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News

Campaign calling for more disabled sport on TV attracts plenty of support

 

A national petition calling for broadcasters to show more disabled sport to inspire the next generation of athletes has reached nearly 300 signatures.
 
Simeon Wakely, from Timsbury, near Bath, set up with the petition with his friend James Ireland, from Essex, after last year’s Olympics.
 
The pair have been campaigning on the issue with the support of the charity Fixers – set up to give a voice to young people aged 16 to 25.
 
With the help of Fixers, they have created a film about their campaign, which was shown on ITV West Country, ITV London, ITV Meridian and ITV Anglia last month.
 

 
Simeon, a former Bath College student, has Spina Bifida, a condition which stops the spine developing as it should, and needs a wheelchair to get around.
 
His sporting achievements include playing and coaching for the wheelchair basketball team South West Scorpions and carrying the Olympic torch through Bath in 2012.
 
He said: “I want to see equal opportunities for disabled people and that’s what motivates me to do campaigns like this. More disability sports shown on TV means that there are more opportunities for people to participate in disabled sport.
 
“As someone who has done sports for the last eight years, I know that being in a team and being around people who understand what you’re going through is very important.”
 
Part of Simeon and James’s film was filmed at Bath College last summer, and it also featured British Paralympic athlete Sophie Kamlish.
 
This month, Simeon visited the college to show the final piece to media students and the students’ union team, who gave some feedback.
 
Students’ Union President Kez Hawkins said: “I thought the film was really great. I think it’s really good to be pushing for more disability sports on TV – not just wheelchair basketball but all disability sports.”
 
Sophie, who studied art foundation at Bath College in 2015, came fourth in the T44 100m at last year’s Rio Paralympics.
 
She said: “It’s very important that people who are disabled see themselves represented on television, especially in sport, showing that we are strong and can do pretty much anything that a non-disabled person can do.”
 
Simeon, 20, said: “Disability is a label, but it’s not who you are. It shouldn’t define you as a person.
 
“It’s very important to make sure people understand. Just because we have a disability, it doesn’t mean that we’re not human.”
 
To sign Simeon and James’s petition click here. To find out more about the work Simeon is doing with local employers and schools click here.
 

News

National Apprenticeship Week: Bath College’s Principal shadows an apprentice

 

Apprentice Liz Doughty showed Bath College’s Principal what it’s like to work as a trainee veterinary nurse for National Apprenticeship Week.
 
Principal Laurel Penrose shadowed Liz, who is studying and working as a Level 3 veterinary nursing apprentice with the Bath Vet Group.
 
She was given a tour of the kennels and cattery at the practice in Odd Down, and was shown how to change a saline drip.
 
Liz, from Melksham, was working as a kennel assistant at the Bath Vet Group and was offered an apprenticeship after applying for a trainee position to study veterinary nursing.
 

 
She said: “Doing an apprenticeship is a fun way to study. I like working at the same time as studying, it helps you apply what you’ve learnt.
 
“Obviously some days are upsetting because you have a lot of poorly animals, but when you see them go home you know you’ve made a difference.
 
“I just love the care side of it. I like being able to give them some TLC, and their owners appreciate it if you’re taking care of their animal and you’re talking to them about their pet.
 
“It’s a very intense course, but our tutor at Bath College has been amazing. I have had a lot of support and I enjoy working with the other students.
 
“It’s given me a route into the career I wanted. I didn’t think it was possible before, but now I know what I want to do for the rest of my working life.”
 

Bath College is the largest training provider in Bath and North East Somerset, with almost 530 apprentice in training with over 260 businesses.
 
The college was chosen as the 2016 Apprenticeship Training Provider of the Year for Bath and Bristol at the Bristol Post and Bath Chronicle Apprenticeship Awards.
 
Principal Laurel Penrose said: “It’s great value for the employer and a brilliant learning experience for the students. The progression routes are excellent – you can start at GCSE level and go right through to degree level.
 
“It’s the start of a fantastic career, and I think Liz really epitomises that. She had an interest in animal care, but her interest has become fully fledged through an apprenticeship and it’s affordable (which is the point she made). Without an apprenticeship she wouldn’t have had the opportunity.
 
“In Liz’s case, she wants to go on to do emergency care. It’s not just an apprenticeship, it’s a doorway to other qualifications. It’s a case of how far an individual wants to take it.”
 


 

Interested in an apprenticeship? Let us know!

 

 


 

What are the next steps to becoming an apprentice?

 

Our programmes are designed for young people who have either found an employer who will take on an apprentice, or for those looking to find an employer.
Please complete the form below giving details of the apprenticeship you want to take and the employer who has offered you a placement.

 

 

Register your interest in becoming an Apprentice using the form above.
 
 

College Placement Officer contacts you to discuss the next steps.
 
 

Interviews, start dates and enrollments are arranged for you.
 
 

You begin paid employment through the programme.
 

 

News

Studying for a creative apprenticeship: Beth from Bath Aqua Glass shares her story

 

Beth Howard, 17, is one of four apprentices at Bath Aqua Glass. Bath Aqua Glass is one of the last free-blown glass studios in the UK and is located in the heart of Bath- it has a studio in Walcot Street and a stained glass workshop at its shop by Bath Abbey. Studying as an apprenticeship with the business is a unique experience. Here, Beth shares her story for National Apprenticeship Week.
 
I studied for a UAL Level 3 diploma in art and design at Bath College for a year and a half, gaining skills in different mediums and techniques. However, I was struggling to decide on a university course and find something that would guarantee a career at the end. Apprenticeships had always been an option, but finding an apprenticeship in the creative field seemed impossible. Through the Bath College apprenticeships board, I noticed that Bath Aqua Glass were looking for a new stained glass apprentice and I jumped at the opportunity.
 

 
Being an apprentice at Bath Aqua Glass is extremely rewarding and full of different opportunities that push and challenge you as an individual. I’m learning the ancient skills of stained glass on the job, gaining first-hand experience of all the elements – such as cutting, leading, glass painting, fusing and commissions. Having young people lead the way as the next generation of glass makers (to carry on the British glass industry) is very important to me. It’s about keeping ancient arts and crafts alive for years to come. I am passionate about apprenticeships and how important it is for young people to earn and learn at the same time.
 
News story: Teenager is the first apprentices to study jewellery making with Bath Aqua Glass
 

 
Before working at Bath Aqua Glass I had never cut or used any stained glass. I was thrilled to get the opportunity four months down the line to take part in a stained glass mirror commission and a big commission for the Exeter Life Awards, creating 25 individual trophies. I am mad about colour and how textures are layered. Having the hand-blown glass to use is beautiful and I enjoy creating well-made pieces.
 

 
Learning from scratch, I have found elements of my apprenticeship that have pushed me out of my comfort zone artistically and technically. As someone who struggles with maths, I have overcome aspects that have worried me with technical drawings and measurements. I feel that Bath Aqua Glass as a company is one that supports and encourages young people to showcase their talents. They give you the tools, experience and opportunities to become knowledgeable and enriched glass makers once you have completed your apprenticeship.
 
I chose this apprenticeship because I felt that Bath Aqua Glass would be the right place for me. I felt that I would fit in well with the diverse team and it would be the ideal place for me to grown creatively. My aim is to become as accomplished as the official stained glass artists, to be given commissions and to produce elegant pieces of art – which will be treasured for years to come.
 


 

Interested in an apprenticeship? Let us know!

 

 


 

What are the next steps to becoming an apprentice?

 

Our programmes are designed for young people who have either found an employer who will take on an apprentice, or for those looking to find an employer.
Please complete the form below giving details of the apprenticeship you want to take and the employer who has offered you a placement.

 

 

Register your interest in becoming an Apprentice using the form above.
 
 

College Placement Officer contacts you to discuss the next steps.
 
 

Interviews, start dates and enrollments are arranged for you.
 
 

You begin paid employment through the programme.
 

 

News

Building a career in construction: Stonemasonry student learns on the job at Saw Close site

 

Stonemasonry student Morwenna Harrington had the chance to work on a £19 million building project for her work experience.
 
Morwenna, who is studying Level 2 stonemasonry, spent time working at Saw Close in Bath, the location for a new casino, hotel and restaurant complex.
 
Saw Close was designed with the help of architects AWW and Aaron Evans Associates, together with Mi-space, part of the Midas Group.
 

 
Bath College employability adviser Jason Noch arranged Morwenna’s work experience with the Midas Group, and onsite, Morwenna worked alongside stonemasons from Farmington Natural Stone.
 
Stonemasons are using ashlar sandstone to clad the new buildings, and they showed Morwenna how to fix the stone panels in place.
 
Morwenna, 24, is looking for a company to sponsor her as an apprentice so she can continue to study for a Level 3 qualification at Bath College next year.
 
She said: “The team were really nice. I enjoyed being left to work on the line of ashlar – I built up a bit of momentum.
 

 
“Having completed this work experience, I definitely feel a bit more confident going out and finding an apprenticeship. Just being able to say I have some experience is really helpful.
 
“I was working on the hotel that will be part of the new complex. I’ve seen a lot of new buildings going up around Bath and it’s good to be able to think I’ve helped to work on this one.”
 
Morwenna, from Bath, is working in retail at the moment, but is hoping to forge a new career in stonemasonry through her studies at Bath College.
 
Interested in an apprenticeship? Find out about apprenticeships at Bath College here.
 

 
She said: “I’ve worked in retail since I was 16. I decided I wanted to do something new, but I didn’t know what I was looking for. I was looking through college prospectuses and the stonemasonry courses stood out. I’m really glad I chose to purse it as a trade.
 
“Being a female stonemason isn’t something you think about as a career choice, but there are a few women on the course here at college. I did think about what it would be like working on a building site where there are more men than women, but it wasn’t a big deal at all.
 
“Now I’m in my second year, I’m looking for an employer to sponsor me as an apprentice so I can work and study at the same time.”
  

News

Understanding apprenticeship standards: Seven ways you can make the new standards work for your business.

 

What are apprenticeship standards?
 
The government is changing the way apprenticeships will work. Apprenticeship standards are replacing the old apprenticeship frameworks – these are a document covering the statutory requirements for an apprenticeship programme.
 
The new standards are being developed by ‘trailblazers’ which are employer-led groups. The aim is make sure qualifications are rigorous and suit the needs of employers
 
How can I make the new standards work for my business?
 
1. Our apprenticeship team at Bath College is on-hand to offer expert advice.

We work with businesses to help them develop apprenticeship programmes in line with their training needs and aid the growth of their company in the future.
 

 

2. Think about the areas of your business where you need extra help
Is there an area of your business which is growing? Consider hiring an apprentice if you’re a growing business and you’re thinking about increasing the size of your team. Are you looking for someone with a particular skillset? If you’re looking for an accountant, admin officer, or IT assistant, pick someone who can train on the job.
 
Want to find an apprentice? Fill out our inquiry form here.
 
3. Embrace an alternative route into industry
You may have seen the news about plans to recruit apprentices within the police force for the first time. New apprenticeship standards are being developed to offer alternative career routes. Take a look and see if new options are available to you as an employer.
 
4. You have purchasing power – make sure you use this.

As part of the new system, businesses can choose where to spend funding for an apprentice. Use your purchasing power to make sure your apprentices are getting high-quality and relevant training with the right training provider. At Bath College, we will work with you to make sure that you maximise the return on your investment.
 

 
5. Could roles within your organisation be included on a higher apprenticeships programme?

The traditional view of apprenticeships revolves around employing young people from school at 16 into lower level positions within industries (such as construction, hair and beauty or healthcare).
 
Whilst this is still the case for a number of apprenticeships, it is not the whole story. Higher level apprenticeships begin at the equivalent of a NVQ Level 4. Apprenticeship programmes can go up to NVQ Level 6, the equivalent of an undergraduate honours degree.
 
This means that the next generation of engineers, computer developers and chartered accountants can be trained under apprenticeship programmes. If you are considering expanding your apprenticeship programme, consider these two things: the areas of your business that could benefit from inclusion and the level of staff training that could be included.
 

 
6. Look at the apprenticeship standards which already exist for the roles within your organisation.
The standards show what an apprentice will be doing and the skills required of them. Standards are developed by employer groups known as ‘trailblazers’. Each standard will include details like the duration of the apprenticeship, core knowledge and entry requirements.
 
7. Consider whether your current training programmes are suitable for future apprenticeships.
If you currently run training programmes for your staff, you need to be thinking whether these are suitable for conversion to apprenticeship programmes. Apprenticeships are work-based training programmes, and can be used to develop employees who are in new job roles (including higher level roles).
 
If you want advice on the potential options which will be best suited to your business, contact our experts in the Bath Training & Apprenticeship Hub.
 


 

Interested in an apprenticeship? Let us know!

 

 


 

What are the next steps to becoming an apprentice?

 

Our programmes are designed for young people who have either found an employer who will take on an apprentice, or for those looking to find an employer.
Please complete the form below giving details of the apprenticeship you want to take and the employer who has offered you a placement.

 

 

Register your interest in becoming an Apprentice using the form above.
 
 

College Placement Officer contacts you to discuss the next steps.
 
 

Interviews, start dates and enrollments are arranged for you.
 
 

You begin paid employment through the programme.
 

 

News

You can’t go to university with an apprenticeship: 11 apprenticeship myths and the truth behind these

 

What do you think of when you hear the word apprenticeships? You may have a good idea of what being an apprentice means, but do you have all the facts? We’ve put together some of the most common myths about apprenticeship schemes so you can decide whether it’s the right career path for you.

For more information on apprenticeships at Bath College click here. 

 

 1. I’m doing well at school so an apprenticeship is not for me
Studying for an apprenticeship will stretch and challenge you. You’ll also get the chance to learn from experienced professionals and will be set targets to make sure you’re learning at an appropriate speed.

 

2. You can’t go to university with an apprenticeship
If you want to go towards university, apprenticeship qualifications count towards your UCAS points. At Bath College, we’ve seen this work first-hand. One of our former apprentices, Katie Constantine, is now studying history of art at Bath Spa University.

 

 

3. In order to have a good career you have to go to university
Higher apprenticeships offer people the chance to study at university level and progress with their learning. If you have good A-level results (or an equivalent Level 3 qualification) a higher apprenticeship will offer degree level qualifications without the university debt.

 

4. I won’t be able to change careers if I do an apprenticeship
An apprenticeship will prepare you for a particular role, but you’re not committed to this forever. Many of the skills you’ll learn will be transferrable and, if you choose, you can use them in a different industry.

 

 

 

Want to see our current apprenticeship vacancies? Click here!

 

5. Apprenticeships are only available in traditional trades like engineering and construction
Yes, apprenticeships are available in the traditional trades like engineering, construction and plumbing. However, there are hundreds of apprenticeship standards for many different types of jobs. You can study businesses administration, management, and accountancy as an apprentice – the list is growing all the time.

 

6. I’m too old to start on an apprenticeship scheme
There are no age limits for an apprenticeship and from May there will be no fees for mandatory elements of your apprenticeship. Studying an apprenticeship is now an attractive way to start a career later in life for people of any age.

Meet Brett, who decided to study for an apprenticeship with Bath College in his thirties.

 

7. Being an apprentice is not the same as being a full-time member of staff – you’re just there to make tea and coffee.
Apprentices are treated just like any other employee. Employers are investing their time and money to train you and the goal is to get you ready to work full-time. They want you to become an integral part of the business and to do well in your training.

 

8. Apprentices are on low pay
Although you may not earn as much as a full-time employee straight away, your employer is paying for and supporting you with your qualification. As an apprentice, you’re able to earn while you learn which is very different from a full-time student (or even university students who will usually need to take out a loan).

 

 

9. Businesses prefer to hire university graduates for high-level positions
Employers are looking for people who have relevant work experience. As an apprentice, you can gain that valuable experience and work your way up in a company on a Higher Apprenticeship. An apprenticeship gives you the opportunity to be one step ahead of graduates and be in a management position before your peers finish university.

 

10. I need experience to get an apprenticeship
An apprenticeship is about developing skills. Employers are looking for passion, enthusiasm and commitment, rather than someone with all the experience needed for the job.

 

11. Existing employees can’t do an apprenticeship
You can complete an apprenticeship if you’re already in work and this can lead to vast benefits for you and your employer. With the introduction of the apprenticeship levy, employers will be looking for new ways to spend their levy. A proportion of this will be used to upskill existing employees. For example, training aspiring staff through a management apprenticeships programme allows existing staff to progress academically and vocationally in their chosen career.

 

If you’re an employer, you can find information on apprenticeships here.
 


 

Interested in an apprenticeship? Let us know!

 

 


 

What are the next steps to becoming an apprentice?

 

Our programmes are designed for young people who have either found an employer who will take on an apprentice, or for those looking to find an employer.
Please complete the form below giving details of the apprenticeship you want to take and the employer who has offered you a placement.

 

 

Register your interest in becoming an Apprentice using the form above.
 
 

College Placement Officer contacts you to discuss the next steps.
 
 

Interviews, start dates and enrollments are arranged for you.
 
 

You begin paid employment through the programme.
 

 

Football Academy, News

Bath College to launch new women’s football academy in September

 

Bath College is excited to announce the launch of a new women’s football academy in partnership with Bath City FC.
 
Spaces are available for up to 20 players aged 16 to 19 to start training with the academy at Odd Down Sports Ground in September.
 
The academy will be unique to Bath and will build on the success of the men’s programme with the Bath City Football Academy.
 
It will also help to meet an increasing demand for women’s football from young players in the past few years.
 
Sports lecturer Paul Blenkinsopp, from Bath College, said: “We’ve been working in partnership with Bath City FC over the last three years to develop the men’s programme and we’ve also had a number of enquiries from people asking ‘do you offer women’s football?’
 
“We’re working with the Bath City Community Sports Foundation and they already run training sessions for year 10 and 11 pupils. They’ve told us they have a lot of young female players and coaches, so there’s a definite demand for this.”
 
Players training with the women’s football academy will train three times a week. One session will be based at the Bath College gym and two sessions will be at Odd Down Sports Ground.
 
They will play matches on Wednesday as part of the ECFA (English Colleges Football Association) and will study for a Level 2 or Level 3 BTEC in sport.
 
The college sports department has a number of staff who either play or coach football and, as a result, they are very excited about the new programme.
 
Mr Blenkinsopp, said: “The big thing is that we’re going to offer something unique for the Bath area, and by working with the community sports foundation we’ll also be able to offer existing students work experience placements.
 
“It’s a great opportunity for young female football players.”
 
To find out about the women’s football academy call (01225) 312191 or e-mail paul.blenkinsopp@bathcollege.ac.uk.
 
You can register your interest in the new programme here.
 

News

International business students visit New York to experience life abroad

 

Photos by Kyle Blackwell
 
Students at Bath College found out about American culture and what it’s like to conduct business abroad during a trip to New York.
 
A group of first year students studying international business spent four days in New York and, for many, it was their first visit to America.
 
The group visited famous landmarks, including the Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, the World Trade Centre and the 9/11 Memorial.
 

 
They learnt how to use the city’s transport system, travelling by taxi and taking the subway, and went ice skating in Central Park.
 
The group were given a tour of the United Nations Headquarters and New York’s famous department store Macy’s.
 
Student Matt Newberry said: “We found out how they advertise and market clothes, and they explained how the different sections change in colour and style from men’s to women’s.
 
“Everything is different in America and happens on a much bigger scale. It’s all about mass marketing, they have massive billboards everywhere and everyone is trying to make you spend more.”
 
The international business course at Bath College looks at how business needs can be affected by international markets, and cultural and political climates.
 
As part of the course, students are given the opportunity to travel abroad to visit companies and experience first-hand how they conduct business, marketing and event management.
 

 
Student Sam Robbins said: “I’m glad I chose to study international business. With other courses, you’re setting out on a particular pathway.
 
“Business can open doors for you, you can do a lot with a business course. I want to do well in my career so I can travel to places like New York.”
 
Louise said: “For the students, the experience of going to New York was both exciting and interesting.
 
“The students are on the international business course, so it is imperative that they experience business and culture in other countries.
 
“The highlights were definitely the business tour around the largest story in the world (Macy’s) and, of course, the Statue of Liberty.
 
“The students were fabulous and were a credit to the college, this won’t be the last time our students visit new York!”
 

Football Academy, News

Women at the Game: Music student to support Bath City FC event

 

Music student Ruby Donadel is supporting an event at Twerton Park set up to show women why watching football can be great fun.
 
Bath City FC is encouraging as many women as possible to come along to its match against Hemel Hempstead on Saturday March 11th.
 
Female fans are invited to a reception before the game where they can get together, chat and enjoy some pre-match refreshments.
 
The event is part of a national initiative called ‘Women at the Game’ and coincides with International Women’s Day on March 8th.
 

 
Ruby, who is studying Level 3 music performance at Bath College, will be playing a live acoustic set for guests at the reception.
 
The 18-year-old is a big football fan and used to play football for a number of local teams, including Yeovil Town Ladies FC.
 
She said: “I played football for seven years. It’s always been seen as a men’s hobby but it’s getting more popular with women – especially with the success of the England women’s team.
 
“At the moment you’re outnumbered if you go to watch a game, but I’ve never had a problem with it. If you love the sport, it’s really fun.
 
“I’m singing at the event because I love the cause, I thought it was a great idea and wanted to help. I’m in the final year of my course, so I’ve done quite a lot of gigs but I’ve never played at a football match before. I’m looking forward to it, it will be a good experience.”
 
Bath City FC is about to become a community-owned club and is committed to strengthening its links to the local community.
 
Female fans will be on-hand to guide new visitors to the reception, which starts at 2pm – an hour before the match kick-off. Tickets are available here.
 

News

From Bath College to a job in a Michelin-starred restaurant – former student has a bright future ahead

 

A young chef who started his career training at Bath College has secured a job at a top restaurant with two Michelin stars.
 

Ollie Dunn, 18, is working under Executive Head Chef Gary Jones at Raymond Blanc’s Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons in Oxfordshire.
 

He met Mr Jones two years ago as a student at Bath College during the college’s annual Chef v Chef Competition.
 


 

The competition, organised by Bath College and Catering Services International, is judged by a panel of professional chefs.
 

Ollie was one of the finalists for the competition, and was offered work experience at Le Manoir – which kindled an ambition to work there in the future.
 
He finished studying at Bath College last year and worked at The Royal Crescent Hotel for six months before securing a job at Le Manoir.
 

Ollie said: “I love working at Le Manoir. It’s always busy and I love waking up knowing you’re going to learn something new.
 

“It’s quite a daunting kitchen to work in at first. There’s 40 chefs at Le Manoir so that’s the first thing you have to get used to – the size of it.
 

“You have to adapt to working with people who speak different languages. The best thing about cooking is getting to express myself, I’m quite artistic so I enjoy plating up.”
 

Ollie, who is working as a commis chef, completed a two-day trial at Le Manoir, working 9am to 10pm before he was offered the job.
 

He was proud to help with the judging for this year’s Chef v Chef Competition alongside Mr Jones, just after finishing his three-month probation.
 


 

Ollie said: “Coming to Bath College definitely helped to set me up in my career. It’s had a massive impact on my life and I have made so many connections.
 

“My advice would be to listen to what your tutors are saying to you, take it on the chin and use it. Even if things go badly, keeping going because you’re learning and you’re progressing.
 

“Think about what you want in your career and don’t sit around waiting for something to happen. It depends on how much you want to learn and push yourself, but I’m quite ambitious.”
 

Executive Head Chef Gary Jones, who is supporting and mentoring Ollie, said: “Ollie epitomises what the Chef v Chef competition is about.
 

“It’s brave to stand up and put yourself forward to compete against your peers. It was clear to see Ollie wanted to improve his skills. He has made a concentrated effort to learn his craft in a great kitchen.
 

“We’re training the next generation of young chefs and in turn, UK restaurants are improving their standards. I’m very proud of Ollie, he has a great attitude to learning and development.
 

“He’s just passed his three-month probation and if he keeps going the way he’s going, he’ll become an exceptional young chef. It’s vitally important for young chefs to position themselves in the very best kitchens, and to hone and develop their craft for the future.
 

“I am always impressed by Steve Benison and the team at Bath College, who, year on year, provide this great opportunity to the students and chefs in Bath to shine. Long may it continue.”
 

News

Applying for university: advice on student finance for parents

 

Students had the opportunity to meet HE Adviser Richard Wiltshire, from Cardiff Met University, this week.
 
Richard is a specialist on student funding for people applying to university. He spoke to students (including Level 3 students) about tuition and living cost loans, bursaries and scholarships and extra help  they can apply for prior to starting their degrees in September.
 


 
Parents who have students applying for university can find some useful information here:
 
Frequently asked questions by parents – when to apply, evidence and payment
 
How your child applies and gets paid – what your child can get, how student finance works and repayment
 
Myths and facts about student finance.
 
For more information contact our Futures team.
 

 

News

Bath College backs AoC campaign to secure fair funding for colleges

 

Bath College is backing a national campaign calling for fairer funding for colleges ahead of the Government’s spring budget in March.
 
The college is a member of the Association of Colleges (AoC) which has published 16 recommendations for spending on further education.
 
At the moment, education funding for 16 to 18-year-olds is 22 per cent lower than funding for younger learners and the recommendations seek to address this imbalance.
 
Bath College provides full-time and part-time education for over 6,000 students, including 2,000 16 to 18-year-olds who study with the college full-time.
 
Across the country, 2.7 million students are taught at a further education or sixth form college providing academic, professional and technical training.
 
A day of action for the fairer funding campaign takes place on February 22 and Bath College is supporting a Thunderclap set up by the AoC on social media.
 
Bath College Principal Laurel Penrose will also be writing to local MPs to make them aware of the importance of funding for current and future students.
 
She said: “It is becoming increasingly acknowledged that skills shortages affect local, regional and national economies.
 

“Further education colleges have the expertise to provide students with new skills or upskill current practitioners, but a fair funding regime is required.

 
“A skilled workforce will be the backbone of this country’s future economic success and further education colleges are key to making this a reality.”
 

 
Bath College is supporting each of the AoC’s recommendations.
 

These include:
 
Increasing spending on education and training from 4.3 per cent to 5 per cent of GDP in order to introduce fair funding for colleges.
 
• Increasing funding for 16 to 18-year-olds to match Key Stage 4 funding and extending pupil premium above the age of 16.
 
• Financial support to help students choose the best education possible – irrespective of transport costs and other needs such as childcare.
 
• Replace the English and maths condition of funding with rules that rely on the professional judgement of college leaders.
 
• Introducing a new English Social Fund to replace the European Social Fund which is likely to end when Britain leaves the EU.
 
• Review the Adult Education Budget to make sure there are opportunities for those aged 19 and over.
 
• Guarantee apprenticeship spending between 2017 and 2020 regardless of spending generated by the new apprenticeship levy.
 
David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges said: “Colleges already support nearly three million people nationally, but there are more people who want to improve their skills and the investment by Government is insufficient.
 
“They are at the forefront of delivering technical and professional education and training, and they can do more with the right investment. Fair funding for colleges is essential for every community and for employers who need skilled people to be successful.”
 
To see the full list of recommendations, visit the AoC website.
 

News

Apprentice of the month: Sophie Coupe from B Hairdressing

 

Sophie Coupe is a Level 2 hairdressing apprentice working at B Hairdressing and studying at Bath College. She has been working at the new salon in Widcombe for four months.
 
What’s the best thing about your apprenticeship?
 
My boss is part of a group of people working for Paul Mitchell, they go round different companies leading demonstrations and doing shows.
 
It’s great because she’s able to pass all of this down to me. I’m learning different styles and I’m practicing blow drys on regular customers. I work at the reception desk and answer phone calls, as well as booking appointments and taking payments.
 
At the moment we’re a small team, we’re looking for other stylists but because there’s only three of us we do everything together. It’s great to see the business growing, we have targets to grow how much we’re earning and you can see those going up – it’s nice to see that I have contributed and that I’m helping my boss.
 
Can you tell us a bit about why you chose a hairdressing apprenticeship?
 
I’m glad I chose an apprenticeship because it’s hands-on. For my GCSEs, I did well in the creative subjects but I had to work hard to achieve academically.
 
I have loved hairdressing ever since I was young, I like making people feel a million dollars. It’s a really good trade, you can work as a hairdresser at home, you can set up as a mobile hairdresser or you can do haircuts for your family.
 
When you’re in a hairdressing environment, you don’t get a lot of free time but it’s nice because your clients become your friends – they talk to you as a friend and you have a real relationship with them.
 
Do you enjoy your time studying at Bath College?
 
I looked at studying here and Trowbridge and as soon as I came here I feel in love with it. I thought I would do the full-time course and work on my days off, but then I found out about the apprenticeships and I thought it would suit me better. You still get a qualification, you get an NVQ, but it’s a different route.
 
It’s nice coming into college because I can talk to my tutor about things and if I want to try something new she helps me. If she knows it’s not going to work, she can tell me why and it’s good to see what other apprentices are doing.
 
Do you feel you’ve improved since you started your apprenticeship?
 
When I first started it was really nerve wracking because you’re stood there thinking ‘this is an actual client’. You learn things at work you don’t learn in college. When you’re at work and the phone rings, and your boss is busy, you have to take it into your own hands. You’re put under a bit of pressure and there were times I stumbled on the phone, but now I just pick it up.
 
It’s tough but it’s having the right attitude. You have to work the hours, but then you’re earning money at the same time. No matter how hard it is, you know that something good will come of it. I thrive on the fact that I am constantly improving.
 
Do you have any advice for someone considering an apprenticeship?
 
You have to work at it and you have to learn from experience. When you see a problem, look at how people handle the situation. Work your way up and make sure people get to know you so you make a good name for yourself. It’s important to have a good reputation with clients.
 
Any work experience you can get helps. I have worked in quite a few salons and I can see how I’ve improved. I started off as a Saturday girl earning £25 an hour and now I’m in Bath with access to the best hairdressing training I can get.
 


 

Interested in an apprenticeship? Let us know!

 

 


 

What are the next steps to becoming an apprentice?

 

Our programmes are designed for young people who have either found an employer who will take on an apprentice, or for those looking to find an employer.
Please complete the form below giving details of the apprenticeship you want to take and the employer who has offered you a placement.

 

 

Register your interest in becoming an Apprentice using the form above.
 
 

College Placement Officer contacts you to discuss the next steps.
 
 

Interviews, start dates and enrollments are arranged for you.
 
 

You begin paid employment through the programme.
 

 

News

Judges turn up the heat for Chef V Chef Competition

 
A panel of judges searching for new culinary talent helped to turn up the heat in the kitchens at Bath College for the Chef V Chef Competition.
 
Students and professional chefs worked hard to show off their cookery skills during the day-long competition testing all aspects of food preparation and presentation.
 
The competition, organised by Bath College and Catering Services International, took on an exciting new format this year.
 
As part of this, students completed a team cooking challenge and took part in knife skills, napkin folding, table layout and wine pairing tests.
 

 
Judges included Gary Jones, who is executive head chef at Raymond Blanc’s Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire.
 
Former Bath College students Stuart Ash, from Woods Restaurant, and Scott Lucas, from the Craft Guild of Chefs for Bristol, gave up their time to judge the competition alongside Stuart Mcleod, from Zuidam and Jonathan Newberry, from The Valley Smokehouse in Bristol.
 
Judges also included Sarah Holden, from The Pig near Bath, events manager Sue Godding, Kean Maslen, a former lecturer at the college, and ex-student Ollie Dunn.
 
Ollie is working as a commis chef at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons after spending six months at The Royal Crescent Hotel.
 

 
Photo above by Joe Wooltorton
 
He met executive head chef Gary Jones and secured work experience with him after competing in the Chef V Chef Competition at Bath College two years ago.
 
Mr Jones said: “Ollie epitomises what this competition is about. It’s brave to stand up and put yourself forward. You can see he wanted to get better, he was keen to improve and has the will to improve himself.
 
“We’re training the next generation of young chefs and in turn, restaurants in the UK will raise their standards. I’m very proud of him. He’s just passed his three-month probation and if he keeps going the way he’s going, he’ll do well.”
 
The winners of the professional chef competition were Daniel Vosper, from the King William Pub (who won gold), Simon Mealing, from The Garrick’s Head, and Fraser Jones from the Best Western Plus Centurion Hotel.
 

 
Students Lucas Fellender, Maria Parker-Cook and Joshua Yoell were awarded first prize for their two-course menu in the team challenge competition.
 
First year Bath College student Benjamin Colley said: “The competition was brilliant. It’s a good way to see how far you have come in a year.
 
“I knew it was a competition, but I didn’t know how competitive it would be. I’m really happy with how I have done.”
 

 
Photo above by Dan Pedigrew
 
Competition judge Scott Lucas said: “The standard was extremely high – it was very close. For the team competition, the students were all within a percentage of each other which makes it difficult for the judges.
 
“It’s good to be back at Bath College, which is where I trained, so I know how it feels to be starting out as a student.
 
“I think it’s important that people from the industry put something back into training and supporting colleges. I think it’s something everyone should be doing.”
 

News

Engineering apprentices design new impact testing machine

 

Engineering students at Bath College have designed and created an impact testing machine to measure the shock loading resistance of materials used in manufacturing.
 

The students, who are apprentices studying for a Level 3 diploma in engineering, were asked to make the machine as part of their final year project and engineering design modules.
 

Shock loading resistance is an important consideration for engineers and comparing material properties allows them to choose the right material for the right working environment.
 

The machine includes a hammer which swings downwards to hit the test material.
 

After the impact, the shock loading or force is recorded by a pointer on an energy scale. The amount of energy absorbed in fracturing the material specimen is a measure of the material’s shock loading resistance properties.
 

Engineering lecturer Fred Bumford said: “This project has tested students’ team working, design, project management and their manufacturing skills.
 

“It’s always interesting to set students a project and see what they come up with. They have learned a lot about each other by allocating jobs and dividing up the labour.
 

“They had to choose the right kind of materials and used some interesting techniques to create the finished product. We asked them for a professional standard report at the end of it and a presentation in front of an audience.
 

“These are all good marketable skills required by industry. They have done really well.”
 


 

Interested in an apprenticeship? Let us know!

 

 


 

What are the next steps to becoming an apprentice?

 

Our programmes are designed for young people who have either found an employer who will take on an apprentice, or for those looking to find an employer.
Please complete the form below giving details of the apprenticeship you want to take and the employer who has offered you a placement.

 

 

Register your interest in becoming an Apprentice using the form above.
 
 

College Placement Officer contacts you to discuss the next steps.
 
 

Interviews, start dates and enrollments are arranged for you.
 
 

You begin paid employment through the programme.
 

 

News

Harmonie-Rose visits Bath College to thank students for fundraising project

 

Students at Bath College welcomed three special visitors into their classroom to mark the end of a fundraising project for the Hope 4 Harmonie appeal.
 
Three-year-old Harmonie-Rose visited the college’s Somer Valley Campus to meet students along with her parents Freya Hall and Ross Allen.
 
The Hope 4 Harmonie appeal was set up to help Harmonie-Rose, from Bath, who fell ill and was rushed into hospital with meningitis B at just 10-months old.
 
To save her life, doctors at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children had to operate, and the appeal is helping Harmonie-Rose adapt to life as a quadruple amputee.
 
Somer Valley Foundation Learning students raised £150 for the Hope 4 Harmonie appeal through an event selling hand-made cakes, bird boxes and planters.
 
VAP Construction students also made a clothes chest and a bed for Harmonie-Rose’s doll Rebecca, a special “lookalike” doll which comes with its own prosthetic limbs.
 
Student Aaron Connor knows Harmonie-Rose and her family, and was keen to suggest the Hope 4 Harmonie appeal for the fundraising project.
 
During the visit, student Jordan Jones gave a short presentation to Harmonie-Rose, Freya and Ross to show them how students had fundraised.
 
He said: “It was very nice to meet Harmonie-Rose, I thought she was cool. It was nice to see her face light up when she saw what we’d made. I’d like to do something like this to fundraise again.”
 
Harmonie-Rose’s mum Freya said: “She will love the bed and the clothes chest – she loves anything that she can open and close.
 
“She has quite a few clothes for Rebecca, people have made her matching clothes, and we need somewhere to put them so this is really useful.
 
“My brother is friends with Aaron, he has been a close friend of the family for years. To see people go out of their way to help you, it’s so selfless. It’s lovely to see that people are continuing to fundraise for Hope 4 Harmonie.”
 
Ashleigh Taylor, Deputy Head of Foundation Learning at Bath College, said: “This was a student-led, student-organised and student-driven event.
 
“I am so proud of how they worked together for a common cause and having Harmonie-Rose and her parents visit was just fantastic.
 
“Foundation students undertake a number of projects over the year, and for their final project they will work together to fundraise for an end of the year celebratory trip.”
 

News

Bath College media student Charlotte wins national film competition

 

A film created by a media student at Bath College has won a national competition.
 
First-year student Charlotte Nind created the winning film with school friends Jacob Bacon and Josh Stone.
 
Together, they entered their work for the Kendal Mountain Festival’s Film Active competition and were chosen as the best entry in the 16 to 18-year-old category.
 
The winning film, created at Brown’s Folly in Bathford, was inspired by this year’s competition title, ‘adventures on your doorstep’.
 
Charlotte, 17, said: “The three of us filmed it over a weekend spending one day climbing and the other caving. We edited it in the weeks after.
 
“It was a shock to all of us to win and I’m really glad they liked the film.”
 

 
The Film Active competition is open to young filmmakers from across the country and was set up to encourage youngsters to share their outdoor adventures online.
 
Charlotte and her friends spent time filming the old stone quarry at Brown’s Folly and climbing in the woods nearby. Their winning film, called Up and Under, is a documentary tracking their progress.
 
To celebrate their win, the teenagers were invited to a screening of their film at the Kendal Mountain Festival and an awards ceremony.
 
Charlotte, from Bath, studied at The Corsham School before attending Bath College and Jacob and Josh are studying at the school’s sixth form.
 
She said: “I’m enjoying college, it’s a lot more practical which is what I was looking for. The course focuses on making films rather than analysing them, which I prefer.
 
“I’m definitely looking for a career in filmmaking. At the start I plan to focus on making promotional videos (because that’s the way to earn a salary) but I will continue to make short films on the side.
 
“Eventually I hope to make feature films. Filmmaking is the most visual form of storytelling. This film was a documentary, but I like the fact that there’s no limitation as to what you film or where this can take you.”
 
Charlotte, Jacob and Josh have set up their own film company called DVA Films. You can find more of their films here.
 

News

What’s it like at Bath College? Interview with student and SU team member Katie

 

Last September we interviewed Katie – a level 3 student studying music performance. We’re following Katie throughout the year to find out what students enjoy about life at Bath College. This week, we caught up with Katie to find out how the new term is going.
 
Welcome back after the Christmas break! How have you found your first two terms as a second year at Bath College?
 
We were quite busy in the run-up to Christmas. We had a lot of assignments in the last two weeks of term, which had to be done just before Christmas.
We start our Final Major Project in the next couple of months. That’s quite an important assignment. It’s about proving we can work on our own. We can ask our tutors questions, but it’s our choice what we do for the project and there’s a lot more freedom. Everyone seems keen and people have already thought about what they’d like to do.
 
What have your highlights been for this year so far?
 
One of the highlights so far has been employability week. We had a music therapist come in and he could see I was interested in music therapy. He’s going to ask if I can visit him at Three Ways School. That would be really good experience, just to sit and watch some of the sessions.
 
How about your role as equality and diversity officer for the students’ union – how has this been going?
 
I went to an equality and diversity meeting, and a health and safety staff meeting. They were talking about the ID badges, the security system and the online health and safety course for staff. I was asked to talk about my idea about an online support group for students. I wasn’t expecting to be asked about it, and I ended up pitching it to people I’d never met before, but it went down well.
 
We had an SU trampolining trip, which was exhausting. I thought an hour wouldn’t be enough, but after 20 minutes we had to sit down again! It was a good chance for us to get to know each other. I’m planning motivation week and mental health awareness week. We have an idea to do a ‘body love’ sofa – you cover it with a big white sheet and get people to write one thing they like about themselves and one thing they don’t. The idea is to get people talking.
 
Are new students getting involved with the Students’ Union?
 
People are starting to engage and answer things like ‘question of the month’. Because there’s more of us than last year, people are used to seeing us and they are more likely to answer and fill things out. We have our new Change It website. It’s a good idea and if students don’t want to talk to us, they can still submit their ideas online.
 
Can you tell us more about applying for university?
 
I’ve sent off my UCAS form to apply for university. I’ve applied to study at Keele, Luton, Bedfordshire and Bath Spa University. Keele is my first choice.
We went to an open day and we intended to be there for three hours, but we were there for the whole day – I didn’t want to leave! The accommodation was affordable and I can take my car and park it for free, so it seems like the perfect place.
 
I’ve applied to study psychology at university. After studying a music BTEC, it isn’t the easiest route, but that’s what you need to become a music therapist. I had to explain this on my personal statement. I have as much music background as I need, but I need the scientific qualifications and hopefully they will see that when they read my application.
 
When I started this course, I had no idea I would end up applying to university for psychology, but when I spoke to the lecturers at Keele they said your personal statement is the important thing. They seemed to understand that people change their minds and decide to do something different.
 
What about life after Bath College – do you have any plans after finishing?
 
Leaving college will be quite difficult. There’s so many people I know that I can speak to (my teachers and the SU team) but when I go to university I won’t know anyone. I’ll be leaving that comfortable environment behind and I’ve never been out of Bath for a long period of time (other than on holiday). Everyone is going off to do their own thing, which is nice, but we won’t be in the same place anymore.
 
I have booked a three-day ticket to watch motorbike racing in the Netherlands. I wanted to do it while I had the chance and I leave the day after my course finishes. I have my own bike and I have always loved watching motorbike racing.
 

News

Childcare students raise £650 for charity in just one week

 

Childcare students at Bath College have collected £650 in just one week for Time is Precious – a charity set up to help families facing a long stay in hospital.
 
The Level 1 childcare students brought a smile to peoples’ faces by dressing up as Mickey and Minnie Mouse for a street collection in the centre of Bath.
 
They also completed a four-hour sponsored onesie walk from Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus in Radstock to its City Centre Campus in Bath.
 
Students planned their fundraising week as part of a college assessment, working as a team to delegate tasks, design posters and raise awareness.
 

 
As part of this, they made cakes and sweets to sell outside the Students’ Union during lunchbreaks at the college’s City Centre Campus.
 
Time is Precious was set up by Nicky and Neil Halford in memory of their son Ben to help families facing long stays in hospital with terminally ill children.
 
The charity funds improvements to hospitals for families and in September it opened a new sensory room and teenage chill out room at Bath RUH.
 

 
Students at Bath College chose Time is Precious as their charity of the year for 2016 and collected over £2,000 for the teenage chill out room.
 
They have just voted to continue fundraising for the charity this year and will be organising fundraising activities through the Students’ Union.
 
Childcare students would like to thank Special Occasion Mascots, based in Bristol, for the loan of the Mickey and Minnie Mouse costumes.
 
Lecturer in early years Sarah Demirci said: “The students have worked so hard to make their fundraising activities successful.
 
“They have demonstrated excellent organisational skills, professionalism and teamwork, all of which are important life skills that will support their future studies and employment.
 
“They chose a local and worthwhile charity to support and raised a great deal of money, I am very proud of them all.”
 

Care Academy, News

Bath College Care Academy: Students learn from professionals in the health and social care sector

 

Professionals working in the health and social care sector volunteered their time to work with students at Bath College, passing on knowledge and expertise during a busy and interactive employability day.
 
The day marked the launch of the college’s Care Academy, designed to link health and social care students with a wide range of employers working in the South West.
 
Last year, Bath College was awarded £40,000 worth of government funding to kick-start the Care Academy and recruit an academy coordinator.
 
As a result, the college has been working with its Care Academy partners to strengthen training, increase work experience opportunities, and help students find employment within the health and social care sector.
 
Students studying at the college had the chance to meet professionals working in a variety of health and social care roles over the course of the day.
 

 
Third year student Lauren Pearl, 17, said: “I’ve been learning about mental health issues and talking about how you can help people who have an addiction.
 
“This is my final year at college and it has definitely helped me to speak to these health professionals, who have given me a lot of useful information.”
 
Dawn Corse, an occupational therapist with Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, led a workshop demonstrating the best way to communicate with people with dementia.
 
Media make-up and drama students were involved in the workshop, preparing a role-play about a dementia patient and her carer.
 
Throughout the day, students met representatives from Sirona care & health, Creativity Works, BANES Youth Connect & Health, Dorothy House, Bath Mind, Action on Addiction, healthcare company Dimensions and the Red Cross.
 
They also learnt how to use a hoist and move patients with limited mobility during a workshop led by Les Taylor and Rachael Sheppard, from Way Ahead Care.
 

 
Claire Hurford, from Way Ahead Care, said: “We’ve been working with the Care Academy from the beginning. If we start working with these students now, they will come to us with more experience and be work-ready.
 
“It’s about showing students what career routes they can take and how they can progress. I started as a community care and support worker, and now I’m working as a care manager.
 
“We know there’s a huge deficit for social care staff and, as people are living longer, we need more staff working with people to help them stay in their homes.”
 
Lilly Webb, widening participation officer at Bath RUH, was part of a team showing students how to resuscitate someone using CPR.
 
She said: “For us it’s great to have an opportunity to spend time with Bath College students to help them understand what a career in health looks like and to help them gain relevant skills and knowledge.
 
“Last year we ran a pilot programme, with Bath College students coming into the RUH. This was really successful and we hope to be able to welcome some more students this year.”
 
Sally Wilson, Care Academy Coordinator, said: “There has been a real buzz in the Care Academy today, with students sharing their experiences with staff and their peers. The variety of workshops on offer was fantastic and gave them a real insight into the broad range of careers and environments they could work in within the sector. We are very grateful to all network partners who have facilitated exciting sessions today.”
 
Next week, Bath College will launch an eight-week pilot course for students and care home workers in partnership with Creativity Works.
 
The course, taught on Tuesday evenings, will explore the benefit of using the arts in care homes, including drama, visual art, dance and poetry.
 
Spaces are still available for the course, which starts on January 31 and takes place in the evenings between 6pm and 8pm.
 
Visit http://www.creativityworks.org.uk/ or e-mail ailsaeaglestone@zoho.com
 

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