Refrigeration students inspired by industry trips


Students at Bath College visited two major South West companies to see how refrigeration engineering is used in industry.


Refrigeration VRQ2 students took a trip to Space Engineering’s plant manufacturing facility in Pucklechurch, South Gloucestershire.


They also visited Tesco’s distribution centre in Avonmouth and spoke to Steve Jones from Star Refrigeration.


The huge electrical control system


Space Engineering provides refrigeration, mechanical and electrical services to customers across the UK.


The company specialises in greener refrigeration systems that operate using the natural refrigerant carbon dioxide.


Students met director Tony Mills, who showed them round the plant, including the design area and new product innovations.


He guided the group through the process of designing, manufacturing, building and selling refrigeration systems.


Tony Mills expressing the importance of Strength testing freshly made systems before release


At Tesco’s distribution centre, students were surprised by the scale of the fridge area, used to store perishable food.


They were shown the huge electrical control system used to keep everything cool and were taken up onto the roof of the fridge.


Refrigeration lecturer Simon Robinson said: “I think the students were overwhelmed by the size of plant. What they build at the college follows the same principle, but this is on an industrial scale.


“The visit to Space Engineering showed them the detail you can go into designing refrigeration systems and why you want to design things to become cost effective and environmentally friendly.”


Students and professionals battle it out to win Bath College’s Chef v Chef Competition


Young chefs battled it out in the kitchen to prove their talent and become the winner of Bath College’s Chef v Chef Competition.


The long-running competition gives students and chefs working in a professional kitchen the chance to test themselves in a high-pressured environment.


Competitors had their food examined by judge Gary Jones, executive head chef at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons – a two Michelin starred restaurant in Oxfordshire owned by Raymond Blanc.




Culinary experts Stuart McLeod, co-founder of Zuidam UK Ltd, and Stuart Ash, head chef of Woods Restaurant in Bath, were also on hand to mark dishes on presentation, taste and temperature.


They were tasked with picking the winners for the junior category, made up of students studying at Bath College, and the professional category, for chefs working in a kitchen within a 50-mile radius of Bath.


Bath College student George Ormond won the junior category with a chicken ballotine dish, served with savoy cabbage, bacon and a potato risotto.


For dessert, he cooked a frangipane with sweet paste two ways, with a conference pear puree and white chocolate Anglaise.




The 17-year-old said: “I didn’t think I would win. I was confident, but not overly confident. I’m really pleased with my dish, it came out a lot nicer than it did in a practice run the other day.


“I entered last year, so it was a bit less stressful coming into it. It’s just about organisation, because if you’re not organised you won’t get your timings right.”


Competitors in the professional category included chefs from The Bath Priory, The Pig near Bath, the Foxhunter Inn and The Battleaxes, a gastropub in Wraxall.


Bath Priory chef Kai Bingham won the second heat with a sea bass dish and a chocolate fondant pudding.


He said: “It’s the first competition I’ve entered, I wanted to get out of my comfort zone. When it’s a competition you’re stepping out and it’s your interpretation of things.”


All competitors were invited to a celebratory ceremony and received a certificate for entering the event, sponsored by Catering Services International.


Mr Jones, who has run the kitchen at Le Manoir for 17 years, praised students at Bath College for taking part in the competition.


He said: “What’s great is that people stand out from the crowd and enter themselves. That’s brave, you’re in a class full of people and they say ‘who wants to give it a go?’


“Giving it a go counts for a lot, it’s putting yourself on the line and doing a bit more than is required. These are the people that will succeed, that will push the boundaries, and that’s important.


“Turning up today they have already won. There were some errors because they are young in their culinary journey, but they have done really well.”


Fellow judge Mr Ash said: “We have always worked closely with the college. I’ve been at the restaurant for 22 years and over those years we have used the college to recruit future chefs.


“This is such a great event for them. A lot of them have been through the college process, but it’s putting them out of their comfort zone and seeing what they can do. It was a really good level and they worked well in the kitchen.”


Students organise Bath Educational Trust Conference for over 800 people


Students studying business administration have been tasked with organising a high-profile conference for education providers in Bath.


Over 800 people are expected to attend the Bath Education Trust (BET) Conference at The Forum on Monday February 22.


The event is being managed by students at Bath College, who have been working with Andrew Wright, from Axis Events Ltd, and creative media students from The Bath Studio School.


Students have been organising the conference from start to finish, securing sponsors and exhibitors, creating delegate packs, finding a venue and promoting the event using social media.


The experience has allowed them to test what they have learned in the classroom and add to their CVs, boosting their career prospects.


First year business administration student Chelsie Brailey said: “We have become a huge part of the organisation for the BET Conference.


“It has given us an insight into event planning and has taught us valuable skills that we can use to further our knowledge and expand our careers.”


Bath College is a BET Trust partner along with Bath Spa University, the University of Bath and engineering company Rotork.


Schools signed up as members of the BET Trust include Beechen Cliff, Hayesfield, Oldfield School, Ralph Allen, St Gregory’s, St Mark’s, Three Ways School, and the Wellsway Multi Academy Trust.


Delegates at the conference will hear from key speakers, including Mike Nicholson, Director of Student Recruitment and Admissions at the University of Bath.


Lunch will be provided by catering students at Bath College and, in the afternoon, there will be a chance to talk to exhibitors and take part in workshops.


For conference details click here. To sponsor the event contact Andrew Wright at Axis Events on (01225) 436590.


Bath College student speaks out about what it’s like to live with a disability

A teenager at Bath College is visiting schools to speak out about what it’s like to live with a disability.
Simeon Wakely has Spina Bifida or split spine, a condition which stops the spine developing as it should.
He needs a wheelchair to get around, but is fiercely independent and is working to challenges stereotypes about disability.
Simeon already has a blog about living with Spina Bifida, set up after he enrolled on an IT course at Bath College.
His articles have stuck a chord with readers around the world, including parents bringing up young disabled children.
Now the 19-year-old has started visiting schools in Bath, speaking about disability in assemblies and leading interactive workshops.
He said: “Disability is a label, but it’s not who you are. It shouldn’t define you as a person – a person is a person, whether they have a disability or not.
“Making friends is a challenge for me because people are embarrassed about my disability, they are embarrassed when I want them to be themselves around me.
“It can be lonely, so it’s important for people to know there are other people out there facing the same things.”
Simeon, from Timsbury, went to school at St Martin’s Garden Primary School and Ralph Allen before enrolling at Bath College in 2014.
His achievements include playing and coaching for the wheelchair basketball team South West Scorpions, as well as carrying the Olympic torch in 2012.
In February, Simeon begins a three-month teacher training course at Bath College to help him with his outreach work in schools.
His first visit, to King Edward’s School, was a big success and has inspired him to set up his own business.
To help with this, he will take part in a series of business workshops at the college.
Simeon said: “I talked about the whole spectrum of disability physical, mental and developmental disabilities.
“My third eldest brother has Down’s syndrome, so I’m able to talk about that as well. It was scary at first, but after the first task I got them to feedback and their ideas were surprisingly good.
“I want to turn the project into a business. Hopefully I will be able to get advice on how to do it because it’s the first time I have tried to set up a business.
“It’s been amazing the opportunities I have been offered over the last six months. Without this support the project wouldn’t be where it is today, it’s only through the advice I have had from Bath College.
“My advice to anyone with a disability would to be as independent as possible. Don’t let the label of disability affect what you want to do.
“It’s what I have had to learn and unfortunately I have had to learn it the hard way.”
To visit Simeon’s website click here.



Students work with pupils at Newbridge Primary School’s Code Club


Students studying IT are helping to coach the next generation of computer programmers at Newbridge Primary School.


Bath College students Laurence Cross, Zack Brittain and Tom Alcock are all giving up their time to volunteer with seven to 11-year-olds.


They are showing pupils at Code Club, a weekly after-school club, how to create games using a computer software program called Scratch.


Having their help has allowed Newbridge Primary School teacher Christopher Handson to open the club to extra pupils.




Mrs Handson said: “The children look forward to Code Club and, thanks to the students, we can have more children in the club.


“Computing, alongside maths, science and English, is a core subject on the curriculum. They learn coding in school and also during Code Club.


“At the first club we showed a video with Bill Gates and Mike Zuckerberg saying ‘there’s a shortage of skills and not enough people are learning to code’.


“They will be the ones who invent the next Twitter. The coding skills they learn here could one day enable them to make a living doing the thing they love.”


Laurence, 17, from Twerton, is studying for a Level 3 IT course at Bath College and is an ambassador for STEMNET, the the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network.


He said: “I really enjoy it. I quite like teaching and I was thinking of it as a career path anyway, so it’s good to have the experience.


“The pupils are surprisingly good. I think some of them are better than us, especially on Scratch. It’s daunting how much some of them know.”


Bath College lecturer Steven Harries said: “The students are loving the experience, while developing fantastic employability skills in networking, organisation and teamwork.”


Bath College holds Pride Day to mark the start of LGBT History Month


Students at Bath College chilled out and listened to live music at a Pride Day held to mark the start of LGBT History Month.
Equality and Diversity officer George Friend organised the lunchtime event with the help of Bath College’s Student Union team.
Student chaplain Rob Popejoy also held sessions on the ‘conversation couch’, offering people the chance to chat informally.
George, 18, said: It’s really great to get people down here. There’s no judgement, which is brilliant, because sometimes people are scared about coming out and communicating with other gay and lesbian people.
“I’m gay myself and everyone I know is very welcoming about it, but I know there’s a lot of people who can’t come out to their friends and family because they’re scared about what people will think.
“It’s so important that people know about who you are as a person.”


The Mayor of Bath Will Sandry supported the event by visiting and speaking about the importance of tackling inequality.
He said: “I’ve come to support the pride event, it’s as simple as that. Unfortunately we still have a problem with BIRDS.
“BIRDS are not the seagulls we have in Bath, it’s bullying, isolation, rejection, discrimination and stigma.
“Where we have a society where that still happens we need these events, because until every young person is happy about who they are we still have work to do.”


Beauty therapy students hold fundraiser for the Bath Cancer Unit Support Group


Beauty therapy students at Bath College raised over £100 for the Bath Cancer Unit Support Group (BCUSG) during a charity wax-off.


Myles Woodward, Matt Slocombe and Emeillo Pieraccini braved the pain and opted for a leg, armpit or chest wax.


Visitors to the college salon, which is open to the public, were also offered hand and arm massages.


Maisie Mead, 17, from Keynsham took the lead for the fundraising event, helping to decorate the beauty salon with balloons.


She said: “I think they’re very brave because a lot of people said ‘I don’t want to have my legs waxed’.


“It’s great they’re doing it and it’s for a good cause. It’s a good laugh. We’re all friends and it’s nice to get everyone together.”





The BCUSG, a volunteer-run charity, fundraises for facilities for cancer patients attending the Royal United Hospital Bath.


Sixteen-year-old student Bryher Jones, from Radstock, was keen to collect money for the charity after seeing the work it does first-hand.


She said: “My best friend’s mum had throat cancer. She overcame it, but had throat problems all her life.


“The cancer unit was there for my friend’s mum so it’s quite close to my heart. I just thought it was a good charity to support.”


Bath College lecturer Joanne James said: “They have organised it themselves and I’m really impressed with what they’ve achieved.


“They’re also talking about doing something for Sport Relief. Their enthusiasm is great, and they are a great bunch.”


Bath College lecturer chosen for top stonemasonry award


A stonemasonry lecturer with a career spanning 42 years has been chosen for a special industry award recognising his dedication to his craft.


Paul Maggs, who works at Bath College, will be presented with The Master Craftsman’s Certificate by The Worshipful Company of Masons.


He has been singled out for his role in a number of prominent restoration projects, as well as his teaching career at the college.


The 58-year-old said: “It’s almost like you’re at the top of your trade. It’s just about the highest accolade you can get in the industry.


“I was really chuffed to be nominated, I didn’t expect it to be honest with you. Normally I just keep my head down and get on with what I do.


“It’s very rewarding teaching at the college, especially when you get a student who has come from school and hasn’t been doing well. Suddenly they find there’s something they are good at.”


Mr Maggs followed in his grandfather and father’s footsteps when he started training with G Williams & Sons, on Windsor Bridge Road, as a teenager.


He completed a four-year apprenticeship at the City of Bath Technical College before going on to work onsite at Wells Cathedral.


During his early career, he travelled the country restoring well-known landmarks, including Swallow Royal Hotel in Bristol, Swindon Town Hall and Windsor Castle’s Round Tower.


His career came full circle when he was appointed as a work-based trainer at Bath College in 2005 and a stonemasonry lecturer in 2007.


Mr Maggs, who lives in Keynsham, said: “I met the Queen when I was working at Windsor Castle, not in any formal situation, but she saw me fall off a lorry and went to make sure I was all right.


“There was nothing broken, just a couple bruises. I bounced up off the floor and said I was fine. I used to see a lot of the country and there were always challenges to overcome, it was never boring.


“Some people think stonemasonry is a dying trade, but it’s definitely not. Over the last five years there’s been a big explosion in the use of natural stone in Bath.


“The best thing about being a stonemason is the job you do will be there for the rest of your life.”


Mr Maggs will receive his award at a black tie event at the Fishmonger’s Hall in London on February 15.


Daisy Walsh, Head of Technology at Bath College, said: “I am extremely proud of Paul’s achievement. This top accolade is testament to Paul’s dedication to the craft.


“Bath College is honoured to have such a talented teacher on our Stonemasonry team. This means our students are set high expectations and benefit from experts in their field. Well done, Paul!”


Four-day Love2learn exhibition to open at 44AD Artspace


A four-day exhibition at 44AD Artspace will showcase the creative talents of students studying part-time Love2learn courses at Bath College.


Titled Open House, the exhibition is inspired by the broad range of courses on offer at the college and will include work from a wide variety of artistic disciplines.


Gallery curatorship students have been working on the best way to display fine art paintings, photographs, jewellery, prints and sculptures.


It is the first time that the annual exhibition has been arranged by gallery curatorship students, studying on a new course at the college.


Katie Constantine, an apprentice at Bath College, is working on the exhibition with students Sal Smart, Danielle Arundel and Geoff Dunlop.


She signed up for the gallery curatorship course last November and has just received an unconditional offer to study history of art at Birkbeck, University of London, in September.


Miss Constantine said: “Everyone who has taken part in a Love2learn art course has been asked to submit work for selection towards the exhibition. We’re hoping to represent each course and present the high standard of artwork being created at Bath College.


“I am studying gallery curatorship because I want to go on to do a master’s degree in curation. This course is a great introduction.


“I have learned so much and every visiting lecturer has been amazing. What’s really emerged is that a wide range of skill sets and flexibility is required to be a curator, especially if you want to work within the commercial sector.”


Work at the exhibition will be on sale, giving people an opportunity to purchase original works from emerging and established artists.


Students producing outstanding work will be considered for the Love2learn Art and Design Student of the Year.


Course tutor Katie O’Brien set up 44AD Artspace, in Abbey Street, in response to a shortage of studio and gallery space for emerging artists in Bath city centre.


She said: “I feel that this course delivers an invaluable introduction into the multi-disciplined world of curatorial practice.


“What constitutes the role of a curator is explored through lectures, discussion, field trips, and of course the real-time experience of managing the numerous considerations that produce a successful exhibition.


“I’m excited about the upcoming Love2Learn exhibition as it provides a fantastic showcase for the artwork alongside practical training for the curatorship students.”


David Merriman, head of department for art and design, said: “The annual exhibition at 44AD is in its third year. It is fantastic to provide a showcase for leisure learners in the city centre.


“The department now is running pretty much every conceivable course in the arts, from purely leisure based activities to high-level specialist skills programmes.


“Thanks to the Great Pottery Throw Down on BBC2, we have this term, seen a boom in interest and provided additional courses in ceramics.


“We particularly look forward to seeing this exhibition, as it the first one organised by the new gallery curatorship course “


Open House begins with a private viewing on February 25 from 6pm to 8pm.


The exhibition is open to the public from February 26 to February 28, from 11am to 4pm. Admission is free.


Book a stand at Bath College’s Futures Apprenticeship and Job Fair

Employability adviser Lucy Beattie is on the hunt for local businesses to be part of the Futures Apprenticeship and Job Fair at Bath College.


The fair, on Wednesday March 23, will showcase the wide range of opportunities on offer for apprentices in Bath and North East Somerset.


It is open to the public and the college is expecting over 1,000 visitors. Local schools, college students, parents and community members are all invited.


Companies will be asked to advertise live vacancies for apprenticeships and jobs, as well as provide a range of talks and speed interview sessions.


Lucy, who joined Bath College’s Futures Team in January, is coordinating the event and is keen to hear from businesses interested in a free stand.


She said: “We hope to have over 70 employers at the college across the full range of sectors. It will be a great opportunity to meet potential candidates and for candidates to see the huge range on offer in our region.


“It will also be a chance for students, parents and the public to find out about what employers can offer and to chat to the decision makers in person.


“It’s a good time to find out more about what apprenticeships are about and who provides them in this area.”


The Futures Apprenticeship and Jobs Fair takes place on Wednesday March 23 from 12pm to 6.30pm. For more information e-mail Lucy.Beattie@bathcollege.ac.uk.


Plans for £3.3 million construction skills centre to go on show


Bath College is planning to build a £3.3 million state of the art construction skills centre at its Somer Valley Campus in Radstock.


Experts from BBA Architects have been appointed to work on designs for a two-storey building housing 500 students on existing car park space.


A planning application will be submitted after a public consultation in February, giving community members a chance to view 2D plans.


Bath College has received funding for the new construction skills centre from the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).


The plans mark a significant investment in the area following the merger between Bath College and Norton Radstock College in April 2015.




Bath College Principal Matt Atkinson said they will help boost economic development and employment in the Somer Valley.


He said: “When we merged the two colleges we were always clear we wanted to use that as a vehicle for investment in the community.


“We’re creating a centre of excellence for the West of England to make sure there are enough skilled people for a number of significant building projects scheduled to take place over the next ten years.


“The plan is to reinvigorate this campus, to give students more space than they have currently and to bring all the trades under one roof.


“The construction skills centre will be a talent pool for local employers to come and find their future workforce.


“It will contribute to the growth of apprenticeships and the government’s target to grow apprenticeships by three million.”


Students studying bricklaying, stonemasonry, carpentry, plumbing, electrical installation and refrigeration and air conditioning will all study at the new centre.
Currently courses run at Bath College’s Construction Skills Centre, on Westmoreland Station Road, and its city centre campus.


These will be moved over to Somer Valley by September 2017.


Residents are invited to two public consultations on Thursday February 25 at the Somer Valley Campus, running from 12pm to 2pm and 5.30pm to 7.30pm.


Mr Atkinson said: “We’re aiming to submit a planning application towards the end of February.


“We want to give residents the opportunity to come and learn about our plans because we’re committed to consulting local people.”


Visit Bath College to enter Minecraft Competition and play computer games

Bath College is running two events as part of Bath Digital festival this year.


Digital Futures is an all-day event for young people aged 15 to 19 interested in careers in technology, gaming, media and filmmaking.


The event, organised by Bath College’s Futures team, takes place on Friday February 12 from 9am to 4pm.


Over 300 pupils from local schools are expected to attend careers talks and masterclasses, including filmmaking and animation workshops.


On Monday 15th February Bath College will be hosting a free Games Day with lots of activities to keep children occupied over half-term.


Participants aged 10 to 14-years-old are invited to enter the Build Bath in Minecraft Competition from 2pm to 5pm.


They will have just 48 hours to build imaginary houses, castles and parks on a custom-built map before judging begins.


Prizes will be awarded for the most creative plot, best historic plot, most futuristic plot and the judges’ favourite.


Teenagers aged 13 and over will have the chance to play a computer game used by the British Army to train soldiers.


Bath College lecturer John Curry develops training games for the MoD and will be running a session between 10.30am and 11.30am.


Visitors are also invited to come and meet digital avatar company Bebods and create their own avatar.


Careers and employability manager Louise Croft said: “Digital technology has created lots of exciting opportunities.


“We want to inspired young people by giving them the opportunity to find out more about these and how to get started.”


To take part in the Minecraft competition you need to pre-register by clicking here and then visit Bath College between 2pm and 5pm.


For more information on these events click here.


Free courses at Bath College will help people get online


Bath College is working with the charity Action on Hearing Loss to offer people help to get online.


People with a hearing loss can learn how to browse the internet during a free session at the college’s Somer Valley Campus in Radstock.


They can also get help using their smartphone, setting up a social media account and ordering online shopping.


The session, run in connection with the Bath Digital Festival, takes place on Wednesday February 17 from 9.30am to 12.30pm.


It is part of Online Today, a UK-wide project funded by the Big Lottery and led by a number of charities, including Action on Hearing Loss, to help people benefit from technology.


Simon Blakeman, from Action on Hearing Loss, will be leading the free session supported by Bath College’s Adult Community Learning team.


The team runs a range of IT courses for groups across the county, including sessions for Age UK, St John’s Hospital and the Stroke Association.


Community engagement officer Anna Wheeler heads up the adult community learning team at Bath College.


She said: “One area which is becoming more and more in demand is training in use of computers, tablets and wider IT training.


“We are finding more and more people want some support in getting to grips with IT as we are encouraged to access everything, from our weekly shop to doctor’s appointments, online.


“We can help people who are new to technology and want to get started, or we can help develop the skills of those who already have some experience.”


Bath College is also running a free four-week course computer course starting on March 2. For more information call (01225) 328822 or click here.


Curo resident secures apprenticeship with Bath College’s Foundation Learning Department


Curo resident James Mogg is on track to fulfil his ambitions after securing an apprenticeship with Bath College.


A year ago, the 24-year-old Bath resident was making sandwiches at a fast-food outlet and struggling to find a job that suited him.


He found his feet on a six-month accredited work placement with housing and support organisation Curo, working with their response team.


Mr Mogg worked with the team handling phone calls and arranging inspections. He was assigned a mentor at Curo and had help from an employability adviser at Bath College, who helped him with his CV.


This led to three job offers, including an offer for a business administration apprenticeship with the college’s Foundation Learning Department.


Mr Mogg said: “My life felt a lot better when I left the fast food place. I felt like I didn’t belong there and could use my skills better elsewhere.


“My time at Curo was a big help, my colleagues were there for me from the moment I started and that’s what I needed at the time.


“I’m also grateful for the help from Bath College. I learned new interview techniques to use in my interviews, and that’s what helped me get three job offers.”


Bath College’s Foundation Learning Department caters for students with learning difficulties and disabilities who want to learn to live independently.


When Mr Mogg started work at Curo he was struggling with some aspects of everyday living, such as being able to cook.


He received support from Curo to get him ready for a full-time job and had help filling out an application for a rented property of his own.


Having overcome a number of obstacles in his personal life, Mr Mogg is looking forward to offering support to students enrolling at Bath College.


He said: “I went for the apprenticeship because I knew I would be working somewhere I could support people with learning disabilities.


“I’m helping students with more or less similar disabilities to what I have, I’m believed to have autism and a bit of dyslexia, so I can relate to them.


“I know it’s not easy having autism and dyslexia. I managed to overcome autism a lot, but in school I wasn’t communicating with anyone.


“I’ve got my life together a lot more. Ten years ago I would have thought ‘I can’t do that’, but now I know it’s possible.”


Lisa Quayle runs Curo’s accredited work placement programme.


She said: “James’s confidence increased dramatically over the time he spent with Curo and his ability to use feedback and improve his employability has helped him to secure not just one, but three job offers.”


Vicky Hunt, who managed Mr Moggs during his time with Curo, said: “The team were sad to see him go, however we were all over the moon that another organisation had seen his potential and that he could secure himself such a great opportunity for the future.”


Barney Willis, Head of Department for Services to Business at Bath College, said: “James has had quite a difficult journey through life.


“He had to tackle things like presentation, getting into a routine and turning up on time. He worked with our placement coordinator Katie Constantine to get an apprenticeship and was amazingly successful.


“It’s a great outcome for him.”


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 veterinary nurses celebrate exam success


Veterinary nurses at Bath College have proved that hard work pays off by scoring a 100 per cent pass rate in their final practical exam.


Seven students have become fully qualified veterinary nurses after passing an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE).


Having completed two years of full-time work and studying, they will be able to register with the Royal College of Veterinary Nursing.


Student Holly Small started on the career path to becoming a veterinary nurse after securing a work placement with Rosemary Lodge Veterinary Hospital.


Miss Small, from High Littleton, started with the Bath-based practice when she was 16-years-old and enrolled to study a diploma in animal care at Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus.


Afterwards, she was offered a job as a student veterinary nurse at Rosemary Lodge and began the two-year veterinary nursing diploma.


The 22-year-old said: “Passing the practical test you get a bit of a confidence boost. It wasn’t as scary as we thought it would be.


“College was a really good way for me to learn because I knew I wanted to go into animal care. I could have attended sixth form, but I wanted to go down a more practical route.


“I know some people think working for free is hard work, but you get a lot out of it. I didn’t think starting a work placement at 16 would get me to the full-time job I have now.”


Louise Clarkson, course co-ordinator for veterinary nursing, has been tracking her students’ careers.


She said: “They all qualified first time and we are really pleased with their level of dedication, they were a really hard-working group of students.
“The level 3 diploma is a very tough course and at the very end of it, when they have passed numerous written tests and assignments, they then have to take the practical exam.


“The practical exam consists of 12 practical stations where they have to show certain clinical skills, for example, setting up and positioning an animal for an x-ray, calculating drug doses and dispensing medication. They have to pass eight out of 12 stations.


“During the course student veterinary nurses have to work full-time in a veterinary training practice, therefore they have to put in a lot of effort to get through. This result is really positive for the Bath College Veterinary Nursing Department and our training practices.”


Miss Small, who will continue working at Rosemary Lodge, will be able to register with the Royal College of Veterinary Nursing in a month’s time. In the future, she will have the option to specialise in a certain subject, or top up her diploma to degree level.


She said: “It’s not an easy option working full-time and going to college, but if you want to get into vet nursing it’s definitely something I would recommend.


“Definitely my favourite animals are dogs. Not a lot of people can say they work with their favourite animal every day.”

Care Academy, News

Bath College awarded £40,000 to kick-start new care academy


Bath College has been awarded £40,000 worth of government funding to kick-start a new care academy, designed to link students with local employers.


The funding, awarded by Health Education England, will pay for an academy coordinator and specialist equipment for practical sessions.


Health and social care students will learn how to use equipment in a dedicated space, set up with hoists and hospital beds to prepare them for working with people in their homes.


They will also benefit from a new structure of training and work placements, provided by local employers partnering with the Bath Care Academy.


Following the launch of the Care Certificate in March 2015, employers must make sure new starters meet an identified set of standards before they can work with patients.


The Bath Care Academy aims to make sure students complete the Care Certificate as part of their training and are ready to work in the health and social care sector.


Esther Williams, Head of Sport, Leisure and Care, said: “Health and social care for us is a huge growth area, with 210 students currently studying health and social care at the college.


“What we are doing is aligning our curriculum with the needs of local employers. The health sector is the largest employer in the West of England, providing 72,400 jobs, and we want to work with employers to ensure that our students are studying programmes that adequately prepare them for those roles.


“We’ve set up a healthcare network to strengthen our understanding of the needs of our partners, which include the Royal United Hospital, Way Ahead Care, Dorothy House Hospice and Sirona Care & Health.


“We have recognised a need to develop a more structured placement system for students, so they can experience a number of the wide-ranging roles in the sector, and gain an understanding that better prepares them for a job.


“The Bath Care Academy coordinator will help us to create a programme that matches learners to organisations, and acts as a pipeline to send students into local employment or apprenticeships on completion of their course.”


Health and social care students met employers signed up to the Bath Care Academy on January 12, as part of an employability day. They took part in a networking lunch and attended sessions with employers to learn about opportunities available with each company.


Nardina Storey is from the learning and development team at Bath RUH.


She said: “We’re trying to engage a younger workforce. In today’s society it’s recognised that we need to invest more in young people. They call us an older workforce, but we’re trying to change that. We’re showcasing work experience opportunities that we can offer young people.”


Karen Gleave, from Sirona Care & Health, said: “It’s about trying to give people different opportunities.


“They’re not just going to one work placement, so they’re able to make better choices. It’s about giving back to the local community as well, supporting young people onto apprenticeships and career pathways.”


Leading sound engineer Jamie Harley speaks to Bath College music students


Leading sound engineer Jamie Harley gave students a valuable insight into the music industry during an hour-long talk at Bath College.


Based in London, Mr Harley has worked with some of the biggest names in electronic music, including Aphex Twin Autechre, Mogwai, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Hot Chip and Square Pusher.


He spoke to students about his passion for sound effects, what it was like to be on tour, setting up for a gig, and how to develop your career.


Mr Harley studied communications technology at a polytechnic college in Plymouth before landing a job in a London music studio fixing equipment.


Speaking to students, he said: “There was nowhere to learning what you’re learning now, there was nowhere at all. If you wanted to get involved you got your nose in somehow.


“You’re pretty lucky to have something like this. When I left college I moved to London with a band and because I had done a little bit of electronic engineering, I blagged my way in.


“I went from fixing things in a studio, which I couldn’t do, to actually engineering things because I was there and I was expressing an interest.


“People have trusted me, and that element of trust has allowed me to do what I do and enjoy doing it.”


Mark Smithers, learning coordinator for music technology, was delighted to welcome Jamie to Bath College.


He said: “Jamie is head sound engineer for some of the biggest names in the electronic music scene and often works on high budget world tours.


“He gave a very insightful talk followed by a question and answer session about how to gain employment within the industry and how this field of work has changed over the years.


“The students were very excited to hear he was coming in and, after seeing posts on social media, many ex-students were also keen to attend, which is testament to his status.


“We are very lucky to have strong industry links and work-based learning opportunities in music and we look forward to many more industry practitioners working with us in the future.”


Travel and tourism students prepare Kingswood Prep School pupils for take-off


Youngsters from Kingswood Prep School enjoyed a first-class service when they checked onto an imaginary flight from Bath College to India.

The experience, part of a training exercise for travel and tourism students, took place in Bath College’s life-size mock aircraft cabin.

Pupils clutched home-made passports and boarding passes as they checked in for the flight, which included a quiz and service from the food trolley.

They were also kitted out with life jackets and learnt how to blow their whistles for help after an emergency landing.

The group visited to mark the start of a new project at Kingswood, teaching pupils about different cultures and countries.

Students at Bath College were also assessed during the exercise, as part of their customer service and children’s representative units.




Travel and tourism lecturer Colette Williams said the exercise would boost students’ employability skills.

She said: “We want them to develop employability and communication skills, to support them in the industry where they will have to deal with different types of customers and their needs.

“It’s good to link with local schools. They can use the facilities we’ve got to support their learning, but also by bringing their children in they are supporting our students with their learning.

“It makes it more real for the students and the schoolchildren as well.”

Becci Howe, head of key stage one at Kingswood School, said: “They have had a really amazing experience.

“We come every year. It’s a really good link with the college, which gives students experience of looking after children on a plane.

“This is the start of our world tour, each week they will visit a new country. They have made they made their own passports to bring with them to try and make the experience more real.”


Catering students at Bath College meet top chefs and training providers

Catering students at Bath College have spent an inspiring few days meeting top chefs and training providers.


The college used its links with catering and hospitality experts to organise sessions with industry heavyweights for employability week.


Students met professionals from independent businesses, including Claire Wilkins, from the Olive Tree, and Stuart Ash, head chef at Woods Restaurant.






They took part in customer service training with The Pig near Bath and learnt how to cook on the go with soldiers from 105 Battalion Reme.


Students also welcomed Andy Mackenzie, executive chef at The Exclusive Chefs’ Academy, who spoke to them about training at the academy.


Bath College already has two former students studying at the Chef’s Academy, run by Exclusive Hotels and Venues Group.


Sam Graham and Lewis Sparey were selected out of hundreds of applicants to start training at the academy in 2014 and 2015.


Lewis, now 20-years-old, started his training working with award-winning executive chef Richard Davies at the Manor House Hotel in Castle Combe.


He said: “It’s definitely not in any way shape or form easy work, you get pushed to get the best out of you, and you’re expected to rise to the opportunity you’ve been given.


“It’s been a really good experience and one that has definitely given me a boost.”






Mr Mackenzie said: “We come to the college because we want to find talented chefs and we want to raise awareness.


“We need to nurture the young and they do a great job of this at Bath College, as we know from the track record we have already.”


George Ormond, 17, is studying for a level 3 diploma at Bath College and is thinking of applying for the Chef’s Academy.


He said: “It’s good to meet the people running training schemes we’re looking to apply to next year and to meet all the suppliers. You wouldn’t get that normally.”


Bath College lecturer Kean Maslan said: “Employability week is a great opportunity for the students to talk to people about their chef experience.


“They need to hear what these top chefs were doing at the age of 16 to make their goals appear obtainable.”


Bath College student starts work as a trainee site manager at Saw Close


A teenager from Bath College has started work as a trainee site manager at a £19 million casino development in the city.


Tom Fortune, 19, is working two days a week at Saw Close, the location for a new casino, hotel and restaurant complex.


The Level 3 construction student impressed during an interview with Sanctus Ltd, which is carrying out remediation work at the site.


He will be shadowing site manager John Cossins-Price until April and will continue with his course at Bath College for the rest of the week.


Tom, from Trowbridge, chose to study at Bath College after completing his A-levels at Warminster School.


He said: “I had an interest in construction, my parents have done renovations. I could have gone to university, but I chose to come to college instead.


“When I was at school things were focused towards going to university, but there are a lot of different options. I feel more set up for a career now.


“It’s a good opportunity and it fitted into college. It’s a small site, but there’s a lot going on – a casino, hotel and two restaurants.


“Everyone at the head office seemed nice and friendly, I met the managing director. I think I will learn a lot and I can see myself doing a job like this in the future.”


Saw Close


Gloucestershire-based company Sanctus is undertaking the enabling works at Saw Close and utilising experts from Cotswolds Archaeology for the archaeological investigation.


In October, archaeologists discovered a clay pipe tobacco factory dating back to the 18th century, as well as pipes inscribed with workers’ initials.


A protective membrane has now been placed over the factory before builders from Mi-Space, part of Midas Group, start work.


Rob Lucas, Construction Design Manager at Sanctus, interviewed Tom for the trainee site manager position.


He believes there could be an opportunity for him to continue working with Sanctus, or continue at the site with Mi-space.


He said: “We’re always keen to take on youngsters in this industry because they are few and far between these days.


“He had gone the extra mile and achieved his CSCS card of his own accord. We will utilise his IT skills and his common sense, and will train him onsite.


“It’s down to him. Sanctus is undertaking the enabling works contract in advance of the construction phase, which will be carried out by Mi-space.


“The works will include archaeological investigation, demolition, soil remediation and temporary façade restraint works.


“Tom may have the opportunity to see the project through to completion with Mi-space. It’s a big opportunity.”


Bath College Futures, the enterprise and employability team at Bath College, supported students applying for the Sanctus job.


They received advice about writing their own cover letter and CV, as well as preparing for an interview.


Louise Croft, careers and employability manager, said: “We were delighted when Bath College was approached with the offer of this traineeship for one of our students.


“The Futures Team is always keen for local employers to contact us if they are looking to recruit potential talent from our students.”


To get in touch e-mail Futures@bathcollege.ac.uk or call (01225) 328501.

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