never too old to learn.”
 
For more information about the event click here.
 

Apprenticeships, News

Meet the new Head of Apprenticeships, Business & Community at Bath College

 

Bath College has appointed a new Head of Apprenticeships, Business & Community.

 

Paul Gilmore has worked at Bath College for 16 years, starting as a lecturer in joinery before progressing to Head of Technology in 2018 and into his new role this Spring.

 

His new remit is to oversee the development of Apprenticeships, Love2Learn leisure courses, free courses and Adult Community Learning.

 
Bath College is the largest provider of apprenticeships in B&NES, so Paul’s first objective is to work with local businesses to develop the apprenticeship provision to suit local demands.
 


How do you plan to improve quality of delivery of apprenticeships?

By ensuring the apprenticeship is tailored accordingly to suit the needs of the employers and the individual, the apprenticeship will be planned in a partnership with the employer to make sure that a high level of training take place at college and whilst the apprentice is in the workplace. The progress of the apprentice will be closely tracked and monitored by the assessment team to ensure the development and skills of the apprentices meet employer’s needs and the training needs of the apprentice. The college is also committed to providing high quality facilities for all college based training which is complimented by highly qualified staff who undertake regular continuous professional updating.
 

How do you plan to improve communication with employers?

We aim to provide an effective and timely recruitment service to our employers to meet their requirements and organisational needs, communication with the employer will take place frequently as part of the apprentice’s progress reviews meetings. We value input from our employers as this helps shape and develop our apprenticeship offer.
 

How is Bath College meeting employers’ needs?

The college will continue to review its apprenticeship offer in collaboration with our employer network to ensure it is fit for purpose and meets our local, regional and national economic needs and skills shortages. As a college we are aware the changing landscape in the workforce and we remain committed to training and upskilling employees and apprentices that benefits our employers and the relevant sectors.
 


What benefits do apprentices get from their Bath College apprenticeships?

Any Bath College apprentice will be fully supported and guided through their apprenticeship programme which will encourage the individual to take ownership over their own development and career progression. The additional advantages of being an apprentice ranges from earning whilst being trained and receiving a national recognised qualification at the end of apprenticeship programme.
 
To find out more about apprenticeships at Bath College, click here.
 

Project SEARCH interns in the Guildhall

News

New Project SEARCH interns start the year with afternoon tea

 

Last week the new Project SEARCH interns gathered in the Guildhall to meet their coursemates for the first time over a cup of tea.
 
Project SEARCH is an employability programme in partnership with Bath and North East Somerset Council and Virgin Care, which helps young adults with learning disabilities gain the skills they need to become employed.
 
The students have a mix of classroom based learning and workplace experience within one of the B&NES departments, with placements varying from working in a kitchen to working in a museum.
 
Laurel Penrose and Alice Honey
Alice Honey (right), who has been through the project SEARCH programme, came to chat to the new interns about what a positive impact the programme can have.
 
She said: “I found Project SEARCH really encouraging. It was good because I learnt the skills to get a job and now I am working 16 hours at Action on Hearing Loss which is great because I live so close. I really enjoy my job, it’s pretty good.”
 
Laurel Penrose (left), Principal CEO gave an informal welcome to the new group: “Project SEARCH is very close to our hearts. It’s amazing to see how much students change and grow in confidence from the beginning to the end.
 
“Sometimes the course will be hard, so please talk to us, everybody needs some help sometimes. It’s a lovely course, you’ll get some really good employment opportunities and experience.”
 
For more information or to apply for Project SEARCH, click here.
 

Bath Rugby Foundation Bath College Advantage students

Adult Community Learning, News

Bath College and Bath Rugby Foundation work with young people to boost confidence and employability skills

 

Bath College and Bath Rugby Foundation have been running a Summer course working with unemployed young people to improve their job prospects.
 
The Advantage course is in partnership with the Department of Work & Pensions and Bath Rugby’s charity and is for 18 to 24 year olds who are, or in danger of becoming, NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training).
 
Working with Bath Job Centre, the course was created to not only encourage young people to enrol on college courses or gain the confidence to find job roles, but also to create a peer support group within them in which they could encourage and support each other on their journey.
 
The learners started the course finding it difficult to engage and ended with enthusiasm and a new-found confidence.
 
The opportunities the Advantage students have gained access to have been very broad, with one offered a place on a performing arts course at college; one enrolled on a sports coaching course; one has moved into supported housing after being homeless and sofa surfing; one has created a CV and is volunteering in order to gain experience in a retail environment; one is starting volunteering in a youth drug and alcohol support group with a view to becoming a youth support worker or counsellor, drawing on his own experiences.
 
Leah being filmed at the RecLeah (left), who has just completed the Advantage course said: “I have enrolled on a college course as I have enjoyed this course so much that I want to continue. It has made me feel safe and confident and I have had fun too.”
 
Luke found his confidence while completing the course: “This course has given me something that school and college didn’t manage to. I now know what I want to do and this makes me get up in the morning. I now have self-belief that I can make something of myself and this motivates me to get up.”
 
Joe Aygul, Employability Officer at Bath Rugby Foundation said: “Working in partnership with Bath College this summer has been incredible, we have been able to create a unique and bespoke training course that has without doubt positively impacted the lives of young people in our community.
 
Advantage students on interview day“Watching our students grow in confidence over the past five weeks has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my professional career. The journey these young people have been on in this short time has been remarkable, from starting as un-engaged ‘NEETs’ at the beginning of the course to now leaving us with aspirations and opportunities for further education, employment and training.
 
“The future looks bright for these guys and the team at Bath Rugby Foundation look forward to collaborating with Bath College again in the future.”
 
Anna Wheeler, Community Engagement Manager at Bath College said: “The Advantage programme has been so much more than a collaboration between Bath College and Bath Rugby Foundation to upskill a group of young people. It has been innovative and dynamic with input from a huge range of local partner organisations and experiences both challenging and exciting.
 
“The group’s confidence has grown alongside new skills and experiences and every member of staff involved has been inspired by the enthusiasm, talent and positivity they have shown”.
 
For more details about the ‘Advantage’ course, visit: www.bathrugbyfoundation.com/advantage
 

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