Football Academy, News

Sports student James Ollis signs for Bath City FC’s first team


Sports student James Ollis has taken the next step in his career and has signed for Bath City FC’s first team.

James, a second year student at Bath College, joined the college as part of the Bath City Football Academy – set up for young players interested in developing a professional sports career.
He has been working hard to impress and make the most of opportunities to play for Bath City FC.

Bath City Football Academy students

The 17-year-old shone during a cup game against Cheddar FC, and as a result, was asked to be on the bench for the league game against Dartford.

He said: It’s amazing really because I’ve been working for something like this pretty much my whole life.

“Over the last two years especially, it’s been the goal I’ve been trying to achieve. Hopefully I can push on for years to come with Bath City.”

James, from Bristol, will be training regularly with Bath City FC’s first team, and will continue to train with the Bath City Football Academy.

Students at the football academy complete a national diploma in sport at Bath College and play at least one match every week.
The two-year programme prepares students for higher education or for employment in the sport and fitness industry. Last year, Bath College footballer Saikou Janneh was offered a three-month trial with Bristol City.

James, who has been playing football since the age of four, said: “Since I’ve come to Bath College I’ve progressed a lot.

“I’ve been playing in the positions I want to play in, and having team mates believe in you gives you the confidence to start believing in yourself.

“We’re training every day. At the start it can be quite a lot of work, but then your body gets used to it and that’s when you start to improve.

“I’m looking forward to continuing to train with Bath City FC and getting more opportunities to play. The more you play, the more you’re able to manage your nerves and perform under pressure.”


Former Bristol Rovers player Billy Clark is head coach at the Bath City Football Academy, and has been impressed with James’ progress.

He said: “To sign to play for Bath City FC, you need to be a player with outstanding ability because you’re going into a tough league where you’re playing against semi-professional players.

“James has an outstanding attitude. He has worked hard and I’ve seen him improve, in terms of his character and his playing over the last year.
“It’s a long process and it’s just a question of staying with the academy programme, listening and learning, and applying yourself in the right way.”


Stonemasonry students carve commemorative stones to honour World War I heroes


Stonemasonry students from Bath College have volunteered their time for a project honouring local men who served in World War I.
The Level 3 students have carved commemorative paving stones for Mulberry Park, a new development being built by housing association Curo.
Local group Combe Down Heritage Society suggested that the streets should be named after men from the community who fought in the war.

Each street will be marked with a commemorative paving stone, with the first of these unveiled at a ceremony on Monday November 6.
Students Joshua Underwood, Jonny Stoker, Morwenna Harrington and Jack Green volunteered their time for the project.
They have made stones to honour Henry John ‘Harry’ Patch, William George Chivers and Herbert Charles Windell, who all grew up together in Combe Down village.
Harry Patch, “the last fighting Tommy”, was the last surviving combat soldier of World War I in any country. The paving stones were kindly donated by Forest of Dean Stone Firms.

Jonny said: “It’s my way of paying respect to those who fought in World War I, especially coming up to Armistice Day.
“I’m looking forward to visit the site and seeing all the stones laid together in situ. I think that will give me a massive sense of achievement.
“Volunteering for projects like this gives me the chance to test what I’ve learnt at college. I’ve enjoyed the chance to do some lettering work and practice another valuable skill.”

Relatives of William George Chivers attended the ceremony at Mulberry Park to lay the stone honouring him.
Jonathan Cope, who grew up in Combe Down, said: “We’re really touched that our relative is being honoured in this way.
“Our family has a strong connection with Combe Down – my mother even working on the former MoD Foxhill site. It is really important that future generations remember the sacrifices of those who fought in the world wars.”
Liz Potter, Chair of housing association and house builder Curo, said: “It’s a real privilege to work with the local community to honour these men.
“As Mulberry Park develops, we will continue to celebrate the history of the local area while looking forward to an exciting future for new and existing residents.”
The ceremony to unveil the first paving stones was attended by college students, representatives of Combe Down Heritage Society, the Royal British Legion, Bath and North East Somerset Council and MP Wera Hobhouse.


Training to become a pentathlete: Student Sarah Wilson to master five different sports


First-year sports student Sarah Wilson is working hard to realise her dream of becoming an Olympic athlete.

Sarah, who is studying sport and exercise science Level 3, started her sporting career as a runner and is training to become a pentathlete, which means mastering five different sports.

As well as her studies at the college, she is part of Team Bath, based at the University of Bath, the Bath Pentathlon Club and Bradford on Avon Swimming Club.

The 16-year-old recently competed in the European Championships in Portugal, winning the triathle and in her age group and coming third in the biathle (a sub-sport of the modern pentathlon).


She said: “Sport is mostly my life. If I didn’t do sport, I don’t know what I would do with my evenings because I train every day.

“I like studying sport at Bath College because it’s what I enjoy and it allows me to combine my education with my training schedule.

“I was home-schooled before, so moving into college was a big step, but I really like the people and the lecturers who have been very supportive.”

Sarah is training to become a modern pentathlete, which is a combination of fencing, swimming, equestrian show jumping and the laser run.

For the laser run, athletes alternate between shooting and running, testing their ability to shoot accurately after an 800 metre dash.


Next year, Sarah will trial for the Youth Olympic Games and aim for times to compete in the World Championships and European Championships.

She is looking for sponsorship to help her travel to compete in events, after qualifying for an event in Africa which she was unable to attend.

Sarah, from Trowbridge, said: “I would really love to go to the Olympics as an athlete, that’s a dream of mine. I like the atmosphere before a race, the adrenaline rush at the start and the feeling you get from competing.

“Putting in the time to train for the different events is hard work. I’ve always been a runner but I wanted to try something different. Training as a pentathlete is definitely different and I’ve got more confident competing.

“When I started shooting, I was so nervous I missed most of the shots but I’ve got more relaxed. I love the idea of being able to do whatever you want, I like being able to choose from a different range of sporting events.”


West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles, visits to launch new report into the construction sector


West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles, visited our Somer Valley Campus to launch a report into the construction sector. He was given a tour of the new Somer Construction Centre and spoke to students and apprentices studying construction trades. Read more about his visit here. 
The West of England Combined Authority will work with colleges, councils and businesses to help the construction industry fill the estimated 82,500 jobs that will be created by 2036.
West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles, launched a new report into the construction sector on a visit to Bath College’s new Somer Construction Centre in Radstock.

Staff outside the Somer Construction Centre
He said: “We are the first region to commission an in-depth look at skills needs of this sector and it shows that construction is a vital contributor to our economy. With 668 projects in the pipeline, valued in excess of £12.6bn, it’s clear that there are huge opportunities here.
“We will use the evidence this new report gives us to inform joint working with local colleges, councils and businesses to ensure that as a region we continue to provide the right skills to sustain the industry.
“This new Somer Construction Centre, funded through the West of England Joint Committee, is a great example how we are addressing the challenge. It will focus on full time courses and prepare young people, apprentices and higher education students for the construction sector from traditional trades to building services and electrical engineering.”
The purpose-built facility at Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus was built with £2.73 million funding from the West of England Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership and opened in September. New workshops are being used by 500 students and apprentices studying bricklaying, construction, carpentry and stonemasonry, as well as plumbing, electrical installation and refrigeration.

Bath College Principal Laurel Penrose said: “We’re proud of this new building, which is a fantastic facility and will allow students to get the very best out of their time studying with us.
“Students with construction skills are in high demand, and we work closely with local employers to help them find their future workforce. We offer expert training for many of the key trades mentioned in this report, as well as specialist trades like stonemasonry and refrigeration and air conditioning, courses which are unique to Bath College in this region.
“I’m pleased to see this new report recognising the valuable contribution further education colleges make to economic development and employment.”
The main findings from the Construction Skills Gap Analysis report, which covers the local authority areas of Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, are:
• In 2017 alone, forecasts suggest over 33,000 people are employed on construction projects valued at £1.14bn in the West of England region, dominated by new housing (33%), commercial developments (30%) and infrastructure (27%) spend.
• The greatest demand for workers is likely to be among wood trades, electrical, plumbers and bricklayers, with more immediate needs for floorers and logistics staff.
The research was put together by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) which is developing a strategy and action plan to help take advantage of the opportunities in the industry.
Click here to see the full report.


Restaurant event: Sample four-course menu created by award-winning chef


Bath College is partnering with Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa for an evening of foodie delights, offering diners a unique chance to sample dishes created by award-winning chef Hywel Jones.

Hywel, Executive Chef at the five-star country house hotel near Bath, is stepping out of his Michelin-starred kitchen to work with hospitality and catering students at Bath College on Thursday November 16.

Under his guidance, students will prepare a delicious four-course menu. The evening will be supported by Chris Kidd, Restaurant Manager at Lucknam Park, who will keep a close eye on front of house.

In the kitchens at Bath College, photo by Philip Edwards

Bath college is excited to be working with Lucknam Park as part of the Bath Hotel and Restaurant School, set up to link students at the college with leaders in the South West hospitality and catering industry.

A number of students have progressed to work at the hotel and spa after finishing their course, including Bath College alumni Stephen Cunningham, Natalie Knight, Leon Parsons and Connor Gale.

Chris, who also supports students with work experience, said: “I see the students at Bath College as possible future employees and we need to make sure they are inspired to work for Lucknam Park when they graduate.

Chris Kidd with Bath College students Connor Gale and Lucy Fry

“It’s important for me to put back into the industry. I always hear how there is a skills shortage in hospitality, and I believe we’re partly responsible for improving this and developing young people.”

Ryan Hanson, Deputy Head for Hospitality and Catering at Bath College, said: “Working with Hywel and Chris is always a thrill for the students.

“It’s a great opportunity to be involved at the sharp end with top professionals and feel the pressure that comes with carrying a Michelin star.

“It will be a chance for them to be inspired, to demonstrate their mettle, skills and abilities. Who knows, they may end up working at Lucknam Park like some of our alumni.”

The meal is taking place at Bath College’s Shrubbery Restaurant in the centre of Bath on Avon Street. Tickets are on sale and cost £50 per head.

Please arrive between 6.30pm and 6.45pm. To book call (01225) 328502 or e-mail shrubberyrestaurant@bathcollege.ac.uk


Project SEARCH interns prepare for employment by starting work placements


A group of ten interns have started work placements with Bath and North East Somerset Council as part of this year’s Project SEARCH programme.
Project SEARCH, run in partnership with Bath College, Bath and North East Somerset Council and Virgin Care, helps young people with learning difficulties and disabilities get ready for employment.
Last year, five interns graduated from Project SEARCH, and this year ten young people aged 18 to 24-years-old are following in their footsteps.

Popular placements include working with the housekeeping team at the Assembly Rooms, at Odd Down Sports Ground and the Bath Recycling Centre.
Chelsea Taylor is looking forward to a year with Project SEARCH after completing Bath College’s Life and Independent Living Skills (LILS) course.
The 18-year-old, from Keynsham, is starting her first placement at The Pump Room, working in the restaurant as a waiter.
She said: “I’m looking forward to being treated as an adult in the workplace, and being able to work independently. I haven’t got any nerves, I know I’ll enjoy it and it’ll make a nice change to be out and about.”
When they’re not on work placements, Project SEARCH interns learn about appropriate behaviour in the workplace, health and safety, equality and diversity, customer service and budgeting.
They are visited during their placements by job coaches from Virgin Care who make sure they understand their duties and employer policies, as well as checking they are happy and confident in their role.

Project SEARCH intern Nick Baxter will be working in the kitchens at The Pump Room, and before this he also spent two years as a LILS student at Bath College.
He said: “I’m enjoying the chance to go out as a class. We’ve been visiting the Roman Baths, the Assembly Rooms and the parks department – all the different places we might go for our work placements.
“It’s important to have a job which gives you something to do each day and I like cooking. I’m looking forward to preparing food in a busy kitchen.”
Catherine Stargatt, lecturer in foundation learning at Bath College, said: “What a fantastic start to the new academic year at Project SEARCH.
“We have ten interns who are enthusiastic and dedicated to the course. If they continue with their positive outlook and professional behaviour, they will be well prepared to apply for jobs next year.”
There are a limited number of spaces on the Project SEARCH programme. To apply for next year e-mail Catherine.Stargatt@bathcollege.ac.uk


International business students sign up to support Dorothy House’s Santa & Elf Run


Bath College is partnering with Dorothy House Hospice Care on an employability project as part of the college’s Academy of Business.

Level 3 students from the international business studies BTEC course will be supporting the hospice with event management activities for their 7th Santa & Elf Run in Winsley on Sunday December 3rd.

The Academy of Business was set up to prepare students for working life by giving them access to industry roles and experts.


A number of local organisations have signed up to offer work placements, company visits, student mentoring and business talks, including Dorothy House.

The hospice has worked with Bath College before, when they hosted a ‘Before I Die…’ Wall for the hospice during Dying Matters Week in May 2017.

Entries are now open for the Santa & Elf Run, starting and finishing in the hospice grounds in Winsley, near Bradford on Avon.

Runners of all ages can choose from a 2.5k or 5k fun run. They will be raising valuable funds to support the work of the hospice, which provides specialist palliative and end of life care for people living with a life-limiting illness.

Lucy Beattie, Employability Advisor at Bath College, said: “It’s an amazing opportunity for our students to get involved with a top local charity and help organise an event for a great cause while gaining real life experience in event management.

“The college aims to give students as much exposure to local employers as possible and give them experience to put their learning into practice.”

Emily Knight, Event Fundraiser at Dorothy House Hospice Care, said: “We’re delighted to partner with Bath College’s Academy of Business and to have the support of their business studies students in organising the Santa & Elf Run this year.

“We’ll be passing on our years of experience in event management during the project and we can’t wait to see all the Santa’s and elves taking to the lanes of Winsley to raise money for the hospice. Why not sign up the whole family!”

This year the race will take place on a new, flatter course. Dogs are welcome if on a short lead, and there will be exciting snow stations to run through in the scenic grounds of the hospice.

Spectators are welcome and mulled wine, hot food and other refreshments will be available to buy, so there is something for everyone to enjoy.

The fun run starts at 11am on December 3rd with registration from 10am and a warm up session at 10.50am. Entry costs £15 for 12+ years and £7.50 for 5-11 year olds.

All 12 + year old participants will receive a Santa suit at registration and 5-11 year olds will receive elf accessories included in their entry fee, plus free refreshments after the run.

All runners aged 16 years and under must be accompanied by an adult. Entries will close at 5pm on Thursday 30th November. Adult entrants are encouraged to raise £40 in sponsorship or make a donation of £40 in lieu of sponsorship to help support Dorothy House Hospice Care.

To sign up visit www.santaandelfrun.org.uk.


Celebrating Success Awards Ceremony recognises outstanding students’ achievements


Outstanding students at Bath College had their achievements recognised at a special ceremony, where they collected awards in front of tutors, family and friends.
Over 30 students were nominated by their tutors and invited to the annual Celebrating Success Awards Ceremony at the Guildhall.
The ceremony included students from departments across the college, studying subjects from graphic design, hairdressing and performing arts to computing, construction and sport.

Arboriculture Student of the Year,  Kristian Hallett
Jade Carr-Daly was one of the first students to collect her award as Photography Student of the Year. The 18-year-old, who is now studying photography at degree level, was praised by exam moderators who said her final major project was “detailed, informative and creatively powerful”.
She said: “I was quite shocked to get the invitation in the post, but I was really happy that my hard work had paid off and I was able to get an award.
“It was a surprise to get the grades I did at college, I achieved more than I thought I could. I would like to say a big thank you to my tutor Ozzie, who was there any time I needed support.
“If I hadn’t gone to college, I probably wouldn’t have learned film photography and that’s one of my favourite styles. My dream is to go into the music industry documenting and working with black and white film.”

Tutor Adrian Drake with Carpentry Student of the Year Daniel Stiff
The college’s floristry, catering and hospitality and music departments helped make the evening special by decorating the Guildhall, as well as providing food and entertainment.
As well as course awards, the ceremony included a number of special awards, recognising outstanding students across the college.
Tutors chose Ryan Dunford for the Sarah Woodhouse Achievement Award, Rachelle Wabissa for the Mayor’s Award for Outstanding Achievement and Freya Game for the Young Person’s Service in the Community Award, sponsored by the Rotary Club.

Freya Game with her award
Freya, who is a 2nd year health and social care student, gives up her time to care for young people via a number of different organisations.
She said: “I just like helping people, it’s really enjoyable. You’re doing something for them, to help improve their lives, but it also makes you feel good to be doing something at the same time.”
Hayley Hayward-Boyle, Student Participation Officer at Bath College, said: “Freya volunteers for social services providing respite care for a nine-year-old boy with severe autism on a weekly basis.
“In addition, she volunteers as a befriender for Time to Share, befriending a five-year-old boy with ADHD and foetal alcohol syndrome, taking him out to different places.
“Freya also volunteers every Saturday for Keynsham Mencap Group, providing fun activities and trips for children aged five to 18 with learning disabilities.
“She gives opportunities to many young people in a selfless and caring manner, and is a great example of students volunteering to help within the local community.”

Health and Social Care Student of the Year, Paige Cottle
Bath College Principal Laurel Penrose told students at the ceremony: “As a college we want to ensure that each and every one of you achieves well and is highly employable. Our aim is to develop your individual talents and equip you to stand out from the crowd.
“Qualifications are important, but our tutors go beyond this, encouraging resilience and determination. Behind each award is a person determined to make their way in the world, determined to do their friends and family proud, and to play their part in their local community.
“I’d like to offer my sincere congratulations to each and every one of you, knowing that that without your individual perseverance, grit and tenacity, we wouldn’t be here tonight.”


Teaming up with Menu Gordon Jones: Ceramics students plate up their own meal


Ceramics students at Bath College teamed up to work with Michelin-trained chef Gordon Jones and create plates for his award-winning restaurant.

Gordon, of Menu Gordon Jones, was keen to find replacements for his quirky restaurant plates, which were made in Thailand. A chance comment during a meal at his restaurant in Bath led to Love2learn ceramics students Gwyn Chanter and Julie Watt forging a deal – ‘you make the plates and I’ll supply the food’.


Gwyn and Julie took up the challenge and sourced an American glaze, which was food safe and matched the original colour of the plates.

They took advice from their tutor and mentor Julia Warin about shrinkage after firing and experimented with methods and materials.


Both students found it an exciting and educational challenge to take on, and a month later they presented the finished plates to Gordon and his manager and partner Amelia.

Having done this, they are looking forward to a meal from the tasting menu at Menu Gordon Jones in a couple of weeks’ time.

Julie, who has been studying ceramics as a Love2learn student for six years, said: “The original plates were hand-made, so we had to work out the size and how to achieve something similar.


“We made four plates to begin with, each with a small size difference, just to see the finished size after firing (so that we knew what we were working with).

“I enjoy making things at the college and it’s also about the people here. It’s a nice group of people- we all get inspired by The Great Pottery Throw Down when it’s on TV and try to replicate things.

“I enjoy thinking about decorative effects. When I first started, I thought it was all about making the pot, but there’s a world of decorative techniques out there and you learn quite a few over the years.”


Stonemasonry apprentice shortlisted for the 2017 Young Builder of the Year Awards


A stonemasonry apprentice at Bath College has been shortlisted for the 2017 Young Builder of the Year Awards.
Morwenna Harrington is through to the next stage of the awards, organised to celebrate the achievements of young people in construction.
She is one of 15 finalists in the 18 to 24-year-old category and has been invited to the House of Commons for a special awards ceremony.

Morwenna, 24, is in her third year studying at Bath College after securing an apprenticeship with Bristol Stonemasonry last month.
She said: “When I first started stonemasonry I couldn’t really lift a hammer. I didn’t know if I’d made the right choice, but I put in extra time and caught up. I’m pretty happy with my decision now.
“As a stonemason you’re using both parts of your brain, it’s a good mixture of creativity and maths. I enjoy working in the banker shop because you can get into a zone and focus on what you’re doing.
“It’s the last year I could have applied for the awards, so I thought it was worth a go. We had to write a bit about ourselves for the application form, but I wasn’t expecting to hear anything back.
“I’m quite nervous about going up to London, but I’m pleased to have been shortlisted. Anything like this looks good on your CV.”

Applications for the Young Builder of the Year are open to students and apprentices from across the UK aged 14 to 24-years-old.
The competition aims to show how young people from a variety of different backgrounds, including males and females, can succeed in industry.
The winner will receive a prize fund and all shortlisted finalists receive a certificate and tools vouchers.
Morwenna will travel to the House of Commons with her parents and stonemasonry lecturer Paul Maggs on October 18.
She said: “When I first signed up to stonemasonry I assumed there wouldn’t be as many females, but there were more than I expected.
“It’s a perception that women don’t study stonemasonry, but I haven’t found it to be a problem. If you’re a female and you’re thinking about a construction course, this shouldn’t hold you back in any way.
“I look back at the drawings I did in first year and I think ‘I can do that easily now.’ It’s not just about females and males, there’s a good range of ages on my course and people from different backgrounds.
“It’s the same in my job, the people I work with are really nice and we’re doing some interesting work.”
Stonemasonry lecturer Paul Maggs, from Bath College, said: “Morwenna has always worked hard to achieve her goals and I believe she will go a long way in the stonemasonry industry. Who knows, maybe she could be running her own company in the not so distant future.”


College event: Help hairdressing student Mitchell fundraise for a standing wheelchair


A student left paralysed after a motorcycle accident is fundraising for a standing wheelchair to help him train as a hairdresser.
Mitchell Chalmers needs £4,900 for the wheelchair, which would make a big difference to his learning as a student at Bath College.
He was just 22-years-old when he came off his bike at a motocross racing event three years ago, suffering severe spinal injuries as a result.
Going back to college, to train for a profession and secure a job, is an important step along his road to recovery.
Mitchell, who is paralysed from the stomach down, said: “I’d been riding since I was eight-years-old and I’d got to British Championship level.
“I loved it and I still love it now. I feel I have had so much taken away from me and I need to fight and get something back.
“It’s been hard to find a job since my accident, but I think I’m young enough to try something new and being in a wheelchair won’t stop me.
“I have a dream to become a hairdresser so I can support myself financially, I’m quite creative and I think there’s a real art to hairdressing.”
The standing wheelchair will give Mitchell extra height and support, making it easier for him to lift and cut peoples’ hair.
Students in his class are getting behind the appeal and are planning a fundraising event at the Bath College salon.
For the week after half-term, starting on Monday October 30, students are organising a rowing machine challenge.
Participants will pay £1 to see how fast they can row 1,000 metres, with a prize for the fastest time.
Friends and family have already supported Mitchell, raising £700 with a charity raffle and barbecue at the Crossways in Midsomer Norton.
He is more than halfway to reaching his target of £4,900 after collecting £2,020 from 63 supporters on his JustGiving page.
Mitchell, from Radstock, said: “The wheelchairs are made specifically for your height and weight. I’ve had a demonstration and it felt really good.
“One of the biggest struggles is funding equipment to help me do the things I was able to do before. I don’t think there’s enough help out there.
“When I set up my JustGiving page, everyone pulled together to help. It’s been amazing really – the funds shot up in the first two weeks.
“For some time after the accident I shut myself away, but coming to college and meeting new people has given me a real confidence boost.”
To support Mitchell visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/mitchell-chalmers.


Students showcase ocean’s bounty for Seafood Week

Photographs by Philip Edwards

Hospitality and catering students served up a fishy feast for Seafood Week.
Running from October 6 to October 13, Seafood Week celebrates the variety and quality of seafood in the UK and is supported by businesses nationwide, including supermarkets, restaurants, processors and fishmongers.

To mark the occasion, Bath College held a three-course Ocean Bounty dinner, supported by Billingsgate Seafood School, at the Shrubbery Restaurant.
Designed to challenge students’ skills in preparing and serving seafood, the menu included seabass, Cullen skink soup and yuzu and wasabi cured salmon.
Deputy Head of Hospitality Ryan Hanson said: “We’ve had e-mail compliments from several diners who were waxing lyrical about the quality of the meal and the service.

“The students got a real buzz out of preparing the menu, researching for sustainable fish stocks and using that knowledge to create and produce dishes for the event.
“This focus on seafood is a great chance for students to work with species they may not have used or tasted in the past, and they are getting great feedback from their customers, which is a huge achievement.
“I’m very proud of them and the work they have produced. They have bright careers ahead.”

Dishes at the Shrubbery Restaurant are prepared, served and cooked by Bath College hospitality and catering students under professional supervision, with a focus on fresh, local and seasonal ingredients.
Heather Middleton is Marketing Manager at Seafish, the organisation responsible for running Seafood Week.
She said: “Part of the Seafood Week campaign focuses on educating future generations about the benefits of fish and seafood. By engaging with college chefs and teaching them how to prepare seafood, our hope is that our future chefs will develop a lifelong passion for producing seafood dishes.”


Apprentice of the month: Veronica Savaia from Figo Hair


Veronica Savaia is a Level 2 hairdressing student working at Figo Hair and studying at Bath College. She has been working at the salon, near the Royal Crescent, since June and attends college one day a week.
Can you tell me about your apprenticeship?

I shampoo clients’ hair and help with blow-dries. I do the hair up hairstyles for the salon, no-one else does them so I really enjoy that. I do hair for weddings and proms and it’s nice to be part of peoples’ special day. Even when I’m at home, I’m practicing and watching videos so I know how to do different styles. I also have my family and friends in the salon to do their hair. I’m still building up my client base, but they know what I’m capable of.

Why did you apply for an apprenticeship?

I always wanted to do hairdressing, even before I reached the age of 14 and started working. I used to work in another hairdressers where I had a Saturday job. I like art and I’m quite creative. I chose an apprenticeship because I wanted to be in a working environment, to get my foot in the door and gain experience with clients.
What do you learn when you come into college?

At college we do practical sessions in the morning and theory in the afternoon. We talk about clients, how to greet them and how to behave in the salon. We also practice hairstyles on a hairdressing block. Some people say if you can complete a hairstyle on the block, you can do it on anyone because it’s harder – it depends on the hair, but the blocks aren’t sectioned in the same way as human hair. It’s been good to meet other students who are at the same level.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I enjoy being part of the team. We have five to six people working in the salon each day, and because we’re a smaller team I can build up a good relationship with people. We get a lot of young clients and clients who are retired. We’re really precise about what we do, and we talk to clients to try and make them feel at home. It’s about their experience visiting the salon, as well as the haircut. I enjoy seeing regular clients come in.
What advice would you give someone considering an apprenticeship?

It’s really important to think about the kind of salon you’re working in. You might want to start a career in hairdressing, but you need to find somewhere you enjoy working and somewhere you’re able to grow. Studying for a hairdressing apprentices takes two years, instead of one year on a full-time course. However, you’re earning money, you’re already gaining work experience and you’re treated as an adult. If you’re studying a full-time course, it might be harder to find a job with less experience.
What are your hopes for the future?

I already have my job, and they want me to stay there when I’m qualified. I earn less as an apprentice, but when I’m qualified (and I’m working on more clients) I’ll be paid more. I’m happy with where I am at the moment, because I know this will be good for me in the long-term. In the future, I could have the option to open my own salon using the experience I’ve gained.


Bath College re-opens crèche and gym facilities for new academic year


Bath College’s crèche and gym facilities have re-opened this month.
The crèche and gym, at the college’s City Centre Campus, offers parents affordable childcare and the chance to develop their fitness.
Parents can drop off their children at the crèche and visit the college gym, which includes running machines, rowing machines and cross trainers.

For this academic year, both facilities have been moved to a new ground-floor room in the main building which has been newly decorated.
The project, set up in November last year, is run by sports staff and childcare students and gives them the opportunity to gain valuable work experience.
Members of the sports team, who will be supervising the gym, will be on hand to carry out gym inductions and offer training advice.

Level 1 childcare students are also planning an exciting range of activities at the crèche, including arts and crafts, messy play, sensory exploration and story time. They will develop their skills under supervision from tutors.
Childcare lecturer Abigail Holt said: “The crèche and gym project has allowed us to work with parents to provide excellent childcare within the local community.
“It has given our students the opportunity to build on their confidence and develop skills related to sports coaching and the early years sector.
“So far, the project has been a rich learning experience for all the students involved and we’re looking forward to seeing it develop further.”
Students will be opening the crèche and gym on Wednesdays and Fridays from 9am to 11am. To book a place e-mail gymandcreche@bathcollege.ac.uk, or pop into the College Shop, in the main building of Roper Reception.


Students serve at prestigious event raising over £50,000 for charity


Students at Bath College served top industry professionals at a charity polo day raising over £50,000 for Hospitality Action.
Seven award-winning chefs from the South West came together for the event in September at Beaufort Polo Club in Gloucestershire.

The event, which sold out in record time, was catered for by:
• Richard Davies, Calcot
• André Garrett, Cliveden House
• Robby Jenks, The Vineyard
• Hywel Jones, Lucknam Park
• Niall Keating, Whatley Manor
• Rob Potter, The Manor House
• Tom Jenkins, Abbey Hotel
Well-known industry figures, including William Baxter CBE, Harry Murray MBE Chairman of Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa and Philip de Ternant Managing Director of Creed Foodservice, attended the event.
Hospitality and catering students from Bath College acted as front of house staff alongside service professionals from the Abbey Hotel, Barnsley House, Calcot, Cliveden House, Lucknam Park, The Manor House, The Painswick, The Pig and The Vineyard.

Guests enjoyed a Tattinger Champagne and canapé reception, before the final of the Sidebottom Cup. Afterwards, they tucked in to a three-course lunch, which included roast belly and cider braised cheek of Wiltshire pork, sage and caramelised onion risotto, tender stem broccoli and Brillat Savarin cheesecake.
Hospitality Action offers assistance to those who work, or have worked, within hospitality in the UK and find themselves in a crisis.
Hywel Jones, Executive Chef at Lucknam Park Hotel, said: “I am proud to have been involved with this event for a number of years now.

“This year, as we celebrate Hospitality Action’s 180th birthday, it felt even more special than normal. I was joined by some fantastic chefs – and I’m sure they’ll agree we were lucky enough to work with some great ingredients, provided by Walter Rose and Sons butchers, Total Produce and Flying Fish Seafoods. It’s great to see so much generosity and support for such a worthwhile cause.”
Andrew Foulkes, General Manager of the Abbey Hotel, Bath, and Hospitality Action South West Board Member said: “I used to attend this event as a guest, but in recent years I jumped at the chance to help organise it.
“The Polo Day exemplifies everything I love about the industry and it is great to see everyone pull together to ensure its continued success. Yet again tickets sold out almost instantly which is a true testament to the hard work everyone puts in.”



Sports student Katie Robbins wins Target Sprint National Final


Photographs by Lee Webb
Sports student Katie Robbins is looking to build a career as a professional athlete after winning the Target Sprint National Final 2017.
Katie, who won the junior women’s category, is new to Target Sprint, an international sport which combines running with shooting.
Race participants alternate between running and shooting, running 400 metres three times and shooting five targets twice.

Level 3 sports student Katie is in her first year at Bath College and also trains with Sedgemoor Training, Yate Athletics Club and Lodge Sports.
The competition was her first national competition since she started learning to shoot and training for Target Sprint in March.
Katie said: “It’s a new sport, they do it in other countries and it’s been introduced in England in the past year or so.

“I train at Yate Athletics Club and we had a coach from Target Sprint watching, and he picked a few of us for a training day.
“I went to the training day, to have a go at shooting, and somehow I could do it – I had a natural talent for it.
“I’m used to athletics competitions, I run 300 metres in the county competitions and I’ve done a few Target Spring competitions, but this was my first national competition.
“I was really pleased to win. I wanted to try my best, I was hoping to get third or fourth, so to win it was quite a shock.”
Over 70 athletes from across the country took part in the Target Sprint National Final, held in Yate on September 9.
The sport is growing in the UK, which is good news for Katie, who is hoping it will be included in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Katie, from Bristol, is looking for sponsorship to help her with kit and travelling as she prepares to trial for the World Championships next year.
She’s also attending a Team GB selection day on October 8, where GB coaches will select juniors and seniors for further training.

Katie said: “I’m enjoying the chance to study at college and continue my education alongside my athletics training.
“I always wanted to stay in sport and develop, but I didn’t think about shooting – somehow I just got into it. The fact that I’m doing shooting as well as running is fun. It’s a challenge and it’s something different.
“It’s going well at college and I’m finding it interesting. At the moment we’re studying sports psychology, anatomy and physiology, team sports, fitness testing and fitness training.
“It gives me time to think about what I’m doing as an athlete before I put it into practice.”


Hospitality and catering students impress at the Bath Good Food Awards


Guests at the Bath Good Food Awards gave hospitality and catering students a standing ovation for their work in the kitchen and front of house.
The Bath Good Food Awards are held to recognise the best of the city’s restaurants, cafes and producers, with more than 40 prizes awarded in one evening.
Students worked alongside guest chefs preparing a three-course meal for the awards, held at the new Apex City of Bath Hotel.

Guests enjoyed canapés created by Executive Chef Soyful Alom, from The Mint Room, followed by dishes from head chefs Chris Cleghorn, Ben Abercrombie and Rupert Taylor.
Those attending included restaurant owners, food critics and industry experts, including Michelin-starred chefs Nathan Outlaw and Angela Hartnett.
Former students Amy Best and Josh Yoell have been employed as commis chefs at the Apex Hotel and were also working on the night.
Hospitality and catering students at Bath College picked up two awards on the night, with Best Front of House going to Marley Melton and Best Kitchen Student going to Maddison Dodd.

Ryan Hanson, Deputy Head of Hospitality, Spa Industry and Landbased at Bath College, was asked to judge entries for this year’s awards, dining at venues to help select the final winners.
He was also on a panel to judge candidates for two sponsored bursaries, to fund extra professional development for up and coming stars.
The bursary, sponsored by A. David was awarded to Luke Shepherd, from the Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company, and Lynne Atkins, from Henry’s Restaurant in Bath.

Ryan, who will also be a judge at the Bristol Good Food Awards in November, said: “The students were brilliant on the night.
“There were a lot of industry professionals in the room and they were warmly received when they went up on stage at the end of the evening.
“I had a lot of people asking me ‘how can we get the students in to work for us?’ They really did themselves proud in the kitchen and front of house.
“They worked hard and consistently. To be honest, you wouldn’t have known they were students because they looked like professionals.”
Speaking about his experience judging, Mr Hanson said: “It’s been really interesting going to critique different establishments and identify winners, but also to see how much good work is going on in the city.
“An awards ceremony like this means places get the recognition they don’t get on a daily basis. It’s nice to give credit where credit’s due.”
Hospitality and catering students are now preparing for an Ocean Bounty dinner, in association with the Billingsgate Seafood Training School.
The three-course dinner, on October 5, starts at 6.30pm and will be held at Bath College’s Shrubbery Restaurant. Tickets are available for members of the public at a cost of £19.50. Call (01225) 328502 to book.


High scoring students through to national SkillBuild finals


Above: Oliver Takhar with painting and decorating lecturer Graham Walmsley
Students from Bath College will compete against the best in the country after being picked for The SkillBuild 2017 UK National Final.
Oliver Takhar and Joshua Underwood were among the highest scoring competitors for this year’s SkillBuild regional qualifiers.
They are busy preparing for the demanding three-day final, which takes place at the NEC in Birmingham in November.


Painting and decorating student Oliver will compete against seven others to win The Crown Trade Apprentice Decorator of the Year Competition.
He scored 79.5 out of 100 in the regional qualifiers, using paint, wallpaper and stencils to accurately follow a detailed plan drawing.
Oliver, 19, from Frome said: “When I found out I was through to the finals it felt really good, because I wasn’t expecting it. I’m just excited about competing and this competition will be over a couple of days, so it’s much bigger than the regional qualifiers.
“I’m pleased I entered, I wouldn’t have done it without encouragement from the college. I’m going to practice everything that could come up.
“When I left school, I spent two years training to become a mechanic, and then I changed track completely. Now I’ve found something that I can do and I’m enjoying.”


Joshua with stonemasonry lecturer Ray Sumner holding prizes for the UK Masonry Skills Challenge.
Stonemasonry student Joshua Underwood is competing at the SkillBuild 2017 UK National Final after coming second in the final of the UK Masonry Skills Challenge, run by The Stone Federation.
He took part in the challenge alongside Bath College students Shaun Forbes and Daniel Owen, with the team winning first prize for the best college when their scores were added together.
Joshua, an apprentice with Architectural Stone in Cardiff, said: “When I first started competing I was nervous, but now I know how the competitions work and what the judging is like.
“The competition environment can be quite distracting. They encourage you to work so that the spectators can see what you’re doing, but I make sure I’m concentrating on the work in front of me.
“It’s good to have this experience on your CV, it goes a long way with certain firms and clients. I enjoy speaking to the competition qualifiers and getting an insight into the industry nationally.”
If Oliver and Joshua are successful in the finals, they could have the chance to represent the UK abroad as part of the WorkSkills UK squad.

Last December, former Bath College student and stonemason Toby Brook was part of a the UK team at EuroSkills 2016 – the largest skills competition in Europe.
Painting and decorating lecturer Graham Walmsley said: “I think it’s important that students are challenged at every opportunity to produce the highest possible work they can.
“The judges assessed each entrants’ work to a strict marking criteria which would have doubtless included how neatly they approached the tasks over the five-hour time limit.
“It’s going to be a tough three-day final against students who have been studying for longer than Ollie, but I have put together additional training sessions to help him develop.
“He has a very calm disposition and rarely gets flustered when working. Good results are seldom achieved when decorating is carried out in haste, something which he’s fully aware of.”
Stonemasonry lecturer Ray Sumner said: “Joshua’s dedication has led to him being recognised as one of the best apprentice stonemasons in the country.
“Joshua achieved one of the highest marks in the country when he competed in the regional qualifiers. The judges recognised his ability to interpret drawings, to execute the task in time and complete the job to a very high standard.
“He has the motivation to achieve the best possible standards and is improving all the time. He’s a testament to teaching and learning at Bath College, and he joins a long list of accomplished stonemasons who have trained here. We wish him all the best for the finals.”


Inspirational student shortlisted for the Association of College’s Student of the Year Awards


Inspirational student Rachelle Wabissa has been chosen as one of three finalists for a national award celebrating high achievement at further education colleges.

Rachelle, who has just finished studying at Bath College, has been shortlisted in the adult student category for the Association of College’s Student of the Year Awards.

The 22-year-old studied on the college’s Access to Higher Education programme, before securing a place to study social work and applied studies at the University of Bath.


She was nominated for the award by Access to Higher Education lecturer Carolyn Guy, in recognition of her drive to succeed and her determination to overcome difficult personal circumstances.

Rachelle, who has won two scholarships to study her degree, said: “I’m so happy to be shortlisted because it’s a big deal. Even if I don’t win the award I can put it on my CV, my family was very proud of me.

“I passed the access course, I got into university, I got the scholarships and then this! It’s been an amazing time – my heart can’t take it all!”


Bath College’s Access to Higher Education programme is a year-long intensive course which provides students with a qualification, allowing them to progress and study at degree level.

Rachelle was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo and came to the UK when she was 10-years-old as an asylum seeker from South Africa.

She enrolled on the Access to Higher Education programme last September, and was diagnosed with tuberculosis four months into the course.

Despite being ill, she continued with her studies and helped with a pioneering project to integrate technology into tuberculosis treatment.

At university she plans to specialise in end of life care, but her dream job would be Director of Political Affairs of the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations.

Rachelle said: “Colleges are really important because not everyone can succeed at A-levels. The access course gives you a second chance.

“At college, there are people who want the best for you and are willing to accommodate your personal struggle. The mental health support I had was really regular; I could talk to them whenever I wanted.

“It’s nice when people ask ‘how were you able to do that?’ Because I had aspirations for myself, I was able to work hard and achieve.

“Since I completed the access course, my sister has decided she wants to be a chemical engineer. It’s great to see how my siblings have been inspired, even though they saw the worst parts of my journey.

“I thought I couldn’t do it, but I did. I had a great time. It was one of the best years ever and the friends I made, I still talk to every day.”

The winners of the Student of the Year Awards will be announced at the AoC’s annual conference dinner on November 14.

Rachelle’s tutor Carolyn Guy said: “Rachelle has the potential to be a real academic, as she has a very sharp mind. In class she participated fully, asking insightful questions and challenging traditionally held views.

“As well as her studies, she became a course representative, representing the views of her fellow students. She was exceptionally supportive of her peers and very sensitive to their needs.

“What is inspiring is that despite considerable adversity, she has demonstrated that it is possible to succeed. She is an outstanding role model for other young people.”


Opening ceremony held to celebrate new Somer Construction Centre


An opening ceremony, held to celebrate Bath College’s Somer Construction Centre, gave guests the chance to see students working in brand new workshops and classrooms.
The state-of-the-art facility, at the College’s Somer Valley Campus in Radstock, was built with support from the West of England Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership.
It is being used to teach 500 students and apprentices studying bricklaying, construction, carpentry and stonemasonry, as well as plumbing, electrical installation and refrigeration.



Guests were invited to an official opening, carried out by The Chair of Bath and North East Somerset Council, Councillor Cherry Beath, followed by a tour of the building and a canapé reception.
Stonemasonry student Niall McCabe, 25, is a second year apprentice studying at Bath College and working at Bristol Stone Masonry.
He said: “I was quite surprised to see how big the building is. The facilities are better, especially the banker shop, there’s a lot more space for people.
“Carving stone is a very satisfying job. It’s nice to be part of the first group of stonemasons to move in – we’ll be able to put our mark on the place.”



Designs for the two-storey Somer Construction Centre were approved last year, with contractors Midas Group Ltd starting work in January.
Bath College Principal Laurel Penrose said: “We’re very proud of our new centre, which marks a significant investment in training and education at our Somer Valley Campus.
“Learning in this space, with the help of tutors who are industry experts, will give students and apprentices the best possible start to life at college and enable them to succeed in their chosen trade.
“Studying construction can lead to a wide-ranging career designing, creating and managing buildings. Our aim is to be known as a centre of excellence for the South West, helping to boost economic development and employment.
“We look forward to working with local employers, who will be able to come to Bath College to find their future workforce.”


The West of England Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership supported the new build with an allocation of £2.73 million.
West of England Mayor Tim Bowles said: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to support this new construction centre using Local Growth Fund funding via the West of England Joint Committee.
“Construction is an important sector and we are committed to working with businesses and colleges to support improving skills to help grow the industry and attract new jobs to our region.”
Nationally, the construction industry needs to hire more than 400,000 workers every year for the next five years in order to fill a skills gap and build enough homes to meet demand.
Limited places are available for students to sign up to a course at the Somer Construction Centre this September. Prospective students can also begin applying for a place to study in September 2018.
Visit the new centre at Bath College’s Somer Valley open event on Thursday September 28th from 4pm to 8pm. Click here to register.

Your Wishlist