A piece of mining history: Old mural finds a new home at Radstock Museum


An old mural showing what mining life was like in the early 19th century has been given a new home at Radstock Museum.

The mural, made up of four large wooden panels, was being kept in storage at Bath College, who have donated it to the museum.

It shows Lower Writhlington Colliery, on the outskirts of Radstock, which was closed along with Kilmersdon Colliery in September 1973.

Mike Drewitt, from the Estates and Facilities team at Bath College, was keen to find a home for the mural, which used to be on display at Norton Radstock College before it became Bath College.

When Norton Radstock College merged with the City of Bath College in April 2015, it was renamed as Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus.


Mr Drewitt said: “It was too nice to throw away and now it’s gone to a good home. It couldn’t be more fitting for the museum to have it.

“The old Norton Radstock College started as an educational facility for miners and there used to be a printing workshop onsite.

“I don’t know if it was created at the college, but it would be interesting to know and to find out why that person chose to recreate this particular scene.”

Norton Radstock College evolved from the Old Mills Technical Institution, formed in 1948 to cater for the needs of the local mining community.

In 1964, the Institute moved to South Hill Park. Now Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus, South Hill Park was the former residence of James McMurtrie, manager of the Ludlow, Camerton and Middle Pit Collieries.

The mural, captioned Lower Writhlington Colliery, 1830, is a reproduction of an old photograph by Leonard Meux Delt.

Miranda Litchfield, Development Programme Coordinator at Radstock Museum, said the museum holds a copy of the original photograph.

She said: “The mural is just stunning; we can do so much with it. It’s so big you can image yourself in the scene and it’s a very informative illustration. We can see that in 1830 they were still using horses and steam power. It’s a new highlight of the museum I would say.”

Do you know anything about this mural? E-mail development@radstockmuseum.co.uk

News, Students Union

Interview: Students’ Union President Kez Hawkins reflects on her time in the role


Article by Love2learn journalism students Geoffrey Mackett and Penny Tranter
For two years Kez Hawkins has been the face of the Bath College Students’ Union. This June, she will stand down from her post as president and hand over to a successor from the May student union elections.
The role has allowed her to grow in confidence, she said: “I am here to represent all students, and where change is needed or sought, I promote it to the college management.” She gets different ideas from students through Student Voice, and when these are practicable, they can make improvements to the everyday life of the college.

Kez confessed when she first took on the role it was scary, “I did not know the scope of the post,” she said. But she soon found her feet, and enjoyed it so much that she stayed for the permitted second year. “You make the job,” she said, having been persuaded to stand by her predecessor. “Having no plans at the end of my photography course, I used it as a gap year.”
“You are a governor of the college; you sit on the interview panels for senior staff. I didn’t understand the language that is used in the day-to-day management of the college, especially the financial aspects, so it was a steep learning curve.”
Kez said she sometimes finds it difficult to get students to voice their ideas when they are focused on coursework, but used novel methods to get these ideas known.
“My last one was to post ideas written on cards shaped like light bulbs, and then hung on a washing line,” she said, adding that the Students’ Union chalkboard is open for students to nominate themselves or colleagues for posts on the student union committee.
There are eight students who give time each week to support the president, which is a full-time paid post, four days a week.
Passionate about her time at Bath College, Kez praises the tutor from her photography course, who encouraged her. “I wasn’t a good pupil at school” she admits, “when I came to the college I had to re-sit my GCSE English, I didn’t want to go to university. I saw photography as a hobby, not a job, but I grew to love it.”
Now with the experience of her course and two years as President, she has a great CV which has led her to youth work. She explains: “Twice a week I am helping as an assistant youth worker in Bath, at the Riverside Youth Hub, and I love it.”

Now passionate about further education and young people, she hopes to do more work with young people. When she leaves Bath College in the summer, her first commitment will be a four-week summer camp with the National Citizen Service here in Bath. The first week will be a residential away from the area in the Isle of Wight. Kez will be balancing this work alongside work generated by the photography company she has launched.
Once elected, new team members, including the president will shadow current student union officers as they learn the role. The college is keen for more students to show an interest in these posts, which help with the running of the college and providing support to students.
To find out more about the roles click here.


Higher education advice: Students meet the careers team at UWE Bristol


Students met higher education experts from The University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) who came in to lead Why University? sessions.
The careers team at UWE Bristol recently won a national award for its work encouraging post-16 students from disadvantaged areas to consider higher education.
Students at Bath College attended the sessions in preparation for the UCAS exhibition at the University of Bath on April 3 and April 4.
The Bath College Futures team is also holding a higher education event to help students find out about applying for university later this month.



Computing students create learning app for children with diabetes


Higher education students are helping the Royal United Hospitals Bath to develop an app for children with diabetes.
Alex Bradley, David Forster and Jacky Cheung are leading the project and studying for a BSc in applied computing at Bath College. They are working with senior dietitian Anna Carling to digitise paper tests and adapt these for a functional, working app.
Children will be able to learn how much carbohydrate their food contains, and how much insulin they need to take as a result.
Alex, David and Jacky are all in the final year of their course. After studying at Bath College for three years, they will be awarded with an honours degree from the University of Bath.
Jacky, 22, said: “We’ve built up our skills by applying ourselves to different programming and development techniques through the years.
“The app starts off with a menu and, depending on the age of the child, they can pick from different tests. For example, year one pupils will be shown a piece of food and asked if it has carbohydrate, but year six pupils need to work out how much carbohydrate is in the food.
“The idea is to help them learn how to manage their diabetes from an early age by using something that is fun and interactive.”
Read: IT students design new website for Yeovil Youth Theatre

The app, which has been in development since January, is currently being tested with young children at local diabetes clinics. After receiving feedback, the group will make final changes and present their findings as part of a college assessment.
David, 23, said: “I feel like I’m learning more by working for a client. We’ve been given objectives, which we need to meet, and we’re challenging ourselves as a result.
“It’s been good to work as a team, rather than working alone on a job. In the workplace we’ll be working in teams, so those communication skills will benefit us in the future.”
Alex, 22, said: “The best thing is the independence, the fact that we’re able to go out and meet the client and get information from them.
“We’re working directly with them and organising ourselves, so it’s more like real working life. I’ve really enjoyed it, so I wouldn’t mind working in project management in the future.”
Course leader Paul Jackson said: “The team have created an amazing app for the Royal United Hospitals Bath.
“We really pride ourselves on projects like these. Our applied computing degree courses have a great track record of creating solutions for local industries and organisations.
“The students get a lot out of these projects, and actually working with outside clients means our graduates are ready for the modern workplace, with an enviable set of practical skills in a wide variety of software and hardware platforms.”


Preparing to succeed: Eleven tips for the night before and the day of your exam


You’ve spent months studying for your exam and now it’s the day before. Now is the time to show what you’ve learned, so keep focused and read our tips to help you do your best. Good luck to everyone sitting exams this year – we hope it goes well. 
1. Check the venue and time of the exam the day before to make sure that you have not confused the day/time/venue.
2. Get a good night’s sleep. Feeling refreshed and awake will help you more than a last minute, all night revision cramming session

3. Have a balanced breakfast and eat nothing risky (probably not the best day to have a super-hot curry!)
4. Before leaving home, check that you have everything that you will need – ID, stationery, calculator, etc.
5. Head to the exam with plenty of time. A lot of unexpected events can happen on your way there and you do not want to be late!
6. Read all the instructions and questions carefully at least twice before starting and plan how much time to allocate to each.

7. Start answering the questions that you feel most confident about. There is no need to answer the questions in order.
8. Don’t spend more time than you planned on a particular section/question or you might run out of time to answer other questions and gain those extra marks
9. Use every minute of the exam and if you have time left, review your answers before handing back the paper.
10. Stay calm and think positive, you have done your revision and have nothing to fear!
11. Reward yourself. If you have more exams to complete, spend some time relaxing before you hit the revision books again.



James McMurtrie’s parlour: Carpentry students build new display at Radstock Museum


Carpentry students from Bath College have built a new display at Radstock Museum to help tell the story of mining engineer James McMurtrie.
James McMurtrie has a historic connection with Bath College, as he lived at South Hill House, built on the grounds of the college’s Somer Valley Campus.
Students William Minty, Tyler Bryant, Daniel White and Samuel Watts have been volunteering at the museum to help staff create the new display, called James McMurtrie’s parlour.
Painting and decorating students will put the finishing touches to the parlour walls, and level 1 carpentry and joinery students have built five plinths for the museum to use for displays.
Who was James McMurtrie?

Born in Ayrshire in 1840, James McMurtrie moved to Somerset to become the manager at Newbury Colliery in Coleford. He made many improvements and, as a result, was hired by Countess Waldegrave as Under Manager at Middle Pit in Radstock.


Countess Waldegrave inherited estates in Somerset, Essex and London after the death of her second husband (the 7th Earl Waldegrave) in 1846, and owned all the mines in Radstock at this time.
She paid for South Hill House as a thank you for James McMurtrie’s hard work. This was demolished in the 1950s and Radstock Technical College was built, which merged with Bath College in April 2015.
Carpentry lecturer Adrian Drake said: “It was good for the students to participate in a volunteering project that helps to develop their employability skills.
“It was quite a technical job, because the museum has a sloping roof. They also had to negotiate with the museum, to let them know when they were coming and how noisy the work would be.”


Deliver quality apprenticeships: Eight things you need to cover as an employer taking on an apprentice


The government is changing the way apprenticeships are funded and delivered, and employers are facing new costs now that the apprenticeship levy has come into force. If you’re taking on a new apprentice, you’ll need to follow the government’s funding and performance management rules. To help you stay up to date, we’ve put together a quick guide with some important tips.

1. You need a specific contract of employment
This contract should be different to a standard contract and mention the type of apprenticeship offered, including start and end dates.

2. Apprentices must be employed until they finish their course
Apprenticeship contracts have a time limit, but sometimes apprentices are unable to complete their studies within this time. Employers should continue to support their apprentice until they complete their training.

3. Apprenticeships need a job role to move into
Apprentices are a valuable asset for companies for many years to come. However, if you’re not able to provide a permanent job role, you should help your apprentice with their search for alternative employment.

4. Allow 20 per cent of working time for training
Apprentices need 20 per cent of their working time away from their desk to learn and train on the job. This can include attending college, attending in-work training and study time.

5. Give an opportunity for English and maths qualifications
Apprentices should have the opportunity to study for GCSE maths and English qualifications if they haven’t achieved a C grade.

6. Employers choose the end point assessment
You have the final say on the assessments your apprentice needs to pass in order to achieve their qualification. This can be developed in connection with your chosen training provider.

7. You can train existing employees as apprentices
If you currently run training programmes for your staff, you could convert these into apprenticeship programmes in order to use part of your apprenticeship levy.

8. Employers need to sign a contract with their training provider
You can choose your training provider, but you’ll need to sign a contract with them. For apprentices aged 15 to 17, you’ll also need a signature from their parent or guardian.

Bath College is a registered training provider and our apprenticeship team is available to offer expert advice.

At Bath College, we work with businesses to help them develop apprenticeship programmes in line with their training needs. Our priority is to help your company grow and make sure you maximise the return on your investment.

To find out more about how our team could help your business visit www.bathcollege.ac.uk or e-mail apprenticeships@bathcollege.ac.uk


New exhibition: Snap and Stroll photographers capture Radstock scenery


The chance to learn photography has led to new friendships for students taking part in the Snap and Stroll project in Radstock.

Participants have spent eight weeks exploring the town, taking photographs and meeting people who share the same interests. Their work will go on show at the Swallow Community Café, at St Nicholas Church Centre, Church Street, on Tuesday April 11.

Picture by Peter

Led by Sally Collister, from In the Picture Participatory Photography, the course is organised by the Adult Community Learning team at Bath College.

The project follows on from a successful pilot project in Bath last year and another exhibition on show at the Civic Centre, Keynsham, until April 8.

It is a collaboration between Bath College, Creativity Works and the Wellbeing College, and includes those who are experiencing or in recovery from anxiety, depression and mental health challenges.

Picture by Irene

Kathleen Maitland, from Radstock, has been taking part in the project. She said: “I enjoyed the course from day one. Sally has been amazing, she’s very patient and has gone into as much depth allowed within the time.

“When I’m out walking I view things so differently. It’s made me more aware of my surroundings. We get along well as a group, there’s a lot of laughter and encouragement – it’s important to encourage each other.

“I’m going through a difficult period in life, and this course has helped me to meet people so I don’t feel isolated. When you’re taking photographs, you get out and about and you see life going on.”

Katie Constantine, from Bath College, is helping curate the exhibition, which will feature some well-known scenes, as well as fresh perspectives on everyday places.

Picture by Kazvan 

Sally, who set up In the Picture Participatory Photography in 2015, said: “I have been delighted and very impressed by how far the participants have come with their photography. We’ve put together a cracking exhibition. I’ve had so much fun facilitating these sessions and will miss my weekly visits to Radstock.”

The exhibition opens with a reception on Tuesday April 11th from 4.30pm to 5.30pm. It will be open at the Swallow Community Café until April 28th (between 11am to 3pm).


College competition: Students show they have plenty of creativity


Students studying media makeup, beauty, spa therapy, hairdressing and barbering took part in a day of internal college competitions. They created some brilliant designs and worked very hard – well done to everyone involved. See below for the full list of winners. 

Winners for media makeup

Level 2: Avant-garde

First: Yasmin Hi
Second: Jodi Lord
Third: Megan Douglas

Level 3: Woodland characters

First: Meg Cottle
Highly commended: Emily Wallace
Best mood board: Freya Harmer

Thank you to the judges: Issy Carmody (former student) Gemma Avent (makeup artist) Melanie Crump (Principle of the Bath Academy of Media Makeup) and Jessica Page (from Charlton House).


Winners for beauty

Manicure winner: Megan Palmer
Make up winner: Bethany Thompson
Overall beauty winner: Bethany Thompson

Bethany won a spa day for two donated by Center Parcs. Thank you to judges Kayde English (Spa manager at Center Parcs) and Emily Desborough (Emily is a former Bath College student working at Center Parcs).

Winners for spa therapy

Well done to the winners: Jade Glover, Carly Harris and Dorota Popowska (who also won the overall achievement award and a trophy donated by the Bath Thermae Spa). Thank you to the Bath Thermae Spa, the Royal Crescent, Lush, and Lucknam Park for helping with the judging and/or donating prizes.


Winners for hairdressing

Class one: Fairy tale
First: Abi Fry
Second: Sophie Coupe
Third: Georgia Puckett

Class two: Commercial barbers cut
First: Sam Lloyd
Second: Billy Lewis

Class three: Ladies commercial cut
First: Chloe Newton

Class four: Prom culture/prom
First: Katie Nelmes
Second: Bonita Kitchen
Third: Maisey Sprake


Class 4a: Pop culture/prom
First: Tiegan Marsh
Second: Maria Vaughan
Third: Megan Parson Box

Class five: Avant-garde/Disney

First: Aisha Wright
Second: Sophie Thomas
Third: Cerys Mears

Class six: Avant-garde/Disney

First: Chloe Jones
Second: Hannah Yeatman
Third: Danielle Dayman-Johns

Class seven: Photoshoot (Level 3)

First: Danielle Dayman-Johns
Second: Aisha Wright

Class eight: Photoshoot (barbering)
First: John Adams
Second: Ricmark Dela Isla


Chefs’ Forum: Students work with Soyful Alom at The Mint Room


Pictures by Faydit Food Photography 
Executive chef Soyful Alom gave students at Bath College a lesson in Indian cuisine at the latest Chefs’ Forum event.
The Mint Room in Bath has become a popular foodie destination, offering a culinary tour of India without the need for a visa. Soyful has developed his menu with Michelin-starred chef Hrishkesh Desai and was keen to speak to the students about his food.
Students helped Soyful prepare and serve colourful Indian canapés for 70 industry professionals at lunchtime.

He said: “I didn’t realise that the students would be so fascinated by Indian cuisine. I was very impressed with their existing knowledge of flavours and spice combinations, their enthusiasm and willingness to learn was really pleasing.”
Bridget Halford, Head of Hospitality at Bath College, said: “It has been really inspiration for our students to work with a group of professional Asian chefs, for many it is their first attempt at cooking authentic, fine dining Indian cuisine and experimenting with such intense and rich flavour.”
Students from Gloucestershire College also attended the event and were part of a samosa making competition, won by 17-year-old Bath College student Kyle Lucas.
He said: “I am really excited to have won a day in the kitchen with Soyful. Having worked as a waiter in a local Indian restaurant, I am no stranger to Indian cuisine.
“However, today’s event has inspired me to experiment further in the kitchen actually cooking Indian food. I am really chuffed to have won the competition today.”

Another highlight of the day was a wine and pairing session, led by Bristol-based Averys wine merchants. Jack Cook, from Walter Rose, butchered a whole lamb – demonstrating how to make use of the whole carcass.
Soyful chose to make Tawa Duck, a roast duck dish with a korma base and Indian spices, for his cookery demonstration. He will be working with students at Bath College’s Shrubbery Restaurant to serve canapés and a two-course meal on April 25th at 12pm.
Tickets are available for the meal, which is open to the public. To book call (01225) 328502 or e-mail shrubberyrestaurant@bathcollege.ac.uk
The Chefs’ Forum holds quarterly events in the Bath and Cotswolds area, and 36 chef events per year nationally. Contact catherine@redcherry.uk.com


Apprentice of the month: Matt Rose from TH White (refrigeration)


Refrigeration apprentice Matt Rose was 18 when he started studying Level 2 refrigeration at Bath College. After working for five years (and training a few apprentices of his own) he returned to college to study for a Level 3 apprenticeship.

You work at TH White, what does your job role include?

At TH White, we do everything from security to construction, but I work in the dairy department. I’m fixing, installing, decommissioning and repairing milking equipment.

I like a challenge. You get a phone call saying ‘I have a break-down,’ but often there’s not a lot of information before you go out on the job. You need to think ‘what do I need to take on this job?’ I’m not stuck in an office, it’s nice to see the countryside – you end up having your lunch break in a different place every day.


How did you start out in the refrigeration industry?

I wanted to do a trade and find a decent job and I thought ‘why not try the foundation course?’ That was at Bath College, and after that I got a Level 2 apprenticeship for myself with TH White.

Even coming back to college now, I’m learning a lot. The Level 3 course is an in-depth course focusing on specific subjects which are relevant to you. It’s valuable coming into the college, at the end of this I will have a Level 3 diploma in air conditioning and refrigeration. It will give me a better foothold and more leverage when it comes to the chance for a promotion and a pay rise.

How do you feel you’ve improved since starting out as an apprentice in the early days of your career?

I’ve had four apprentices since I finished the level 2 course. It was daunting teaching the apprentices to start with but I learned a lot from teaching them. When they ask questions, it makes you think. You don’t realise how much you’ve learned until you have to answer their questions.

What’s the best thing about being in the air conditioning and refrigeration industry?

Air conditioning and refrigeration is everywhere, so there’s a demand for jobs. You can go to any place that has air conditioning and refrigeration and ask them who does their service and maintenance, and then you can ask that company for a job. It’s about using your initiative.

What advice do you have for someone starting out in the trade?

I would say the best thing you can do is find yourself a decent apprenticeship and get yourself enrolled on a course. With the foundation course, you don’t have to have an apprenticeship but you have to get on the course and to be able to pay for it.

What I say to my apprentices is that ‘yes the wage is lower but you don’t have the knowledge yet’. I would highly recommend an apprenticeship. It’s been a good route for me – If I wasn’t doing this I don’t know what I would be doing, but now I have a trade for life.


LILS students organise fashion show to fundraise for Julian House


Students studying Life and Independent Living Skills took to the catwalk to raise money for Julian House with a fabulous fashion show.

The group started work on the event in January, organising the costumes, running order, music, refreshments, invites and programme.

Xavier Theobald, 19, designed the artwork for a series of slides showing during the fashion show, helping to bring the event to life.

LILS students visited Julian House’s charity shop on Walcot Street and borrowed clothes for the show. They also found inspiration for their designs at the Bath Fashion Museum.


They went to the Wiltshire Scrapstore to collect materials and created clothes for a series of mannequins inspired by fashion throughout the ages, including medieval knights, goths, hippies, and Princess Diana’s wedding dress.

All the food for the evening was home-made and students were on-hand to welcome guests and announce the running order.

Students studying hair and beauty helped to get participants ready for the catwalk and stayed to enjoy the show along with parents and friends. The event raised over £60 for Julian House’s work tackling homelessness.


Student Georgia Long said: “It feels really lovely to be dressed up. I’m looking forward to doing the catwalk and my mum and dad are coming to watch.”

Lecturer Suzann Taylor said: “The purpose of our course is for students to develop their independent living and employability skills. Each student has their own personal targets.

“The fashion show gave them the opportunity to work on a variety of important skills, such as budgeting, managing money, written and verbal communication, personal presentation and food hygiene.

“It was also great to see students have the opportunity to work towards their strengths and build their confidence in a variety of different skills.”


Former student aiming to represent UK at global skills competition


Former student Toby Brook is aiming to represent the UK in stonemasonry at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017.

Toby finished his apprenticeship at Bath College in 2015 and went on to compete as part of a winning UK team at EuroSkills 2016.

Now he’ll be taking part in a four-day selection competition in a bid to win a place in Team UK for the WorldSkills competition.

Toby at EuroSkills 2016

Billed as the toughest skills competition in the world, WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 will see over 1,000 apprentices and students from 70 countries come together and compete to be the best in the world.

Toby, who works at Wells Cathedral Stonemasons, will compete against other apprentices and students from across the UK from March 29th to April 1st.

He was selected to compete for a place in Team UK after being invited to join the WorldSkills UK International Training and Development Programme, having excelled in the WorldSkills UK competitions.

In 2015, Toby won highly commended in the WorldSkills UK competition.


Dr Neil Bentley, Chief Executive, WorldSkills UK said: “Participation in the international WorldSkills Competition enables the UK to benchmark apprenticeship standards in this country with those around the world. It also provides us with a global platform to promote how skilled we are as a trading nation, helping the UK secure its future global competitiveness

“Representing your country on the world stage is no easy feat. It takes hard work, determination and the highest level of skill. Toby has demonstrated all of these attributes and many more and I wish the competitors the best of luck as they compete for a place in Team UK.

Team UK for WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 will be announced on April 21st.


Apprenticeships and Jobs fair is a valuable chance to meet employers looking for young talent


Thousands of people looking for new opportunities visited the Bath College Apprenticeships and Jobs Fair.
Over 1,000 college students and school pupils came along with parents and carers to speak to local and national employers on March 22nd.
Employers were available from a wide range of industries, including travel and tourism, hair and beauty, construction, engineering and retail.

The Mayor of Bath at the QinetiQ stand
Staff from the Royal United Hospitals, Bath, and Way Ahead Care, were on hand to represent the health and social care sector at the fair, as well as employees from The Pig near Bath, The Vineyard Hotel, Apex Hotels and Combe Grove Hotel representing the hospitality and catering industry.
Student Ellis Byrne, who is studying engineering at Bath College, said: “The fair was really good. I spoke to five engineering companies to find out what apprentices do and how to continue learning and developing. I’ve had an e-mail from one company who thanked me for going and speaking with them.”

Combe Grove Hotel has just been bought by The Elmhurst Foundation and is being turned into a centre for work-based learning offering apprenticeships in all areas of business, from marketing, administration and finance to hospitality, customer service, estate management and horticulture.
Jenna Morice is already working at the hotel and studying with Bath College as a Level 3 business administration apprentice.
Speaking at the fair, she said: “I’m really happy to be here promoting apprenticeships to people and it’s great to see so many people interested.
“I’ve found it extremely motivating to be learning and working at the same time. You’re working with experienced people, you can go to them and say ‘I don’t know how to do this’ and they will mentor you.”
The Mayor of Bath, Councillor Paul Crossley, attended the fair and spoke to a number of businesses, including Midas Group, Gradwell Communications, Avon & Somerset Police and Space Engineering.

He also met Adam Whittaker, Kieran Gash and Anna Parkinson, who are all apprentices at Rotork, one of Bath’s biggest engineering companies.
Adam, from Bristol, said: “The first time I came across Rotork as a company was here at Bath College’s Apprenticeships and Jobs fair.
“I was volunteering at the fair and studying at Bath College on an engineering course. The apprenticeship route definitely works. It’s a good way of seeing what opportunities are out there locally, and what alternatives there are to university.
“I’m enjoying the range of my apprenticeship, we spend a short period in each department. I’m in the quality assurance department at the moment and I’m going to go to nuclear engineering.
“It helps you to find out what you like doing and the company, they take this into account when you’re looking for a job at the end of your apprenticeship.”

At the Royal United Hospitals Bath stand
Employability adviser Lucy Beattie organised the fair as part of the Bath College Futures Team, which works to provide employability opportunities for young people attending the college and from the local community.
She said: “It was an amazing opportunity for all our students and local school pupils to see the range of employers out there. We know there are people helping on stands this year who met employers at the fair this time last year, and we have had amazing feedback from employers saying how great it was to meet potential candidates.”


Stonemasonry students impress with carvings for Lovell Stone Group competition


Students produced some impressive carvings for a college competition sponsored by Lovell Stone Group.

Full-time and love2learn stonemasonry students spent a week creating carvings to be judged by company directors, who chose four designs to put on display at the Lovell Stone Group stand at the Natural Stone Show.

Taking place from April 25th to April 27th, the Natural Stone Show at the ExCeL arena in London is the only UK exhibition and conference dedicated to the natural stone industry.

Students Sam Bradley, Jeni Wood, David Lambard and Josie Baher will have their work displayed .


For the competition, students were given a piece of Hartham Park Bath stone and asked to create a carving representing the city of Bath. Entries were inspired by the topography, architecture and history of Bath. Some students chose to focus on iconic scenes such as the Royal Crescent and Pulteney Bridge.


James Hart, Sales Director at Lovell Stone Group, said: “The carvings were fantastic, we were really blown away by the quality of the pieces and also the interpretation of the brief.

“We were really impressed by how the students had run with the theme. I know they were coming in outside their normal hours of study, which shows a lot of commitment.


“What we’re really looking forward to is getting people from the industry to come along and vote on them. We’ll have a token voting system on the stand, and in May we’ll visit Bath College to present a cash prize to the winner.”

Stonemasonry lecturer Paul Maggs said: “The stonemasonry department at Bath College were delighted to be offered the opportunity for students to participate in the stone carving competition sponsored by the Lovell Stone Group.

“The students have worked enthusiastically to showcase their skills with outstanding results. We look forward to the next stage where the work of the four finalists will be displayed at the Natural Stone Show in London.”


FoodCycle Bath receives £300 thanks to the second Bath Soup Project


New baking trays will help FoodCycle Bath with its work tackling food waste.
The volunteer-run project has received £300 to buy the trays thanks to the second Bath Soup Project, organised by HND business students at Bath College.
Five community organisations gave a five-minute pitch at the crowdfunding event, raising money for community organisations in Bath with a simple bowl of soup.
FoodCycle Bath received the most votes on the night and the new tins will fit a new oven in place at St Mary’s Catholic Church, making it easier and quicker to serve food.

The project has been serving delicious three-course meals made from surplus food since 2012. Meals take place every Wednesday at 7.30pm and everyone is welcome.
Visitors to the second Bath Soup, at Bath College’s Shrubbery Restaurant, event donated £5 in return for a bowl of soup, donated by the Free Range Chef and a chunk of Bread donated by The Thoughtful Bread Company. At the end of the evening, they chose which organisation to give the takings to.
Those pitching for the cash included the Keynsham Kindness project, Mentoring Plus, the FoodCycle, Bath Welcomes Refugees and Sporting Family Change. Although only one project took the money on the evening, all projects received further offers of support.

Southside Youth Mentoring were the first to benefit from the Bath Soup Project.
Carole Rust, who led the pitch for FoodCycle Bath, said: “The evening has been a great opportunity for sharing contacts and knowledge.
“It’s a bit like our FoodCycle meals – you don’t know what those ingredients are going to do when they’re put together but often the result is awesome. I had no idea we would win the pitch.”
Fiona Bell, hub leader at the FoodCycle Bath, said: “We’re reducing food waste, reducing food poverty and building up communities. We have quite a few regulars and some people say it’s the highlight of their week.”

Employability adviser Lucy Beattie worked with the Bath College students and The Volunteer Centre to plan the event.
She said: “It was a great success, giving the students a chance to work on a live community event and for all of us to hear more about the amazing projects going on in our community.
“It was great to hear how Southside Youth Mentoring are using the funds from the first Soup Project to train their peer mentors and to see new projects being planned for Bath.”
The next Bath Soup Project event is planned for October, follow @bathsoupproject on Twitter


Love2learn exhibition: Artists to showcase their work at 44AD Art Gallery


Picture above by Deanne Lewis

A four-day exhibition at 44AD Art Gallery will showcase the creative talents of students studying part-time Love2learn courses at Bath College.
Titled Palette, the exhibition is inspired by the broad ranges of courses on offer at the college and will include work from a wide variety of artistic disciplines.
The gallery, at Abbey Street Bath, will be filled with fine art paintings, photographs, jewellery, prints and sculptures from March 29th to April 1st.
Work on display will be available for sale, giving people an opportunity to purchase work from emerging and established artists.

Picture by Sophie Overment
Jo Sanders, Deputy Head of Art & Design is curating the exhibition and students from Bath College will be volunteering as guides over the four days.
She said: “There’s always a really high standard of work for the exhibition. Tutors have been collecting work from students over the past couple of months, so there’s a real sense of excitement about the opening.
“Our Love2learn art courses are very popular and there’s a really busy atmosphere in the evenings, with students coming in to learn and perfect their skills.

Picture by Deanne Lewis
“We have a new photography intermediate course for students who completed our beginners course and our ceramics courses are booming – I think people have been inspired by the BBC’s Great Pottery Throw Down.
“Some people might not be aware of this side of the college, and it’s really nice for the students to come together to show their work.
“Katie O’Brien is the project director at 44AD and teaches on our curatorship and studio painting courses. We’re really pleased to be working with her to use 44AD as an exhibition space.”
For some students, the exhibition will be the first opportunity they’ve had to exhibit their work. Prizes will be handed out, including £100 worth of vouchers for the Love2learn student of the year.
An open evening will be held at 44AD on Friday March 31st from 6pm to 8pm and all are welcome to visit. The exhibition will be open from Wednesday March 29th to Saturday April 1st between 11am to 4pm.


Students boost skills with five-month placement at Space Engineering Services


Students at Bath College are completing a five-month work placement with the Bristol-based firm Space Engineering Services to gain hands-on experience to support their studies.
Students Daniel Flint, Daniel Pride, William Duffy, James Dyer and Kamil Danilowicz are studying for the Level 2 VRQ Diploma in Refrigeration/Air Conditioning Equipment Engineering Technology at Bath College.
They are now part of a diverse team at the dedicated refrigeration system manufacturing facility in north Bristol, and will be building on what they’ve learnt at college, with ample opportunity to develop their brazing, electrical, insulation, pressure testing and commissioning capabilities.
Through hands-on experience in a real working environment, the trainees will develop the required skills to move into the next phase of their professional development, which could be the Level 3 Diploma in Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pump Systems.
Space Engineering Services manufacturers an average of 20 refrigeration systems per month at the site in Bristol, many of which are customised to meet customers’ particular requirements.
The students can see how customer specifications are interpreted in the production environment by the firm, whose customer base includes retailers, industrial businesses and public sector organisations.
Tony Mills, Plant Director at Space Engineering Services, said: “It’s vital that we offer opportunities for new talent to join our growing business.
“We have been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm shown by the trainees, their commitment to the work, and how much they have developed in such a short space of time. It’s great to see their genuine interest in manufacturing and desire to progress in the refrigeration and engineering sector.”
Student Will Duffy said: “It’s great to interact with others in a professional environment so I know what to expect in the future. Although I could already braze, I can see how much I have improved in both quality and speed since being here.”
Mr Mills said: “We have worked in partnership with Bath College on a number of initiatives and we’re really pleased to continue to work collaboratively with them on what will be an invaluable career stepping stone for these young men.”
The students will be working for Space Engineering Services for the final five months of their course, between January and May this year.


ICAEW Base accounting challenge: Students come 2nd in regional heat


Students studying business came 2nd in the regional heat for the ICAEW Base accounting challenge at the University of Oxford.
A group of BTEC business and AAT students from Bath College took part in the business and accountancy challenge at St Hugh’s College last month.
The competition is organised and run by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and was open to students nationally.
Teams were asked to analyse a complex case study and identify the actions the business should take to improve its practice.
In the regional heat, the college’s team of business students (Kayley Johnson, Finley Bartlett, Georgia Gentle, Joshua Meyer and Ben Flint) received 2nd place.



Apprentice of the month: James Smith from the Royal United Hospitals Bath


James Smith is working as a Level 2 business administration apprentice at the Royal United Hospitals Bath. He’s working in the hospital’s Quality Improvement Centre and finishes his apprenticeship at the end of May. This month, he spoke to us about his experience so far.
Can you tell me about working at the hospital and what you do as an apprentice?
The Quality Improvement Centre is all about patient experience and health and safety – it looks at how accidents can be prevented. Today my main job is printing papers and organising them for my deputy manager.
I also deliver medical records to staff and I do a lot of scanning and filing. I’ve sat in on four or five meetings and I’ll be doing this again before I finish. I used to work in an elderly care home, so I know what it’s like to work in a care-based environment. I don’t deal with this day to day, but when I see a patient I try and help them.

What do you enjoy about your apprenticeship and what have you learnt?
I’ve learnt that this is definitely the career I want to be in. Data inputting is the most enjoyable thing about my job, I enjoy adding things to databases.
As part of my coursework, I’ve had to talk about understanding communications, managing myself, e-mails, meetings and health and safety, as well as producing documents and managing diary systems. We have to write about all our practical work.
I’ve grown in confidence because my apprenticeship has given me a lot more to talk about in an interview and I’ve grown up a lot (in terms of trying to decide what suits me and what I have to do to get a job). No-one else can decide this for me, it’s something I have to be proactive about.

Why did you choose to study as an apprentice?
I did level 2 public services at Bath College and then travel and tourism. I was searching for a job and I found this apprenticeship after leaving college.
It’s definitely better because you’re getting a qualification and earning money at the same time. I don’t have to work part-time at the weekend and I get social time with people outside of work. I went to college because, at first, I didn’t know what I wanted to do as a career. That’s what a lot of people do and then (when they feel it’s right) they start an apprenticeship.
What’s the next step for you?
If I found a level 3 apprenticeship I would definitely stick to that, and if not, I’m thinking about university. Otherwise, I’ll look for a job if there’s a good progression route.
Do you have any advice for someone considering an apprenticeship?
I would say do an apprenticeship and don’t leave it too late. If you’re not sure what you want to do, get some work experience first. Think about what you want to see yourself doing and find an apprenticeship that’s right for you.

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