Former student aiming to represent UK at global skills competition


Former student Toby Brook is aiming to represent the UK in stonemasonry at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017.

Toby finished his apprenticeship at Bath College in 2015 and went on to compete as part of a winning UK team at EuroSkills 2016.

Now he’ll be taking part in a four-day selection competition in a bid to win a place in Team UK for the WorldSkills competition.

Toby at EuroSkills 2016

Billed as the toughest skills competition in the world, WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 will see over 1,000 apprentices and students from 70 countries come together and compete to be the best in the world.

Toby, who works at Wells Cathedral Stonemasons, will compete against other apprentices and students from across the UK from March 29th to April 1st.

He was selected to compete for a place in Team UK after being invited to join the WorldSkills UK International Training and Development Programme, having excelled in the WorldSkills UK competitions.

In 2015, Toby won highly commended in the WorldSkills UK competition.


Dr Neil Bentley, Chief Executive, WorldSkills UK said: “Participation in the international WorldSkills Competition enables the UK to benchmark apprenticeship standards in this country with those around the world. It also provides us with a global platform to promote how skilled we are as a trading nation, helping the UK secure its future global competitiveness

“Representing your country on the world stage is no easy feat. It takes hard work, determination and the highest level of skill. Toby has demonstrated all of these attributes and many more and I wish the competitors the best of luck as they compete for a place in Team UK.

Team UK for WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 will be announced on April 21st.


Apprenticeships and Jobs fair is a valuable chance to meet employers looking for young talent


Thousands of people looking for new opportunities visited the Bath College Apprenticeships and Jobs Fair.
Over 1,000 college students and school pupils came along with parents and carers to speak to local and national employers on March 22nd.
Employers were available from a wide range of industries, including travel and tourism, hair and beauty, construction, engineering and retail.

The Mayor of Bath at the QinetiQ stand
Staff from the Royal United Hospitals, Bath, and Way Ahead Care, were on hand to represent the health and social care sector at the fair, as well as employees from The Pig near Bath, The Vineyard Hotel, Apex Hotels and Combe Grove Hotel representing the hospitality and catering industry.
Student Ellis Byrne, who is studying engineering at Bath College, said: “The fair was really good. I spoke to five engineering companies to find out what apprentices do and how to continue learning and developing. I’ve had an e-mail from one company who thanked me for going and speaking with them.”

Combe Grove Hotel has just been bought by The Elmhurst Foundation and is being turned into a centre for work-based learning offering apprenticeships in all areas of business, from marketing, administration and finance to hospitality, customer service, estate management and horticulture.
Jenna Morice is already working at the hotel and studying with Bath College as a Level 3 business administration apprentice.
Speaking at the fair, she said: “I’m really happy to be here promoting apprenticeships to people and it’s great to see so many people interested.
“I’ve found it extremely motivating to be learning and working at the same time. You’re working with experienced people, you can go to them and say ‘I don’t know how to do this’ and they will mentor you.”
The Mayor of Bath, Councillor Paul Crossley, attended the fair and spoke to a number of businesses, including Midas Group, Gradwell Communications, Avon & Somerset Police and Space Engineering.

He also met Adam Whittaker, Kieran Gash and Anna Parkinson, who are all apprentices at Rotork, one of Bath’s biggest engineering companies.
Adam, from Bristol, said: “The first time I came across Rotork as a company was here at Bath College’s Apprenticeships and Jobs fair.
“I was volunteering at the fair and studying at Bath College on an engineering course. The apprenticeship route definitely works. It’s a good way of seeing what opportunities are out there locally, and what alternatives there are to university.
“I’m enjoying the range of my apprenticeship, we spend a short period in each department. I’m in the quality assurance department at the moment and I’m going to go to nuclear engineering.
“It helps you to find out what you like doing and the company, they take this into account when you’re looking for a job at the end of your apprenticeship.”

At the Royal United Hospitals Bath stand
Employability adviser Lucy Beattie organised the fair as part of the Bath College Futures Team, which works to provide employability opportunities for young people attending the college and from the local community.
She said: “It was an amazing opportunity for all our students and local school pupils to see the range of employers out there. We know there are people helping on stands this year who met employers at the fair this time last year, and we have had amazing feedback from employers saying how great it was to meet potential candidates.”


Stonemasonry students impress with carvings for Lovell Stone Group competition


Students produced some impressive carvings for a college competition sponsored by Lovell Stone Group.

Full-time and love2learn stonemasonry students spent a week creating carvings to be judged by company directors, who chose four designs to put on display at the Lovell Stone Group stand at the Natural Stone Show.

Taking place from April 25th to April 27th, the Natural Stone Show at the ExCeL arena in London is the only UK exhibition and conference dedicated to the natural stone industry.

Students Sam Bradley, Jeni Wood, David Lambard and Josie Baher will have their work displayed .


For the competition, students were given a piece of Hartham Park Bath stone and asked to create a carving representing the city of Bath. Entries were inspired by the topography, architecture and history of Bath. Some students chose to focus on iconic scenes such as the Royal Crescent and Pulteney Bridge.


James Hart, Sales Director at Lovell Stone Group, said: “The carvings were fantastic, we were really blown away by the quality of the pieces and also the interpretation of the brief.

“We were really impressed by how the students had run with the theme. I know they were coming in outside their normal hours of study, which shows a lot of commitment.


“What we’re really looking forward to is getting people from the industry to come along and vote on them. We’ll have a token voting system on the stand, and in May we’ll visit Bath College to present a cash prize to the winner.”

Stonemasonry lecturer Paul Maggs said: “The stonemasonry department at Bath College were delighted to be offered the opportunity for students to participate in the stone carving competition sponsored by the Lovell Stone Group.

“The students have worked enthusiastically to showcase their skills with outstanding results. We look forward to the next stage where the work of the four finalists will be displayed at the Natural Stone Show in London.”


FoodCycle Bath receives £300 thanks to the second Bath Soup Project


New baking trays will help FoodCycle Bath with its work tackling food waste.
The volunteer-run project has received £300 to buy the trays thanks to the second Bath Soup Project, organised by HND business students at Bath College.
Five community organisations gave a five-minute pitch at the crowdfunding event, raising money for community organisations in Bath with a simple bowl of soup.
FoodCycle Bath received the most votes on the night and the new tins will fit a new oven in place at St Mary’s Catholic Church, making it easier and quicker to serve food.

The project has been serving delicious three-course meals made from surplus food since 2012. Meals take place every Wednesday at 7.30pm and everyone is welcome.
Visitors to the second Bath Soup, at Bath College’s Shrubbery Restaurant, event donated £5 in return for a bowl of soup, donated by the Free Range Chef and a chunk of Bread donated by The Thoughtful Bread Company. At the end of the evening, they chose which organisation to give the takings to.
Those pitching for the cash included the Keynsham Kindness project, Mentoring Plus, the FoodCycle, Bath Welcomes Refugees and Sporting Family Change. Although only one project took the money on the evening, all projects received further offers of support.

Southside Youth Mentoring were the first to benefit from the Bath Soup Project.
Carole Rust, who led the pitch for FoodCycle Bath, said: “The evening has been a great opportunity for sharing contacts and knowledge.
“It’s a bit like our FoodCycle meals – you don’t know what those ingredients are going to do when they’re put together but often the result is awesome. I had no idea we would win the pitch.”
Fiona Bell, hub leader at the FoodCycle Bath, said: “We’re reducing food waste, reducing food poverty and building up communities. We have quite a few regulars and some people say it’s the highlight of their week.”

Employability adviser Lucy Beattie worked with the Bath College students and The Volunteer Centre to plan the event.
She said: “It was a great success, giving the students a chance to work on a live community event and for all of us to hear more about the amazing projects going on in our community.
“It was great to hear how Southside Youth Mentoring are using the funds from the first Soup Project to train their peer mentors and to see new projects being planned for Bath.”
The next Bath Soup Project event is planned for October, follow @bathsoupproject on Twitter


Love2learn exhibition: Artists to showcase their work at 44AD Art Gallery


Picture above by Deanne Lewis

A four-day exhibition at 44AD Art Gallery will showcase the creative talents of students studying part-time Love2learn courses at Bath College.
Titled Palette, the exhibition is inspired by the broad ranges of courses on offer at the college and will include work from a wide variety of artistic disciplines.
The gallery, at Abbey Street Bath, will be filled with fine art paintings, photographs, jewellery, prints and sculptures from March 29th to April 1st.
Work on display will be available for sale, giving people an opportunity to purchase work from emerging and established artists.

Picture by Sophie Overment
Jo Sanders, Deputy Head of Art & Design is curating the exhibition and students from Bath College will be volunteering as guides over the four days.
She said: “There’s always a really high standard of work for the exhibition. Tutors have been collecting work from students over the past couple of months, so there’s a real sense of excitement about the opening.
“Our Love2learn art courses are very popular and there’s a really busy atmosphere in the evenings, with students coming in to learn and perfect their skills.

Picture by Deanne Lewis
“We have a new photography intermediate course for students who completed our beginners course and our ceramics courses are booming – I think people have been inspired by the BBC’s Great Pottery Throw Down.
“Some people might not be aware of this side of the college, and it’s really nice for the students to come together to show their work.
“Katie O’Brien is the project director at 44AD and teaches on our curatorship and studio painting courses. We’re really pleased to be working with her to use 44AD as an exhibition space.”
For some students, the exhibition will be the first opportunity they’ve had to exhibit their work. Prizes will be handed out, including £100 worth of vouchers for the Love2learn student of the year.
An open evening will be held at 44AD on Friday March 31st from 6pm to 8pm and all are welcome to visit. The exhibition will be open from Wednesday March 29th to Saturday April 1st between 11am to 4pm.


Students boost skills with five-month placement at Space Engineering Services


Students at Bath College are completing a five-month work placement with the Bristol-based firm Space Engineering Services to gain hands-on experience to support their studies.
Students Daniel Flint, Daniel Pride, William Duffy, James Dyer and Kamil Danilowicz are studying for the Level 2 VRQ Diploma in Refrigeration/Air Conditioning Equipment Engineering Technology at Bath College.
They are now part of a diverse team at the dedicated refrigeration system manufacturing facility in north Bristol, and will be building on what they’ve learnt at college, with ample opportunity to develop their brazing, electrical, insulation, pressure testing and commissioning capabilities.
Through hands-on experience in a real working environment, the trainees will develop the required skills to move into the next phase of their professional development, which could be the Level 3 Diploma in Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pump Systems.
Space Engineering Services manufacturers an average of 20 refrigeration systems per month at the site in Bristol, many of which are customised to meet customers’ particular requirements.
The students can see how customer specifications are interpreted in the production environment by the firm, whose customer base includes retailers, industrial businesses and public sector organisations.
Tony Mills, Plant Director at Space Engineering Services, said: “It’s vital that we offer opportunities for new talent to join our growing business.
“We have been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm shown by the trainees, their commitment to the work, and how much they have developed in such a short space of time. It’s great to see their genuine interest in manufacturing and desire to progress in the refrigeration and engineering sector.”
Student Will Duffy said: “It’s great to interact with others in a professional environment so I know what to expect in the future. Although I could already braze, I can see how much I have improved in both quality and speed since being here.”
Mr Mills said: “We have worked in partnership with Bath College on a number of initiatives and we’re really pleased to continue to work collaboratively with them on what will be an invaluable career stepping stone for these young men.”
The students will be working for Space Engineering Services for the final five months of their course, between January and May this year.


ICAEW Base accounting challenge: Students come 2nd in regional heat


Students studying business came 2nd in the regional heat for the ICAEW Base accounting challenge at the University of Oxford.
A group of BTEC business and AAT students from Bath College took part in the business and accountancy challenge at St Hugh’s College last month.
The competition is organised and run by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and was open to students nationally.
Teams were asked to analyse a complex case study and identify the actions the business should take to improve its practice.
In the regional heat, the college’s team of business students (Kayley Johnson, Finley Bartlett, Georgia Gentle, Joshua Meyer and Ben Flint) received 2nd place.



Apprentice of the month: James Smith from the Royal United Hospitals Bath


James Smith is working as a Level 2 business administration apprentice at the Royal United Hospitals Bath. He’s working in the hospital’s Quality Improvement Centre and finishes his apprenticeship at the end of May. This month, he spoke to us about his experience so far.
Can you tell me about working at the hospital and what you do as an apprentice?
The Quality Improvement Centre is all about patient experience and health and safety – it looks at how accidents can be prevented. Today my main job is printing papers and organising them for my deputy manager.
I also deliver medical records to staff and I do a lot of scanning and filing. I’ve sat in on four or five meetings and I’ll be doing this again before I finish. I used to work in an elderly care home, so I know what it’s like to work in a care-based environment. I don’t deal with this day to day, but when I see a patient I try and help them.

What do you enjoy about your apprenticeship and what have you learnt?
I’ve learnt that this is definitely the career I want to be in. Data inputting is the most enjoyable thing about my job, I enjoy adding things to databases.
As part of my coursework, I’ve had to talk about understanding communications, managing myself, e-mails, meetings and health and safety, as well as producing documents and managing diary systems. We have to write about all our practical work.
I’ve grown in confidence because my apprenticeship has given me a lot more to talk about in an interview and I’ve grown up a lot (in terms of trying to decide what suits me and what I have to do to get a job). No-one else can decide this for me, it’s something I have to be proactive about.

Why did you choose to study as an apprentice?
I did level 2 public services at Bath College and then travel and tourism. I was searching for a job and I found this apprenticeship after leaving college.
It’s definitely better because you’re getting a qualification and earning money at the same time. I don’t have to work part-time at the weekend and I get social time with people outside of work. I went to college because, at first, I didn’t know what I wanted to do as a career. That’s what a lot of people do and then (when they feel it’s right) they start an apprenticeship.
What’s the next step for you?
If I found a level 3 apprenticeship I would definitely stick to that, and if not, I’m thinking about university. Otherwise, I’ll look for a job if there’s a good progression route.
Do you have any advice for someone considering an apprenticeship?
I would say do an apprenticeship and don’t leave it too late. If you’re not sure what you want to do, get some work experience first. Think about what you want to see yourself doing and find an apprenticeship that’s right for you.


Campaign calling for more disabled sport on TV attracts plenty of support


A national petition calling for broadcasters to show more disabled sport to inspire the next generation of athletes has reached nearly 300 signatures.
Simeon Wakely, from Timsbury, near Bath, set up with the petition with his friend James Ireland, from Essex, after last year’s Olympics.
The pair have been campaigning on the issue with the support of the charity Fixers – set up to give a voice to young people aged 16 to 25.
With the help of Fixers, they have created a film about their campaign, which was shown on ITV West Country, ITV London, ITV Meridian and ITV Anglia last month.

Simeon, a former Bath College student, has Spina Bifida, a condition which stops the spine developing as it should, and needs a wheelchair to get around.
His sporting achievements include playing and coaching for the wheelchair basketball team South West Scorpions and carrying the Olympic torch through Bath in 2012.
He said: “I want to see equal opportunities for disabled people and that’s what motivates me to do campaigns like this. More disability sports shown on TV means that there are more opportunities for people to participate in disabled sport.
“As someone who has done sports for the last eight years, I know that being in a team and being around people who understand what you’re going through is very important.”
Part of Simeon and James’s film was filmed at Bath College last summer, and it also featured British Paralympic athlete Sophie Kamlish.
This month, Simeon visited the college to show the final piece to media students and the students’ union team, who gave some feedback.
Students’ Union President Kez Hawkins said: “I thought the film was really great. I think it’s really good to be pushing for more disability sports on TV – not just wheelchair basketball but all disability sports.”
Sophie, who studied art foundation at Bath College in 2015, came fourth in the T44 100m at last year’s Rio Paralympics.
She said: “It’s very important that people who are disabled see themselves represented on television, especially in sport, showing that we are strong and can do pretty much anything that a non-disabled person can do.”
Simeon, 20, said: “Disability is a label, but it’s not who you are. It shouldn’t define you as a person.
“It’s very important to make sure people understand. Just because we have a disability, it doesn’t mean that we’re not human.”
To sign Simeon and James’s petition click here. To find out more about the work Simeon is doing with local employers and schools click here.


New Construction Skills Centre: Roofing Ceremony

Work on Bath College’s new construction skills centre has reached an exciting stage, with builders about to complete the roofing stage of the build.


The purpose-built facility at Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus in Radstock will be open from September and will allow all construction trades to be taught under one roof.


The team at Bath College took a trip up to the top of the roof to see how building work on the state-of-the-art centre is progressing.


Project Manager Miranda Hill from Midas Group Ltd who are building the centre said:


“The completion of the roof will mark a significant milestone in this project. We’re well on our way to being watertight.


Works on the site are progressing well, the upper roof has been finished, and the lower roof should complete this week. We will then be moving on to the wall cladding and flooring, so the centre is really starting to take shape now.


Karen Fraser, Director of Student Services & Marketing, joined project manager Miranda Hill as they put the final touches to the upper roof.


Karen was invited to drill one of the fixings on the roof and stood on the second floor, made from a giant polished concrete slab. She said:


“It was great to get on site and see how far the project has come – it is exciting to see what an excellent facility will be on offer to students starting this September and beyond.


“Our new workshops will cater for 500 students and apprentices studying bricklaying, construction, carpentry and stonemasonry, as well as plumbing, electrical installation and refrigeration.


“Places are available now for full-time vocational courses for 16 to 18-year-olds, as well as apprenticeships, but they are filling up quickly so students should get their applications in as soon as possible.”


The College are offering local businesses the opportunity to sponsor some of the suites within the new Centre. If your business is interested in joining them please contact daisy.walsh@bathcollege.ac.uk


Find out more about the new Construction Skills Centre.


National Apprenticeship Week: Bath College’s Principal shadows an apprentice


Apprentice Liz Doughty showed Bath College’s Principal what it’s like to work as a trainee veterinary nurse for National Apprenticeship Week.
Principal Laurel Penrose shadowed Liz, who is studying and working as a Level 3 veterinary nursing apprentice with the Bath Vet Group.
She was given a tour of the kennels and cattery at the practice in Odd Down, and was shown how to change a saline drip.
Liz, from Melksham, was working as a kennel assistant at the Bath Vet Group and was offered an apprenticeship after applying for a trainee position to study veterinary nursing.

She said: “Doing an apprenticeship is a fun way to study. I like working at the same time as studying, it helps you apply what you’ve learnt.
“Obviously some days are upsetting because you have a lot of poorly animals, but when you see them go home you know you’ve made a difference.
“I just love the care side of it. I like being able to give them some TLC, and their owners appreciate it if you’re taking care of their animal and you’re talking to them about their pet.
“It’s a very intense course, but our tutor at Bath College has been amazing. I have had a lot of support and I enjoy working with the other students.
“It’s given me a route into the career I wanted. I didn’t think it was possible before, but now I know what I want to do for the rest of my working life.”

Bath College is the largest training provider in Bath and North East Somerset, with almost 530 apprentice in training with over 260 businesses.
The college was chosen as the 2016 Apprenticeship Training Provider of the Year for Bath and Bristol at the Bristol Post and Bath Chronicle Apprenticeship Awards.
Principal Laurel Penrose said: “It’s great value for the employer and a brilliant learning experience for the students. The progression routes are excellent – you can start at GCSE level and go right through to degree level.
“It’s the start of a fantastic career, and I think Liz really epitomises that. She had an interest in animal care, but her interest has become fully fledged through an apprenticeship and it’s affordable (which is the point she made). Without an apprenticeship she wouldn’t have had the opportunity.
“In Liz’s case, she wants to go on to do emergency care. It’s not just an apprenticeship, it’s a doorway to other qualifications. It’s a case of how far an individual wants to take it.”


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.



Studying for a creative apprenticeship: Beth from Bath Aqua Glass shares her story


Beth Howard, 17, is one of four apprentices at Bath Aqua Glass. Bath Aqua Glass is one of the last free-blown glass studios in the UK and is located in the heart of Bath- it has a studio in Walcot Street and a stained glass workshop at its shop by Bath Abbey. Studying as an apprenticeship with the business is a unique experience. Here, Beth shares her story for National Apprenticeship Week.
I studied for a UAL Level 3 diploma in art and design at Bath College for a year and a half, gaining skills in different mediums and techniques. However, I was struggling to decide on a university course and find something that would guarantee a career at the end. Apprenticeships had always been an option, but finding an apprenticeship in the creative field seemed impossible. Through the Bath College apprenticeships board, I noticed that Bath Aqua Glass were looking for a new stained glass apprentice and I jumped at the opportunity.

Being an apprentice at Bath Aqua Glass is extremely rewarding and full of different opportunities that push and challenge you as an individual. I’m learning the ancient skills of stained glass on the job, gaining first-hand experience of all the elements – such as cutting, leading, glass painting, fusing and commissions. Having young people lead the way as the next generation of glass makers (to carry on the British glass industry) is very important to me. It’s about keeping ancient arts and crafts alive for years to come. I am passionate about apprenticeships and how important it is for young people to earn and learn at the same time.
News story: Teenager is the first apprentices to study jewellery making with Bath Aqua Glass

Before working at Bath Aqua Glass I had never cut or used any stained glass. I was thrilled to get the opportunity four months down the line to take part in a stained glass mirror commission and a big commission for the Exeter Life Awards, creating 25 individual trophies. I am mad about colour and how textures are layered. Having the hand-blown glass to use is beautiful and I enjoy creating well-made pieces.

Learning from scratch, I have found elements of my apprenticeship that have pushed me out of my comfort zone artistically and technically. As someone who struggles with maths, I have overcome aspects that have worried me with technical drawings and measurements. I feel that Bath Aqua Glass as a company is one that supports and encourages young people to showcase their talents. They give you the tools, experience and opportunities to become knowledgeable and enriched glass makers once you have completed your apprenticeship.
I chose this apprenticeship because I felt that Bath Aqua Glass would be the right place for me. I felt that I would fit in well with the diverse team and it would be the ideal place for me to grown creatively. My aim is to become as accomplished as the official stained glass artists, to be given commissions and to produce elegant pieces of art – which will be treasured for years to come.


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.



Building a career in construction: Stonemasonry student learns on the job at Saw Close site


Stonemasonry student Morwenna Harrington had the chance to work on a £19 million building project for her work experience.
Morwenna, who is studying Level 2 stonemasonry, spent time working at Saw Close in Bath, the location for a new casino, hotel and restaurant complex.
Saw Close was designed with the help of architects AWW and Aaron Evans Associates, together with Mi-space, part of the Midas Group.

Bath College employability adviser Jason Noch arranged Morwenna’s work experience with the Midas Group, and onsite, Morwenna worked alongside stonemasons from Farmington Natural Stone.
Stonemasons are using ashlar sandstone to clad the new buildings, and they showed Morwenna how to fix the stone panels in place.
Morwenna, 24, is looking for a company to sponsor her as an apprentice so she can continue to study for a Level 3 qualification at Bath College next year.
She said: “The team were really nice. I enjoyed being left to work on the line of ashlar – I built up a bit of momentum.

“Having completed this work experience, I definitely feel a bit more confident going out and finding an apprenticeship. Just being able to say I have some experience is really helpful.
“I was working on the hotel that will be part of the new complex. I’ve seen a lot of new buildings going up around Bath and it’s good to be able to think I’ve helped to work on this one.”
Morwenna, from Bath, is working in retail at the moment, but is hoping to forge a new career in stonemasonry through her studies at Bath College.
Interested in an apprenticeship? Find out about apprenticeships at Bath College here.

She said: “I’ve worked in retail since I was 16. I decided I wanted to do something new, but I didn’t know what I was looking for. I was looking through college prospectuses and the stonemasonry courses stood out. I’m really glad I chose to purse it as a trade.
“Being a female stonemason isn’t something you think about as a career choice, but there are a few women on the course here at college. I did think about what it would be like working on a building site where there are more men than women, but it wasn’t a big deal at all.
“Now I’m in my second year, I’m looking for an employer to sponsor me as an apprentice so I can work and study at the same time.”


Understanding apprenticeship standards: Seven ways you can make the new standards work for your business.


What are apprenticeship standards?
The government is changing the way apprenticeships will work. Apprenticeship standards are replacing the old apprenticeship frameworks – these are a document covering the statutory requirements for an apprenticeship programme.
The new standards are being developed by ‘trailblazers’ which are employer-led groups. The aim is make sure qualifications are rigorous and suit the needs of employers
How can I make the new standards work for my business?
1. Our apprenticeship team at Bath College is on-hand to offer expert advice.

We work with businesses to help them develop apprenticeship programmes in line with their training needs and aid the growth of their company in the future.


2. Think about the areas of your business where you need extra help
Is there an area of your business which is growing? Consider hiring an apprentice if you’re a growing business and you’re thinking about increasing the size of your team. Are you looking for someone with a particular skillset? If you’re looking for an accountant, admin officer, or IT assistant, pick someone who can train on the job.
Want to find an apprentice? Fill out our inquiry form here.
3. Embrace an alternative route into industry
You may have seen the news about plans to recruit apprentices within the police force for the first time. New apprenticeship standards are being developed to offer alternative career routes. Take a look and see if new options are available to you as an employer.
4. You have purchasing power – make sure you use this.

As part of the new system, businesses can choose where to spend funding for an apprentice. Use your purchasing power to make sure your apprentices are getting high-quality and relevant training with the right training provider. At Bath College, we will work with you to make sure that you maximise the return on your investment.

5. Could roles within your organisation be included on a higher apprenticeships programme?

The traditional view of apprenticeships revolves around employing young people from school at 16 into lower level positions within industries (such as construction, hair and beauty or healthcare).
Whilst this is still the case for a number of apprenticeships, it is not the whole story. Higher level apprenticeships begin at the equivalent of a NVQ Level 4. Apprenticeship programmes can go up to NVQ Level 6, the equivalent of an undergraduate honours degree.
This means that the next generation of engineers, computer developers and chartered accountants can be trained under apprenticeship programmes. If you are considering expanding your apprenticeship programme, consider these two things: the areas of your business that could benefit from inclusion and the level of staff training that could be included.

6. Look at the apprenticeship standards which already exist for the roles within your organisation.
The standards show what an apprentice will be doing and the skills required of them. Standards are developed by employer groups known as ‘trailblazers’. Each standard will include details like the duration of the apprenticeship, core knowledge and entry requirements.
7. Consider whether your current training programmes are suitable for future apprenticeships.
If you currently run training programmes for your staff, you need to be thinking whether these are suitable for conversion to apprenticeship programmes. Apprenticeships are work-based training programmes, and can be used to develop employees who are in new job roles (including higher level roles).
If you want advice on the potential options which will be best suited to your business, contact our experts in the Bath Training & Apprenticeship Hub.


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.



You can’t go to university with an apprenticeship: 11 apprenticeship myths and the truth behind these


What do you think of when you hear the word apprenticeships? You may have a good idea of what being an apprentice means, but do you have all the facts? We’ve put together some of the most common myths about apprenticeship schemes so you can decide whether it’s the right career path for you.

For more information on apprenticeships at Bath College click here. 


 1. I’m doing well at school so an apprenticeship is not for me
Studying for an apprenticeship will stretch and challenge you. You’ll also get the chance to learn from experienced professionals and will be set targets to make sure you’re learning at an appropriate speed.


2. You can’t go to university with an apprenticeship
If you want to go towards university, apprenticeship qualifications count towards your UCAS points. At Bath College, we’ve seen this work first-hand. One of our former apprentices, Katie Constantine, is now studying history of art at Bath Spa University.



3. In order to have a good career you have to go to university
Higher apprenticeships offer people the chance to study at university level and progress with their learning. If you have good A-level results (or an equivalent Level 3 qualification) a higher apprenticeship will offer degree level qualifications without the university debt.


4. I won’t be able to change careers if I do an apprenticeship
An apprenticeship will prepare you for a particular role, but you’re not committed to this forever. Many of the skills you’ll learn will be transferrable and, if you choose, you can use them in a different industry.




Want to see our current apprenticeship vacancies? Click here!


5. Apprenticeships are only available in traditional trades like engineering and construction
Yes, apprenticeships are available in the traditional trades like engineering, construction and plumbing. However, there are hundreds of apprenticeship standards for many different types of jobs. You can study businesses administration, management, and accountancy as an apprentice – the list is growing all the time.


6. I’m too old to start on an apprenticeship scheme
There are no age limits for an apprenticeship and from May there will be no fees for mandatory elements of your apprenticeship. Studying an apprenticeship is now an attractive way to start a career later in life for people of any age.

Meet Brett, who decided to study for an apprenticeship with Bath College in his thirties.


7. Being an apprentice is not the same as being a full-time member of staff – you’re just there to make tea and coffee.
Apprentices are treated just like any other employee. Employers are investing their time and money to train you and the goal is to get you ready to work full-time. They want you to become an integral part of the business and to do well in your training.


8. Apprentices are on low pay
Although you may not earn as much as a full-time employee straight away, your employer is paying for and supporting you with your qualification. As an apprentice, you’re able to earn while you learn which is very different from a full-time student (or even university students who will usually need to take out a loan).



9. Businesses prefer to hire university graduates for high-level positions
Employers are looking for people who have relevant work experience. As an apprentice, you can gain that valuable experience and work your way up in a company on a Higher Apprenticeship. An apprenticeship gives you the opportunity to be one step ahead of graduates and be in a management position before your peers finish university.


10. I need experience to get an apprenticeship
An apprenticeship is about developing skills. Employers are looking for passion, enthusiasm and commitment, rather than someone with all the experience needed for the job.


11. Existing employees can’t do an apprenticeship
You can complete an apprenticeship if you’re already in work and this can lead to vast benefits for you and your employer. With the introduction of the apprenticeship levy, employers will be looking for new ways to spend their levy. A proportion of this will be used to upskill existing employees. For example, training aspiring staff through a management apprenticeships programme allows existing staff to progress academically and vocationally in their chosen career.


If you’re an employer, you can find information on apprenticeships here.


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.


Football Academy, News

Bath College to launch new women’s football academy in September


Bath College is excited to announce the launch of a new women’s football academy in partnership with Bath City FC.
Spaces are available for up to 20 players aged 16 to 19 to start training with the academy at Odd Down Sports Ground in September.
The academy will be unique to Bath and will build on the success of the men’s programme with the Bath City Football Academy.
It will also help to meet an increasing demand for women’s football from young players in the past few years.
Sports lecturer Paul Blenkinsopp, from Bath College, said: “We’ve been working in partnership with Bath City FC over the last three years to develop the men’s programme and we’ve also had a number of enquiries from people asking ‘do you offer women’s football?’
“We’re working with the Bath City Community Sports Foundation and they already run training sessions for year 10 and 11 pupils. They’ve told us they have a lot of young female players and coaches, so there’s a definite demand for this.”
Players training with the women’s football academy will train three times a week. One session will be based at the Bath College gym and two sessions will be at Odd Down Sports Ground.
They will play matches on Wednesday as part of the ECFA (English Colleges Football Association) and will study for a Level 2 or Level 3 BTEC in sport.
The college sports department has a number of staff who either play or coach football and, as a result, they are very excited about the new programme.
Mr Blenkinsopp, said: “The big thing is that we’re going to offer something unique for the Bath area, and by working with the community sports foundation we’ll also be able to offer existing students work experience placements.
“It’s a great opportunity for young female football players.”
To find out about the women’s football academy call (01225) 312191 or e-mail paul.blenkinsopp@bathcollege.ac.uk.
You can register your interest in the new programme here.


International business students visit New York to experience life abroad


Photos by Kyle Blackwell
Students at Bath College found out about American culture and what it’s like to conduct business abroad during a trip to New York.
A group of first year students studying international business spent four days in New York and, for many, it was their first visit to America.
The group visited famous landmarks, including the Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, the World Trade Centre and the 9/11 Memorial.

They learnt how to use the city’s transport system, travelling by taxi and taking the subway, and went ice skating in Central Park.
The group were given a tour of the United Nations Headquarters and New York’s famous department store Macy’s.
Student Matt Newberry said: “We found out how they advertise and market clothes, and they explained how the different sections change in colour and style from men’s to women’s.
“Everything is different in America and happens on a much bigger scale. It’s all about mass marketing, they have massive billboards everywhere and everyone is trying to make you spend more.”
The international business course at Bath College looks at how business needs can be affected by international markets, and cultural and political climates.
As part of the course, students are given the opportunity to travel abroad to visit companies and experience first-hand how they conduct business, marketing and event management.

Student Sam Robbins said: “I’m glad I chose to study international business. With other courses, you’re setting out on a particular pathway.
“Business can open doors for you, you can do a lot with a business course. I want to do well in my career so I can travel to places like New York.”
Louise said: “For the students, the experience of going to New York was both exciting and interesting.
“The students are on the international business course, so it is imperative that they experience business and culture in other countries.
“The highlights were definitely the business tour around the largest story in the world (Macy’s) and, of course, the Statue of Liberty.
“The students were fabulous and were a credit to the college, this won’t be the last time our students visit new York!”

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