Beauty student picked for Team Gym GB as a reserve gymnast


A beauty student at Bath College has been picked for Team Gym GB as a reserve gymnast for the European Championships 2016.
Tia Collins, who is studying for a Level 2 NVQ, will take part in intensive training as a reserve for the team gymnastics squad.
The 16-year-old started as a gymnast 12 years ago and trains at least 15 hours and a minimum of three days a week with Majestic Gymnastics in Bristol.
Over the last 12 months, she has been visiting Bracknell Gymnastic Club to take part in GB regional squad training.
She said: “When you go out in public people don’t really realise you’re a gymnast and you can just stand and backflip.
“It’s quite hard fitting in college work with training, there’s an exam for every module, but I was keen to study beauty.
“My teammates are just like family. We perform in front of thousands of people that we’re competing against and I enjoy all of it.
“When I found out I’d been selected I was just bouncing round the place.”
Tia, from Majestic Gymnastics in Longwell Green, has been trialling for Team Gym GB for a year. She went through three phases of intensive training and reviews to be selected as a reserve in the final stage.
Her training will step up ahead of the European Championships in Slovenia, which takes place from October 12 to October 16.
Tia said: “Throughout this training I’m just hoping to get better. It’s going to be constant training to learn new skills, new moves and new techniques.
“If someone doesn’t get accepted or has an injury I could have a chance, but I’m going to the European competition anyway.
“I’m looking forward to it, watching and seeing what it’s like. I will still be going as a reserve so if anything happens I would have to step in.
“I think it’s going to be huge. There will be gymnasts from all over the world.”


Interview: Stonemasonry student secures apprenticeship with The Prince’s Trust

Tom Wiggins, 29, from Gloucestershire has just secured a place as an apprentice with The Prince’s Trust. In this interview, he tells us about studying stonemasonry at Bath College and why he decided to switch careers, study something new, and become an apprentice.


Can you tell us a bit about yourself?


I left a Gloucester sixth form college in 2004 with 10 GCSEs and A-levels in German, Media Studies and Information Technology.


We were all encouraged to apply for university, even though many of us held no particular desire to go into higher education.


At the time, there was very little emphasis on apprenticeships and trade skills, and so the option to go down this route was never offered.


Going to university was the in-thing, but it did many of my classmates a disservice. They went into unfulfilling jobs in retail when they could have been establishing a good early grounding for a career in the trades and other skilled jobs.


I started working in the head office of a mortgage company in February 2005 and I didn’t leave until May 2013. I didn’t particularly like it there, but I found myself being surrounded by people who shared a similar view – it wasn’t ideal, but it paid the bills.


I’d like to say that there was a light bulb moment or a flash of inspiration that caused me to choose stonemasonry, but it was slower and perhaps less cinematic than that.
I’ve always been a creative person. I enjoyed drawing as a child and at 17-years-old I discovered the joys of writing, so I’ve always had an appreciation for different types of hand skills.


Why did you start studying stonemasonry at Bath College?


I started studying stonemasonry in September 2013.


After eight years of working in an office, I realised that I wasn’t really getting anywhere. I didn’t like what I was doing, so I moved on. And for me, it paid off. At 27-years-old I was a mature student, and so I was relieved when I found that I had classmates who were not only around my age but some even older.
The course has always attracted students both young and old, and while it’s true that a young brain can pick things up quickly, but it is quite often the ones with a little bit of life experience who go on to make the best students.




Which company are you working with? How has that helped you progress?


I’ve been working for a stonemasonry firm about three miles from where I live. It was by no means an easy job to get – I had to be proactive.


Over the course of two years, I went to visit them on a couple of occasions, as well as ringing them and sending in my CV. I was careful not to pester them, but I made them known I was there and available for work at any point.


My time there has helped me come on leaps and bounds at college. The course is two days per week, so what you do when you’re not at college is very important.
Before I got the job in stone, I found I was lagging behind my classmates who were already out and working in the industry, but then the job allowed me to catch up.


I had to quickly learn how to use power tools at work, while college focuses primarily on hand tools. However, I did get to use my hand tools a great deal as well at work.


On top of that, looking at a piece of stone for an extra three days a week helped me sharpen what the industry calls the mason’s eye – an ability to see the very subtle variations in shade of a stone that indicates its high and low spots.


The more I worked stone, the more I could see, and the faster and more accurate I got. And it’s these two qualities – speed and accuracy – that make a good stonemason.


What has been the best thing about the course?


The teaching and facilities at the college have been great, but the very best thing has been making so many great friends.


The camaraderie and kindness between everyone on this course has been off the scale. Stonemasonry is a very niche industry so everyone knows everybody else and it feels wonderful to be part of a small community of people who are passionate about working, conserving and restoring stone.


Ray and Paul are both master masons and Tanya, our technician, is also a Bath College trained stonemason, sawyer and experienced stone carver.


So suffice to say, there’s a huge wealth of experience on our campus and everyone is so approachable and happy to help or lend advice. It’s been a pleasure from start to finish. I’d go back to September 2013 and do it all again in an instant.


Can you tell us about the apprenticeship with the Prince’s Trust?


It was Ray, my third year lecturer, who encouraged me to apply for it. It’s an eight-month apprenticeship that begins in July and ends in February.


It starts off as a summer school in London, Edinburgh, and Glasgow where we’re given lessons in construction, geometry, and a series of hands-on workshops.


After the summer school, we will all play a role in a “live build” on the grounds of a Glasgow estate. This means that all of the chosen apprentices (who might include carpenters, lime plasters as well as stonemasons) will be part of a construction project from start to finish.


When that’s complete, we will disperse and begin our work-based placement in our chosen fields. It’s a very prestigious and sought-after apprenticeship and I’m eager to give an excellent representation of myself as a newly-qualified mason and alumni of Bath College.


How did you feel when you were offered a place on the programme?


The application process went very smoothly. I submitted my written application at the end of February and had the interview at the end of March.


Some applicants had a telephone interview, but I had to go to London for a face-to-face interview. I was lucky enough to know one of the interviewers – he leads the Bath College placement at Woodchester Mansion – so I’d already established a good rapport with him.


Having him there proved less nerve-wracking than if I’d been sat across from interviewers I didn’t know. I was over the moon when I heard I’d been accepted.
Knowing that I’ve got a great adventure ahead of me, it’s changed my outlook on the whole year. It’s a little scary, but scary is always good.


What are you most looking forward to about your apprenticeship with The Prince’s Trust?


I’m looking forward to building on the lessons we’ve had at the college in geometry and classical architecture.


At college, we draw all the components we make. Before we work any stone – be it a plinth, a windowsill, a ball finial or a piece of tracery or any of the other jobs that we’ve done – we draw it and make a full set of templates and moulds first.


There’s a huge amount of geometry involved in designing a building – most of which we learnt from the Greeks – so I’m looking forward to using and developing those skills during the design stage of the apprenticeship.


Would you recommend studying at college to others?

For me, the college experience has been a resounding success and one of the most positive experiences of my life. I cannot recommend it highly enough. It’s important for prospective students to choose the course they enjoy the most – the course that feels most natural to them. Why be mediocre at something you don’t really like when you can be great at something you love?




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.



Laurel Penrose appointed as new Principal and Chief Executive at Bath College


Bath College has appointed a new Principal and Chief Executive to take over leadership of the college in the early autumn.

Laurel Penrose will take up her post on the senior management team following Matt Atkinson’s departure at the end of August.

Mr Atkinson, who has led the college since August 2007, is leaving to set up a business offering leadership support to education providers.

Mrs Penrose is currently the Deputy Chief Executive and Deputy Principal at North Warwickshire & Hinckley College (NWHC) and South Leicestershire College (SLC).

Before this, she was Vice Principal for Curriculum and Quality across the partnership, leading the development of a vocational curriculum working with employers and universities.

Mrs Penrose said: “It is an honour to have been appointed as Principal and Chief Executive of Bath College.

“I have already experienced the warmth of the college’s welcome and been delighted to hear the positive views of students concerning the support and delivery given by staff.

“It was a pleasure to walk around the college and experience the confidence and enthusiasm of colleagues. I am really looking forward to working with staff to further progress the college and build on current good practices.”

During her time at NWHC and SLC, Mrs Penrose acted as the quality nominee for five Ofsted inspections, working to improve success rates to put the college in the top 15 per cent of colleges nationally.

She led the creation of a rapidly expanding secondary school academies chain, of which she is now director.

In addition, Mrs Penrose worked to develop an enterprise zone training centre in engineering and an advanced engineering centre, receiving bids totalling £11 million from the LEP and local authority.

As Principal and Chief Executive for Bath College, she will oversee plans for a £3.3 million state of the art construction skills centre at the Somer Valley Campus in Radstock.

Mrs Penrose said: “I had the benefit of walking around the Somer Valley campus last week and the potential for this provision is evident.

“The securing of funds to build a new construction skills centre is a significant step towards fortifying growth in this vocational area.
“I am looking forward to working with the senior management team to realise this great opportunity.”

Carole Stott, Chair of the Board of Governors at Bath College, said: “I am looking forward to Laurel joining Bath College and working with the staff and the board to build on the excellent work of Matt Atkinson.

“She brings many years of experience in further education, including senior leadership in a large college group. Laurel will continue to build the college’s strong partnerships across our community.

“I know that all staff will want to join with me and all the governors in congratulating Laurel on her appointment and welcoming her warmly to the college on her arrival later this year.”


Adult learners develop business skills on Roots to Work course


A new course at Bath City Farm is using gardening to help unemployed adults develop business skills away from the classroom.
Organised by the Adult Community Learning team at Bath College, the Roots to Work Course takes three days a week over a two-month period.
Adult learners are growing plants to sell at the St John’s Spring Fair, and have been challenged to make a profit for charity.
The group have been growing a wide range of herbs and plants, including oregano, chives, rosemary, basil, nasturtiums, lemon balm and squash.
They have been refreshing their IT and business skills by keeping track of costs and helping with marketing for the fair on June 3.
Stephen Richardson, 42, from Bath is looking for customer service jobs and found a place on the course through the job centre.
He said: “I’m not a gardener, I’m more interested in the organisational and IT aspects of this course, but it’s interesting – it’s something new to learn.
“At the job centre they send someone to tell you about how to find work. You sit there listening, but you’re not actually doing anything.
“This course is much more practical. You get that sense of achievement, you can say ‘yes I’ve done this’ and when they ask you what you’ve done recently in an interview you can tell them. We’ve taken ownership of the project.”
Tea, coffee and vegan cakes will be on sale at the Spring Fair, along with a wide range of items on offer from charities, including Bath Cats and Dogs Home, Bath Mind, the RICE charity and Age UK.
Horticulturist Carol Stone is helping adult learners grow plants for the sale at Bath City Farm.
She said: “They have done a brilliant job, everyone has been very focused and motivated. We’ve produced quite a lot in a short amount of time.
“We’re looking to see if a practical skill like growing, taught alongside IT and business lessons, can increase peoples’ confidence finding employment.
“It’s about getting outside, meeting new people and learning new skills, because being unemployed can be isolating.
“A lot of people on the course are highly qualified, so we try and work with people in a way that recognises their different skill levels.”
Anna Ferguson, Activities and Community Outreach Coordinator at St John’s, said: “We are delighted to be involved in such an innovative and exciting project. I look forward to see the plants the learners have grown, and no doubt will be buying a fair few.”
The Spring Fair takes place at St John’s Hospital, Chapel Court, on Friday June 3 from 11am to 3pm.


Apprentice chosen to represent Britain at EuroSkills Gothenburg 2016


Talented stonemason Toby Brook will represent his country at Europe’s largest skills competition as part of the WorldSkills UK squad.

The former Bath College apprentice earned his place on the squad after winning highly commended in the 2015 WorldSkills UK competition.

He is just one of 19 apprentices chosen to enter EuroSkills Gothenburg 2016 and will be the only British stonemason competing.

Toby, 19, completed his apprenticeship at Bath College last summer and is continuing to develop his craft working at Wells Cathedral Stonemasons.

He said: “I had two days training at Bath College and after that, Kevin Calpin, WorldSkills trainer for stonemasonry, decided who to take to Europe.

“I was surprised when I got through, because I imagine it was close. I shouted it out when I got the e-mail and everyone patted me on the back.


Stone Student EDITED
“It’s a big achievement. I’m going to aim for my highest goal to get a medal, but I’m also looking forward to the chance to represent the UK.”

Taking place in December, EuroSkills will see young people from over 30 European countries come together to compete in over 35 different skills areas.

The competitors taking part in EuroSkills will also go on to compete for a place in the team representing the UK at the next WorldSkills competition in 2017.

Toby, who has already been hard at work practicing, will now complete an intensive training programme before the EuroSkills competition.

He said: “It’s going to be a lot of hard work. With every competition I’ve done so far, you don’t know what you’re doing until you get there.

“The higher you go the harder it gets. It’s a bit overwhelming to see where I was in my first year of college and to see where I am now.

“I never thought I would get this far. It does boost your confidence. When you’re in a workshop you don’t really know your skill.

“You don’t know how good you are until you’re competing against others.”

Stonemasonry lecturer Ray Sumner, who taught Toby at Bath College, is proud to see Toby secure his place to compete in Europe.

He said: “Toby’s dedication to training and the stonemasonry industry has led to him being recognised as one of the best stonemasons in the country.

“He is a testament to the teaching and learning at Bath College and he joins a long list of accomplished stonemasons who have trained at the college.”

Bath College Principal Matt Atkinson said: “We are so proud of what Toby has already achieved and are delighted that his ambition to excel in his chosen career continues to develop.

“Toby is a fantastic example to each and every apprentice stonemason in the country and everyone at Bath College is behind him 100 per cent.”

Government Skills Minister Nick Boles said: “The young people who have earned a place on Team UK are worthy ambassadors and show the great
things you can achieve with high quality apprenticeships and technical training.

“I congratulate each and every member of Team UK and look forward to hearing about their performance.”


Students share success stories at Volunteering and Employability Awards


Students from Bath College shared their success stories at an awards ceremony celebrating work experience and volunteering.

Young people across the college spend hundreds of hours volunteering at home and abroad, securing references and paid work as a result.

The event, organised by the Bath College Futures team and the Student Participation team, was held in recognition of their hard work.

Student Anne-Marie Caws volunteers at the Bath RUH every week making cups of tea and speaking to patients on the ward.

The 19-year-old, from Dilton Marsh, studies public services and has a place to study adult nursing at Plymouth University in September.

Anne-Marie Caws

She said: “I’ve been getting to know patients and how to communicate with them. Quite a lot of them don’t have visitors. I think they like seeing young people on the wards and a nice friendly face.”

Six students received a mug and a certificate from the student participation team after being chosen as volunteer of the month.

Bath in Fashion volunteer Emily Perry, peer mentor Sophie Wainright, and George Ormond, who cycled from Devon to Paris for charity, all collected certificates.

The Futures Team, which works to secure work experience and job opportunities for students, also handed out employability awards based on tutor nominations.

Award winners included fashion diploma student Jessica Hartrey, 17, who shadowed fashion stylists working on the Financial Times Magazine.

She said: “They printed my name in the magazine, so that was really good to see. Getting work experience has really spurred me on. I’m going to do a degree in fashion styling at Southampton University in September.”

Catering student Oliver Dunn was chosen for an employability award after being offered a job at the five-star Royal Crescent Hotel.

Oliver, from Keynsham, impressed head chef David Campbell when he volunteered at a function for the Bath Food Awards.

The 17-year-old said: “He messaged me and asked if I wanted a job, it was quite an achievement. I’ve always wanted to be the best I could be and do fine dining.

“It’s really rewarding when you see your food plated up and going out to customers. Going to college has really set me up and given me a basis for the future.”

Bath College Principal Matt Atkinson said: “If anyone says ‘what is college about?’ this is what college is about. It’s about working with people to secure them good quality jobs for the future.

“There are some fantastic things going on across the college. We’re lucky to have some fantastic relationships with local employers, and now local employers are looking to use to secure their future workforce.”


Students offered full-time jobs at five-star Lucknam Park Hotel and Spa


Two students have secured full-time jobs at a five-star luxury hotel through the Bath Hotel and Restaurant School.
The Hotel and Restaurant School was set up to link students at Bath College with leaders in the South West hospitality and catering industry.
Lucknam Park Hotel and Spa committed to the partnership at a launch party last year and is the first to employ students from the college.
Connor Gale and Lucy Fry have a bright future ahead of them working at the award-winning hotel in Colerne, near Bath.
Lucy will work at the Michelin-starred Park Restaurant and Connor will be part of the team at Lucknam Park’s two AA Rosette Brasserie.


Eighteen-year-old Connor, from Bath, started work experience at Lucknam Park in October and will start full-time in July.
He said: “When I started at college, I would have been the student hiding in the corner. Coming here and seeing everyone’s attitude to work changed the way I was in college.
“It’s been truly amazing and I’ve become more confident in myself. If they’ve offered me a job here, I must be doing something right.
“I’ve only had two jobs in the past and this is by far the best, here it’s easy to get along with everyone – the guests and the staff.
“If it wasn’t for the hotel school I wouldn’t be here, so it’s a really good thing.”
Chris Kidd, Restaurant Manager at Lucknam Park, is keen to stand out as an employer and recruit young talent.
He arranged for Connor and Lucy to take part in staff training as part of their work experience, including wine tasting and cheese making.
Mr Kidd said: “It’s nice to see the potential in Connor and Lucy. For us, the Hotel and Restaurant School has been really good because we have a lot more access to the students at Bath College.
“I wanted Connor and Lucy to be involved in staff training because I wanted them to come and work for Lucknam Park. If I didn’t invest the time, they might have gone elsewhere.
“I hope they will stay for two years, hopefully longer, because we have the opportunities if someone is excelling – there’s the chance to work your way up.”
Bridget Halford, Head of Department for Hospitality and Catering, said: “The Hotel and Restaurant School is a fantastic opportunity for businesses to discover young talent and future employees.
“Connor and Lucy are coming toward the end of their studies at Bath College. They have worked hard and have secured their future with a top employer in the South West. We’d like to wish them luck in their new roles.”


Bath College gets ready to exhibit and volunteer at Fringe Arts Bath


Artists and curators from Bath College are lending their support to an award-winning contemporary arts festival due to start at the end of May.
Fringe Arts Bath (FaB) is a two week volunteer-run contemporary arts festival showcasing the work of young and emerging artists.
Those helping to organise the event include festival director Arran Hodgson, Steve Spicer and Scarlett Mosnier, who all work at Bath College.
Students studying on Bath College’s new gallery curatorship course are also in charge of an exhibition at St James’ Wine Vaults titled The Man who sold Stonehenge.

FaB logo dot[1]
Danielle Arundel, Sal Smart and Katie Constantine enrolled on the course last year led by Katie O’Brien, project manager at 44AD Artspace.
Miss Constantine works as an apprentice at Bath College and has been offered a place to study art history at Bath Spa University in September.
She said: “The theme is storytelling and the stories that would otherwise be lost if we didn’t somehow record them.
“There’s quite a range of pieces that we will be showcasing, each with their own story. There was an unprecedented amount of video and sound pieces, so we’ve put on a special night for these on June 2.
“The most exciting part of being in FaB is being part of the community of artists and curators. It has been great to see how different people choose to operate in curator roles and the different methods everyone uses to present ideas.
“It’s a really great, positive group of people, and I’m really looking forward to the private view night and seeing everyone’s exhibitions come together.”


Nearly 10,000 visitors are expected over the course of the festival, which will bring together over 200 artists across 38 exhibitions and events.
Those taking part from Bath College include deputy head of art and design Jo Sanders, who is exhibiting, and graphic design student Christian Whiting, who is designing the FaB newspaper.
Gallery curatorship student and FaB committee member Geoff Dunlop is also planning a floating meadow featuring wildflowers at Walcot Chapel.
Miss Mosnier, who is Bath College’s student engagement officer, said: “FaB is here to give early career artists and curators a chance to exhibit. It’s an amazing experience – 17 days of free exhibitions and events taking place over unexpected and unusual spaces around the city.
“FaB was set up by artists for artists and is completely voluntary. Volunteers, artists, curators and visitors all help to make the festival what it is. If we didn’t do it, it simply wouldn’t happen. If anyone would like to volunteer they are very welcome, just get in touch. We can promise you a lot of fun.”
FaB runs from May 27th to June 12th at the same time as the Bath Fringe Festival.
Visit www.fringeartsbath.co.uk


Students record music at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios


Students at Bath College were left feeling inspired after a trip to Real World Studios, when they had the chance to record their own music.

Musicians and songwriters at the college spent a week at Peter Gabriel’s studios in Box – one of the best places to record music in the world.

Level 3 students studying music technology, music performance, and music production are busy producing end of year portfolios.

They had the chance to tour the studios and recorded their music in the main studio, used by famous pop stars and music directors.


Music technology student Nico Prommer, 19, has been at Bath College for two years and said the trip was one of the highlights.

He said: “I’ve seen pictures of it, so I knew it was a big studio, but the amount of gear they have in here is fantastic.

“We’ve had a look around and we’ve been to see Peter Gabriel’s studio. In here it’s pretty modern, but in there it’s pretty old school.
“I’m excited to hear how my music sounds when it’s played. I could imagine someone famous coming here.”

Student Ben Rabbitts, 17, from Bath, said: “It’s kind of intense when you’re in the booth. You can’t hear anything, but you know everyone is listening.
“It was a great experience to do what I do in a professional studio – now I’ve rapped in a room used by Kayne West.

“I’m grateful to the college for helping us come here.”

Bath College tutor Mark Smithers said: “It’s one of the best studios in the world, the Quantum of Solace soundtrack was recorded here. I think they’re just in awe, they’re very impressed.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity, they’re meeting with world-class sound engineers and learning how to use state of the art equipment.”


Students to create pop-up garden at the Royal Bath and West Show


Horticulture students from Bath College are getting ready to show off their skills with a pop-up garden at the Royal Bath and West Show.

Level 2 student Isaac Gregory, who has designed the garden, plans to bring the colours of the sand and sea to Shepton Mallet.

Inspired by the beach, the garden will use border plants and flowers grown in the glasshouse at Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus.
Isaac’s design, which was voted for by students, will be one of eight gardens on display at the Royal Bath and West Show in June.

The 16-year-old, from Radstock, enjoys the outdoors and already has a job with local company Tibbs Tree Surgeons.



He said: “I like being outside in all weathers and being outside with friends. Next year I’ll continue at Bath College studying arboriculture Level 2.

“It’s nice to see my design chosen, I thought it would be a good idea for the summer. We’re going to make the garden into a beach with bedding plants and flowers to make the sea and the waves.
“I’m looking forward to seeing it come together and seeing what people think.”

Visitors to the Bath and West Show will be asked to vote for their favourite garden from June 1 to June 3, with the winner announced on June 4.

Competitors exhibiting their gardens include Julian Shave Landscaping, The Pig near Bath, Harry Brenan Gardens and The Nature of It.

Bath College lecturer Rupert Horsey said: “Every student designed a garden and they came up with some interesting ideas.

“One of them designed a garden for his favourite rapper and there was another based around county flowers.

“We challenged them to use what they’ve learnt on the course to create something unique and Isaac’s design was chosen as the best.”


Talented art and design student secures unconditional university place


A young artist with a talent for illustration has been offered an unconditional university place after four years of studying at Bath College.

Dominic Davis, 20, has a chromosome abnormality which affects the speed at which he is able to process information.

He is studying art and design at Bath College and has just been offered a place to study illustration at Hereford College of Arts in September.

University tutors were impressed with Dominic’s portfolio and offered him a place to study at Hereford just a day after his interview.

Dominic, from Bath, said: “I was just checking my e-mails and I saw I had a reply immediately, it was quite a shock.

“My parents were very excited. I think they were expecting me to get through the interview, but they weren’t expecting a reply that fast.

“I’ve always known what I wanted to do, illustration has always been my strong point.”

Dominic started on a Level 1 art and design course at Bath College in 2012, progressing to study for a Level 2 and Level 3 qualification.

He also began to study to re-sit his English and maths GCSEs, and is due to sit his maths GCSE exam before the summer.

Learning support tutor Kieran McGovern has supported Dominic throughout his time at Bath College.

He said: “In the first year of Level 3 it looked as if he might have taken on too much.

“It was agreed that he would drop maths during the first year and receive extra support for this GCSE English. It worked, Dom not only managed to do well on his art course, he also obtained a grade C in his GCSE English.

“His achievement has been truly astonishing. In nearly 20 years supporting students here I haven’t come across another case of a student progressing from Level 1 to university.

“He is a truly remarkable individual – universally like by students and staff who work with him. It couldn’t have happened to a more deserving young man.”

Dominic said: “It was a struggle when I started on the Level 3 course. I was thinking of dropping out, but I stuck with it and my tutors made me realise it was better to say on.

“My advice would be to keep pushing and try your best. Going to college is worth it, it makes you realise where you want to go in life.

“The college helped me look at the different career paths you can take, to look into different universities and look up open days.”


Bath College to advise businesses on changes to apprenticeships

Advisers at Bath College are stepping in to help employers get to grips with the government’s new apprenticeship levy.

All employers with a payroll in excess of £3 million will be asked to contribute to the apprenticeship levy from April 2017.

As a result, Bath College’s apprenticeship team is visiting companies across the West of England to offer information and advice.

Engineering employers are invited to an event at the college’s Somer Valley Campus to kick-start the apprenticeship roadshow.

The event, led by Barney Willis, Head of Department for Services to Business, will include a presentation on the changes to apprenticeships.

Any businesses interested in speaking to Bath College about changes to apprenticeships are encouraged to get in touch.



Bath College apprentices


Mr Willis said: “This is a huge change for apprenticeships. The government is not only changing the funding, but also the qualifications.

“Businesses will need updating as time goes on, because at the moment the government hasn’t released all the information.

“There’s funding changes for small businesses, as well as large employers, and government-funded organisations will have to have 2.3 per cent of their workforces as apprentices.

“We can provide this information, through a five to ten minute presentation, so that employers can make informed choices.”

Bath College is the largest provider of apprenticeships in Bath and works with a wide range of businesses across the West of England.

On April 28th, the college hosted a cultural and creative apprenticeships event to look at how creative businesses can take on an apprentice.

Mr Willis said: “We’re constantly exploring new opportunities. We go out and look at the company’s vision for their apprentices and organise a framework to deliver this.

“As part of the changes, there’s going to be a digital apprenticeship service, a website which allows employers to upload their own vacancies and manage their apprenticeship recruitment.

“We can give employers assistance with this. We’re flexible to requirements and passionate about what we do.”

Bath College is holding an event for engineering employers at its Somer Valley Campus on Wednesday May 18th from 12.30pm to 2pm.

Please e-mail Stacey.Harper@bathcollege.ac.uk to find out about the event or to invite the Bath College apprenticeship team to visit your business.


Student chosen as finalist for Young Florist of the Year at the Chelsea Flower Show


A student from Bath College will compete for the title of Young Florist of the Year at one of the world’s most famous flower shows.

Level 3 floristry student Emily Smith is due to head to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show with a team of students from the college on May 22.

She will be competing against 16 rivals for Young Florist of the Year and will also be there to see Bath College compete for College of the Year.

Miss Smith, from Heddington, Wiltshire won her place in the Young Florist of the Year final after taking part in the Chelsea Flower Show South West regional heat.

Judges for the competition, held at Bath College, awarded her 90 points out of 100 for her bouquet decorated with seashells, inspired by a seaside wedding.

The 17-year-old, who works at Devizes florists Ammi, has been asked to design a floral headdress with a Brazilian carnival theme for the final.

She said: “I’ve always been really competitive. I’ve started practicing all the wiring work and all the details. I’m excited to see what everyone does and all the different designs.

“I’ve never actually been to Chelsea and now I’m in it. Everyone at work is really excited, they all have tickets to come and see it. They love following the competition.”

Bath College floristry tutor Jo Matthews said: “I am very pleased for Emily and wish her every success. As a college we support all our students to reach their full potential and are very lucky to have great resources to enable us to do this.”


Going further with Bath College: Festival of Learning 2016


At Bath College we know that learning is a life-long journey, which is why we work hard to provide a wide range of courses catering for people from all walks of life.
Adults of all ages and abilities study at Bath College, to improve their job prospects, to start on a new career path, or simply to enjoy learning as a leisure activity.
The valuable role colleges play in providing adult education is recognised by the Festival of Learning, a national celebration of life-long learning taking place in May and June.
With the festival in mind, we’re taking the opportunity to highlight three ways you can get involved in college life at our city centre campus and our Somer Valley Campus in Radstock.
Designed to cover a wealth of hobbies, interests and specialities, our Love2learn adult leisure courses are perfect if you enjoy learning and are looking to develop new skills.
This year, we already have 1,500 people enrolled as part-time students on a variety of courses, from floristry, photography and cooking to business, decorating and stonemasonry.
We offer a range of courses for people looking to gain professional qualifications or study for an apprentice in accountancy, childcare, marketing, management and teaching.

Students studying creative subjects benefit from access to specialist equipment provided by Bath College’s Art and Design department, rated Outstanding by Ofsted.
Love2learn Co-ordinator Anna Dawson said: “The Art and Design studios are really fantastic and well equipped for courses like printmaking, ceramics, sculpture and fashion.
“People enjoy trying something new and it’s a social activity. People start learning a language, and quite often they come back because they enjoy the group conversation. I know that the Italian classes go out for dinner and our History of Art group have been meeting too.
“Some people have been coming to our Love2learn courses for years. Our tutors are passionate about their subjects and this benefits the learner, they pass on their enthusiasm and knowledge to their students.”
If your dream is to study at university, an Access to High Education Course can help you achieve your ambition and get you the right qualifications to secure a university place.
Most students study at college for three days, choosing to specialise in health and social care, education, science, the humanities or social science.
Bath College’s Adult Community Learning courses are open to adults over 19 and take place in public venues across Bath and North East Somerset.
Students can take part in practical hands-on activities, such as art workshops and animal care sessions, as well as sessions put together to get them ready for employment.
Anna Wheeler, Community Engagement Officer at Bath College, said: “Adult Community Learning is designed to help people of different ages and backgrounds gain new skills and boost confidence.
“Many of our learners have not been in an educational setting for a long time or found school difficult.
“Our courses are often run with other community partners and will give people the chance to meet others, develop existing skills or gain new ones to improve their wellbeing, find work, or better support their family.
“The most important thing for us is supporting all of our learners to move forward – whether it is giving people the ability to cook a meal, boosting their maths and English skills or improving employment prospects.
“We listen to our partners and potential learners to put on courses which they feel are needed in venues they find easy to access.”


Students create arrangements for the Theatre Royal and the Pump Rooms

Floristry students at Bath College have been using their creative talents to decorate two iconic venues in the city: the Theatre Royal and the Pump Rooms.


Students studying for a Level 2 and Level 3 qualification have been busy creating arrangements for business meetings and high-profile networking events.


They have enjoyed working to a specific brief, providing décor for afternoon tea in the Pump Rooms or corporate events in the Theatre Royal’s 1805 Rooms.


Many students are already working in floristry shops and the assignments have provided them with new inspiration and practice time.


Theatre Royal4


Louise Waters, 49, from Tormarton, helped create four arrangements featuring red roses and germini for an event at the Theatre Royal in April.


She said: “Doing flowers for a client helps us to put our skills into practice. It allows us to use the new techniques we have been learning.


“It was a pleasure to be involved in creating flower arrangements for the Theatre Royal. It’s great for our portfolios and to see them appreciated.”


Last year Bath College won College of the Year at the RHS Flower Show, and in May students will exhibit their work at the Chelsea Flower Show.


Tutor Jo Matthews said: “The students are arranging flowers for some high-profile venues and events – I think that’s an amazing opportunity.


“We have some great students this year, a lot of them are already working in industry. They are really committed and I’m really proud of them.”


Anji Henderson, Development Officer at the Theatre Royal Bath, said: “It has been a great pleasure to work with the floristry department at Bath College on three corporate hospitality events here at the Theatre Royal.


“The standard of the students’ floral displays have been exceptional, and their designs for each of the different occasions met our requirements perfectly. We are delighted to be able to support the development of local talent and hope to work with the floristry students again in the future.”


Take part in creative media and product design taster sessions


Students with a passion for creative media and product design are invited to Bath College to take part in practical taster sessions.

Tutors are organising a creative media evening and product design challenge day to show students what it’s like to study at Bath College.

Students looking for a course to study in September are invited to visit, take a look at the college and speak to current students and staff.

The creative media taster evening, on April 28th, is aimed at students interested in filmmaking, design and animation.

Film and video producer Ed Powell will be on hand to help those who want to have a go at Photoshop, animation, and video editing.

He said: “The creative media production course is one of the leading programmes in the South West.

“Learners work on a variety of projects within digital publishing, animation and film production using industry standard software, such as Adobe Creative Suite.

“Those that study on the course thrive in our teaching environment, which offers them the opportunity to work collaboratively on industry-style project briefs using state of the art software and equipment.

“Students who are thinking that media might be for them should sign up to one of the sessions on offer, as it will offer them the chance to chat with current students and sample some of the software you would use.”

Bath College runs a busy product design course. This year students travelled abroad to complete work experience with German manufacturing companies.

The Bath College product design challenge takes place over a day, giving students the chance to see how the design process works.

Participants will be asked to work in small groups, come up with design ideas, and present these on paper to tutors.

Art and design lecturer James Purslow said: “The day is organised to give you a chance to experience product design and offer an insight into how the industry approaches idea generation, design, making, and presenting your work.

“At Bath College, the focus of the product design course is creativity. The course focuses on the development of our learners as creative thinkers and problem solvers. They use drawing and making to develop an understanding and appreciation of visual communication, materials, and historical influences, to inspire and inform ideas and concepts.

“We also provide students with an external client brief, and they will have the opportunity to apply for work experience with a local firm. We can promise more ‘making’ than any other product design course at this level.”

Come along to the creative media taster evening on Thursday April 28th from 5pm to 7pm. For more information e-mail Media@bathcollege.ac.uk.

The product design challenge takes place on May 16th from 10am to 4.15pm. E-mail james.purslow@bathcollege.ac.uk.


Music students to play on the main stage at the O2 Academy in Bristol


Music students at Bath College are heading to the O2 Academy in Bristol to play the biggest gig of their lives so far on the main stage.
Thousands of people visit the O2 every year and the group will be playing on the same stage as famous musicians from around the country.
Eleven acts and DJs will be performing a wide range of music, from acoustic folk and alternative rock, to punk and drum and bass.
They will be showcasing the best of BA1 Records, Bath’s biggest youth record label set up by the college music department.
Music technician Laine Pearce-Rees, who teaches at Bath College and works at the O2 Academy, is organising the event.
He said: “This is a pretty huge deal to get to play the main stage at the O2. Since the venue was opened, so many big bands have graced the main stage – far too many to mention.


“The students are ecstatic about the chance to play. Having this opportunity will be a big boost to their musical CV and will help them visualise what they want to achieve in their careers.
“The biggest challenge I think for many will be stage fright, it’s a big stage to fill and when you think about the musicians who have been there before it can weight on your mind a little.
“I still get giddy thinking that I work in a venue that all my favourite bands have played on, but I know that all the acts will do their best and blow us all away.”
Bath College has a thriving music department and counts Gabrielle Aplin, Laura Doggett, and music producer Julio Bashmore amongst its alumni.
Student bands and musicians playing include rock and indie band Tell The Hoi, The Bohos, Axial View, Coitus Futon, Just Parsons and Euphoria.
Also joining the event is singer songwriter China Bowls, who was recently signed by Bristol’s first female record label Saffron Records.
Georgia Turnbull, 16, from Trowbridge, will be playing with her band Euphoria.
She said: “I feel this opportunity will give the band a lot more confidence and will encourage us to progress even further to become a bigger and better band.”
Band member Ruby Donadel, 16, from Bristol, said: “I’m super excited to play at the O2. I can’t wait to be on stage giving people a taste of Euphoria.
“I’m sure the girls would agree, this is our biggest gig yet and to be given the opportunity to play at this venue is absolutely breath-taking.
“For our friends at Bath College, this will be such a memorable night.”
Students will be playing at the O2 Academy on May 6. Doors open at 6pm and the evening finishes at 10pm. Tickets are £3 on the door, or free with an NUS/Bath College card.


Students secure work experience with top accounting firm Deloitte


Students at Bath College have secured work experience at one of the UK’s biggest accounting firms after entering a national competition.

Twenty students studying BTEC business and AAT accounting courses raised nearly £300 for charity after taking part in the Micro Tyco Challenge.

They were given £1 and asked to increase this amount, using their entrepreneurial skills to collect money for the charity WildHearts.

Business advisory firm Deloitte assessed the students’ performance, looking at the money raised, entrepreneurial thinking, and teamwork skills.

Students decided to fundraise through the website GoFundMe, competing against thousands of others at schools and colleges across the country.

Now five students will have the chance to complete work experience at the Deloitte offices in Cardiff over the summer holidays.

The charity WildHearts funds micro-loans for people in developing countries who want to set up their own business.

To complete the challenge, students produced a diary explaining their business concepts and presented them to Deloitte.

Student Daylan Davies said: “I have taken full advantage of every opportunity that has been available to me at Bath College and look where it’s got me.
“I’ve been offered work experience with one of the biggest accounting firms in the business world. My advice would be to grab anything that comes your way with both hands.”
Bath College tutor James Hammett said: “It was a great experience to work with both Deloitte and WildHearts and give our students this unique opportunity.

“The activities promoted real business thinking and gave an insight into working with a highly reputable accountancy firm.”


Bath College to hold electronic music showcase


Bath College’s music department is holding an end of year showcase to celebrate the success of its electronic music students in 2016.

Produced by Level 3 students in their final year at college, the showcase will include an exciting mix of sound and visual effects.

Industry professionals, performers, labels, producers and promoters will all be invited to meet students and listen to their work.

Later, guests are invited to an exclusive evening at The Nest’s Lounge Bar with back to back DJ sets from students and special guests.

Electronic music students have a regular club night at The Nest, giving them an opportunity to share their work with music fans.

Many students at Bath College go on to succeed in the music industry. In the last few years, staff have seen DJ Julio Bashmore sign a deal with record label Dirtybird and secure his own show on Radio 1.

Others signing record labels include singer songwriters Gabrielle Aplin, Laura Doggett and electronic musician Louis Sterling (AUXX).

Former student Max Goff is touring the world playing bass for Tom Odell, and Greg Feldwick (Slugabed) has signed to record label Ninja Tune.

Music lecturer Ginny Saunders said: “The college’s music department runs a variety of courses, in both performance and production.

“Staff at the college include a number of renowned DJs and producers – Adam Arkist, Badeshi, Raiden, KSP, Second Storey and Appleblim.

“Students have the opportunity to work alongside performers and songwriters, to record and release music, and to stage live events across Bath and Bristol.

“With this in mind, it’s no surprise that the college has established itself as a one-stop shop for musicians, producers and DJs who are serious about a future in the global music industry.”

The event takes place at Bath College on Thursday May 26th from 5pm to 8pm. For an invitation call Ginny on 07712 651679 or e-mail saundersg@bathcollege.ac.uk


Bath College apprentice chosen as a finalist for the 2016 Bristol Post and Bath Chronicle Apprenticeship Awards


New mum Kyan Wyatt has a second reason to celebrate after being chosen as a finalist for the 2016 Bristol Post and Bath Chronicle Apprenticeship Awards.
Miss Wyatt, an apprentice with Bath College, is studying for an advanced apprenticeship in hairdressing at The Courtyard Salon in Chippenham.
She gave birth to her daughter Cherylynn three months ago and was delighted to receive news of her nomination for the final while on maternity leave.
Miss Wyatt, 19, from Chippenham, said: “I love doing hair. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do since I was a little girl, and when I started doing the apprenticeship I fell in love with it even more.
“With an apprenticeship you get the whole package, you’re working and studying at the same time. Two months into my training I took over colouring, cutting and hairstyling. That’s been a good challenge, I was thrown in the deep end which I enjoyed.
“It was a shock to be nominated for the awards, especially as I was on maternity leave, so I’m really happy to be chosen as a finalist. It makes me feel like an important part of the business.”
Miss Wyatt started her hairdressing career by studying for a Level 1 apprenticeship while she was still at school, and quickly progressed to study on a Level 2 course.
She plans to finish her Level 3 qualification in the summer, fitting her time around caring for her daughter and looking after customers at the salon.
Miss Wyatt said: “The salon is really flexible, you can do the hours which suit your baby’s needs.
“Even though I’m on maternity, I worked right up until my due date and I’m already back at college. I’m determined to get my qualification and I want to give my little girl something, I want her to think of me as a role model.
“The best thing about being a hairdresser is having the chance to make people feel better about themselves. I love talking to the clients and I love doing wedding hair – it’s nice making someone feel special.
“My job can be challenging at times, but I know I always have the support of people at Bath College, my assessor, tutor and peers, who are willing to help me and teach me the correct way to do things.
“My dream for the future is to open up my own salon and take on apprentices myself. I have been through it and I know it’s a really good opportunity.”
At The Courtyard Salon, Miss Wyatt runs a general hairdressing column, taking responsibility for her own clients and also providing support to the salon’s newest apprentice.
She has been nominated for the Outstanding Service Industries Apprentice of the Year, sponsored by Mercedes Benz Bristol.
Manager Sam Jones said: “I have worked with Kyna over the last two years and have witnessed her excellent rapport with her work colleagues and the outstanding work she does at Bath College.
“I have no doubt Kyna will go on to a fulfilling hairdressing career, and eventually achieve her dream of opening up her own business in the future”.


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.


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