Travel and tourism students provide a first-class flying experience


Jet-setting pupils at Kingswood School checked in for a relaxing flight to New York with Bath College’s own private airline.

The key stage 1 pupils are starting a new topic learning about different countries and cultures around the world.

As part of this, they visited Bath College to take part in a training exercise with Level 3 travel and tourism students.

After handing over their passports and collecting their boarding cards, the children boarded their flight to ‘New York’.


They enjoyed in-flight snacks and entertainment in the college’s mock air cabin, including a ‘where in the world?’ quiz.

Travel and tourism students at Bath College are studying a children’s representative unit and learning about working with children.

On their course, they also learn about working as a holiday representative, working on a cruise ship, customer service and European and long haul travel destinations.

Student Libby Ashworth, 17, said: “We have been really excited about the task and the children were lovely to work with.

“We chatted to them about their holidays and the places they have travelled to. I might want a job as a children’s rep and we might have children in the air cabin if we go on to work as cabin crew. It helps with your confidence.”

Becci Howe, from Kingswood School, said: “We come to Bath College at the start of our new topic ‘up, up and away’.

“Some of the children have had no experience of going on a plane. The students at Bath College take them on this learning journey using the passports made at school.

“This is a very exciting experience for them and a great start for learning about other countries around the world.”

Colette Williams, Learning Coordinator for Travel and Tourism, said: “This activity gives the students hands-on experience of what it is like to work with children in a travel and tourism context.

“It also provides excellent employability skills for those who wish to pursue a career as a children’s rep or working for an airline.

“This was a very successful visit, which the schoolchildren enjoyed and it has supported the college student with their college assessments.”


Network with employers at the Bath College Apprenticeships and Jobs Fair


Hundreds of young people will be looking for new jobs and opportunities at the Futures Apprenticeships and Jobs Fair in March.
This is an ideal opportunity for South West employers to promote apprenticeships and vacancies to students and to speak to potential new employees.
Free stands are available at the event, organised by the Bath College Futures team, which is open to all 16 to 18-year-olds in Bath.
More than 800 people visited last year’s event, and a number of students secured interviews and apprenticeships after networking on the day.

Becky Howard, 17, was hired as a Level 2 apprentice administrator after visiting the fair and speaking to housing association Curo.
She said: “I went to the Bath College Apprenticeships and Jobs Fair and I spoke to Lisa, Curo’s Employment, Training and Engagement Coordinator.
“I got a good idea of what they did and that made me apply for an apprenticeship. Within a few days I had an interview.
“I really like it here. You can’t get a job without experience, so an apprenticeship is a good way of getting your foot in the door.”

The Futures Team at Bath College works to create job opportunities, contact with employers, opportunities for live projects and work placements for students.
This year, the event has been moved to a bigger venue, at the Guildhall thanks to support from Bath and North East Somerset Council.
Over 60 employers are expected to attend and the fair will represent employers from a wide range of sectors, including the Royal United Hospital, healthcare company Dimensions, Rotork, and Mark’s and Spencer’s.
Lucy Beattie, Employability Adviser at Bath College, said: “We are looking forward to welcoming a huge variety of employers to the event, and giving students from the college and the wider community the chance to explore as many apprenticeship and work opportunities as possible.
“I hope the event will open students’ eyes to the myriad of opportunities available locally and nationally. If you are thinking of taking on an apprentice in the next few years or looking for new staff we’d be delighted to have you at the event.”
The event takes place at the Guildhall on Wednesday March 22nd from 12pm to 6.30pm. For more information call 07811980607 or e-mail futures@bathcollege.ac.uk.


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.



Open in Sept 2017: Building work starts on new construction skills centre


Building work has started on a new state-of-the-art construction skills centre at Bath College which will be ready for students in September 2017.
The purpose-built facility at Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus in Radstock is an exciting new step for the college, and means that all construction trades will be taught under one roof.
New workshops will cater for 500 students and apprentices studying bricklaying, construction, carpentry and stonemasonry, as well as plumbing, electrical installation and refrigeration.
To mark the start of the building work, Bath College Principal Laurel Penrose joined project manager Miranda Hill, from the construction company Midas, to take part in a sod-cutting ceremony.
She said: “This investment, supported by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP), demonstrates the college’s commitment to enhance student opportunities and support local employers.
“It is envisaged the centre will become a regional centre of excellence for the construction industry, creating a talent pool for employers to find their future workforce.”

Designs for the two-storey centre, by BBA Architects, were approved last year and, after archaeological surveys undertaken at the end of 2016, building work was started at the beginning of January.
Applications are open for students who would like to be part of the first cohort learning a construction trade at the new centre.
Places are available for full-time vocational courses for 16 to 18-year-olds, as well as apprenticeships. Higher education courses will be taught at Bath College’s City Centre Campus.
Daisy Walsh, Head of Department for Technology at Bath College, said: “The facilities will be second to none, it will be state-of-the-art.
“It’s all about building students’ confidence in their trade and giving them access to the best training and technical expertise.
“Students are taught by specialists in their field and we have fantastic links with employers who work with us to provide training opportunities.
“All our courses come with the option to study as an apprentice and they have a very strong reputation. Our students achieve very well, they progress onto jobs and continue to study on our higher education programmes.”
To apply for a course at Bath College click here.


New opportunity to study English and maths at Somer Valley Campus


New English and maths courses will begin running at Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus in Radstock next month.
Bath College’s Adult Community Learning (ACL) team is planning a range of group classes suitable for learners at various levels.
To make sure people join the best group for them, the team is holding assessment sessions on January 16 and January 23rd.
Bath College runs a well-established English and maths programme, offering over 10 different classes at the Twerton Learning Centre in Bath.
This will be the first time the college has run English and maths classes in Radstock and course dates will depend on the level of interest received.
Courses run by the ACL team are aimed at people not in education or employment who want to learn in a fun and relaxed environment.
Studying English and maths can help learners gain confidence, improve their CV and support their children at school.

Paul Grant, from Bath, has been attending English and maths lessons at the Twerton Learning Centre for two years.
He said: “You’ve got to get your confidence back to sit in a classroom. It’s not scary, but you can have your doubts.
“I would say give it a go. I’ve found the teachers at Bath College to be friendly and bubbly, you can have a proper chat with them.
“Employers want to see what you’ve been doing and this makes employers look at you in a different way.”
Learners can study English and maths, gaining a qualification and a certificate, from entry level 1, 2 and 3 to level 1 and level 2.
Assessment sessions will run from 10am to 1pm on January 16th and January 23rd. To book call Lynsey Parsons on (01225) 328822 or e-mail lynsey.parsons@bathcollege.ac.uk


Students take on the Bath College Business and Accounting Challenge


Students taking part in the Bath College Business and Accounting Challenge were given just two hours to respond to a real-life scenario.

Thirty students worked in teams to meet the tight deadline and produce a presentation for a panel of financial experts.

The challenge, sponsored by Mogers Drewett, began with a case study from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

Students were given three real-life business proposals and asked to assess them before recommending the best option to the panel.

The panel included Sean McDonough, from Mogers Drewett, Julian Newton and Chris Hanney, from Barclays, and Ian Sheppard, from Curo.

Teams were supported by student mentors, who took part in the regional heats for the ICAEW BASE competition last year.


Competition winners Daniel Meleady, Ben Flint, Joseph Davies, James Perkins and Katie Harrison

Students studying business and accounting have the opportunity to work with local companies through the Bath College Academy of Business.

The academy was set up in September to create employment opportunities for students and create a talent pipeline for companies to recruit from.

Ian Sheppard, Head of Financial Services at Curo, said: “I thought the standard of presentations was excellent. They only had a short space of time and every single one of them did a good job.

“These are the sort of things that should happen regularly in colleges because it’s good experience for people to meet employers.

“We want Curo to be known as someone who wants to recruit the best talent in Bath and further afield, and this gives us a platform to meet people.”

Second year student Dan Meleady is studying level 3 business with accounting and was part of the winning team.

He said: “I enjoyed the opportunity to work in a team and on a real-life case. It was quite competitive and it was definitely a surprise to win.

“We watched the other teams and they did brilliantly, we didn’t really want to follow the group that went first! This has given me a good idea of what it would be like to work in the accountancy business.”


Students inspired by industry professionals during employability week


Industry professionals volunteered their time to inspire the next generation during an employability week at Bath College.
The week, at the college’s City Centre Campus, was organised by the Hospitality, Hair, Beauty & Spa Industries department.
Students studying hospitality and catering, as well as hairdressing, media make-up and complementary therapy, had the chance to network and learn new skills.
In the Bath College kitchen, hospitality and catering students met Chris Cleghorn and Claire Wilkins, from The Olive Tree Restaurant.

Chris, Head Chef at The Olive Tree Restaurant, gave a cooking demonstration and Claire ran a black box trade test.
Bath College’s young chefs received a surprise set of ingredients, placed in the box, and were challenged to make a dish using these.
Students studying at The Academy, the college’s beauty and hairdressing salon, learnt a range of techniques during employability week, including eyebrow threading, bamboo massage and cupping therapy.
They listened to employer talks from Center Parcs, complementary health practitioner Celia Stewart, and Eden Rose Beauty, as well as workshops on how to run your own business and how to create a YouTube channel.
Former student Josie Troy visited the college with Jess James to show students how to apply micro bead hair extensions.

Lecturer Donna Ford, who taught Josie nine years ago, said: “When Josie started our level 3 course she was expecting her second child.
“She has had her business for two years and, in my opinion, she a great role model for the industry – if you put your mind to something you’re passionate about you can achieve your goals.”
Students studying hospitality and catering had a busy programme of activities, including a cocktail masterclass led by Tim Spiller, Beverage Manager at the Abbey House Hotel.
Visitors to the college’s Shrubbery Restaurant included Richard Guest, from Talking Wines, and former student Eddie Twitchett, from the Round Hill Roastery, who talked about making your own coffee.
Lecturer Ryan Hanson said a highlight was the customer service masterclass, run by Daryl Harris and Tom Ross from The Pig Near Bath.
He said: “We want our students to be inspired by the people they meet and what they learn. Darryl and Tom are really good at doing role-plays, getting the students to work in teams and putting them out of their comfort zone.”


Working to help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds access higher education


Picture caption: Careers & Employability Manager Ben Cocks
Bath College is recruiting for two new posts as part of a programme to help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds access higher education.
Four full-time jobs for widening participation officers are being created in Bath and North East Somerset and Wiltshire as part of the Wessex Inspiration Network (WIN).
Local colleges, the University of Bath and Bath Spa University have joined together to form the network and secure funding for the new programme.
The new officers will work with specific community groups, including ethnic minority groups and young men from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Nationally, the government wants to improve social mobility and double the proportion of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in higher education by 2020.
Funding for the posts will come from the National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP) financed by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).
WIN has identified 13 wards in the region where progression to higher education can be improved. In Bath, this includes Southdown and Twerton.
Officers will work with groups to support them with activities, such as residentials, homework clubs and careers advice, as well as employer and university visits.
At Bath College, funding for a full-time widening participation officer will be split between two part-time roles.
The new officers will be part of the college’s futures team, which works to provide careers advice and increase employability opportunities.
Ben Cocks, who will be managing both roles at Bath College, said: “It is fantastic that we have secured this resource to aid us in further raising the awareness of higher education to people in Bath and the surrounding area.
“I strongly believe that we have a duty to make sure all young people should be made aware and encouraged to access all available types of learning and training.
“This two-year project will no doubt have a real impact on the local community and enhance the prospects of the young people involved.”
Annette Hayton, who is leading the project from the University of Bath, said: “We are proud to have been recognised by HEFCE as one of the successful consortia for this new programme.
“I have always been passionate about supporting young people to be able to take part and reap all the benefits higher education provides.”


New affordable prices for Bath College’s crèche and gym facilities


New prices are starting for parents using Bath College’s crèche and gym facilities.
The crèche and gym, run by Level 2 childcare and sports students, offers parents affordable childcare and the opportunity to develop their health and fitness.
Parents can drop off their children at the crèche and visit the college gym, which opened to members of the public for the first time in October.
Many students undertake work experience in the community, and the crèche and gym is providing students with another opportunity to experience a real working environment.
The project ran free of charge for the first couple of months, and the new prices will help towards its future.

Lecturer in early years Abigail Holt said: “We have had an incredible response so far and I would like to thank parents for the way they have supported our learners.
“The students have enjoyed the work experience, and it is great to see such fantastic learning taking place for both early years and sports students.”
The crèche and gym, at Bath College’s city centre campus, is open on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9am to 11am during term time.
Bookings will be taken in advance, and block bookings can be made. There is a first-come, first-serve system, as well as a waiting list.
Non-refundable payments can be processed at the college shop, in the main Roper Building, behind the café. These can be paid for per term or a week in advance.
For more information call (01225) 328649 or e-mail gymandcreche@bathcollege.ac.uk

New prices for the crèche and gym

Single booking with one child (Monday or Wednesday) £4.00
Booking for both Monday and Wednesday £7.00
Single booking with two children (Monday or Wednesday) £6.00
Booking with two children for both Monday and Wednesday £10.00
Booking for single gym use only £3.00
Booking for double gym session only £5.00
Full term booking for crèche and gym one day a week only £20.00
Full term booking for gym and crèche two days a week £30.00
Full term booking for gym use only one day a week £15.00
Full term booking for gym use only two days a week £20.00


The opening hours for the College Shop are:
Monday, Tuesday & Friday
9:00am – 12:30pm 9:00am – 12:30pm
Wednesday & Thursday
1:00pm – 2:00pm 1:00 – 7.00pm
Payments can be made by cash or card.


College Term Dates
Term 1: Monday 5th September – Friday 21st October
Term 2: Monday 31st October – Friday 16th December
Term 3: Wednesday 4th January – Friday 10th February
Term 4: Monday 20th February – Friday 7th April
Term 5: Monday 24th April – Friday 26th May
Term 6: Monday 5th June – Friday 30th June


Apprentice of the month: Becky Howard from Curo


Becky Howard, 17, is Bath College’s apprentice of the month for January. Becky is a Level 2 apprentice administrator working with Curo’s customer contact team on the key management desk. 
What do you do on a day to day basis?
I work on the administrative side of things, processing all the information that comes in and out of the company. I sort incoming letters and send out letters. I create ID badges, manage purchase orders and sort keys for contractors, tenants and staff.
Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship?
It’s hard to study administration at college, it’s easier to get hands-on experience. I feel I’ve learnt more, and the more experience you get the more you can do within the business.
I’ve worked since I was 14-years-old so it’s not as strange as I thought it would be. I worked in retail before, it’s different but I much prefer it here – you’re definitely treated as a grown up.
How did you become an apprentice?
I kept getting notifications about apprenticeships with Curo. I looked at these and liked the idea of working there. When I went to the Bath College Apprenticeship Fair I spoke to Lisa, Curo’s Employment, Training and Engagement Coordinator. I got a good idea of what they did and that made me apply. It was a really quick process. I applied and within a few days I had an interview. The day after, I was back for the second stage of the interview.
What do you enjoy about your apprenticeship?
I like the fact that every day is different. The post always comes in at 11.30am and it has to be gone by 3.30pm, but in between those times you never know what’s going to come your way. I like it when people say thank you for something, because whatever you do it’s a massive help to someone else. All the people here are so happy to be here, it makes you want to be here too.
What do you need to do to complete your apprenticeship?
I need to go into college for one day a week for 15 weeks. We have an assessor who meets with us regularly and we have a lot of online contact as well.
They are just checking you’re getting the work done rather than doing it all last minute. Work has allocated me two hours a week to sit somewhere quiet and get on with college work which is nice. I thought I would have to go home from work, do college work and then go back into work again.
What advice would you give to someone looking for an apprenticeship?
If you’re interested in a company, go for jobs within that company, rather than just going for the post itself. The chances are you will end up enjoying what you do, even if you didn’t think of doing that job initially. There are bits of my job that I didn’t think I’d be doing that I enjoy.
There are lots of different apprenticeships out there. My friends did apprenticeships in technical subjects like car mechanics or engineering. I didn’t think there would be apprenticeships for administration. If you want to go into administration for a job, they’re looking for someone with experience. You can’t get a job without experience, so an apprenticeship is a good way of getting your foot in the door.
What are your hopes for the future?
I really like it here and now I know this is the sort of career I want to do, but at the moment I don’t know where I will be going from 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.



Apprentice of the month: Stewart Angell from The Genesis Trust


Stewart is studying a customer service apprenticeship at Bath College and working with The Genesis Trust. Three years ago, he came to the Genesis Furniture Project on a work placement organised by the Job Centre and stayed on as a volunteer. This led to his customer service apprenticeship.
Can you tell me about your apprenticeship?
I’m doing a year-long customer service apprenticeship working at the Genesis Trust Furniture Project and studying at Bath College one day a week.
The project provides household goods at affordable prices to people on low income or benefits. As a team, we go out in the van every day delivering items to people. We cover Bath and the surrounding area, including Warminster, Frome, Trowbridge and Westbury.
Every morning we check the phones to see if they have any messages and unload the van, which is full of donated items from the day before. After that, we load the van and go out with a team to deliver. People can come in and buy something from the shop floor (and if they want it delivered we can arrange that).
What was the route for you into an apprenticeship?
The Genesis Trust recommended becoming an apprentice. I knew what an apprenticeship was, but it wasn’t until someone suggested the idea to me that I decided to apply. I was volunteering with the Genesis Trust at the Furniture Project for three years when I had the opportunity to do an apprenticeship. It’s just to give me new skills and to give me something to put on my CV. My ideal job would be a van driver, but I’ve had no luck with this in the past. It’s all about getting better skills and building up my confidence.
You had a difficult time after leaving school, can you tell me a bit about this?
I had ADHD and I just didn’t get the support I needed at school. I struggled through my education and I walked out of school with no qualifications at the age of 16. I went to college to do catering and hospitality, but it wasn’t really for me and I left half way through the year.
I’ve had various short-term jobs working on farms and as a street cleaner, but after leaving education I went off the rails for a few years. Now I’m more mature. I’ve gained confidence through volunteering at the Genesis Trust and through my apprenticeship. Before that, I kept myself to myself so it has made a massive difference to my confidence levels.
How are you finding things so far on your apprenticeship?
It’s learning new skills and getting a wage. If you look at it like that, it’s a good thing. The people in this class at the college are friendly and we get on well.
At the Furniture Project, we have four members of paid staff and three to four volunteers. It’s quite a small team and I get on well with everyone. Every year we close down for staff training and have a team building day. We go bowling and get to know everyone better, which makes it easier to work with each other.
What’s the best bit about your apprenticeship?
I love helping people. When I grew up I didn’t get the support I needed. I like to give people support by delivering furniture so they don’t go the way I did – I know how much they need that help. If you haven’t got the money you need to buy basic things you get stressed out. We have all sorts of different customers, but it’s nice when someone says thank you for something you’ve been able to help with.


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.



Students spread festive cheer by fundraising for the Salvation Army


Students at Bath College are using a volunteering project to spread festive cheer and raise money for the Salvation Army.
The group  of students have raised £62 for the Salvation Army’s toy appeal to support local families in need at Christmas time.
They are all part of the college’s Life and Independent Living Skills (LILS) programme, which focuses on developing life and work skills through practical classes.
Students from Bath College’s City Centre Campus and Somer Valley Campus all took part in carol singing at the Bath Christmas Market.
On December 5 and December 6, students visited the Salvation Army’s base at the Bath Citadel to help pack boxes with Vocational Access Programme (VAP) students for the toy appeal.
The group also enjoyed socialising on a trip to the Roman Baths and Radstock Museum to learn about the history of coal mining.
They spent a day at Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus taking part in Christmas themed sports activities and made Christingles with chaplain Rob Popejoy.
Students have already been working with residents at St John’s Hospital and will be visiting them again to help make Christmas decorations.
Student Engagement Officer Hayley Hayward-Boyle said: “It has been a privilege to work with the LILS students this week.
“The Salvation Army Christmas Appeal was a fantastic opportunity for them to get truly involved with our local community and make a different to those that are in need.
“The students themselves were able to develop their team working skills, creativity and confidence and learn about the true meaning of Christmas.”


Talented stonemason is part of a winning UK team at EuroSkills 2016


Talented stonemason Toby Brook was part of a winning UK team at EuroSkills 2016 – the largest skills competition in Europe.

The 22-strong UK team won four gold medals, one silver and three bronze, following three days of top-level competitions.

Toby, from Wells, did his apprenticeship at Wells Cathedral Stonemasons and attended Bath College as a student. He is now working full-time at Wells Cathedral Stonemasons.

He earned his place on the UK team after winning highly commended in the 2015 WorldSkills UK competition and was the only stonemason from Britain competing at EuroSkills 2016.

The 20-year-old said: “It was a brilliant experience under intense pressure and has set me up to try and secure a place on the team competing at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi in October 2017.

“I would say any young person who is doing an apprenticeship in any trade to try out competitions like this, as it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.”


Toby went to the House of Commons for the UK send-off and received the UK enamel team badge. He then flew out to Gothenburg, Sweden, for the competition on December 1 and had the time of his life taking part in the competitors’ parade at a huge opening ceremony.

Over 70,000 spectators visited the Swedish Exhibition and Congress Centre to watch this year’s EuroSkills Competition and see 500 young people from 28 different countries compete.

Toby has spent over a year training for the competition and had to produce a piece of stonework from scratch, designing templates and sorting out all the angles before any carving could begin.

He was placed under intense pressure, with the competition judges watching closely to make sure competitors were using their tools correctly and safely.

Although Toby didn’t win a medal, he saw teammates collect medals for landscape gardening, games design, welding, floristry, mechatronics and cooking.

For the UK team, this was its best performance at a EuroSkills Competition placing it as ninth out of 28 in the overall medal table.


Ryan Brunt, from Wells Cathedral Stonemasons, said: “When Toby first arrived with us at the age of 16, he was unsure which trade to follow, I’m glad to say he made the right decision.

“He’s grown in to a mature and pleasant individual, and is a natural in stonemasonry. We are proud of what he has achieved in EuroSkills and will support him in any future competitions.”

Daisy Walsh, Head of Technology at Bath College, said: “Toby finished studying with us in 2015 and we have been following his progress with great interest ever since.

“We are extremely proud of how he has continued to develop as a stonemason and are delighted that his time at Bath College has stood him in good stead and enabled him to forge a career as a craftsman in such a specialised area.”


Dr Neil Bentley is CEO of WorldSkills UK which oversees the UK’s regional and national competitions, as well as Team UK’s selection and preparation.

He said: “We are overjoyed – our best ever performance. This competition is a microcosm of how the UK is doing against economies across Europe. You can see us competing cheek by jowl against the French, the Dutch, the Germans, the Scandinavians and others.

“The pressure that these people are under is ensuring that they compete at an international standard, and it’s crucial for the economy and business that they perform at that level.”

Toby would like to say thank you to everyone at Wells Cathedral Stonemasons, Bath College, WorldSkills UK, architectural stonemason expert trainer Kevin Calpin and all his friends, family and fellow competitors for their support.


Students get a taste for the workplace during employability week


Students from Bath College’s Technology Department spent time thinking about where they’d like to work in the future during an employability week organised by the Futures Team.
The week, which included site visits, CV workshops and employer talks, was open to students studying stonemasonry, bricklaying, carpentry, painting and decorating, and engineering.
Business owners David and Catherine Simmonds welcomed Level 1 and Level 2 carpentry students on a visit to Interesting Timbers – a family owned business with its own sawmill onsite.

Students also visited the Somerdale site in Keynsham, on the site of the former Cadbury chocolate factory, where Taylor Wimpey is building up to 700 new homes, as well as a new sports club, a primary school, retail units, a care home and a new medical centre.
They met Liam Drew, who studied at Bath College and secured a full-time job with carpenters Pearce & Priestner after completing work experience on the Somerdale site.



All students at Bath College can access careers advice and employability opportunities through the Futures Team. Students on a course run by the Technology Department take part in employability weeks three times a year.
Employability Adviser Jason Noch said: “Our students are the future of the industry and we know how important it is to help them prepare for the world of work.
“We have some good connections with employers and they are keen to offer work experience. It was useful for the students to see some of the building sites they could be working on.”


Animal care students design new space for Sparky the barn owl


Animal care students at Bath College have created a new space for Sparky the barn owl – one of the college’s oldest and most-loved birds.

Seven work-based level 3 animal care students were asked to furnish a new aviary for Sparky who has been at the college since 1997.

She has been housed in several aviaries, and spent time with the animal care department in Keynsham when it was based at Ellsbridge House.

The new aviary, a spacious modern design, is part of an upgrade to facilities at Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus in Radstock.


Students were asked to think about what to place inside the aviary and have worked hard to make it a suitable habitat for Sparky.

Work-based animal care student Roxy splits her time between studying at Bath College and volunteering at an animal rescue centre in Frome.

The group of work-based students spend their time at a variety of places, including Chew Valley Community Farm and the Bath Cats and Dogs Home.

Roxy, 17, from Peasedown St John, said: “I like looking after owls, I like their different characters and the way they show off. Everyone knows Sparky at the college.

“We had to think about placing the water bowl so she didn’t get wet, because her feathers aren’t water-proof. It’s nice that she has this much space.”


Bath College supervisor Katie Parfitt said: “This group carries out a lot of practical work in the animal care department and between the seven of them, they designed and put together the interior fittings for Sparky’s new aviary.

“They all worked well as a team, helping each other when needed with this physical task. I’m very pleased with the outcome and Sparky seems very happy being able to use all parts of her new aviary.

“She’s making use of the potted trees and branches that the students put in, and she even has her own tepee made from branches for her to shelter under if she gets caught out in the rain.”


Students join press photographers for visit from the Archbishop of Canterbury


Two students from Bath College were invited to join press photographers and capture a visit from the Archbishop of Canterbury on film.
Sebastian Roberts, 18, and Louise Wakeham, 17, are both studying Level 3 photography and volunteered to cover the archbishop’s visit to Bath Abbey on November 9.
The archbishop visited for a talk on the Footprint Project – a £19.3 million project to stabilise the ground beneath the abbey floor and heat the abbey using energy from Bath’s famous hot springs.
In the afternoon, he led a special Eucharist service attended by 800 people with singing from the abbey’s choir of boys and girls, as well as local schoolchildren.

Picture by Louise Wakeham
Sebastian and Louise were given passes to attend the event along with Bath College photo technician Joseph Wooltorton, who was on hand to offer advice.
They gained a valuable insight into what it’s like to cover a big event, the chance to snap pictures for their portfolios, and an opportunity to network with professional photographers.
Louise, from Chippenham, Wiltshire, said: “Quite a few people were taking photographs, including The Times Magazine, so it gave us a chance to talk to them.
“You have to be quick to take a shot, especially when you’re shooting in manual mode, you don’t get second chances.
“Joe came down with us for the day and he was with us to give us some pointers. It was a busy day, but a great learning experience. It gave us an insight into what the photography business is like.”

Picture by Sebastian Roberts
Sebastian, from Radstock, Somerset, said: “It was quite nerve-wracking and it was a very big responsibility.
“I enjoy anything photography-related. Being a photographer makes you appreciate everything that’s around you. This course at Bath College is introducing me to a huge array of different options: lifestyle, fine art, sport, portraiture and marketing.
“I like the practical side of the course and going out to experiment, because experiments are the things you learn from.”
Arran Hodgson, Photography Course Leader at Bath College said: “We have lots of live experiences on the photography course.
“These opportunities give our students a taste of what it’s like to work as photographers and pick up tips from the professionals.”
For information about photography courses at Bath College click here.


Bath College footballer picked for three-month Bristol City trial


Bath College footballer Saikou Janneh has been offered a three-month trial with Bristol City after impressing talent scouts.
The 16-year-old is a first year student at Bath College who came to England from Gambia, West Africa, three years ago.
Talent scouts spotted Saikou after he scored five goals in one game for the Bath City Football Academy.
The Bath City Football Academy gives young footballers the chance to play at Twerton Park in the South West Youth Counties League and study at Bath College.
Saikou was offered a week trial at Bristol City and performed well, leading to an extension to his trial for a further three months.
The teenager said: “I was really pleased when they said I could keep playing for them. Hopefully this will continue – my family are really proud of me.
“I have always played football, I played football in Gambia but at Bath College I’m learning about things like tactics and how to control the ball.
“I have made good friends and the teachers are good as well. They’ve given me the chance to do this trial by rearranging my timetable.”
Saikou is studying sport and public services on Bath College’s vocational access programme (VAP) designed to help students progress to a level 1 or level 2 course.
He has been working hard at the college to improve his English, to help him in lessons and with assessment work.
Sports lecturer Paul Blenkinsopp said: “We have been able to move some lessons and develop a bespoke timetable to support Saikou’s footballing commitments.
“He will continue to study at the college and train with the Bath City Football Academy. We hope that it does lead to something more for Saikou.
“He is a very grounded individual and is always looking to improve. His commitment and determination is an example to all aspiring footballers.”
James with Saikou
James Moon, VAP lecturer and category 2 manager of the Bath City Football Club, said: “Saikou has come from an environment where if you want to earn anything, you have work hard for it.
“He has a great opportunity and I believe that with the support from his family, college staff and his coach Billy Clark, Saikou will continue to work hard, learn and develop into an exciting prospect.”
If you’re interested in joining the Bath City Football Academy in September 2017 and would like to receive information about trials click here and fill out the form.


Product design students work with Designability to create new assistive technologies


A project with the charity Designability has inspired students at Bath College to think about assistive technology and the way their creations can be used to help others.

Designability, based in Bath, is a national charity working with people, carers and health professionals to research and design new life-changing products.

Its creations include the Wizzybug – an innovative powered wheelchair with simple controls designed to give children as young as 14 months the freedom to move around.

Level 3 product design students were set a challenge by Designability to create new items for staff at Bath College with a range of different needs.


They were asked to think about assistive technologies for three real-life clients, understanding the challenges of using a guide dog, cycling with osteoarthritis and deafness.

Students kept in contact with their clients, talking to them about their varying needs and getting feedback on designs before presenting their ideas to Designability.

Cai Smith, Jack Mitchell and Matt George were all involved with the project and will be applying to study at university after developing a passion for product design.

Products presented to Designability included a bag which can be put on a bike and also be pulled along, doubling up as a back support and seat.


19-year-old Cai created a dog clicker with a finger trigger. The product makes a noise before a dog is rewarded, helping a guide dog user to train their companion.

He said: “This course prepares you better for university than any other course I know. I did first year AS level product design at sixth form and it was completely different. This course is more practical.

“Working with real-life clients gives you the motivation you need as a designer. Being able to visit them to get feedback is probably the most useful thing. It’s definitely inspired us.”

Bath College lecturer James Purslow said: “One of the challenges for our students is getting to grips with how the user will approach their design. Working on a brief like this ensures that aspect is at the forefront of their consideration and focuses their thinking.”

Rob Hanson, from Designability, said: “The Bath College students have displayed a mature, empathetic and creative response to their brief by engaging with their clients and identifying their needs.

“They have shown impressive model making skills and, more importantly, shown the initiative to use their prototypes to gather real, critical design feedback from end users.

“The students’ passion for product design is clear in their design solutions that not only solve real problems, but also look great and have market potential.”


Students create designs for the British Florist Association awards ceremony


Picture above: Students competing at the South West regional heats for the Chelsea Florist of the Year

Students at Bath College were chosen to create table designs for the British Florist Association (BFA) awards ceremony – one of the biggest nights of the year in the industry.

The BFA is the only recognised floristry industry association, with 8,000 members, and the prestigious ceremony attracted many of the industry’s major suppliers and exhibitors.

All level 3 students worked on the designs, and seven students travelled to the ceremony, at Chesford Grange Hotel, Warwick, to assemble the table pieces and make finishing touches.

Floristry lecturer Jo Matthews said: “Students came up with the theme based on the logo and colours of the BFA and wanted to make their own structures to achieve maximum impact and show off their skills.

“We haven’t been asked to create designs before. It was a great honour and gave the students a fantastic opportunity to take part in a prestigious event, working alongside international and well-known designers.”

Bath College was awarded the title of RHS Chelsea Floristry College of the Year at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May 2016.

This month, the college held the South West regional heats for the Chelsea Florist of the Year – welcoming competitors from colleges and businesses across the region.

Bath College floristry
students Linda Sorensen and Lucy Overment came second and third in the over 25 category, with Lora Stevens coming third in the under 25 category.

There are another five heats taking place across the country, and the 16 highest scoring competitors will go through to the final. Competitors were asked to create a structural design to decorate the Tate Modern and a hand-tied bouquet for the gallery’s curator.

They also watched a demonstration from florist Laura Leong, who showed them 10 different Christmas designs.

Jo Matthews said: “Everyone really enjoyed the regional heats. It’s always nice to be part of something like this.

“The students helped set up and it was great to have support from our floristry technician Katie Whittle who gave up a Sunday to help organise things.”

Students at Bath College will hear about the results of the regional heats in April.


Students pick up ‘life skills’ on National Citizen Service programme


Bath College is using the National Citizen Service (NCS) programme to challenge students and give them a new set of skills outside of the classroom.
First year IT and sports students have just completed the government- backed scheme – designed to improve confidence, personal discipline and team spirit.
The group spent time together on a three-day residential trip in Swanage, where they look part in raft building, jungle craft activities and coasteering.
Students also worked in teams to come up with a social action project, to make a difference to the communities they live in.
As part of this, sports students have been working with St John’s Primary School in Bath to develop and deliver a new sports programme.
Alex Gaiger, Deputy Head of Department for Sport, Leisure and Care, said: “Students worked with the children helping them develop new and exciting skills in a range of different sporting disciplines.
“They have received some excellent feedback from the school and plan to develop the relationship further by arranging future sports activity days.”
On November 11, IT and sports students received certificates from Ed Hodges, Director of Joining Forces Training, after completing their National Citizen Service.
Joining Forces Training is the leading provider of NCS for Bath and North East Somerset, designed by ex-military instructors.
Mr Hodges said: “NCS is about lessons you can’t learn in the classroom, we’re trying to build and develop life skills.
“Whatever these students decide to do after college, they need to have a CV or a personal statement and they need to demonstrate those skills employers look for outside of academia.
“We really enjoy doing working with the Bath College groups because the students come from such a wide variety of backgrounds.
“The idea is that they will work together better throughout their course because they’ve had these shared experiences.”
Level 1 and level 2 engineering students from Bath College’s City Centre Campus and its Somer Valley Campus also went away on an NCS residential trip to Cardiff on November 6.
The group are now working on their social action projects, and Bath College is working with Joining Forces on a new NCS programme for Step Up students.
Amy Patterson, Employability Adviser at Bath College said: “NCS is an exciting programme that perfectly fits with our Bath College values, and our overall aim to help students use their skills to become valued and generous members of society.
“The team at Joining Forces go above and beyond to make sure our students have an experience that challenges them and develops their awareness of what it means to be part of a community. We’ve seen fantastic results over the last few years.”
Joining Forces is organising a Christmas programme for 16 to 17-year-olds from Bath from December 16 to December 21.
For more information, click here.


Students take on board advice from international music producer Eats Everything


International music producer and disc jockey Eats Everything, real name Daniel Pearce, swapped Ibiza nightlife for a lecture room as he made a guest appearance at Bath College.
The globetrotting artist – who was born and lives in Bristol – talked to students from the college’s music department about his success in the industry, and shared his experiences of live touring, using different music software and working with producers.
The visit was one of three ‘Food for Thought’ school and college lectures given by Eats Everything in the region, with the aim of inspiring a new generation of young music producers from across the West Country.
It also forms part of the ‘Eats Meets West’ November tour – intimate gigs in town and cities that make up the best of the West. This includes Bath, his hometown of Wotton-Under-Edge, and a small café in Weston-Super-Mare, which was chosen after his fans voted for the seaside town in a Facebook competition.

Eats Everything said: “With a busy touring schedule, I rarely get to spend time in the green and pleasant West Country that I love so much. Being able to meet local students today and seeing them inspired by music was absolutely amazing.”

Music lecturer Adam Gazla said: “At Bath College, our students develop cutting edge skills and technical knowledge, taught by tutors with industry links in a friendly and inclusive environment.

“In a competitive industry, it’s really helpful to have someone so successful (who comes from the South West) visit and give us advice on how to stand out and break through.”

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