Apprentice of the month: Brett Burnell from St Fagans National History Museum


Brett Burnell is a stonemasonry apprentice studying at Bath College and working at St Fagans in Wales – an open-air museum in Cardiff celebrating Welsh history and culture.
Bath College is one of the few colleges offering a qualification in stonemasonry and the course attracts apprentices from Wales and the South West.

What made you decide to sign up as an apprentice?
I spotted the advert for an apprenticeship while scanning through jobs on the internet. I have wanted to become a stonemason for many years, and worked at St Fagans as a labourer, but never had the opportunity until now.
What do you do in a normal week as an apprentice?
Three days a week I’m working onsite at the museum on a variety of projects. This includes building rubble lime walling, recreating a Celtic village, and carving and fixing stonework. I’ve worked on many listed buildings.
Two days a week, I attend Bath College where I improve my banker (construction) skills and precision while learning the theory behind stonemasonry.
What responsibilities do you have at St Fagan’s?
I work with a team, including one other apprentice stonemason and three masons who have been in the trade all their life and help and guide us.
The other apprentice is on the same course and level as me, which helps as we’re both experiencing the same thing and can work together. My responsibilities are to work safely as part of the team onsite to perform to Bath College’s high standards.
What’s the best thing about being an apprentice?
As a 37-year-old man with family and bills to pay, going back to college seemed almost impossible. The apprenticeship gave me the opportunity to keep earning and gain the qualifications I need to further my career and better myself. I would say go for it, it’s hard work but it’s worth it.
Has being an apprentice changed life for the better?
Definitely. I have gained more knowledge in the past two years on this course at Bath College than I have working onsite as a labourer for ten years. It gives me a massive sense of pride being able to see what I’m capable of achieving.
What’s your plan for the future?
I hope to complete my Level 3 NVQ and diploma in stonemasonry. When I’m qualified I’d like to stay working at St Fagans. It’s a beautiful place to work and I like knowing that what I’ve produced will be there long after I am.


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 network at the launch of the Bath College Academy of Business


Students had the chance to network with top employers at the launch of the Bath College Academy of Business.


The academy is a new venture set up to get students ready for working in business by giving them access to industry experts.


A number of companies have already signed up to offer work placements, company visits, student mentoring and business talks.

The launch event, held in the Futures Hub at Bath College, was a chance for employers to meet students studying business first-hand.


Jon Domaille, Head of Department for Business, Media, Music and Performing Arts, said: “The evening was a massive success and we are delighted with the support and interest that we have received from local organisations.


“It was so exciting to see our students already mixing so confidently with employers at the launch event.


“The students are certainly excited about the opportunities that the academy will present them with and they were inspired by the evening.


“The event was exactly what we want the academy to be about – employers and students communicating and working together.”


Students are already working with Bath-based predictive people analytics software company Cognisess.


The company, whose software provides analytics for recruiters and companies, will be measuring students’ personal development throughout their time at college.


CEO and founder Chris Butt said: “Job retention is a big issue for both employers and job seekers alike. The cost of not finding the right job or career is significant for all parties.


“The primary aim of the college is to develop the talents of its students in order to help them achieve successful and fulfilling careers.


“To fulfil this vision, Bath College is developing deeper and more strategic links with over 30 local partners who are all essential to ensuring students have the best chance of finding the right path into employment.


“As a strategic partner, and using our Cognisess Deep Learn software, we will work with students to raise self-awareness and improve employability skills by providing sophisticated career and job matching tools.”


Professor Georgina Andrews, Head of the Bath Business School at Bath Spa University, attended the launch evening and also spoke to business students volunteering at the event.


She said: “I think it’s a great idea benefitting both groups of students. Students at Bath College will learn from our university students, and they will benefit from sharing their skills and experience.


“Bath Spa University is already a partner with the college, so this is a good way we can extend that link.”


To offer your support with the Bath College Academy of Business e-mail Lucy.Beattie@bathcollege.ac.uk.



Bath College chaplain Rob Popejoy to appear on Songs of Praise


To watch Rob on Songs of Praise (on BBC iPlayer) click here.
Famous for his religious tattoos, Bath College chaplain Rob Popejoy has caught the eye of the Songs of Praise production team and is due to feature on the BBC One television programme on Sunday.
Chaplain Rob is part of the student participation team at Bath College and works to give students pastoral support through one to one mentoring sessions, as well as larger lessons and tutorials.
He has tattoos covering most of his body, including a picture of Jesus on his chest, and made the headlines back in 2014 when he was photographed bare-chested for a student project.
Called the ‘holy hipster’ and a ‘tattoo-loving vicar’, Rob was filmed by the Songs of Praise team last week for a short feature in which he talks about his tattoos and shares how he became a Christian.
Rob said: “My testimony came out, I talked about that and there was a lot of discussion about the church and how it’s represented in the secular world. One of the things I was asked is ‘are you trying to make God cool?’
“My tattoos are part of my personality. I’ve been getting tattoos ever since I had an active faith. Generally I have stuff that points towards a benchmark in my life, like being baptised and the year I came back to church.
“For my first tattoo I chose the words ‘for glory’ on my left arm. That was me stating what my life should be and what God wants me to be about.
“I didn’t choose to get tattooed to make myself cooler as a chaplain and I don’t do it to be a Christian witness to people, but it does happen to be a good by product of this – it’s a good conversation starter.”
Rob, who leads the Remembrance Day service and the Christmas carol concert at Bath College, also works as a youth pastor at St Michael’s in Twerton.
He had his tattoos filmed by the Songs of Praise team and was also filmed leading a tutorial for Bath College media students.
Rob said: “I think there should be a chaplain in every educational establishment. Even if you take religion out of it, I think there’s a need to provide pastoral support.
“I offer pastoral support to students and staff, mainly students, and promote awareness of other faiths to encourage an active dialogue around religion and faith – to challenge people into a deeper thought process.
“I’m both nervous and excited to see how I’m portrayed as a chaplain on Songs of Praise. In the Christian church world there are so many denominations, but you’ll find that we’re all believers.
“Yes, the crew came to film me, but if you go to another ‘young’ church, for example in London, there are other people like me with beards and tattoos. The difference is that they don’t have a job that gives them the same profile.”


Life at Bath College: Music student and SU team member Katie


If you’re in the last year of your GCSEs you’ll be thinking about where to study next. Perhaps you’ve picked up a prospectus for Bath College, browsed our website online or added the date of our next open day to your calendar. All of this will give you a good idea of what it’s like to study at Bath College, but what do our students think?
Over the course of the year, we’ll be interviewing current students about their time at Bath College and finding out what student life is like. Our first interview is with Katie, a Level 3 student studying music performance. Katie has just returned to college as a second year student and is volunteering as equality and diversity officer as part of the Students’ Union team.

Do you remember coming into college as a first year – what was it like?

It was quite daunting, mainly because a lot of people on my course knew each other. A big group of them came from the same secondary school. I thought it was going to be quite hard to make friends but it was a lot easier than in secondary school.
I did a year of A-levels and I didn’t get on with it at all. It’s hard to motivate yourself if you don’t enjoy what you do. I found this course at Bath College and it suited me better.
It’s a lot better at college because you’re treated your age. Unless you misbehave, you’re going to get treated as an adult. Your tutor will help you if you’re struggling, but you have to ask for help – which makes you a lot more independent. After a while you start to learn quicker because you’re learning independently.
What’s the best thing about returning to college – what are you looking forward to this year?

I worked a lot in the summer, so I was looking forward to coming back to college and getting on with things. It’s been good to catch up with friends.
I’m looking forward to my Final Major Project. You can do whatever you like, as long as it’s a large project. Most people do an EP launch but I’m going to try and do a big student party. Kez (Students’ Union President) wanted to do an SU party and a lot of people will use it to launch their EPs.
This year, we’re doing a lot of community work. After my course finishes, I’d like to study music therapy. It’s good to get things to put on your CV to show what you’re interested in.
What have you started to do in class?

We’re doing music and film, which takes a lot of patience. We’ve been given a silent film clip and we have to put sound effects in. Getting it perfect is painstaking. The aim at the end is to have a 30 second film clip with sound and we have to compose our own music.
We’re also doing song writing lessons once a week. We get given a different genre to explore. The first one is hip-hop! It’s going to be a challenge, especially because we have to record it ourselves, but I’m sure we’ll have a lot of fun when we get in to it. It’s good because it widens your appreciation for music.
Can you tell me about being part of the SU – what are you planning for this year?

My position is equality and diversity officer. My job is to make sure everything is available to everyone and to be a point of contact for people. I’ll be doing quite a bit round anti-bullying week and mental health awareness week.
I’m hoping to set up a peer support group, but it might take a bit of time because there isn’t one at the moment. Having something run by students might make people more comfortable talking about issues. At my secondary school we didn’t have anything like that and I would have benefitted from it.
What was the freshers’ fair like?

Freshers’ fair was a success compared to last year. It was busier than last year and we have a few more people signed up who are looking to join the SU. Hopefully another girl will be interested because Kez and I are a bit outnumbered in the office – we need a bit more girl power!
At first it was quite hard to coax people in to talk to you. But once you got a group talking to you, other people saw it was ok. Hopefully the NUS card numbers will go up as well. There are really good places like Apple who will take the discounts. And it’s really cheap – it’s £12 for the year. You don’t realise how much you can save until you have it.
Do you have any tips for new students?

Just to do as much as possible. If someone asks you to do something say ‘yes’ because a lot of things only come up once a year and in the 2nd year you’ll be a lot busier.
Don’t be afraid to talk to people you don’t know. Getting involved in things that aren’t course related is really good fun. We have an Airhop trip coming up in October and there will be more trips like that throughout the year. I can’t wait – the foam pits should be interesting!


Students’ Union President Kez attends launch of new teenage chill out room


Local charity Time is Precious invited fundraisers to the launch of a new sensory room and teenage chill out room at Bath RUH on Friday.
Students’ Union President Kez Hawkins received an invite to the launch, as a thank you to students at Bath College who have been fundraising for the charity.
Kez was part of a team of fundraisers who collected sponsorship by abseiling down the side of Bath College’s Macaulay building in July.


Students chose Time is Precious as their charity of the year and worked hard to fundraise, collecting over £2,000 for the teenage chill out room.
The room will give teenagers in hospital a space of their own, complete with £4,000 worth of IT equipment, TV monitors and wifi.
Time is Precious has also bought an Xbox and PlayStation to take into hospital wards, to be used by teenagers recovering in their beds.
The charity 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.
As part of this, Time is Precious has opened a sensory room with lights, sounds and games for younger children at Bath RUH.
Nicky said: “It will make a big difference for families. From my point of view, being in hospital myself, I know how stressful and hard it is. We don’t get paid for the charity work we do, we just like to see the money being used and to be helpful.
“We never expected to fund big projects like the sensory room and the chill out room when we set up five years ago in memory of our son Ben. To see the charity grow has been amazing. Thank you for all your help and support.”
Kez with charity patron Will Thorp
As well as the charity abseil, students fundraised for Time is Precious through bucket collections, cake sales and a lunchtime ‘Gunk the SU’ event.
Kez said: “It was really nice to see the end product after fundraising for Time is Precious. All the time and effort students have put in, we have seen that it’s going to make a difference – it’s such a great space.
“The reason we chose to fundraise for Time is Precious and the chill out room is because we represent the college and students. At any point a student could end up in hospital (or someone close to them). If this happens, the chill out room could help them through a difficult time.”


Companies invited to the launch of the Bath Academy of Business


Bath College is launching a new business academy to give students valuable industry experience at top companies in the South West.

Over 30 companies have been invited to attend the launch of the Bath Academy of Business at Bath College on September 29th.

The evening will bring together potential partners and students who will hear about the college’s vision for the academy.

Companies are being asked to support students to gain experience in legal practice, HR, event management, retail, business administration, management and finance.

In turn, the Bath Academy of Business will boost the local economy in Bath by creating a talent pipeline for companies to recruit from.

Jon Domaille, Head of Department for Business, Media, Music and Performing Arts, said: “We are incredibly excited about this venture.

“Throughout the last two years, we have significantly developed our engagement as a department with the world of business, enhancing our student experience significantly.

“The academy is the next step for us. It will offer a unique environment for learners to study business within a challenging, competitive, innovative and aspirational setting.

“It is an invaluable opportunity for staff to engage with industry, ensuring that we are providing our learners with up to date and relevant skills that employers want and need.”

Companies attending the launch include: Sirona Care & Health, Curo, Royds Withy King and the Bath Spa School of Business.

There will be time for networking in the Futures Hub and a short talk outlining the college’s vision for the Bath Academy of Business.

Bath-based company Cognisess has already signed up to support the academy, and as part of this, will provide online games for students to play to improve their cognitive skills throughout their course.

Chris Butt, Founder and CEO at Cognisess, said: “Cognisess is very excited to be partnering with Bath College and supporting the launch of the Bath Academy of Business.

“It is a truly innovative step in supporting students throughout their time at the college with both personal and employability skills needed for the workplace.

“Our platform will work with students to understand, track and improve these skills so when they complete their course they will be able to compete in the jobs market.

“Each student will receive a Cognisess profile showcasing their talent and potential – helping employers find the right person.”

Employability Adviser Lucy Beattie works with the Futures Team to create employability opportunities for students at Bath College.

She said: “We’re looking for employers to give students an insight into what it’s like to work for them by offering work placements, company visits and student mentoring.

“Some businesses might come in once a year to offer their expertise and others might take people on a rolling placement, developing a long-term relationship with students.

“We will be working to make the partnership suit the business and develop our students’ full potential.”

The launch of the Bath Academy of Business begins at 5.30pm on September 29 in the Futures Hub, Roper Building, Bath College, Avon Street. To attend please e-mail Lucy.Beattie@bathcollege.ac.uk.


Students work alongside Michelin-starred chefs at charity polo day


Students from Bath College worked alongside Michelin-starred chefs at a fundraising feast in aid of Hospitality Action.
Twelve Level 3 catering and hospitality students were part of a charity polo day at Beaufort Polo Club in Gloucestershire on September 11.
The day raised £50,000 to help Hospitality Action with its work supporting employees in the hospitality and catering industry.
Students at Bath College worked alongside seven award-winning South West chefs, who have six Michelin stars between them.
The team included Michael Bedford, from the Painswick Hotel, Martin Burge, from Whatley Manor, Josh Eggleton, from the Pony & Trap and Hywel Jones, from Lucknam Park.
Students also served food created by Sam Moody, from the Bath Priory, Richard Picard-Edwards, from Lords of the Manor Hotel, and Richard Bertinet, from The Bertinet Kitchen and Bakery.
The event began with a champagne and canapé reception, followed by a three-course lunch and an afternoon cream tea.
Catering and hospitality students acted as front of house staff and were joined by service professionals from The Abbey Hotel, Bath Priory, Calcot Manor, Lucknam Park, The Pig, and Whatley Manor.
This is the third time students at Bath College have attended Hospitality Action’s charity polo day to help with front of house.
Bridget Halford, head of department for hospitality, hair, beauty and spa industries, said: “This is a brilliant opportunity for our students.
“Students really benefit from working closely with Michelin-starred chefs and service professionals from top hotels in the region.
“They’re gaining first-hand experience of catering for large numbers at a high-end event raising money for a worthwhile cause.”
Penny Moore, chief executive at Hospitality Action, said: “Tickets to the polo day sold out almost instantly, a true testament to the hard work everyone puts in.
“We’re set to spend a record breaking amount of money supporting those in need this year and it is events such as this that enable us to do so.”


Apprentice of the month: Jordan Griffiths from Weiss Technik UK

Bath College is one of a handful of colleges in the UK offering air conditioning and refrigeration qualifications from Level 1 to Level 3. All students studying air conditioning and refrigeration are apprentices, who are sponsored by their employers. Here we speak to Jordan who travels to Bath from Wales to study.


Why did you decide to study for an apprenticeship?
I was in college in Wales studying electronics and trying to get into work. I went on work experience with Weiss Technik UK and they offered me an apprenticeship. I didn’t know anything about refrigeration, but I had a go and I started to enjoy it – it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.
I thought an apprenticeship would be a better alternative than university, because I would earn and learn at the same time. At the end of the course you come out with a trade and a skill.
What do you do on a day to day basis at work?
I work four days a week and I come into Bath College once a week. I work on climatic chambers. Car manufacturers need to test cars in low temperatures, to see how durable the car is. We produce refrigeration systems which allow storage rooms to be set to temperatures as low as minus 60 °C.
We build the refrigeration system in the factory, test it to make sure everything is fine, take it to the customer, and install it. One day I might be working on a job in the factory and another day I might travel to work onsite.
We go away for the week, stay in hotels and do the work. The company is contracted for work abroad, in places like China and Brazil, so I might get that opportunity once I’m qualified.
Why did you want to study this course at Bath College?
Weiss Technik UK is based in the Ebbw Vale, so I travel into study at Bath College. This is the only Level 3 course I could find, it’s a very specialised subject and not every college offers a Level 3 qualification.
I find refrigeration is more hands-on and it’s more specialised. When I was doing electronics there were three courses and there were 60 students studying the course. There’s just a few of us in this refrigeration class, so I get more time with the teacher and it’s easier to find a job afterwards. Companies are crying out for refrigeration engineers.
What does Bath College do to support you in the workplace?
I have site visitors from the college, they come to see me working to make sure I know my trade and I know what I’m doing. I also have trained engineers at my workplace who show me what to do. It’s just good to get stuck in and work with my hands. I’m not just sat at a desk and it’s not just theory – you’re actually doing something. It’s prepared me for work.
What’s your dream for the future?
I want to move abroad and work. I want to get a job and set up my own company in America or Australia and employ other people (maybe other apprentices). We’ve had a lot of people come in as quest speakers telling us what they have done. When I talk to people who have gone on to own their own company I think ‘I could do that’. This is just the start of my journey.


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.



Bath College student picked to represent Great Britain in the European Championships


Gymnast and Bath College student Tia Collins has been picked to represent Great Britain in the European Championships.

Miss Collins, who is starting her second year at Bath College studying Level 3 nails, will compete with TeamGym GB at the European Championships in October.

She was initially picked as a reserve and earned a place on the senior women’s team after months of intensive training with the team gymnastics squad.

Being part of the European Championships is a dream come true for the 17-year-old who started out as a gymnast 12 years ago and trains at Majestic Gymnastics in Bristol.

Miss Collins said: “This has been my dream since I was four years old. I have worked for two years to earn a place on the GB team.

“When I found out I was a reserve I was happy, but not happy enough. I worked my hardest each training session to prove I should be part of the team.

“My goal in gymnastics was to represent my country and now I finally get to do this. I’ve worked so hard and believed in myself, and now I have the opportunity of a lifetime.”


Miss Collins will perform in front of thousands of people at the championships in Slovenia, which take place from October 12 to October 16.

Over the summer, she has been training with TeamGym GB in Crew and Nantwich, spending eight hours a day Monday to Thursday learning new skills and techniques.

Miss Collins said: “We had a selection event where the top judges came in and watched us perform to see if we would get a score high enough to go to the Europeans.

“Training with TeamGym GB has been the most amazing experience of my life. The support from the coaches and other gymnasts has inspired me to become better.

“Sometimes training was tough and muscles were sore but having the mind set to carry on has got me where I wanted to be!

I’m looking forward to going out with my team and showing everyone what we can do.”

Miss Collin’s family continue to support her with her gymnastics career and her coach Michelle George, from Majestic Gymnastics, has set up a crowdfunding page to help send her to the championships.

Mum Zena Collins said: “TeamGym is not a funded discipline in the UK and Tia doesn’t get any sponsorship.

“This is the biggest accolade in the Team Gym competition calendar and to be selected to represent Team GB is a proud moment for Tia, her family and Majestic Gymnastics.

“Please show your support however you can.”

To visit Tia’s crowdfunding page click here.


Photo technician to take part in Top Gear inspired fundraiser


Photo technician Joseph Wooltorton is taking part in the South West Stint this month. Good luck Joseph, we hope the fundraiser goes well!

A Top Gear inspired fundraiser will see seven friends set off on a 750-mile drive around the South West in budget cars.
The South West Stint is raising money for the RNLI and the Will Cross Fund, in memory of 17-year-old Will Lashenko Cross.
Will, who went to Kingswood School in Bath, was a talented musician who passed away following a severe case of hydrocephalus.
He was days away from performing in the London finals of a national music competition and the Will Cross Fund is helping young people to fulfil their dreams in his memory.
Will’s cousins Sam and Katie Lashenko, from Midsomer Norton, are taking part in the South West Stint from September 8 to September 12.
They will be driving alongside old school friends Tom George, George Bridges, Sophie McGarvey, Amelia Burgess and Joseph Wooltorton.
Mr Wooltorton, a photo technician at Bath College, will be driving a Hyundai Accent which he bought for £70 and has modified to make it roadworthy.
He said: “It needed a bit of work on it, but that was the whole idea. I called in a couple of favours and lots of people have donated things along the way.
“It’s a bright looking car. The idea was to make it look as stupid as possible to get more attention. We have the website and the hashtag on the car.
“We’re a close group of friends and we all love Cornwall, that’s one of the reasons we’re fundraising for the RNLI because we all love surfing.
“The Will Cross Fund is a charity that’s very close to our hearts and helps young people to achieve their ambitions and dreams.”
The team of drivers plan to stop at more than 50 places in five days, and will have to fix their own cars if they break down.
Their route starts in Cheddar and will take them all the way from Minehead, Newquay and Penzance to Plymouth, Torquay, Weymouth and Bournemouth.
They have raised £2,450 already and have attracted sponsorship from South West companies Honeystone, Xpedite, Daily Bread and Stellasoft.
Mr Wooltorton said: “The support we’ve had from people has been overwhelming and we’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported us so far.
“We have been planning it for several months now. We’ve been doing photo shoots and we have the cars ready to go so we’re looking forward to it.
“There are barely any motorways – it’s all little B roads. We’re all having bets on whose car is going to break down first, but we hope to get through it.”
For more information and to donate click here.


Lecturer volunteers for the Worldwide Veterinary Service in India


Veterinary nurse Helen Jenkins is back at Bath College getting ready to welcome new students after spending the summer volunteering at an animal birth control and emergency centre in India.
Miss Jenkins, a veterinary nursing lecturer at the college, spent two and a half weeks working with the Worldwide Veterinary Service in Ooty, twelve hours from Bangalore airport.
She was there to support surgical training courses for vets and vet students at the International Training Centre (ITC), teaching patient care, anaesthesia, aseptic techniques and surgical suture.
Animal welfare organisations are advocating neutering programmes in India, where there are up to 20 million stray dogs and post-bite immunisations cost the economy over $25 million a year.
India Me1
Miss Jenkins, who helped with the neutering programme at the ITC, said: “I volunteered because I love animals and wanted to utilise my skills to give back and support developing countries in promoting animal health and welfare.
“One of the main obstacles in large scale and sustainable dog sterilization programmes has been the lack of competent surgeons that are able to operate dogs without postoperative complications.
“Our morning would start at 7am, when we would do rounds to carry out pain assessments on the dogs we had neutered the day before.
“We neutered 24 dogs a day while running an emergency clinic, where local people could bring their pets.”
Miss Jenkins also volunteered with the charity Mission Rabies, which has vaccinated more than 100,000 dogs in India since September 2013.
Her nursing work for the Worldwide Veterinary Service in India will count towards her CPD (Continuing Professional Development) for the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.
Catheter placement
In February, she will travel to Gambia to volunteer for the Horse and Donkey Trust.
Miss Jenkins said: “I really enjoyed the vaccination drive with Mission Rabies, helping local people in their community. It was fantastic to be part of their work to eliminate rabies, which causes the deaths of around 61,000 people per year.
“We are very lucky in the UK. Working in India was completely different, electricity was intermittent and sometimes we didn’t have running water.
“In the UK we use anaesthetic machines to maintain patients during anaesthesia, but in India we maintained the animals on injectable anaesthesia every eight to ten minutes.
“It was very cold so we struggled with hypothermia. In some cases this caused their heart rate to decrease, resulting in a critical recovery time for the patient. We kept them warm using hessian sacks and hot water bottles.
“It was an inspirational trip of a lifetime and I would urge everybody to take part in volunteering.”


Curatorship student to work with Snap and Stroll photographers on new exhibition


Picture: Sally Collister, from In the Picture Participatory Photography, with Snap and Stroll photographer Nick Rigler and Katie Constantine from Bath College

Visitors to a new exhibition will see Bath through the eyes of people in the city recovering from mental health issues.

The exhibition, at the Guildhall, features digital photographs taken by 11 students on the Snap and Stroll Project.

Participants spent eight sessions exploring Bath, meeting people with the same interests and learning from each other.

The group’s work is due to go on show on August 17, in an exhibition curated by Bath College student Katie Constantine.

Carolyn Trippick took part in the project and is currently an inpatient at the STEPS eating disorder unit in Bristol.

She said: “It is surprising how powerfully effective photography is at building positive mental health. The project has helped provide my mind with a mental break from the relentless eating disorder and anxious thoughts that normally consume it.

“It helps you to see again, to really see, to be mindful in the moment and re-discover the beauty in your own surroundings.

“I hope to continue to use photography as a creative outlet to express myself and support my health and wellbeing.”

C Trippick Top 5 no2

Photo by Carolyn Trippick

The Adult Community Learning Team at Bath College, Creativity Works, Julian House, Sirona care & health, Bath and North East Somerset Council and the Wellbeing College have all supported the Snap and Stroll project.

Sally Collister, from In the Picture Participatory Photography, developed the course and led the group sessions.

She said: “I’m delighted that participants are getting this opportunity to share their work as the quality of photography is truly fabulous.

“At the beginning some had hardly held a camera before, while others were keen photographers lacking confidence.

“However, by the end of the course, though a series of workshop activities and location shooting around Bath, we had a team who could proudly call themselves photographers. It was such a pleasure watching their confidence build.”

The exhibition will include popular Bath scenes, as well as unnoticed corners and fresh perspectives on everyday places.

Nick 3

Photo by Nick Rigler

Katie Constantine, who is putting together the exhibition, has just finished a six-month Love2learn curatorship course at Bath College led by Katie O’Brien, Project Director at 44AD Artspace.

She said: “This will be my first exhibition since finishing the evening course at the college and I’m really excited to work with all of these artists.

“The students should be very proud of the high quality work that they’ve produced. My aim is to help them collect their best works together, showing each individual’s innovative vision of Bath.”

The exhibition opens with a civic reception on Wednesday August 17 from 6pm to 7pm. It will be open at the Guildhall until September 27.


Apprentice of the month: Bobbie Clarke from Curo


Bobbie Clarke, 18, from Wiltshire, is studying for a Level 3 apprenticeship in business administration at Bath College and works at Curo. Curo is a Bath-based housing association providing nearly 13,000 affordable homes to people across the West of England. Bobbie, who studied international business at Bath College for two years before taking on an apprenticeship, works within Curo’s asset administration team.
What’s your role within Curo?
In our team we manage planned improvements to all of Curo’s properties. We do things like upgrades, new kitchens, bathrooms and heating.
I deal with consents. If someone wants to improve their home and fund it themselves they need consent. I get that information in, sort it and send the surveyors out to look at the property.
Why did you decide to apply for an apprenticeship?
It’s more practical and I get to speak to contractors and customers on a daily basis. The amount of the work is the same as college but the practical side of it has given me a lot more experience within business.
I didn’t want to go to university, I wanted to earn money and learn at the same time. I felt that university wasn’t for me. I’m learning from other colleagues who show me different things.
How did you secure a place as an apprentice?
I met Lisa, who is Curo’s Employment, Training and Engagement Coordinator. I met her at Bath College’s apprenticeship fair, she did a mock interview with me and encouraged me to go for a job.
We were just talking about the role and she said ‘I really think you should go for it’. I didn’t get that job, but she encouraged me to apply for another. She thought I would be better suited to that role. I wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t spoken to her.
What do you enjoy about your apprenticeship?
You learn on the job much faster. It’s better than I expected – some people said ‘you’re going to make lots of cups of tea as an apprentice’ but I haven’t had to do that. I have my own projects so I’m quite independent, my manager treats me as another member of staff. I manage my own workload and my own diary – I enjoy the independence.
What support do you get to complete your apprenticeship?
My assessor comes out to me from Bath College to see how I’m progressing. She checks my work and that I’m getting on ok. I have picked certain units and I have to evidence what I’m doing within my job to back those units up.
What advice do you have for people looking for apprenticeships?
Go to apprenticeship fairs and speak to people (because they do notice) and speak to careers advisers at the college.
Don’t be disheartened if you don’t get the first role. A lot of people get disheartened but you have to keep going. Don’t be shy, make contacts and show that you’re interested in the role instead of sitting back.
When you go to an interview write a few notes down beforehand, and then you can look at that piece of paper if you get stuck. I didn’t even need to look at my piece of paper, but because it was there I felt more confident.
What are your plans for the future?
I definitely want a career in customer service, I would love a job as a PA or to continue my development with Curo.
To find out about apprenticeships at Bath College click 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.



Student named winner of second SkillFRIDGE regional heat


An air conditioning and refrigeration student from Bath College has been named the winner of the second SkillFRIDGE regional heat.
Steven Monk will now wait to see if he has won a place to compete in the national finals at the Skills Show in November.
The top scorers from three regional heats go through to the final where they could be selected for the WorldSkills UK training squad.
Steven, 29, from Bristol, is a Level 2 first year apprentice studying at Bath College and working as an apprentice at Bath-based company Ambient Engineering Limited.
He said: “I wasn’t expecting to win at all, I’m over the moon.
“It was tougher than I expected. Although I’m studying air conditioning and refrigeration, I was out of my comfort zone because I normally do air conditioning (rather than refrigeration) in my day job.
“It’s good to challenge yourself and set yourself goals.”
SkillFRIDGE is a national competition for apprentices studying air conditioning and refrigeration from Level 2 to Level 3.
Competitors at the regional heat, hosted by tutor Simon Robinson at Bath College, spent a day completing three tasks under the watchful eye of competition judges.
The aim of competition is to improve students’ knowledge and experience, and to promote career opportunities within the industry.
Bath College students Adam Jackson, who works for Space Engineering, and Chandler Davison, who works at Thermocold in Wiltshire, also entered the competition alongside students from Eastleigh College.
Chandler said: “It’s a tough challenge but we can all do it.
“You have to think about it and go through it slowly. It teaches you how long you should be doing tasks and improves your confidence.”
Bath College is one of only 15 colleges in the UK offering air conditioning and refrigeration qualifications, from Level 2 to Level 3.
Students enrolling on the college’s access to building services engineering Level 1 course also study refrigeration for 12 weeks, as well as electrical engineering and plumbing.
The course gives students an introduction to refrigeration, allowing students to progress to a Level 2 full-time course or an apprenticeship.
With a skills shortage in the industry, students are in high demand from companies who need engineers to design, install and maintain cooling systems.
Tutor Simon Robinson said: “I would like to see more students coming into the refrigeration and air conditioning industry.
“We feel our industry needs to be better recognised and holding such events will help to raise awareness.
“I want to demonstrate the high skillset required to be a top apprentice in our industry and let the industry and employers know about the high-quality students we have here.
“The students I put forward have shown natural ability and a genuine interest in the refrigeration industry. Taking part in these competitions will give them a great confidence boost.”
SkillFRIDGE is organised by Datateam Business Media and WorldSkills, which is responsible for running the international WorldSkills Competition every two years.
Head judge Mark Forsyth said: “This competition is held to raise the standard of professionals in the industry. This should be a benefit for employers, who will see the level of delivery to their clients improve.
“What the students learn here and what the employers experience should be managed back at the college to improve their standards.
“So the individual comes back out of the college, enters another competition and the level increases. We actually raise the standard of the competition because we’re raising the capability of the entrants.”
For more information about air conditioning and refrigeration courses at Bath College click here.


Traineeship is life-changing for young man with Asperger’s Syndrome


A six-month traineeship with Somer Valley FM has made a big difference to the life of a young man with Asperger’s Syndrome.

Jamie Marsden, from Keynsham, found a traineeship at the radio station through Bath College’s pre-apprenticeship programme.

During his traineeship, he learnt how to script a local news bulletin and read the lunchtime and afternoon news.

He has grown in confidence thanks to the support of radio station manager Dom Chambers and a job coach from Bath College.

As a result, Jamie has a new job as a data controller, is re-taking his A-levels to go to university, and plans to move into supported living.

Jamie, 22, said: “My traineeship started with an interview with Dom. Despite my difficulties, he engaged with me really well.

“I felt welcome and able to make a meaningful contribution. For the first time, I was actually excited to work.

“Asperger’s Syndrome is a disability which makes things like talking to other people and basic tasks really hard.

“This was especially true when it came to answering the phone or the door. I’d go into work every day hoping that I wouldn’t have to answer them.

“I did, and I improved. Thanks to my experiences at Somer Valley FM I got interviews for the first time in years.

“I also began to take charge of my life.”

Bath College’s pre-apprenticeship programme is aimed at young autistic people, aged 16 to 24, who want to be able to work independently.

Following Jamie’s success, Somer Valley FM has taken on three new trainees, with two trainees starting in May and another starting this month.

Jamie said: “When I applied for jobs I didn’t get to the interview stage.

“Jobs I was interested in I lacked a degree for and those jobs which would consider me did not match my aspirations. Sometimes I’d be turned away on the grounds of being overqualified.

“I was stuck in a downward spiral, but I leave my traineeship a changed man. On the last day of my traineeship I was interviewed by BBC Somerset.

“I never thought that would happen, it just goes to show how much of a difference six months can really make. I’m not the Jamie defined by my Asperger’s but a new Jamie defined by my aspirations.

“I am really proud to have done my traineeship at Somer Valley FM.”

Radio station manager Dom Chambers said: “My job is to facilitate an environment for others to get on and succeed with their aspirations.

“Jamie made the most of his traineeship and leaves us with a set of skills and expectations that would have surprised him six months ago.

“A lot of this was down to his own drive and determination. I could not be more pleased that he leaves us going into a job he wants to do and I wish him ongoing good fortune as he develops his career.”

Bath College Principal Matt Atkinson said: “Traineeships are a great way for employers and colleges to work with people to build confidence and give them the essential skills requited to get on the first rung of the career ladder.

“We are very pleased that we are able to work with Somer Valley FM on this joint programme and we wish Jamie well.”

Opportunities for traineeships at Somer Valley FM are available. To find out more about Bath College’s pre-apprenticeship programme click here.


Students celebrate at Bath College’s higher education graduation ceremony


Hard-working students from all walks of life gathered to celebrate their achievements at Bath College’s higher education graduation ceremony.
There were plenty of smiles and proud faces as students gathered at the college to collect their caps and gowns before heading to Bath Abbey for the ceremony.
More than 70 students won the right to graduate after completing courses at Level 4 or higher in subjects such as construction, computing, music, fashion and sport.
They graduated from a range of college higher education programmes, including programmes validated by the University of Bath and Bath Spa University.
Charlotte Wise, 20, from Radstock, has spent two years studying at Bath College and graduated with an HND in sport and exercise science.
In September, she will start a year-long course at Gloucestershire University to convert her qualifications into an honours degree.
Miss Wise said: “I did my A-levels and then came straight to college, it was the best decision for me. I couldn’t imagine sitting in a lecture hall with hundreds of people.
“Being at college we got a lot more support from staff. I have put in a lot of hard work so it’s nice to be rewarded at the end.”
Graduate Sarah-Jane Doman attended the ceremony as a newly qualified teacher and a new member of staff at Bath College.
Sarah-Jane, from Frome, has just completed a Level 5 diploma in education and training, and has been offered a job teaching hairdressing.
The 35-year-old, who begins at the college in August, decided on a new career after developing RSI.
She said: “This is the first time I have graduated and I am really excited. I want to make my parents proud and throw my hat in the air!
“I was cutting down my work load in the salon due to RSI. Becoming a teacher in the industry seemed like the next best step for my career.
“Completing a Level 5 course is quite an accomplishment for me. My tutor Clive has been nothing but an inspiration and extremely supportive through the entire course.
“I have met some fantastic characters in the group, most of which work in the college, so I look forward to our paths crossing in the future.”
Bath College Principal Matt Atkinson said: “At Bath College we are the place where people come to enter the world of work,
“We are the place where people come to improve their place in the world of work and we are the place where communities come together to keep learning.
“Our graduates today have made the decision to undertake a higher education programme at their local college, knowing that the learning and skills they develop will prepare them well for their futures.
“Many of them will have had to overcome challenges – we should not underestimate how difficult it is to complete a higher education programme while holding down a job and managing home and family commitments.
“We have the utmost respect for our higher education students – they certainly add to the richness and diversity of our college.”
Interested in a higher education course at Bath College? Click here to find out more.


Fashion student creates shoes to challenge stereotypes


Not many students studying fashion would describe themselves as a tomboy, but Chippenham teenager Jasmin Barber is keen to challenge stereotypes.
Jasmin, 19, has just finished studying fashion at Bath College and chose to create a series of shoes examining gender perceptions for her final major project.
As a female football player, who came as a bisexual this year, the project was a deeply personal one for Jasmin.
Her shoes, which went on display at the college’s end of year show, were modelled on shoes worn by both men and women – brogues, football boots, Doc Martins and Converse.
The laces, made with the help of an electronic embroidery machine, featured words from songs referencing sexuality, sexism and homophobia.
Jasmin, who plays for FC Chippenham Ladies, said: “I’ve been playing football ever since I was small in a boys’ team, but when I couldn’t play with the boys I joined the ladies.
“I met some football friends last year who helped me discover who I am and now I feel so content in myself. This year I went to Bristol Pride for the first time.
“The project is about identity. You look at peoples’ shoes and you make an assessment about them.
“I made the shoes using masking tape – which is a neutral colour. There’s still that stereotype that pink is for girls and blue is for boys, but I was very much a tomboy growing up.
“When I was younger I wanted to play professionally, but it’s hard work (physically and financially). It’s sad that top quality female footballers have to have more than one job to survive financially.
“What they earn in comparison to men is insignificant. In that respect we still have a way to go to make progress.”
In September, Jasmin starts at Brighton University studying for a degree in fashion and communication.
Her project was filmed for Bath College’s annual fashion show, giving her the chance to explain her thoughts to people in the audience.
She said: “My friend was in audience when the film was playing. I didn’t know what the reaction would be, but she looked round and saw people nodding their heads, so they understood it.
“I want to learn about the business side of fashion. I’m interested in communicating ideas and concepts, which I think I explored in this project.
“I’ve found what I want to do, going from school to college and onto further education. I really like all my tutors. They helped encourage my work and my ideas.”


Project SEARCH students share their stories at graduation ceremony


Five students who have been on a life-changing journey preparing them for the world of work shared their stories at this year’s Project SEARCH graduation ceremony.
Project SEARCH, run in partnership with Bath College, Bath and North East Somerset Council and Sirona Care & Health, is a year-long employability programme for young people with learning difficulties and disabilities.
Ashley Westcott, from Bath, was the first student to receive a full-time permanent position as a result of the project and is now working with the housekeeping team at the Assembly Rooms.
The 22-year-old was cheered by family and friends as he collected his certificate at the graduation ceremony and spoke about his work placements.
Young people aged 18 to 24-years-old are placed on three 10-week work placements as part of the Project SEARCH programme.
Mr Westcott said: “It feels good to be working. The people at the Assembly Rooms are friendly, I got to know them when I was at my work placement and it progressed from there.
“They saw what I could do and they put in a good word for me. At times I thought I wasn’t going to get a job. I think I’ve grown in confidence, my work placement at the recycling centre helped me with this.
“When you’re on your lunch break everyone talks to each other and brings you into the conversation. If someone wants to get a job they should come to Project SEARCH.
“If I hadn’t signed up to this course I would be sitting at home and I didn’t want that, I wanted to be working.”
Students Kyle Longstaff, Gabriella Falcone, Katie McDonald and Chelsea Lovell also graduated at the ceremony, held at the Guildhall.
Throughout the year, the group have learnt about health and safety, equality and diversity, customer service and finance. They took part in mock interviews with the Bath Building Society and helped to host the Project Search European conference.
Principal Matt Atkinson said: “For the young people we work with, we’re doing everything we can to prepare them for the world of work.
“We have 9,000 students that come to the college to study with us. Of all the programmes we run, Project SEARCH probably has the most impact on peoples’ lives.
“The problem with the education system is it assumes that everyone will go one way. What Project SEARCH does is recognise that we can develop very personal individual programmes.
“Working and earning money gives people a sense of purpose, a sense of participation in society, and Project SEARCH allows young people to do just that.”
Alan Hale, Chairman of Bath and North East Somerset Council, said: “It was so nice to be able to attend the Project SEARCH conference and share time with the people who make a difference to students’ lives.
“I’m very proud to stand here representing this council and know we’re playing a big part in doing that. We must all talk to people about Project SEARCH and let them know what’s happening.”
For more information about Project SEARCH click here.


IT Students design new website for Yeovil Youth Theatre

Students at Bath College are planning, designing and hosting websites for customers to improve their employability skills and build up a portfolio of their work.
Level 3 IT students Alex Ball and Matthew Barnett have just finished work on a new website for aspiring performers at Yeovil Youth Theatre.
The website, built from scratch, will help recruit new creative talent and pull in customers for Yeovil Youth Theatre’s popular shows. 
The pair, who are both due to start at Plymouth University in September, worked on the project with Yeovil Youth Theatre director and committee member Alan Forster.
They were part of a team of students working to build websites for local organisations and businesses over the course of a year. 
Matthew, 18, from Radstock, said: “I’m glad that we had this opportunity. It was good to follow the whole process from start to finish.
“We had built practice websites, but this time we were building a website for a client. It’s taught us how to communicate. We’ll definitely be using these skills when we go to university.” 
image 3
 Yeovil Youth Theatre caters for young people aged 13 to 18 with an interest in performing, as well as sound, lighting, costume design and set design. 
Mr Forster said: “We’re an inclusive company. We’re trying to give as many people the opportunity to get involved.  
“We were running without a website for 18 months and it was critical to everything we did. It was the one place you could go to get any information you needed, whether you were a prospective member or a current member.  
“This opportunity came along which seemed too good to miss. The students should be proud of what they have come up with. “ 
Alex, 18, from Corsham, said: “Developing the website has been very interesting, I’m glad to see it has come together.
“It’s given us some challenges. If we did this again we would do it even better and build the website faster.” 
Bath College lecturer Steve Harries said: “This gives our students a chance to build a portfolio, develop a reputation as website developers and to challenge themselves.
“The students have had the opportunity to work for an external customer on a project, receive and respond to constructive feedback of their work and then make improvements.
“For some of the students, it has opened up opportunities to work in industry and some are now considering full-time employment in website design.”
Next year’s students will start their website projects in October.
Websites are free to design and build and cost £20 per year to host. Customers need to invest their time and meet with students throughout the project.
If you’d like a website designed by students at Bath College please e-mail Steve.Harries@bathcollege.ac.uk
To visit the website when it goes live go to www.yeovilyouththeatre.org.uk


Fashion students step onto the catwalk for end of year show


Fashion students at Bath College had their moment in the spotlight when they walked down the catwalk for their end of year show.

The hour-long show featured a stunning selection of designs created by students studying Level 3 fashion and textiles.

Students worked as a team to organise the show, becoming models and stylists, and organising refreshments, music and lighting.

Catwalk models showcased a wide variety of creations, including bomber jackets, print dresses, denim tops and satin kimonos.

Mia Raghunath, 19, from Shepton Mallet, won the DIA (Design and Industries Association) Gane Trust award.



The Gane Trust, managed by a team of eight trustees, was set up in 1954 by Crofton Gane, a pioneering furniture designer.

Trustees award an annual prize of £500 to a fashion student at Bath College, choosing the student with the best clothing collection.

Mia, who will study costume design and making at Nottingham Trent University, collected her prize from trustee Peter Metcalfe.

She said: “I couldn’t believe it. I’m just shocked and really grateful. I have absolutely loved being here at college, it’s a lovely atmosphere and I have really been able to expand my skills.

“I want to go into the film and TV industry, so I’m looking forward to progressing at university and being a bit more crazy with my designs.”


Fashion and textiles lecturer Fiona Coombs said: “It’s massive doing the fashion show. It’s hard work, in the last few days there’s been a lot of pressure, but when you see the show it’s so exciting you forget all that.

“All the students are either going on to employment or university. They’re all going onto diverse courses: fashion and design, textile design, fashion buying, and fashion promotion.

“They have worked really hard and you feel so proud of them. Tonight, they have their parents and friends here and it’s their moment. It’s great to see everyone clapping and enjoying the show.”

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