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.

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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.” 
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 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.”


Apprentice of the Month: Liz Doughty from the Bath Vet Group

Bath College works with over 260 businesses, who employ over 450 apprentices, making it the largest provider of apprenticeships in the Bath and North East Somerset area.
 Liz Doughty is studying at the college and working for the Bath Vet Group. In this interview, she shares her thoughts on her time as an apprentice.
To find out about apprenticeships at Bath College click here.
How did you secure an apprenticeship?
I got a job as a kennel assistant at the Bath Vet Group. They were advertising for a trainee to study veterinary nursing and because of my age (and the way the funding worked) they put me onto an apprenticeship.
What do you enjoy about your apprenticeship?
Doing an apprenticeship is fun way to study. There’s a lot of pressure, but you’re not sat in a classroom all the time. I like working at the same time as studying, it helps you apply what you’ve learnt. You can relate what you’ve learnt to the animals you’re working with.
What have you learnt during your apprenticeship?
It’s a very intense course (the amount they pack into the two years) but our tutor at Bath College has been amazing. I have had a lot of support and I get on with the rest of the group.
We have just finished studying anatomy and physiology. I like doing the operations at work. I like preparing the animal for the operation, doing the anaesthetic and watching the vet complete the operation. I find that really interesting now I know how things work and what I’m looking at.
How has your apprenticeship helped you?
It’s given me a route into the career I wanted. I didn’t think it was possible before, but now I can see what I want to do for the rest of my working life.
What’s the best bit about your chosen career?
I worked in rescue care before and found it really rewarding. It’s the care and the healthcare that you’re able to give to the animals. You get really nice people and owners. Some can be difficult, but that just comes with the job. They care so much about their animals they can get emotional. Communication with owners is a big thing and very important.
Do you have any tips for someone looking for an apprenticeship?
I had an interview for my apprenticeship and I got a phone call the next day. I think some people find it more difficult to get an apprenticeship, but I found it quite easy. It helps to do a job in a veterinary practice beforehand and it helps to do a veterinary assistant course at college. I’d recommend getting a job in a practice (even if it’s just work experience) so they can see how hard-working you are.


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 create canapés for industry professionals at The Chefs’ Forum


Students from Bath College fed top chefs with a selection of mouth-watering canapés at a networking event for industry professionals.
The popular Chefs’ Forum, for chefs and suppliers, was held at Homewood Park Hotel and Spa in Freshford, near Bath.

Hospitality and catering students worked with Simon Addison, head chef at Homewood Park, to create the canapé menu.

Alongside students from Gloucestershire College and HIT Training, they served sesame prawn toast, truffle gougères, black pudding, scotch eggs, tartare on tapioca crisp and mini shepherd’s pies.

After the reception, Mr Addison demonstrated dishes from his menu, including confit salmon with black sesame, radish and ponzu, and rack of lamb with cucumber, falafel and pink peppercorn yoghurt.

Guests were also treated to a barbecue demonstration in the gardens and a gourmet pizza-making demonstration.


They found the chance to relax away from the kitchen, taking part in a spot of Segway racing and finishing up with a Homewood Park afternoon tea.

Homewood Park is part of Bath College’s Hotel and Restaurant School, launched to connect students with employers.

Bridget Halford, Head of Hospitality at the college, said: “The Chefs’ Forum is a fantastic platform for our students to network with local employers and secure work experience.

“One of my students, Connor Gale, has been offered a full-time job at Lucknam Park as a result of The Chefs’ Forum holding a similar event last September.”

Mr Addison, who joined Homewood Park a year ago, said: “The students were fantastic. The passion and talent that they showed was brilliant.

“It was great to invite the college to Homewood Park today as we would like to encourage more young people to join our team.”

Founder of The Chefs’ Forum, Catherine Farinha, said: “This has been a brilliant event and it’s chefs like Simon and his team who make it all possible.

“We want to be able to keep giving the young talent the opportunity to go into kitchens and work front of house, so that we can secure the successful future of the hospitality industry.”


Free games evening at Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus


A free evening of music and games will be held at Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus to encourage intergenerational learning.

The event, organised by Bath College, Bath and North East Somerset Age UK and Small Business Focus, takes place in the early evening on July 7th.
As well as music and games, there will be a buffet and the chance to meet animals and birds kept by the college’s land-based department.


Matt, manager of teaching and learning, at Bath College has been working to promote intergenerational learning as part of IntGen.
Business leaders from the United Kingdom, Spain, Finland, Greece and Belgium are all part of the IntGen project.
At the moment, they are working on an online course to connect young and old entrepreneurs so they can pass on business skills.
Mr Finch, who travelled to Greece for the project last month, said: “Everyone is welcome to come to the free games event.
“It’s an opportunity to get people together to have a fun evening and get different age groups mixing together.
“Intergenerational learning can be a great thing. By getting together in a social context, there will be a lot of learning going on.”
Students from Bath Spa University will be participants in the IntGen online entrepreneurs course starting in October.
Mr Finch is also planning a tea dance for young and old generations on Thursday October 27th in The Shrubbery Restaurant at Bath College’s City Centre Campus.
The Somer Valley event will run from 5.30pm to 7.30pm. To attend contact Age UK Bath and North East Somerset on (01225) 466135 or e-mail reception@ageukbanes.co.uk.
For more information about IntGen click here.


Charity superheroes abseil down Bath College’s tallest building


Charity superheroes have abseiled down Bath College’s tallest building to support sick children in hospital and their families.

Thirteen students and staff braved the 24-metre abseil, climbing over the edge of the college’s Macaulay building to raise money for Time is Precious.
They have collected over £600 for Time is Precious, bringing the amount raised by the college for the charity this year to £1,300.
Aaron Hooper, 19, from Radstock, studies performing arts and often takes part in events organised by the student participation team.
He said: “My whole life flashed before me. I knew it would be scary but I was shaking like mad when I was kneeling over the edge.
“I’m only going to be here (at college) once. It’s good to get involved with as much as you can so you can look back and be proud of it all.”
Students at Bath College have been fundraising for Time is Precious ever since it was chosen as the Students’ Union charity of the year.
The charity provides hospitals with new equipment and facilities to improve life for young patients receiving treatment.
Money collected by the college will go towards a chill-out zone for teenagers at Bath’s Royal United Hospital.
Staff and students gathered on the ground to support health and social care lecturer Vanessa Haughey, who was the first to abseil the building.
She said: “I’m not really scared of heights, but it’s different when you’re throwing yourself off a building.
“I teach health and social care, so there’s that link with the RUH. Some of my students have completed placements there and will probably work there when they have finished their courses.”
Those completing the abseil included students from Bath College’s English Language School, Antonio Perlado Ortega, from Spain, and Al-Hanouf Al-Masoud, from Saudi Arabia.
Tess Farlow, Kez Hawkins and Sarah Withers, from the student participation team, chose to dress as minions from Despicable Me for the abseil.
Martin Davey, from the Estates and Facilities Department, also raised a smile by completing the abseil dressed as Spiderman.
He said: “I’ve been at the college for seven years, but this is the first time I’ve abseiled down a college building. I think you should do something every day that scares you.
“Erin, from our department, is going to take a photo alongside me to show her son she works with Spiderman. My grandson is also a big Spiderman fan.
“Time is Precious is a fantastic charity and that was the driving force behind me getting involved.”
Students’ Union President Kez Hawkins said: “It’s great to say that you’ve abseiled down Bath College, which is one of the tallest buildings in Bath.
“This is the benefit of having a student participation team and next year we will be going bigger and better again.
“We’ve raised over £1,000 so far and we’ve had great support from Bath College – look at how many people got involved.”


High-fliers receive Access to Higher Education certificates


High-fliers, who have secured their dream place at university, raised a glass to celebrate at Bath College’s annual Access to Higher Education awards ceremony.

The Access to Higher Education programme provides students with a nationally recognised qualification, allowing them to progress to university.

Seventy-three students have successfully completed their course and will progress to study a wide range of degrees at well-known universities across the country.

Students gathered in the Shrubbery Restaurant at Bath College to enjoy a glass of prosecco and collect their course certificates.

Staff chose Ellen Barce to receive the Roper Prize, presented to a student who has gone to exceptional lengths to complete their course.

Mrs Barce, from Paulton, will study adult nursing at the University of the West of England (UWE) in September.

She completed the access course at the same time as looking after her three children and working night hours in a care home.


The 42-year-old said: “It’s always been my ambition to become a registered nurse. I’ve worked in care for almost ten years.

“When my youngest daughter reached secondary school, this time she was the one pushing me saying ‘mum you can do what you want now’.

“This course taught me about time management, how to manage my family, work and study at the same time. It was a challenge, but it’s given me a big sense of achievement.

“I would always recommend this course because you meet some wonderful people. All the teachers are very supportive and the friends I’ve made here will be friends for life.”


Students on the access programme study for a diploma in either health and social care, education, science, humanities or social science.

Karla Cabot, from Frome, will study veterinary medicine in September and has been nominated for the Access to Higher Education award.

This will be handed out at Bath College’s Celebrating Success Awards ceremony at the Guildhall in the autumn.

Miss Cabot, 21, said: “When I was doing my A-levels I planned to do something like veterinary science as I’d always loved science.

“However, my mum was ill and I wasn’t able to finish them, which really knocked my confidence, so I didn’t think I’d ever get into veterinary.

“My friend Alexa and I met up last summer and it turned out we’d both been looking at the access course. This gave us both the encouragement to do it together and we’ve both really enjoyed the year.”

Bath College Principal Matt Atkinson said: “What an amazing list of degrees that people are going onto.

“I have been at the college for nine years and throughout that time, I have always enjoyed coming to this particular awards ceremony.

“Students embark on this learning journey for the first time in years and, when they first start, they have this petrified look in their eyes.

“They get to this point and they have grown so much and become really confident learners. What we do at the college is absolutely fantastic, but I do think the access course really changes lives.”


Talented students will open art and design showcase to the public


Bath College is celebrating the work of over 160 talented art and design students with an end of year show open to the public.

Final year students studying graphic design, 3D design, fashion and fine art are all displaying their work at the exhibition.

Prospective students are encouraged to visit and see the wide range of art specialisms available to study at the college.

David Merriman, Head of Department for Art and Design, said the display would give students valuable exhibition experience.

He said: “We’re particularly pleased with this end of year show. With the development of new technology in creative industries we’re finding that much of our students’ work is finished to high industry standards.

“I would advise everyone with an interest in a creative career and parents to come along and have a look at our fantastic facilities and work.”

Show poster
Students studying art and design benefit from access to specialist equipment in a department rated Outstanding by Ofsted.

A high proportion of students are going on to study at university, including Ruby Abba-Heney, 20, from Bath, who has received an offer to study fashion photography at the London College of Fashion.

Mr Merriman said: “We’re finding our students are continually offered places at sought after universities. Ruby started on the Level 2 art and design course and made a great success of that.

“She worked her way through Level 3 photography and has photographed several events for the college to a really high standard.

“I’m really proud of our students when I see the journeys they have made. It’s particularly rewarding for staff to be able to help students in a new environment when their recent educational experiences have been less successful.

“This is what further education at college is about, second chances, and all our students are very important to us.”

The exhibition is open to the public on Saturday June 25th from 10am to 2pm. Doors are also open from Monday June 27th to Wednesday June 29th between 10am and 6pm.

Fashion and textiles students are holding an end of year fashion show on Thursday June 30th. The first show runs from 6pm to 8pm and the second from 8pm to 9pm.


Bath College hosts South West Chef of the Year Competition


Bath College welcomed six ambitious young chefs into its student kitchens for the South West Chef of the Year Competition.

The college, which has a thriving hospitality and catering department, hosted the Somerset semi-final for the junior stage of the competition.

Contestants aged 11 to 16, from across Somerset, had one and a half hours to prepare their dishes and impress the judges.

They were challenged to demonstrate skill and creativity in cooking, as well as a knowledge of produce from south west England.

Bath College catering lecturer Kean Maslen joined Sam Moody, from The Bath Priory, and Elly Wentworth, from Lucknam Park, on the judging panel.

All the judges spent time chatting to contestants about their dishes and marking them for the way they worked in the kitchen.


Mr Maslen said: “Some of the dishes were really ambitious. It’s brilliant to see young people cooking with local ingredients and enjoying themselves.

“It would be great if this competition inspires them to go on to a college course or encourages them to cook for themselves instead of getting a takeaway.”

Kiara Boobyer, from Holyrood Academy, Chard, entered the competition after speaking to her food technology teacher.

“I quite enjoyed it. I wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did because I thought it would be nerve-wracking. I like it when people eat my food and say it’s really good, you feel proud of yourself.”



Judges presented certificates to everyone taking part and chose Ethan Bull as the winner of the semi-final competition.

The overall winner will be offered work experience with David Everitt- Matthias at the two Michelin-starred Le Champignon Sauvage, Cheltenham.

Ethan, from Crispin School, Street, said: “I’m really surprised and pleased to have won the semi-final competition.
“I entered because I wanted to gain more experience and get more advice from chefs. I liked the pressure of the competition and trying to work to time. It’s something I really enjoy and would like to pursue in the future.”
Executive head chef Sam Moody has volunteered his time to help Ethan work on his dish before the final on October 15 at Ashburton Cookery School, Devon.
Mr Moody said: “It was great to see a real selection of dishes. It’s so important that young people enjoy cooking and it’s essential that chefs encourage young cooks to join our industry.
“I work at the top end of hospitality, so it’s important for me to come and show people what I do because not everyone is interested in working in a Michelin-starred restaurant. Cooking is such a basic thing and if you can’t enjoy it you’re missing out.”

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