Full-time job offered to 18-year-old Project SEARCH student


A teenager with a speech impediment has overcome all the odds to land a full-time job operating the county’s green recycling vans.


Roxy Garraway was given a 10-week work placement at the recycling centre on Midland Road, Bath, as part of Project SEARCH.


The programme, run in partnership with Bath College, Bath and North East Somerset Council and Sirona Health and Care, helps young people with learning difficulties and disabilities secure paid permanent jobs at the end of a year-long employability programme.


Miss Garraway was low in confidence when she started Project SEARCH. But she worked hard and impressed her boss at the recycling centre, who gave her a full-time job after she finished her work placement.


The 18-year-old will get her first pay cheque just before Christmas.




She said: “I love being a part of this team. We have a laugh, we get on and we always look after each other. It’s really helped me with my confidence.


“Before I didn’t want to work, I would rather ask my mum for money. But when I started on the programme I realised what I wanted to do – I wanted a job.


“I’m looking forward to working full-time because at the moment I’m only on an agency job. I’m out in the van. I go to peoples’ houses and collect stuff they don’t want anymore.”


Young people aged 18 to 24-years-old are placed on three 10-week work placements as part of the Project SEARCH programme.


Miss Garraway started her first work placement at the council’s parks department, before going on to work at Haycombe Cemetery and the recycling centre.


She received support from a Bath College tutor in the classroom, learning about appropriate dress, conduct and attitudes in the workplace.


Sirona job coach Sarah Rendell also visited Miss Garraway during her placements to give support, advice, guidance and check on her progress


She said: “Roxy is a completely different lady now and this has been noticed by her family too.


“She has gone from a young lady who used to sit in class with her hands over her face to someone who is confident approaching customers and ensuring the council recycling system works properly.


“She went through a competitive interview process. She had to apply for a job and she’s been successful.


“Roxy will be reliable no matter what the weather and I know she is capable of progressing in that job. It could quite feasibly be a job for life.”


Miss Garraway plans to use the money she earns to take driving lessons and would like to learn to drive the recycling lorries.


Glyn Jones is the teenager’s manager at the recycling centre.


He said: “She has worked hard even though she has a speech impediment she’s pulled herself through and her confidence has really grown.


“She’s prepared to take on any task you ask of her.”


Students on the Project SEARCH programme may find themselves on an internship at the historical Roman Baths, Pump Rooms and Assembly Rooms, as well as other council departments.


They are more likely to find employment opportunities thanks to the programme.


Mrs Rendell said: “This is work experience with a difference. They are not paid, but they are gaining valuable employability skills and they end up with a reference from the manager.


“It works like a long working interview, which is much fairer for someone with learning disabilities. It completely widens out what they do with their life. It gives them an opportunity they would never have had otherwise.”


For information about Project SEARCH click here.


Visit the Bath College Christmas Market at Green Park Station

Students at Bath College are bringing Christmas to Green Park Station with a festive market selling hand-made gifts and food.


The market, on Thursday December 3, will involve students from across the college, including music, floristry and art and design students.


In the college’s art and design department, students have been hard at work designing products to sell, from cushions and mugs to bags and scarves.




Visitors will be able to buy Christmas bouquets and wreaths, as well as jams, pickles and hot drinks to warm their hands up.


There will be winter wonderland workshops for children with face-painting, a tombola and entertainment from music and performing arts students.


The Christmas market follows on from a summer market at Green Park Station, where students showcased their skills during free ‘have-a-go’ activities.


Darren Rogers, enterprise and innovation manager at Bath College, is keen to make sure students develop business skills early on in their careers.


He said: “Products will be made locally by local students who are working and training here to develop their careers.


“This is a clear indication of where the college is headed in terms of making enterprise one of its key priorities for learners.


“It’s a great chance for our students to understand the production process, from design and making through to selling the finished product at a market to real customers.”


The market will run from 12pm to 6pm.


Bath College hosts Chelsea Flower Show regional heat


Bath College played host to top florists and floristry businesses at the Chelsea Flower Show South West regional heat.


Student Emily Smith shone during the competition and could go on to compete for Young Chelsea Florist of the Year.


The 17-year-old from Bath College impressed with a bouquet decorated with seashells, coming second in the under 24s category.


Over 30 people took part in the competition. They were asked to make a bridal bouquet inspired by a seaside wedding.




Bath College student Louise Waters also entered the over 24s category, producing a towering design inspired by ice cream cones.


Other college students attended on the day to watch a floristry demonstration and lend their support to competitors.


Lecturer Jo Matthews said: “It’s always intense because you’re eagerly awaiting the results.


“For our students here, they really had their eyes opened to seeing something completely different – not industry floristry but competition floristry.


“Competition floristry is more creative. It’s a showcase of your talent so it means larger designs and more technical ability.


“I was very proud to see them both enter, because they haven’t got the experience of a lot of other competitors who have been entering competitions for years.


“Emily was really shocked to win second place and I think Louise was very proud to be involved and learn a lot from it.”


Sixteen florists from regional heats across the country will be chosen to compete for a national title at the Chelsea Flower Show.


The college already plans to be at the Chelsea Flower Show in May, where it will compete for College of the Year.


Last July, Bath College won Best College in Show and a gold medal at the Hampton Court Flower Show.


Judges awarded Miss Smith 90 points for her bouquet and it is hoped she will have the chance take part at Chelsea.


Mrs Matthews said: “We have to wait until April and they will announce who is going through to Chelsea, but I’m pretty sure Emily will go through with those marks.”


Stonemasonry apprentice shines in national skills competition


A stonemasonry apprentice at Bath College has shown he is among the best in the business by securing a top spot in a national skills competition.


Toby Brook won highly commended in the national finals of the 2015 WorldSkills UK competition and has been selected for the WorldSkills UK training squad.


The 19-year-old went head to head with some of the country’s most skilled stonemasons during the three-day competition, held at the Birmingham NEC.


Competitors were given a drawing, asked to produce templates, mark up a stone and carve it by hand following industry standards and specifications.


Toby impressed judges at a competition at Bath College’s Construction Skills Centre and went on to compete in the southern skills heats, which he won.


At the national skills competition, he was chosen to train for the next international WorldSkills competition in Abu Dhabi in 2017.


Stonemasonry lecturer Ray Sumner said staff at the college are proud of Toby, who is just completing his Level 3 apprenticeship.


He said: “Toby was unfortunate not to be in the top three. The points difference between Toby and the winners it was minimal, but he’s been highly commended and he’s been selected to be in the world skills squad.


“To do well in these competitions you have to have the right attitude. You have to be able to problem solve, work within the given time frames and put in a lot of hard work because it’s very tiring.


“Over the three years I have known him he has always been motivated to achieve the highest possible standards possible.


“We expect high standards of work here, but in the competition they have a certain amount of time to reach that high standard.


“In industry they might have to get a job done in two or three days and by training them for these competitions it gives them employability skills.”


Toby is completing his apprenticeship with Wells Cathedral Stonemasons, who will be supporting him with the next stage of his training.


He said: “I did work experience with them and I ended up getting a job. They are very supportive, they trained me up along with the college,


“The competition was hard work. It was quite nerve-racking with the pressure of people watching, but it was very enjoyable at the same time.


“I’m very glad that I entered.”


Simon Armstrong, director at Wells Cathedral Stonemasons, said: “Toby’s done very well and we’re delighted.


“We weren’t surprised, however, since we know how good he is and his inclusion in the UK squad is brilliant. We’ve had squad members and team members before over the last decade, so he’s continuing a sort of tradition.


“The competitions are great for the apprentices. They’re in our workshops working away and sometimes it’s difficult for them to know how good they are, but once they pit themselves against apprentices across the country it shows.


“Toby has proved himself to be one of the best apprentices in the country.”


Student lanterns light up the sky during annual procession


Students at Bath College were proud to show off their creations during the annual Holburne Lantern Procession.


Hundreds of people carrying hand-made lanterns took to the streets of Bath for the procession, organised by the Holburne Museum.




At Bath College, students studying for an NOCN Diploma in Independent Living Skills took part in lantern making workshops.


They made a giant owl and a werewolf, inspired by the theme for this year’s lantern procession – an enchanted forest.




Bath College student Daniel Wiltshire came up with the idea of creating a werewolf and Sammy-Jo Lakey suggested the owl.


Students studying Independent Living Skills at Bath college have a range of learning difficulties.


The workshops will go towards their diploma to show how they have developed team-working skills.


Two teams worked together to make the willow structure needed for the two animals, before covering these in paper.


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Jane Samson, from the college’s foundation learning department, said: “It was a challenging task for them.


“They had three sessions and they had to get a lot done in that time. It’s a bit like a production line –there’s a lot of component parts that have to be made.


“It was difficult for them to imagine what it was going to be like and what it was going to look like when it was done.


“Seeing the lanterns lit up on the night was great. It’s so good for their confidence – they were buzzing.


“It’s lovely to be in the lantern parade because it carries you along. All the people waving and taking photos is great, it keeps you going.”


New FutureSpark Academy will match students with leading technology companies

A new academy at Bath College will match students with technology companies in the South West to make sure they are learning industry relevant skills.


Thirteen business companies have signed up to the FutureSpark Academy, a partnership between Bath College and business website TechSPARK.


They will offer students at the college a range of work placements, either one or two days a week for a minimum of three months.


Companies signed up include SearchStar, Memberoo, Nova Modus, That Media Thing, Ordable, Rocketmakers and web designers Deep Blue Sky.


They cover a wide range of interests from environmentally friendly companies like Trakeo to Lifejak, a company building software for large-scale events.


CelebVM, which offers personal video messages from celebrities, is looking for someone to help build up its social media presence.


Students will also work with The Yogscast, a network of YouTube broadcasters, who are looking for a video production assistant and a web developer.




Employability advisor Amy Patterson has been working with companies to finalise job descriptions for students on work placements.


She said: “The idea is that it’s not just a week’s work experience. We want these companies to adopt a student into their company.


“The first week might be a bit tricky training them up, but after that they will be treated as a member of staff.


“We’re lucky enough to be in a digital creative hotspot, it’s one of the biggest ones outside London. There’s so much going on and more could be happening, but there’s a skills shortage.


“If we can make sure we have this strong relationship with businesses, we can make sure what we teach our student is want they need in order to get into the workplace.


“We can make sure our students are work-ready.”


Martin Lippiatt, from Gradwell Communications, met students from the college for the first time at a networking event on November 17.


He thinks the academy is a good way for companies to train students who could go on to become future employees.


He said: “He said: “I think it’s a great idea. The reason we’re getting involved is because the college students are an untapped resource really.


“There are a number of people studying in college or university, but employers are still reluctant to take on the students once they have graduated because they have no work experience.


“It’s a good way of plugging the gap. We have done the apprenticeships scheme before with Bath College and that has worked out really well.


“What we’re finding when we advertise is that many people are technical, but not a lot of people are customer focused, so it helps with that as well.


“When they come in we give them training with regards to being more customer- friendly so they can advise our customers better.


“If they’re looking for a job in this area, we’re one place that they could consider.”


Miss Patterson said: “The event was about giving them an opportunity to meet students. The students were working at the computers so they could show them what kind of thing they do.


“It’s not just about the students, it’s also an opportunity for the employers to get someone fresh from college, someone who could be a developing star.


“The students really responded well to it and we had some good feedback. People were quite impressed by what our students could do.


“Hopefully by Christmas we will have people in their roles ready to start in January.”


Dog grooming salon opens at Somer Valley Campus


Animals care students at Bath College won’t have to go far for work experience with a commercial dog grooming salon onsite at the Somer Valley Campus.


The new salon, run by Heather’s Pet Care, has opened offering grooming for all breeds of dogs and cats, as well as a collection and drop off service.


An open-plan teaching room at the college has been refurbished and redecorated to house a bath, drying table, finishing table and cages.


Manager Heather Thomas will run the salon as a commercial business and will also show students how to care for animals.




She said: “It’s brilliant getting involved with the college and helping the students.


“I want to help the students get where they need to be, because I was there myself back in the day.


“When I started animal care, my course was nothing like this. This would have been awesome having work experience onsite.


“This is going to be a working environment – it’s going to be exactly as it would be in the workplace.”


Ms Thomas, a qualified animal behaviourist, started off her business from home nine years ago and now manages 15 members of staff.


Since then, she has seen an increase in the number of customers asking for dog grooming with a rise in the popularity of poodle cross-breeds.


With a busy business to run, she will be asking students to help manage the reception desk and waiting room, as well as helping in the salon.


Ms Thomas said: “Cockapoos are probably our most popular breed after Labradors.


“Dogs crossed with poodles don’t malt. The by-product of this is you do have to have them groomed otherwise their fur ends up matted.


“I got my first member of staff when I fell pregnant. I needed someone to cover for me and six months after having my baby I started recruiting more staff.


“When you’re busy you don’t have time to step back and do a reality check. The other day I got a second to myself and I thought ‘blimey I’m managing all this’.”


Jayne Withers, head of Land-based studies at Bath College, is looking forward to seeing the first customers come through the door.


She said: “It’s quite unique to have a commercial business operating in a college.


“We have high expectations for the students and want them to be thoroughly prepared for the world of work.


“It’s about bringing the general public into the college environment.


“At the moment, there’s a big push towards enterprise and being aware of how the college can work with commercial organisations.


“The new salon will serve the community and bring people into the college, boosting the reputation of the college and the department in turn.”


Apprentices learn from leading manufacturer Aspen Pumps


Leading manufacturer Aspen Pumps visited Bath College to show refrigeration apprentices the latest technical equipment.


Second and third year apprentices listened to a talk and learnt how to select, install and maintain condensate pumps.


Aspen Pumps, based in East Sussex, is the worldwide distributor of condensate pumps – a specific type of pump used to pump water.


Students learnt about condensate removal and how pumps are used in different scenarios across the industry in over 100 countries worldwide.


Simon Robinson, refrigeration and electrical learning co-ordinator, organises at least five technical talks for students each year.


He said: “Students had great exposure to equipment they will encounter in their refrigeration careers, essentially making them more competent engineers.


“It’s fantastic because it’s specialist information that we can’t necessarily be on top of – it’s straight from the manufacturer.”


Students care for animals at Bath City Farm


A new course at Bath City Farm is offering adult learners a practical insight into animal care.


Students are learning how to feed and handle animals on the farm as part of the course, organised by the adult community learning team at Bath College.


Helen Fisher, deputy manager at Bath City Farm, gave students a tour of the farm’s animals during an introductory session in early November.


Many already volunteer at the farm, a registered charity which runs a number of different volunteering, education and training projects.


Some are part of projects at the farm, including the EarthWorks project – for people with mild to severe learning disabilities.





Ms Fisher has been running animal care courses at Bath City Farm for a number of years and has seen how they help to increase confidence.


She said: “People don’t feel comfortable if they have been out of work or school for a long time.


“At first they are quite shy of the animals and shy of talking, but once people understand that everyone is in a similar situation that really helps.”


Students will study animal behaviour to overcome any worries they may have about handling animals.


If they want to progress, Bath City Farm is offering an advanced animal care course during the spring – which could lead to a course at Bath College.


MS Fisher said: “Each week they are going to be focusing on one of the animals on the farm – they will learn how to clean them out, handle them and give them health checks.


“In the spring there’s an advanced animal course and careers advisors from Bath College will come in to discuss courses that are accredited.


“It’s a gentle way of getting there, rather than going straight in for a Level 2 animal care course.”


Full-time carer Jo Welch is hoping to start a new career working with animals and has enrolled on the course as a first step.


She said: “There’s a vet course at Bath College so I thought I would do this and see how it goes. I just want to get a little bit more knowledge about animal behaviour.”


Jeff Fanstone volunteers at Bath City Farm every Wednesday, offering his expertise in horticulture by helping to maintain the allotment.


He said: “I feel as though I should know more than I do. We get a lot of people come round and ask us questions about the animals.


“Really I just want to know the basics – feeding and handling them.”


Bath College raises over £900 for Children in Need

Students at Bath College have teamed together to raise over £900 for Children in Need through cake sales, street collections and a music gig.


Early year education students at the college’s Somer Valley Campus kicked off a week’s worth of fundraising activities.


They dressed up for a street collection in Midsomer Norton, collecting nearly £300 for projects supported by the Children in Need appeal.




At the college’s city centre campus, business and IT students enrolled on the college’s Vocation Access Programme held a cake sale.


A collection in the centre of Bath raised over £260 thanks to childcare, performing arts and beauty students who dressed up as superheroes.


In the college’s music department, students organised a gig and on Friday it was childcare takeover day.


The day, organised by students studying childcare, included face painting, guess how many sweets in the jar and guess the name of the teddy.


Staff members Sarah Demirci, Jess Lewis, Abi Holt and Lesley Hart helped with the day and joined in by dressing up as superheroes.


Staff at the college braved the Pie a Pudsey stand where they had custard pies thrown at them and were filmed for social media.




Student engagement officer Scarlett Mosnier said: “Everyone has been really generous and everyone’s contributions make a big difference.


“For the students dressing up and collecting money, it’s a confidence boost throwing yourself out there and seeing what comes of it.


“It’s something great to be part of. They can see the programme on television and see how they have contributed to something massive.”


Media students launch Crowdfunding campaign for film sets and props


Students at Bath College have launched a campaign to fund two short films, raising money for sets, costumes and props.


Level 3 media students will work in teams to produce the films, which should be ready to be shown before Christmas.


The money is being raised through a Crowdfunding campaign and the sets will be built in the college dance studio.


Students will submit the finished film for festivals and competitions, including Enter the Pitch – an online short film competition for budding filmmakers.


Media students at the college have already had some success, with previous films winning recognition from Into Film in July.


Set up to support young filmmakers in colleges and schools, Into Film named the students’ sci-fi thriller ABEL as its film of the month.


To prepare for the project, students have been speaking to Enter the Pitch project director Luke Walton.


They also visited Codsteaks, a Bristol-based production arts company specialising in sets, and met company director Sue Lipscombe.


In September, they went along to Encounters Festival – a short film and animation festival held in Bristol.


To produce the film, students will work with business, media, music and performing arts students at Bath College.


The film shoot takes place in the third week of November.


Lecturer Tom Gray said: “The project gives students hands-on experience outside of the classroom and the normal timetable.


“It allows staff, who are trained filmmakers, to work individually with students in their production roles.


“Feedback from students in previous years has been that they’ve gained so much experience and knowledge from the project.


“This year we’ve decided to bring it forward to the beginning of the second year course.


“Diving straight into a production of this scale will give students a much broader experience base to develop themselves and their practice for the remainder of the year.”


To support the project click here.


Students’ achievements marked at Celebrating Success Awards

Outstanding students at Bath College received plenty of praise during an awards ceremony held to celebrate their hard work.


Over 40 students and their families were invited to Bath College’s annual Celebrating Success Awards at the Guildhall.


Tutors from every department took to the stage to share stories of students going above and beyond to meet the demands of their course.


Floristry students contributed to the evening with elaborate table displays and catering students prepared tasty snacks for those invited.


Celebrating Success pic2


Students receiving awards included 25-year-old Matthew Clifford, who was awarded Stonemasonry Student of the Year.


He has been travelling from Gloucester to Bath over three years to attend his course and didn’t miss a lesson.


Complementary therapies student Deb Cullen was also praised for showing “boundless enthusiasm and commitment” despite a hectic schedule.


The 35-year-old from Bath studied a Level 3 qualification alongside a part-time job cleaning at the college and passed her course with flying colours.


Lecturer Diana Rowe said: “She worked every morning at the college from 6am to 8.30am, would run home to prepare her young son for school and then be on time for her class.”


Tatyana Labno, from Frome, studied accountancy at Bath College andwon the Mayor’s Award for Outstanding Achievement.


She passed her AAT Level 2 and Level 3 exams in just a year, instead of two years, finishing both courses before other students.


The 25-year-old, who is expecting a baby soon, is now studying for an AAT Level 4 qualification and is applying for jobs as an accountant.


This year for the first time, there was an award for volunteering – the Rotary Young Person’s Community Service Award.


Bethany Tavener, 19, from Keynsham, is working as an apprentice at the University of Bath and received the award for her dedication to youth work.


Over the past few years, Miss Tavener has volunteer as a youth worker for the Riverside Youth Centre and Southside Youth Centre.


As part of this, she has been working with the charity Off the Record to run LGBT awareness activities and workshops in the youth hubs.


She said: “I did over 200 hours last year alone. At first I didn’t know about the student participation team at Bath College.


“Then I spoke to the student engagement officer and she explained how I could log my hours. They have been really supportive. If I say ‘we have this event going on’ they help publicise it and get it in the weekly bulletin.

“Most of it is because I like helping people out.”


All award winners were presented with a certificate and a Bath Aqua Glass paper weight.


Celebrating Success pic
Several businesses received recognition for their contribution to student development and were named as Employers of the Year.


Social housing landlord Curo was named Business Employer of the Year and the University of Bath and Southgate also won awards.


Lisa Quayle, employment, training and engagement co-ordinator at Curo, said: “We’re delighted to have received this award.


“At Curo we’re committed to helping people into work, and we offer an expanding programme of accredited work placements, support via the National Careers Service and other opportunities.


“We provide apprenticeships, scholarships and a graduate scheme, and we ask our suppliers to provide training and apprenticeships as part of our procurement process.


“We know our work is making a real difference, and we’re continuing to develop and grow the service to benefit as many customers and colleagues as possible.”


Bath College principal Matt Atkinson said: “This year’s awards evening was the first time since the college merger that we have come together to celebrate the achievements of students from across Bath and North East Somerset and beyond.


“This event is my favourite of the year because it is where we get to say thank you to our students for entrusting us with their education and training.


“The college’s purpose is to develop talent, careers and people and last night provided wonderful evidence of us achieving our core purpose.”



Bath College launches new hotel and restaurant school


A new hotel and restaurant school at Bath College will give industry leaders the chance to address a skills shortage in the city by developing home-grown talent.


Tourism is big business in Bath, but top hotels in the city need highly skilled staff and a shallow labour pool is making it hard for managers to find the right employees.


The Bath Hotel and Restaurant School will help employers to discover future talent and will make sure students are getting the right training early on in their careers.


Sixteen businesses have signed up to be part of the new partnership and will meet students for the first time at a launch event on November 10.


The launch takes place at the multi-million pound Gainsborough Bath Spa Hotel, part of the Malaysian-based company YTL.


Over 200 high-profile guests were invited to the hotel’s official opening in October and students from Bath College were there serving guests on the night.


Now the Gainsborough has committed to offer regular work placements and masterclasses through the new hotel and restaurant school.


Food and beverage manager Paul Mason will be offering students cocktail masterclasses and is looking forward to passing on his knowledge.


He said: “YTL have their own catering school in Malaysia so the Gainsborough Bath Spa understands the benefits of working locally with the Bath Hotel and Restaurant School.


“For YTL it’s all about the next generation. Many of the current staff have been working for YTL for the last 15 years and started at the bottom to work their way up to become head chefs and managers.


“In Bath especially, there are so many restaurants. Every restaurant is looking for chefs and front of house staff. It’s a good market for staff, but for us as employers it’s hard to find people with the right skill sets.


“Tourism is one of the key industries in Bath, the industry employs 9,000 people locally. But Bath is not London – it’s not a big city – and we have to work harder to attract people to come to work here.


“By working together, it means that the students emerge better trained for real life in a busy restaurant or hotel, which will definitely benefit both the industry and the young people themselves.


“It benefits us if we can train them from the start, rather than people coming in with bad habits which we have to train out of them, and it’s always nice to pass your knowledge on – it gives you a sense of fulfilment.


“Getting work experience here will add to their qualifications. As well as jobs in Bath, it will open up scope for them throughout the world.”


A string of top employers have signed up to support the Bath Hotel and Restaurant School and offer students a variety of work placements. These include Demuth’s Cookery School, Homewood Park, The Pump Room Restaurant and the Royal Crescent Hotel.


Level 3 students will also work at The Priory, the MacDonald Bath Spa Hotel, the Bath Pub Company, Abbey Hotel and the Hilton Hotel. They will be offered experience at Woods Restaurant, Apex Hotels, The Pig near Bath, Lucknam Park, the Manor House Hotel at Castle Combe and the Methuen Arms, in Corsham.


Bridget Halford, head of hospitality, hair, beauty and spa industries at Bath College, is looking forward to the growth of the new school.


She said: “We’re building partnerships to give them the best opportunities and access to the best employers across the city and beyond. Businesses have been really supportive. They think it’s a fantastic idea and it’s something that’s needed.”


Sarah Holden, hotel director at The Pig near Bath, said: “We’re excited about the launch of the hotel and restaurant school- it’s a real opportunity for us to showcase the hotel and demonstrate the huge opportunities there are within the group.


“It’s a privilege to be involved and what makes this different is that all the businesses have had a voice in how this has been set up. I am sure it will help with recruitment- it’s no secret that industry wide this is a huge challenge, especially in the kitchen.


“The dream is that the hotel and restaurant school will enable us to recruit the next generation and home-grow our own talent.”


International business students at Bath College visit Shanghai


Students studying international business at Bath College had the chance to speak to the head of Barclays in China during a cultural trip to Shanghai.

Five Level 3 students were chosen for the trip to Shanghai Sipo Polytechnic College – which has strong links with Bath College.

They were matched with student buddies and took part in lessons at the college, learning about Chinese culture, oil painting and Tai Chi.

Chinese students greeted their visitors with a traditional mandarin song and a talent show featuring music, dance and tea making.

It was an overwhelming experience for the five students, who performed Wonderwall by Oasis to an enthusiastic audience.




Jon Domaille, head of business, media, music and performing arts at Bath College, said: “They were waving their phones in the air like lights.

“There was a real sense of warmth and generosity. They really bonded with their Chinese counterparts – I think they have made friends for life.

“This is an international business course and we wanted to give them the opportunity to experience that world themselves – to give them a sense of a global community.

“The class sizes are bigger – they noticed that – and they noticed there’s a sense of discipline they probably don’t identify with over here.

“I taught for the day and it was absolutely fascinating. They really care about getting things right and doing things properly.”

As well as spending time at the Chinese college, students travelled to see Shanghai’s financial centre and free trade zone.

They listened to talks from Chinese businesses and, on the final day of the trip, they met the head of Barclays in China.




Mr Domaille said: “They sat in his office discussing Chinese English relationships with him. That really gave them a sense of confidence.

“It was fascinating stepping back from that and watching them hold their own with someone who is incredibly important in world finance.

“It was a fantastic experience for the students because everything they have learned about, they saw it happening.

“I think that the fact that students had spent the week exploring Chinese culture added great significance and context to their visits to businesses in China.

“They have come back far more rounded individuals and more open-minded individuals.”

International business student Henry Lancaster said: “To be sitting with the manager of Barclay’s operations in China is pretty special.

“He wanted to hear our thoughts about the alliance between the UK and China and how things can develop in the future.

“It has helped me gain a better understanding of China’s current state of affairs and to put into practice what I have learned in class.”


New curatorship course to start at Bath College in collaboration with 44AD Artspace


Three years after setting up her own arts enterprise, painter Katie O’Brien will share her expertise with students enrolling on a new curatorship course.


The course, at Bath College, will guide students through the practicalities of putting on an exhibition, from artwork selection to promotion and display.


Miss O’Brien studied for a national diploma in fine art at Bath College before enrolling on a fine art degree at Bath Spa University.


She set up 44AD Artspace after graduating in response to a shortage of studio and gallery space for emerging artists in Bath city centre.


The venue, in Abbey Street, has affordable studio space for 18 artists, as well as two floors of free admission gallery space.


Students on the new course will see how 44AD operates and will get an insight into the art world during optional field trips to London and Cornwall.


Miss O’Brien said: “Each year I saw art students moving en-masse to Bristol.


“There was nothing really being provided for graduate art students and emerging artists within the centre of Bath.


“It’s fantastic to be back at Bath College, but this time leading what I feel will be an extremely valuable course at this level.


“You have the highly regarded MA curatorial studies program at Bath Spa University, but there is nothing locally at college level.


“I began 44AD after I graduated in 2012 and the last three years have provided me with such a learning experience.


“I thought it would be really great to pass some of this knowledge on.”


Students on the curatorship course will study curatorial theory and research, collections, documentation, installation and display.


They will also gain practical experience, curating two exhibitions in Bath next year.


Miss O’Brien said: “The course will feature an invaluable series of visiting talks from professional curators and gallerists.


“Students will be encouraged to lead the selection and curation of the annual Bath College Love2learn exhibition in February and will be curating an exhibition for Fringe Arts Bath in May.


“This is a pilot run, so it will be extremely exciting to see how this course develops.


“I’m positive it will offer students an extensive amount of practical experience, and a variety of encounters that will generate different career avenues and possibilities.”


David Merriman, head of the Art and Design Department at Bath College, is looking forward to seeing students’ work.


He said: “We have already been working with 44AD to develop our studio painting course. A lot of our students are involved with the Fringe Arts Bath events.


“We have given students opportunities to be involved in pop-up exhibitions and small scale curatorship, as well as their contribution to our end of year show.


“With the ownness clearly on employability skills at the college, I was mindful that curatorship in museums and galleries can provide exciting opportunities for career pathways.


“We welcome the collaboration and hope it will grow.”


The course starts next week. For more information click here.


Students at Bath College tackle sponsored perm challenge


A group of students have discovered a new love for eighties hairstyles after taking part in a sponsored perm session at Bath College and raising £600.


Eight students from the University of Bath’s rowing club, CrewBath, took part in the hairdressing challenge – to collect money for new boats for the team.


The club has over 150 novice rowers keen to get out on the water, but at the moment there not enough boats and only 20 people can row at a time.


Level 2 barbers at Bath College were taught how to give the all-male group a perm by hair tutor and lecturers Becky Jon, Lisa Nelson and Donna Ford.


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Joseph Riou, novice captain for CrewBath, said the whole group enjoyed getting to know students at the college during the three-hour session.


He said: “We created a poll on the club’s social page on Facebook and people were able to vote for the eight men who they would most like to see get the perm.


“Lots of rowing clubs raise money by doing a naked calendar or taking part in Movember. CrewBath have already done both of these and we wanted to do something no-one had ever done before.


“It was a lot more fun than people ever anticipated. The Bath College hairdressers were up for a laugh and seemed to enjoy the day as much as we did.”


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The event was a success for the team, who raised enough money to repair one of the club’s boats – meaning that nine more people can race this month.


They were surprised at how popular the perms were with sponsors and will be racking their brains for more original fundraising ideas soon.


Mr Riou said: “All of the hairstyles went down really well. Some people’s hair was more suitable for perming. The men’s senior captain, Ryan, had really good hair for perming and now looks like a sexy version of Justin Timberlake.


“We expected a lot more abuse for our eighties hairstyles, but people really like the perms and we are all considering getting them re-done. They are much easier to manage in the mornings -after a quick shower there is no need to apply hair product – just dry and go!


“Thanks to the money we have raised so far from the perming extravaganza, we are able to fix one of our boats called Geoff. This money has come just in time as will need the boat to race as many crews as possible at the local head race on the Avon in just a few weeks’ time.”




Lecturer Donna Ford said: “All the students remained professional.


“They have only been taught perm winding in the last couple of weeks. They are trained to do perms, but usually it would be a lot later in the year.


“I said to the students ‘you’re being chucked in the deep end’. We had a few nerves, but they did their very best and achieved great results.


“It was a great experience for all barbers involved.”


For more information about barbering courses at Bath College click here.


November – Pied off


November already, time is flying by. Pretty much every day I have been out of the office doing Students’ Union tutorials. So far I have spoken to 744 students about the Students’ Union and participation, I have loved going out and chatting to everyone! Hope to see you all getting involved in the future.


Fundraising was a big theme this month with Children in Need. Childcare students and Scarlett worked really hard and raised over £1000 for the cause. It was great fun; I went round with a group of them and helped raise money in the street collection. I also volunteered myself to be pied in the face with shaving foam; not so fun but funny for others.


The team have been getting together and discussing what we are going to do in the future. As a team we set ourselves targets for the year to meet which hopefully reflects what you would like us to be doing.


November is also anti – bullying month so we helped mark this and promote it around campus. Tess started blue Tuesday (CCC) and blue Wednesday (SVC) for an anti-bullying campaign.


Lots planned for December even though its a short month but at least that means CHRISTMAS is soon!



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