Students plan acoustic showcase at the Bonzo Lounge


Students are working with Bath Festivals to organise an acoustic showcase giving new musical talent the chance to shine.

Music students at Bath College are holding the night at the Bonzo Lounge, Keynsham, on Friday May 27th.

Local bands and musicians performing include Stone Cold Fiction, The Harry Miller Band, Tea and Biscuits, and Chloe Tyghe.

There will also be an open mic and people will be encouraged to stand up and share their music with the crowd.

Student Emma Pettit is studying for a Level 3 extended diploma in music practice and is in charge of communications for the event.

The 18-year-old, from Chippenham, has an offer to study music event management at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute (BIMM).

She said: “This opportunity with Bath Festivals was a really good way of getting involved and seeing if I was making the right choice for university.

“It’s given us a sense of responsibility, we’ve been handed the budget and we’ve had to do it ourselves, we haven’t been told how to do it.

“It’s an open mic session, so that’s a great chance for people to get their name out there. It’s going to be a really fun night.”

Student Chantelle Hazel,17, from Keynsham is also hoping to study music and event management at BIMM in Bristol.

She said: “We’ve had to find the venue, book it, find some bands to play, hire equipment and make a schedule for the night.

“I’ve had to make sure everyone knows what’s going on. It was scary at first, but now I would feel more confident doing something like this.

“It’s got me ready and raring to go for my university course.”

The event at the Bonzo Lounge has been put together as part of the Bath Education Trust (BET) Award programme.

Hazel Plowman, Learning and Participation Co-ordinator at Bath Festivals, has been working with students on the event.

She said: “We did a workshop in January based on planning your own event and some of the students signed up to carry on and organise something.

“We’ve just been here to steer the ship. They have been very conscientious and enthusiastic, it’s been a real pleasure working with them.”

The acoustic showcase takes place on Friday May 27th from 7pm to 10.30pm. Entry is free.


Bath College wins RHS Chelsea Floristry College of the Year


Bath College has been named RHS Chelsea Floristry College of the Year – making it the top place to study floristry in the country.

A team of floristry students from the college joined exhibitors and world-renowned designers at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this week.

They spent weeks creating their exhibit, a reclining lady with a full skirt of flowers, complete with a floral headdress and parrot.

Chelsea Flower Show pic1

This hard work paid off when judges awarded the college with a gold medal and the prize for best college floristry exhibit.

Floristry student Emily Smith also took part in the Young Florist of the Year competition and achieved a bronze medal.

The 17-year-old was selected to compete in the final after being awarded 90 points out of 100 at the Chelsea Flower Show South West regional heat.

For the final, she was asked to design a floral headdress with a Brazilian carnival theme which could be worn by the judges.

She said: “It was a really hard competition. Four of us hadn’t been to Chelsea before, but the others were seasoned veterans who knew what they were doing.

“I wasn’t expecting to get a medal at all, so to get a bronze was really good. I felt really happy, really relieved that I had a medal. There were so many phone calls afterwards.

“After meeting the other girls, it’s made me feel more at ease doing different competitions. I would love to do it again.”

Emily Smith - Award2

Bath College was given a place at Chelsea after winning RHS Hampton Court Floristry College of the Year in 2015.

The college was one of four colleges chosen to compete at the show, with judges marking exhibits on ideas, colour, composition and technique.

Floristry tutor Jo Matthews was delighted to see her students’ work recognised at the world’s biggest flower show.

She said: “It’s great to see the students have the opportunity to compete. This will give them a really good grounding for their future careers.

“For us as a college we have done Hampton Court twice and then Chelsea.

“We have won gold three times and best college three times, which is really special. Not many people get a gold medal.

“The students are absolutely ecstatic. It’s all about precision and they worked very hard as a team. We can now call ourselves the top college for floristry in the UK.

“I’m very proud of them and it’s great to be at Chelsea.”

Bath College Principal Matt Atkinson said: “I am extremely happy for the staff and students. This achievement formally recognises what we have known for a very long time – that floristry at Bath College is truly outstanding.”


Bath College named as Apprenticeship Training Provider of the Year


Bath College is celebrating after being named as the best apprenticeship training provider in Bath and Bristol at a glittering awards ceremony.
The college was chosen as Apprenticeship Training Provider of the Year at the Bristol Post and Bath Chronicle Apprenticeship Awards 2016.
Bath College works with over 260 businesses, who employ over 450 apprentices, making it the largest provider of apprenticeships in the Bath and North East Somerset area.
Over the last year, the college’s apprenticeship team has increased its provision, working with over 60 companies to offer apprenticeship programmes in nine new business areas.
Barney Willis, Head of Department for Services to Business, said: “It’s the third time in the last four years that we have won this, which is a fantastic achievement.
“It’s a great reward for all the staff because we put a huge amount of work into the apprenticeship programme and we’re thankful that this has been recognised outside the college, adding credibility to the work we have done.”
Bath College was nominated for Training Provider of the Year alongside South Gloucestershire and Stroud College and Weston College.
Apprentice Kyna Wyatt, from Bath College, was also nominated as a finalist for the Outstanding Service Industries Apprentice of the Year.
Judges choosing the final award winner were looking for evidence of apprenticeship growth, as well as a commitment to building relationships with businesses.
They were interested in how training providers encourage individual apprenticeship development and celebrate the achievement of apprentices.
Mr Willis said: “We focused on how we help the small employers. A lot of organisations tend to move toward to the large employers because of the benefits this brings, but we have 173 small employers on our apprenticeship programme.
“That’s only right because if you look at apprenticeships statistically 85 per cent of apprenticeships are with small employers, it’s clear that without their involvement we wouldn’t get as many apprentices trained in industry.
“That’s probably one of the reasons we won the award. We also focused on how we have increased our apprenticeship provision. Following the merger with Norton Radstock College we have been able to look at different areas and it’s widened our appeal.
“Our strategy this year has been to continue to align our offer to the LEP identified priority sectors so that we’re truly helping those sectors that are experiencing difficulties in recruitment and skills and meeting the needs of those employers.”


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.



IT Student is the first college student to be hired at Publitek


Picture: Alexandra Sorton (Account Director), Toby Radnedge-Eddleston,  Lexi Hatziharalambous (Account Manager) and Sally Jones (Board Adviser).


Student Toby Radnedge-Eddleston has a bright future ahead of him after securing a job with a Bath-based global marketing communications agency.


Toby, from Bath College, is due to start work as a Digital Media Executive at Publitek in Brock Street, near the Royal Crescent.


The 17-year-old from Corsham is the first college student to be hired by Publitek, which specialises in business-to-business (B2B) technical marketing.


He is due to finish an IT extended diploma Level 3 at Bath College and was offered the job after an interview set up by the college.


Last year, Bath College set up the FutureSpark Academy to offer students opportunities with technology companies in the South West.

Toby, who is set to finish his studies with top grades, will be monitoring and reporting website traffic and managing advertising campaigns for the agency’s clients.


He said: “I really like the creative side of IT. My college course developed my skills and helped me expand what I was doing outside of college.


“I have my own blog and that’s a big part of why they liked me. It really did seem like a good offer and I didn’t have anything definite I wanted to study at university.


“When I was at the interview, they were saying there’s room to do different things. They were also supportive if I wanted to do a degree later on. It’s nice to see that someone thinks I’m right for the job, that I’ve got something offer.”


Sally Jones, Board Adviser at Publitek, interviewed a number of Bath College students and was impressed with Toby.


She said: “We work in a specialist area – electronics and engineering. Many of our team are degree-qualified engineers and we need people who can really understand and write about technical concepts.


“This is the first time we’ve taken someone from college. This is for a new role in the company and we’re sure that Toby is going to develop and grow in the job. He is clearly very bright and open to learning.”




Picture: Luke Nix and Tom Alcock


Bath College IT students Luke Nix, Tom Alcock and Dawid Cejrowski have also secured their futures as apprentices with Westgate IT.


The students, who are due to start at the end of May, will be helping companies set up and fix IT systems.


Luke, 17, from Bath said: “The thing about apprenticeships is that you’re there to learn. When you go into a job they expect you to do everything straight away, but in an apprenticeship you’re learning as you go.


“When you’re in college and you’re getting close to the end of your course you want to be out there putting into practice what you’ve learnt.


“I’m looking forward to starting at the bottom and working my way up. The college provide a good reference if you work hard and get on with your tutors.”


Daisy Walsh, Head of Department for Technology, said: “It is great to see that employers are approaching us to fill really interesting positions in their organisations. We also have students on long-term placements in other digital and web design agencies via the college’s FutureSpark work experience programme. Toby is a great example of the demand for outstanding IT students in the digital marketing sector.”


Beauty student picked for Team Gym GB as a reserve gymnast


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


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

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


Can you tell us a bit about yourself?


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


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


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


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


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


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


Why did you start studying stonemasonry at Bath College?


I started studying stonemasonry in September 2013.


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




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


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


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


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


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


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


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


What has been the best thing about the course?


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Would you recommend studying at college to others?

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




Interested in an apprenticeship? Let us know!




What are the next steps to becoming an apprentice?


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



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

College Placement Officer contacts you to discuss the next steps.

Interviews, start dates and enrollments are arranged for you.

You begin paid employment through the programme.



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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Adult learners develop business skills on Roots to Work course


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


Apprentice chosen to represent Britain at EuroSkills Gothenburg 2016


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Students share success stories at Volunteering and Employability Awards


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

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

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

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

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

Anne-Marie Caws

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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

Students Union

May – lets talk more

Wow this year has really flown by, it’s crazy! I am searching for a student to take over my role as Students’ Union President as well as signing up people for the Students’ Union 2016/17. While I have been chatting to students I have really realised what a great opportunity Bath college has given me. Being  the Students’ Union President has been the best thing I have ever achieved. I have learnt so much about life and myself. It has given me the confidence boost I really needed and learning skills I already thought I had; even little things like writing formal emails to big things like chairing meetings to organising trips and events. I hope to pass all this on to another student like me, I look forward to them benefiting from this amazing opportunity like I have.
Other than recruiting a new team I have been working with Tess and helping her with her Mental Health Awareness month campaign. We held an event called ‘Chalk and Talk’ we got students to help us draw/write all over the path out the back of the college. Students loved it; there were some great pieces of work. It really got staff and students talking about Mental Health and having a positive look on to what we were doing.  She set up a Welfare festival which went so well! We had an ice cream van, free stress balls, stalls and sumo suits. Everyone got together and took the time to #talkbathcollege it was great to see so many students getting involved on the day, including the music students who played sets throughout the festival. You did a great job!  As part of the mental health awareness month I have been giving out compliments and leaving a sheet for students to take a compliment. Everyone needs to learn to accept and like compliments.
We have had our first GCSE exam this month, the team and I have been out wishing the students good luck and handing out water and fruit to those taking the exams. We are also going to repeat this after half term with the other GCSE exams.
And its half term again! You lot have a good week off. Those taking their exams when you come back don’t forget to take a break during that heavy load of revision!


Students record music at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Talented art and design student secures unconditional university place


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Bath College to advise businesses on changes to apprenticeships

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

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

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

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

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

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



Bath College apprentices


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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