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.”


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Please complete the form below giving details of the apprenticeship you want to take and the employer who has offered you a placement.



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College Placement Officer contacts you to discuss the next steps.

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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.


Bath College praised by QAA review team


Bath College has been praised in a new report published by the higher education watchdog.


A team of reviewers for the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) visited Bath College in October 2015.


The purpose of the review was to judge whether standards at the college match up to rigorous national standards.


Reviewers said Bath College is meeting the highest standard possible and also praised the college’s music production course.


They found its academic standards, the quality and enhancement of its student learning opportunities, and the quality of information about its learning opportunities, all meet UK expectations.


Bath College’s music production course was identified as an example of good practice for other colleges and universities.


Reviewers said the course “gives students access to people working successfully in the industry and cutting edge facilities, enabling them to develop their academic, personal and professional potential.”


They said: “Bath College sees employability as being of strategic importance. Employer links are strong in most courses providing opportunities for students to gain practical skills and increase their employment prospects.


“Local employers are engaged with, and supportive of, the college. The college has clear strategies and effective practices for developing and promoting employability skills and activities for its students.”


Mark Smithers, learning co-ordinator for music technology, was pleased to hear the review team’s comments on music provision at Bath College.


He said: “We have forged many links with local employers and music students regularly undertake work-based learning and complete real industry briefs.


“This has allowed us to prepare students for employment and nurture important contacts within the field.


“At Bath College we are very lucky to have state of the art facilities and staff with years of industry experience. It’s nice to hear the positive comments from the QAA review team.”


QAA’s higher education reviews are carried out by experts from other universities, colleges and a student reviewer.


A successful review allows a college to display the QAA Quality Mark, indicating to UK and international students that it meets national requirements for standards and quality.


Bath College principal Matt Atkinson said: “We are delighted with this positive review of our higher education provision and are pleased that the review team recognised that our provision, which is highly focused on employment and job outcomes, meets expected standards.”


The review also made some recommendations for improvement, including clarifying the appeals process within the college admissions policy. It was recommended the college adopt a consistent approach to making external examiner reports available to all students.


Judy Lye-Forster, vice-principal for quality and students, said: “The college constantly strives to improve provision and we will action plan around the points identified to ensure that these recommendations are met.


“Students can be confident that if they apply here they can get a good qualification. The QAA looks at all higher education providers, it’s not just further education, so the standards are very high. We’re being judged alongside all higher education providers across the country.”


Careers advice inspires Bath mum to re-take English and maths GCSEs


Speaking to a careers adviser inspired Bath mum Lee Paget to return to college and re-take her GCSEs at the age of 40.


Mother-of-four Lee is studying for her English and maths GCSEs after meeting careers adviser Helen Jones at a Bath College open day.


She first attended Bath College as a teenager, to study hairdressing for two years, and hopes re-taking her GCSEs will lead to a new opportunity.


Mrs Paget initially wanted to study midwifery and started volunteering at The Royal United Hospital in Bath to gain experience.


She changed her mind after volunteering, but is now a breastfeeding peer support worker and feels positive about her future.


Mrs Paget, a freelance hairdresser who lives in Newbridge, said: “I’ve always worked in hairdressing, or when the children were little, caring.


“I thought I wanted to go into midwifery but I didn’t know how to go about it. I met up with Helen, started chatting and got an appointment booked.


“Helen advised me what to do: first of all to get my GCSEs, to get some volunteering experience and to get a CV on the go. We started from scratch.”


Bath College offers free impartial careers advice through the National Careers Service, including help to find the right courses and training.


Mrs Paget, who will finish studying for her GCSEs in June, is taking two-hour maths and English lessons each week.


She has been an inspiration to her son, who plans to take a year-long carpentry course at the college.


She said: “It helped me put my life in perspective. It just makes you aware of the skills that you already have and it’s been a bit of a confidence builder.


“I needed to take my GCSEs regardless, but we will see what other options become available.”


To speak to a careers adviser call (01225) 328720.


Former student returns to pass on her skills during employability week


Former student Michele Broom returned to her old classroom to pass on her skills during employability week at Bath College.


The week was a chance for students studying  spa therapy, complementary therapies, barbering, and hair and beauty to meet industry experts.


Activities included Hopi ear candling, eyelash extensions, ear piercing, nail art, Pilates, crystal therapy and threading.


Ms Broom, who runs Bath Stress Angels, showed students the basics of bamboo massage, a technique used to  break down tension and stretch tight muscles.


She was in her forties when she decided to switch careers and enrol on a two year complementary therapies course at Bath College.


Fourteen years later, she is a qualified teacher and has her own business providing chair massage sessions for local companies.


Ms Broom said: “I took a gap year at the age of 40 and then went back into education. I was a fundraiser before and I was in sales.


“I became ill, took a year off and I thought ‘I will stop working at the sharp end and do something that feeds my soul rather than my bank account’.


“It’s great to be back at the college. It’s a privilege, that’s the word. You have an empathy with the students because you’ve been in their position.


“I’m so impressed because they picked it up just like that.”






During the week, students met industry experts from Eve Taylor, Eden Rose Salon, MAC Cosmetics and Centre Parcs.


They spoke to Celia Stewart, from Neal’s Yard Remedies, as well as employees from Lush, Younique and Hacketts, Bath.


Bath College lecturer Diana Rowe taught Ms Broom when she started studying in 2002.


She said: “What’s really nice about Michele coming back is that she’s bringing something new to us. It’s really nice to have things go full circle and have her teaching my students.


“We come across a lot of our ex-students. It’s lovely when they come back and teach us their skills – it’s the ultimate compliment.”


Jolene Garside, salon manager at Bath College, said: “It’s been great really because we’ve had so many really experienced and qualified people in.


“The students meet people from a lot of different companies who are working in industry. The skills that they show them are fantastic.


“It’s a great chance to increase your knowledge.”


Vocal coach and music lecturer Lee Risdale to lead new six week singing course


A version of this article was published in the Bath Weekend magazine on January 7.


For Vocal Coach and Music Lecturer Lee Risdale, the key to becoming a successful singer is passion and persistence.


Lee, a professional vocalist for two Soul bands, started work at Bath College with a real desire to work with other singers.


Over the past few years, he has tracked the careers of former students whose musical talents have made it into the newspaper headlines.


The list includes Stos Goneos, from Bite the Buffalo, Chris Georgiadis, singer for the rock band Turbowolf, and Matt Sellors, part of the Bristol-based ska punk band Yes Sir Boss!


Most famously, Lee voice coached singer songwriters Gabrielle Aplin and Laura Doggett, who came to Bath College to study music performance at the age of 16.


Chart-topper Gabrielle, who signed a deal with Parlophone Records early in 2012, found herself in the spotlight after covering Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s The Power of Love for John Lewis’ Christmas advertising campaign.


The 23-year-old keeps in touch with Laura, who was in the year below her at Bath College and found fame when her single Old Faces was used for the new Broadchurch trailer in 2014.


“I could tell they both had their own distinct style and they were each talented for sure,” says Lee, who is researching what makes a truly successful singer.


“Laura had a distinct voice for a female – quite a low and rich-toned voice – and I didn’t want to change that. Sometimes you know when someone has a unique quality. It’s about exploring that quality and making opportunities to develop it.


“Gabrielle’s voice is stylistically more folk/rock. It had a lighter style at first and very soulful, then it got a lot stronger from touring.


“My favourite song of Gabby’s is ‘Home.’ She performed it at the Christmas lights in Bath. When I first heard it I thought ‘That’s a really good song. I thought ‘that deserves to do well.’.”


Lee’s research will form the basis of his new book: The Voice – Mind, Body and Soul. For the book, he has spoken to singers, voice practitioners and professionals around the world to find out what it takes to become the Complete Singer.


In Lee’s opinion, great singers have a certain mindset, combined with the self-discipline needed to develop their skills and an ability to express themselves musically with raw authenticity.


“To become successful in any skill it takes persistence,” says Lee. “Gabrielle and Laura both had a real passion for music and that’s where it begins. They both soaked up styles and music from their favourite artists while pursuing their own unique style.


“As to becoming a star, that’s something different. Not all stars or celebrities have great talent, but they do possess something: a certain mindset.


“You need to have a certain mindset so you don’t hold back. It’s about breaking down barriers and breaking out of comfort zones.There is a work ethic, too. Sustained success takes dedication.


“It’s always interesting to see with any students we have here. They come in at the age of 16 and they haven’t always had the opportunity to express their own music.


“There seems to be a eureka moment for every singer when they latch onto a particular style and they realise what they can do.


“I remember Laura being at the piano. She had written a song and played it and the whole room really fell silent. She got a massive applause afterwards because it was just a beautiful song.”


To many finding fame as a professional singer seems like a fairy tale come true, but in reality professional singers need to work hard to build up their strength.


At Bath College, Lee teaches students vocal exercises to help them extend their range and advises them how to look after their voice.


Next January, he will be sharing his expertise with performers and musicians starting on a six week part-time course.


“Building strength and flexibility and preserving our voices is where the self-discipline comes in,” says Lee.


“There are things you can avoid. Dairy products and Chocolate are things to stay away from because they cause a lot of mucus. Chocolate tars the vocal cords – it makes them less flexible.


“I gave Gabrielle a list of vocal exercises to take with her on her first tour and I know she still uses them. They’re the same vocal techniques that Seth Riggs devised in training Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder before gruelling tours.”


Lee’s course, an ‘Introduction to Singing,’ is open to beginners and performers or musicians who want to improve in vocal confidence and build up a repertoire.


At the end of the course, students will have the opportunity to record their own cover or original song in a professional studio.


“This is quite a special thing,” says Lee. “Not only will singers get to improve and develop, they will have something to work towards and a great reward at the end.


“The level you start at doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you’re getting better. Singers often compare themselves with other more experienced or successful singers and it doesn’t always help that our culture champions competition such as the shaming X-Factor TV shows.


“We have to remember that the race isn’t against others. The race is simply with ourselves because all voices are different and unique.


“That’s the beauty of it. Sometimes you may have to work harder than others depending on your life experience, but that’s ok because it’s so very worth it. We have an incredible Music Team here at Bath College and each of them is worth their weight in gold.”


Lee’s course starts on January 14. For more information click here.


Teenager is the first apprentice to study jewellery making with Bath Aqua Glass


Glass-making experts at Bath Aqua Glass have taken on a new apprentice.


The company, based at Cheap Street and Walcot Street, currently has five apprentices studying at Bath College.


College student Liam Taylor is the first apprentice to study jewellery making with Bath Aqua Glass and  will learn how to make pedants, beads and hanging glass.


He is hoping to develop his design and business skills at the company, one of the last free-blown glass studios in the UK.


Liam, 19, from Paulton, started searching for apprentices after finishing his A-levels at Midsomer Norton Sixth Form.


Hoping for practical hands-on experience, he opted for an NVQ Level 2 in warm glass making instead of a university course.


He said: “I went through a lot of apprenticeship websites. Most of the ones I was applying for were graphic design and mainly involved computers. This one was just really unusual and it was the most creative.


“My friend is doing an art foundation course and when I described what I was doing to him, he was tempted to apply. I thought that was interesting.”


Bath Aqua Glass is an independent business selling a range of free-blown glassware, jewellery and stained glass.


Themis Mikelides, one of the directors at Bath Aqua Glass, started off his own career by enrolling on an art foundation course.


However, he believes that enrolling on an apprenticeship is the best way to get industry relevant skills.


Mr Mikelides said: “You can come out of a college with a glass certificate and not be appropriate for industry.


“Liam will not only learn manufacturing and making skills, he will gain an understanding of how art works in a business sense.”


Many apprentices studying with Bath Aqua Glass stay with the company and others go on to be successful businessmen in their own right.


Former trainee James Devereux started working with the company at 15-years-old and now has his own studio in Wiltshire.


Mr Mikelides is passionate about passing on his expertise to the next generation and keeping the art of glass-making alive.


He said: “Having an arts and craft business in the heart of Bath manufacturing and retailing everything is especially unique.


“We like to use local people and to give young people an opportunity. I want to train up people that will be with us over a number of years.


“We’re working in conjunction with Bath College and I’m hoping that more apprentices like this will start taking place.


“At the end when Liam has finished his apprenticeship there will be a full-time job for him.


“I’m certainly hoping he will be there and all the time and materials we have invested in him will pay back ten-fold.”


Interested in an apprenticeship? Let us know!




What are the next steps to becoming an apprentice?


Our programmes are designed for young people who have either found an employer who will take on an apprentice, or for those looking to find an employer.
Please complete the form below giving details of the apprenticeship you want to take and the employer who has offered you a placement.



Register your interest in becoming an Apprentice using the form above.

College Placement Officer contacts you to discuss the next steps.

Interviews, start dates and enrollments are arranged for you.

You begin paid employment through the programme.


Students Union

January – New You?


Happy new year everyone! I hope you have all had a great Christmas break and ready to get stuck back into college! We have dedicated 3 weeks this month to try something new, motivation and health.


I have been standing at doorways from 8.30am giving out motivational quotes to start their day; it was great pleasure making people smile and wishing them a good day.


For a lot of you, you will have made New Year’s resolutions that you are sticking to. Tess and I ran an event called “Float your hopes” we got students to write their hopes for the year on a balloon and let it go! Lots of you also shared your resolutions on our chalk board, some busy years’ ahead!


Our SU members Ann-Marie and Lawrence ran a First Aid awareness stall to promote the basic first aid to students. It was shocking the amount of students that don’t know the basic first aid which could save lives.


We held a Re-fresher’s fair this month based on a “New Year, New Me” we held this event in our try something new week. We promoted sports, societies, student services, events and ideas. It was great to see so many students getting involved! Our SU members Louie and Henry ran a 3D modelling stall to for other students to try something new.


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