Students Union

December – ‘Tis the season

‘Tis the season to be jolly!


The Student’s Union team have been handing out candy canes this month as a little festive thank you, from us, to you. Hopefully we have seen most of you and been able to wish you well, but if not we hope you have a fantastic (and well deserved) break.


One of my personal highlights this month was the trip we organised to Rush Skate park. This was done from your feedback which always makes it more worthwhile. Those of you that know me will also know I love to skate. Let us know what trips you would like to go on in the new year and we will see what we can get going.




Also in the festive spirit of giving, the Participation Team created a reverse advent calendar. You give a present rather than take one. We will then be sending them off to be given to disadvantaged families in Bath. Thanks for all of the donations, it will make those that receive a gift very happy this Christmas.


Finally some great things are planned for the new year, lots of events and pop up fun! Trips and activities are already in our calendar. Make sure you grab our new program in January for the new term. Lots more to get involved in.


Have a great break.



Apprentice of the month: Stewart Angell from The Genesis Trust


Stewart is studying a customer service apprenticeship at Bath College and working with The Genesis Trust. Three years ago, he came to the Genesis Furniture Project on a work placement organised by the Job Centre and stayed on as a volunteer. This led to his customer service apprenticeship.
Can you tell me about your apprenticeship?
I’m doing a year-long customer service apprenticeship working at the Genesis Trust Furniture Project and studying at Bath College one day a week.
The project provides household goods at affordable prices to people on low income or benefits. As a team, we go out in the van every day delivering items to people. We cover Bath and the surrounding area, including Warminster, Frome, Trowbridge and Westbury.
Every morning we check the phones to see if they have any messages and unload the van, which is full of donated items from the day before. After that, we load the van and go out with a team to deliver. People can come in and buy something from the shop floor (and if they want it delivered we can arrange that).
What was the route for you into an apprenticeship?
The Genesis Trust recommended becoming an apprentice. I knew what an apprenticeship was, but it wasn’t until someone suggested the idea to me that I decided to apply. I was volunteering with the Genesis Trust at the Furniture Project for three years when I had the opportunity to do an apprenticeship. It’s just to give me new skills and to give me something to put on my CV. My ideal job would be a van driver, but I’ve had no luck with this in the past. It’s all about getting better skills and building up my confidence.
You had a difficult time after leaving school, can you tell me a bit about this?
I had ADHD and I just didn’t get the support I needed at school. I struggled through my education and I walked out of school with no qualifications at the age of 16. I went to college to do catering and hospitality, but it wasn’t really for me and I left half way through the year.
I’ve had various short-term jobs working on farms and as a street cleaner, but after leaving education I went off the rails for a few years. Now I’m more mature. I’ve gained confidence through volunteering at the Genesis Trust and through my apprenticeship. Before that, I kept myself to myself so it has made a massive difference to my confidence levels.
How are you finding things so far on your apprenticeship?
It’s learning new skills and getting a wage. If you look at it like that, it’s a good thing. The people in this class at the college are friendly and we get on well.
At the Furniture Project, we have four members of paid staff and three to four volunteers. It’s quite a small team and I get on well with everyone. Every year we close down for staff training and have a team building day. We go bowling and get to know everyone better, which makes it easier to work with each other.
What’s the best bit about your apprenticeship?
I love helping people. When I grew up I didn’t get the support I needed. I like to give people support by delivering furniture so they don’t go the way I did – I know how much they need that help. If you haven’t got the money you need to buy basic things you get stressed out. We have all sorts of different customers, but it’s nice when someone says thank you for something you’ve been able to help with.


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 spread festive cheer by fundraising for the Salvation Army


Students at Bath College are using a volunteering project to spread festive cheer and raise money for the Salvation Army.
The group  of students have raised £62 for the Salvation Army’s toy appeal to support local families in need at Christmas time.
They are all part of the college’s Life and Independent Living Skills (LILS) programme, which focuses on developing life and work skills through practical classes.
Students from Bath College’s City Centre Campus and Somer Valley Campus all took part in carol singing at the Bath Christmas Market.
On December 5 and December 6, students visited the Salvation Army’s base at the Bath Citadel to help pack boxes with Vocational Access Programme (VAP) students for the toy appeal.
The group also enjoyed socialising on a trip to the Roman Baths and Radstock Museum to learn about the history of coal mining.
They spent a day at Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus taking part in Christmas themed sports activities and made Christingles with chaplain Rob Popejoy.
Students have already been working with residents at St John’s Hospital and will be visiting them again to help make Christmas decorations.
Student Engagement Officer Hayley Hayward-Boyle said: “It has been a privilege to work with the LILS students this week.
“The Salvation Army Christmas Appeal was a fantastic opportunity for them to get truly involved with our local community and make a different to those that are in need.
“The students themselves were able to develop their team working skills, creativity and confidence and learn about the true meaning of Christmas.”


Talented stonemason is part of a winning UK team at EuroSkills 2016


Talented stonemason Toby Brook was part of a winning UK team at EuroSkills 2016 – the largest skills competition in Europe.

The 22-strong UK team won four gold medals, one silver and three bronze, following three days of top-level competitions.

Toby, from Wells, did his apprenticeship at Wells Cathedral Stonemasons and attended Bath College as a student. He is now working full-time at Wells Cathedral Stonemasons.

He earned his place on the UK team after winning highly commended in the 2015 WorldSkills UK competition and was the only stonemason from Britain competing at EuroSkills 2016.

The 20-year-old said: “It was a brilliant experience under intense pressure and has set me up to try and secure a place on the team competing at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi in October 2017.

“I would say any young person who is doing an apprenticeship in any trade to try out competitions like this, as it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.”


Toby went to the House of Commons for the UK send-off and received the UK enamel team badge. He then flew out to Gothenburg, Sweden, for the competition on December 1 and had the time of his life taking part in the competitors’ parade at a huge opening ceremony.

Over 70,000 spectators visited the Swedish Exhibition and Congress Centre to watch this year’s EuroSkills Competition and see 500 young people from 28 different countries compete.

Toby has spent over a year training for the competition and had to produce a piece of stonework from scratch, designing templates and sorting out all the angles before any carving could begin.

He was placed under intense pressure, with the competition judges watching closely to make sure competitors were using their tools correctly and safely.

Although Toby didn’t win a medal, he saw teammates collect medals for landscape gardening, games design, welding, floristry, mechatronics and cooking.

For the UK team, this was its best performance at a EuroSkills Competition placing it as ninth out of 28 in the overall medal table.


Ryan Brunt, from Wells Cathedral Stonemasons, said: “When Toby first arrived with us at the age of 16, he was unsure which trade to follow, I’m glad to say he made the right decision.

“He’s grown in to a mature and pleasant individual, and is a natural in stonemasonry. We are proud of what he has achieved in EuroSkills and will support him in any future competitions.”

Daisy Walsh, Head of Technology at Bath College, said: “Toby finished studying with us in 2015 and we have been following his progress with great interest ever since.

“We are extremely proud of how he has continued to develop as a stonemason and are delighted that his time at Bath College has stood him in good stead and enabled him to forge a career as a craftsman in such a specialised area.”


Dr Neil Bentley is CEO of WorldSkills UK which oversees the UK’s regional and national competitions, as well as Team UK’s selection and preparation.

He said: “We are overjoyed – our best ever performance. This competition is a microcosm of how the UK is doing against economies across Europe. You can see us competing cheek by jowl against the French, the Dutch, the Germans, the Scandinavians and others.

“The pressure that these people are under is ensuring that they compete at an international standard, and it’s crucial for the economy and business that they perform at that level.”

Toby would like to say thank you to everyone at Wells Cathedral Stonemasons, Bath College, WorldSkills UK, architectural stonemason expert trainer Kevin Calpin and all his friends, family and fellow competitors for their support.


Students get a taste for the workplace during employability week


Students from Bath College’s Technology Department spent time thinking about where they’d like to work in the future during an employability week organised by the Futures Team.
The week, which included site visits, CV workshops and employer talks, was open to students studying stonemasonry, bricklaying, carpentry, painting and decorating, and engineering.
Business owners David and Catherine Simmonds welcomed Level 1 and Level 2 carpentry students on a visit to Interesting Timbers – a family owned business with its own sawmill onsite.

Students also visited the Somerdale site in Keynsham, on the site of the former Cadbury chocolate factory, where Taylor Wimpey is building up to 700 new homes, as well as a new sports club, a primary school, retail units, a care home and a new medical centre.
They met Liam Drew, who studied at Bath College and secured a full-time job with carpenters Pearce & Priestner after completing work experience on the Somerdale site.



All students at Bath College can access careers advice and employability opportunities through the Futures Team. Students on a course run by the Technology Department take part in employability weeks three times a year.
Employability Adviser Jason Noch said: “Our students are the future of the industry and we know how important it is to help them prepare for the world of work.
“We have some good connections with employers and they are keen to offer work experience. It was useful for the students to see some of the building sites they could be working on.”

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