College Students to Showcase Industry Skills

Students from Bath College will showcase their entrepreneurial and industry skills at an exhibition to be held at Green Park Station in Bath on Thursday 2nd July.


The showcase will be the first time the college has run an event specifically where students demonstrate the skills and products they developed on their courses to members of the public who can also take part in some of the activities which are planned.


Matt Atkinson, Principal said, “The new Bath College is all about working with people to develop their skills and talent so they can thrive in their lives. This event is a fantastic opportunity for our students to put their skills on show and for them to network with the local community.”


Gardeners, nail & beauty technicians, web designers, media producers, DJs, and computer programmers will be amongst the new start-ups on show at the expo. The event is open to the public from 12-4pm and there will be a number of ‘have-a-go’ activities including bricklaying, DJing, programming robotic cars, animal handling and the opportunity to receive a free hand-massage, sample herbal teas and buy bread, Swedish candles and original artworks.


The students showcasing their skills are studying on a programme from a range of full-time or part-time courses at Bath College.


Green light given to renewable energy courses

New training and development opportunities are being offered to meet the demand of the ever-increasing job opportunities in renewable technologies.


Bath College has been working closely with Bath and North East Somerset Council to support the emerging renewable and sustainable technologies for several years.


But the recently-merged College is now going “even greener” as it becomes a training hub for a new series of courses in solar thermal, solar panel and the principles of renewable technologies.


This month’s free courses are open to everyone, but are particularly targeting unemployed young people who want to set up their own businesses.


There is a real demand for workers in the renewable energy industry as more and more people rely on the power generated by sources like the wind, waves and sun.


It comes as the UK’s green economy is worth £128 billion and the Government has a target that 15 per cent of our energy should come from renewable sources by 2020.


Martin Reeves, Senior Curriculum Leader in Construction, said the courses were focused on making sure people’s homes were ‘fit for the future.’


He said: “This is a very exciting time for Bath College as we work with industry partners to help build a sustainable future.


“The renewable energies industry offers so many exciting job opportunities and we want to help match people to the jobs that are out there.


“The College is pleased to be at the forefront of renewal energy training. We are proud to be ambassadors of sustainability.”


Bath College formerly worked in partnership with Norton Radstock College to run the Green Skills Academy.


Several one-day and short courses proved to be popular, including air source heat pumps, water harvesting and sustainable construction. Up-skilling programmes for trades people were also held, as well as ‘toolbox talks’ for the public to learn more about renewable energies.


The Green Skills Academy met all its initial targets, including purchasing specialist equipment for training purposes and providing training to more than 10 unemployed people and more than 150 16 to 18-year-olds over two years.


Bath College recently hosted a presentation to spread the word on its free external wall insulation course. More than 15 plasterers and renderers attended and signed up for the course, which is being run in conjunction with Energy at Home and Low Carbon South West.


The Fundamental Principles of Renewable Technologies course is on June 15-16, Solar PV Technologies is on June 22-26 and Solar Thermal is on June 29- July 3. They are all Level 3 qualifications and will be held at Bath College’s City Centre Campus.


For more information on green skills courses running at Bath College, call 01225 312191.


Same course, grade and university for married couple

Married couple Candita and Mike Wooten are preparing to go to university together after passing the same college course with the same grade.


They are now a step closer to their dream careers after “giving education another go” and returning to Bath College as mature students.


The couple achieved 100% distinctions in their Access to Higher Education Diplomas and will start Bournemouth University in September.


Candita, 22, enrolled on the year-long course in 2013 and Mike was inspired to follow in her footsteps when he saw how much she was enjoying learning.


She deferred her university place for a year so that she could “swap places” with her husband and he could take the same course.


Candita will be studying midwifery at university, while Mike will study social work. They will be moving from Bath to Bournemouth with their three-year-old daughter Leia.


Mike, 23, said: “I was working full-time in McDonalds when I decided to do the same as Candita and go back to College.


“It wasn’t planned, it was only when I saw her doing so well on the course that I realised that I also wanted to give education another go.


“Growing up in care, I’d always thought about being a social worker to help others but I didn’t ever really have anyone telling me to do well in school.


“Then I saw Candita going places. She was working hard and earning the top grades while enjoying it all. That’s when I knew, she inspired me.”


The couple say “it’s as if it was all planned” as “it all turned out so well” with their roles reversing from one year to the next. When one of them was at college, the other one worked full-time.


Candita said: “I’m surprised at how things have turned out, but it’s great that we’re both sharing this journey.


“I was at College for a year; then I worked as Mike went to College for a year. And now we’re going to university as a family.


“It’s not going to be easy for both of us to juggle education and childcare, but this is what we have to do. We will continue to rely on each other as we work towards our new careers.”


Bath College’s Access to Higher Education course helps mature students to develop their skills, confidence and educational potential in preparation for degree or diploma level study.


Candita said: “I’ve always wanted to go to university, and it’s always been my dream to become a midwife.


“After my A-Levels, we got a flat together, I ended up working in insurance and I just thought university wouldn’t happen.


“But going back to college was great. It was intense but such good fun, I think I enjoyed the pressure!


“I can’t recommend the Access to HE course enough, it’s opened up doors for both of us.”

UK Masonry Skills Challenge


Bath College comes third in national stonemasonry competition

Stonemasons from Bath College have proved they are among the best in the country by securing a top spot in a national skills competition.


The College scooped third place in the UK Masonry Skills Challenge, thanks to the work-ready skills of three of its stonemasonry students.


They went head-to-head with students from colleges across the UK in the highly-respected competition with a panel of industry judges.


The competition, which is run by The Stone Federation, creates a typical industry scenario where students have to follow detailed instructions under timed conditions.


Each student was given a drawing, a piece of stone and the materials to make the necessary moulds and templates. They then had an eight-hour time period to put their mallet and chisel skills to the test.


They were judged on criteria such as neatness of work, measurement precision, health and safety and time keeping – all essential requirements for today’s stonemasonry industry.


Judge Sean Collins of Boden and Ward Stonemasons said: “The competition is open to those training for a career in stonemasonry and it really helps to prepare them for the industry.


“It’s an industry-standard competition which tests whether students are ready for the workplace.”


A total of 27 students entered the competition in two regional heats. The southern heat was held at Bath College’s Construction Skills Centre.


The three students who represented Bath College were Toby Brook, Jordan Walsh and Alex Willis.


Stonemasonry lecturer Ray Sumner said it was an honour for Bath College to come third in the overall college category.


He said: “It’s a tough competition with a very high standard of work, so our success is testament to the hard work and dedication of our students.


“All the students did very well, putting into practice what they had learned in the classroom. We’re very proud of what they’ve achieved; they were a real credit to the College.”


View our Stonemasonry Courses


Ofsted praises Bath College’s employability focus

The employability of students is at the heart of just about everything Bath College does, according to Ofsted.


The education regulatory body has praised the innovative ways staff give students the best possible chance of joining and sustaining their chosen career paths.


Her Majesty’s Inspector Nick Crombie said the College’s students were benefitting from the well-defined strategic and operational focus on “enterprise, entrepreneurship, innovation and employability.”


Students aged 16 to 18 were said to achieve well in their chosen subjects, while gaining and applying essential employability skills.


The Ofsted inspector highlighted how the College has good working links with a range of employers, encourages work experience across all industries, is responsive to current skills needs, hosts skills fairs which have led to students gaining employment and apprenticeships, offers non-partisan careers advice and is an active member of local business partnerships.


This integral approach to work-ready skills was said to be helping to prepare students for their next steps, including progression into higher education, training and employment.


The work of staff and students to further ingrain employability into all aspects of the student experience, from pre-entry through to the end of the course, was also praised.


These findings will be used to form part of Ofsted’s Regional Annual Report and will be referred to while compiling the South West’s next strategic plan.


Principal Matt Atkinson said employability was at the heart of Bath College’s provision.


He said: “Making our students employment-ready is our aim and our priority.


“We are focused on giving students the work-ready skills to meet the demands of the local labour market


“We ensure the day to day focus on employability remains strong by working closely with high-quality employers from Bath and across the region.


“We work with industry experts, host employer events and design course curriculums to meet the needs of the people who are going to employ students.”


Bath College was given its best-ever Ofsted report in 2013 with inspectors concluding the College was good with outstanding features. It was given an overall grade of 2 (Good).

Jewellery adult learners


Students recycle unwanted jewellery for charity

Students at Bath College have put their creative skills to the test by recycling unwanted and broken jewellery to raise money for a cancer charity.


Advanced Design and Craft students took apart necklaces, bracelets, earrings and brooches to create new innovative pieces of costume jewellery.


The one-off student designs were displayed during Bath in Fashion and will now be auctioned off to raise awareness and funds for Breast Cancer Research.


The ‘Reloved Campaign’ was run in conjunction with Fabulous jewellery shop in SouthGate, which collected returned/ex-stock jewellery and asked customers to donate unwanted items.


Part-time students Scarlet De La Croix, Debbie Downs, Nico Stead and Susan Harker completed their re-modelled designs in about two months, with a lot of the work being carried out in their free time.


Susan said: “Having all the unwanted jewellery was like opening a Pandora’s box.


“It was exciting to dive in; I tried to get my hands on anything sparkly; I must have grabbed about 30+ pieces to work with.


“I tried to create a ‘looking good, feeling better’ piece to tie in with the breast cancer theme. It’s a really big piece that is a fashion statement.”


Debbie said it had been great experience to keep to the industry brief, while raising money for charity at the same time.


She said: “We were given a large choice of old pieces of jewellery and we could select anything that caught our eye.


“I went for the shells and pearls and anything else relating to the sea. I was thinking something along the mermaid theme and it went from there.


“The end result doesn’t actually look anything like my original idea, but I’m pleased with it. I’ve created a piece of jewellery totally from scratch and I’ve learnt how to adapt to an evolving design process.”


Course tutor Melanie Sproat said students worked with a large amount of unwanted jewellery made out of various materials from coloured acrylics to gold plate.


She said: “Students had to identify materials from the items of jewellery, deconstruct them then incorporate them into new designs.


“They generated completely new ideas for jewellery and came up with a range of eye-catching designs.


“It was quite a challenge but students did a great job. They created some very sophisticated costume jewellery for a great cause.”


Becky Johnson, Retail and Training Manager at Fabulous, said she was pleased to see the students had risen to the design challenge.


She said: “We collected a massive box of jewellery and handed it over to the students.


“I’m very impressed with their designs; they have completely transformed the unwanted items.


“The finished results are great; the students have created some innovative and beautifully crafted pieces of jewellery.”


The Advanced Design and Craft course is part of Bath College’s Love2learn part-time programme. There are a wide range of art and design courses available, many of them running in the evening and at weekends.


Courses on offer include fashion design and textiles, interior design, glass-making, painting, photography and sculpture.


For more information on part-time leisure courses is available here or phone 01225 312191. There’s a 10 per cent discount for online enrolments.

employability week competition


Students prove how employable they are

Students have been given the opportunity to develop and demonstrate their employability with a week devoted to getting a head start in the job market.


Employability Week at Bath College included several exciting events to give students the skills that employers want – and to teach them how to prove they have them.


Students from all subject areas were given valuable tips and advice for personal development. This included CV writing, interview tips, and learning what employers want from students.


The Employability Passport Scheme was also launched to encourage students to build up employability skills and earn bronze, silver or gold passports. The passports aim to get students’ careers ‘off to a flying start.’


The event was part of Bath College’s commitment to preparing students for the world of employment. Staff work hard to ensure students have the work-ready skills to match the demand from the local labour market.


A highlight of Employability Week was the Dress To Impress Competition to promote the importance of suitable interview outfits.


Students had no more than an hour to make their interview clothing selection from Next in Southgate, Bath, then present their chosen outfit to a panel of judges.


They could pick whatever clothes they wanted, including shoes and accessories, for a fictional job vacancy as a PR/Social Media Co-ordinator at a large fashion company.


Level 3 Travel and Tourism student Ellen Samikwa was chosen as the winner for her blue skirt suit selection and matching shoes. She won a £100 Next voucher.


Ellen, 18, said: “It was great; we could pick out anything we wanted to wear.


“I went for something tailored, something that would help me stand out and make a good first impression.”


Employability Week was organised and run by Apprentice Emma Datson, Careers and Employability Manager Louise Croft and the College’s careers advisors.


Emma said they wanted to give students the chance to gain the essential skills and experiences to make them stand out from the crowd.


She said: “The students have been very positive about raising their employability skills.


“They joined in with all the activities and events knowing that they will ultimately help to boost their careers.”


The College’s first Employability Week was such a success that it is expected to become an annual event.

Your Wishlist