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News

Bath College Business Entrepreneurs enjoy sale success at The 2019 Bath Christmas Market

 

 

Two teams from our BTEC Level 3 Business course have spent the last three months creating their own businesses in the lead up to The Bath Christmas Market. Each team had a Managing Director, came up with a team name and product ideas, and then a business and financial plan for how their business would run.

 

During the months leading up to the Christmas Market they have been working hard behind the scenes, alongside lectures and project work, coming up with posters, and sourcing materials to make their products. Once they had completed their Business Plans they went head to head for the first time, competing for a £50 investment from Metro Bank. This £50 would be a baseline cost to buy materials for their products and print posters and flyers. The pitch to Metro Bank was styled like Dragons Den, with the two teams outlining their business plans and financial forecasts to The Director and Manager of Metro Bank, Chris and Yani. Chris and Yani couldn’t pick a winner and so agreed to invest £50 in both teams.

 

The teams worked closely with local businesses and business leaders, in particular Taste of Bath and Minuteman Press. Helen from Taste of Bath, who had held a stall at The Bath Christmas Market a few times, shared her knowledge of how to sell and grab people’s attention at The Christmas Market, as well as provide advice on their products and set up. She also introduced them to Dave at Minuteman Press, who provided large posters free of charge to help their stall stand out. The team at Minuteman also helped with printing the teams hand drawn cards, and Helen from Taste of Bath visited the students at their stall, despite currently running one of her own, to motivate and give them some last minute pointers.

 

 

Helen said:
“It’s been wonderful to see the Bath College Business students grow in confidence over the months leading up to the Bath Christmas Market, and now all their hard work has paid off and they have had a successful two days of sales. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the process, and I’m glad that I’ve been able to help and offer advice on both their products and The Bath Christmas Market, well done Bath College Entrepreneurs!”

 

The two teams ran the Charity Chalet at The Christmas Market on Wednesday evening (residents night) and all day on Thursday. Team one named themselves ‘Eutur’ and ‘Giving Gifts’; Eutur sold beautifully scented and festively wrapped Reed Diffusers, and was made up of Fergus Blythe (Managing Director), Dala Hodgson, Emily Hayden, Will Davis, Will Dugan, Eleanor Higham and Alex Godrige. Giving Gifts were selling hand drawn Christmas Cards and an array of beautiful jewelleries, they were made up of Ben Betteridge (Managing Director), Freddie Coulson, Emily McCarthy, Mitch Hooper, Kirsten Harkness, Libby Cartwright and Jack Ewings.

 

 

Between the two teams they made a total of £697 over the two days, and each team will be donating 50% of their proceeds to a chosen charity. Eutur have chosen to donate 50% of their proceeds to Make a Wish, whilst Giving Gifts will donate 50% to The Childrens Hospice South West. It’s been a fantastic experience for the students, the Bath Christmas Market is well attended by residents and tourists alike, and they have had the opportunity to network and collaborate with local businesses. The students worked extremely hard, working through a drizzly first evening, and a very busy second day.

 

Kate Knights, Business Lecturer who has led on this project said:
“Our BTEC Level 3 Business Students have been working tirelessly for the last 3 months in preparation for this event, doing everything from bidding for investment to market research to manufacturing the products themselves. I couldn’t be prouder of the hard work they’ve put in and it’s been great to see them reap the benefits and be quite so popular at the market”

 

Team Giving Gifts Managing Director Ben commented:
“I’ve learned how competitive Market stalls are and the importance of good advertising”

 

This is just one of a number of fantastic opportunities available to our Business students, we have a range of Business courses suited to all levels, including Business Level 2 and the International Business Extended Diploma. Click the linked course names to find out more, or for a list of all our Business related courses please click here.

 

News

Bath College Apprentice wins gold at WorldSkills UK Competition 2019

 

The WorldSKills UK Live final, November 21-23, saw the SkillFRIDGE finalists go head to head to compete for the coveted gold medal.

 

The finals were held at the NEC in Birmingham and spanned several convention halls, where hundreds of apprentices from a wide range of industries came together to compete to be the best in their sector. The atmosphere was filled with the nerves and excitement of the young competitors, all focussed on their own specialities.

 

After competing in regional heats, seven RACHP apprentices made it to the WorldSkills Final. Whilst being scrutinised by the judges, the apprentice’s skills were assessed as they completed a total of four tasks.

 

Sidney Copus, Bath College Refrigeration and Airconditioning Apprentice, who won the national SkillFRIDGE trophy, was the front runner going into the WorldSkills Final. In addition to the 2019 apprentices, visitors also saw the return of SkillFRIDGE’s 2018 winner, Dominic Dray, as he competed for a place on Team UK.

 

 

Keith Nichols, ex-training manager from Airedale, returns to judge the SkillFRIDGE competition annually, he noted: “I enjoy doing this each year, it really feels like giving back.”

 

WorldSkills isn’t only about technical standards, but about finding people who are truly passionate about the industry, who exhibit other skills like motivation and determination, but finding someone who could go onto the international competitions too. But following the first task of the competition the apprentices were feeling the pressure.

 

David Dunn, sales managing director of Toshiba Carrier UK, said: “SkillFRIDGE is a superb initiative. It challenges and rewards young trainees to improve their skills and knowledge, and pursue excellence. We are delighted to once again be supporting the competition as headline sponsor, and look forward to the SkillFRIDGE 2020 events planned for next year.”

 

Toshiba Carrier, the headline sponsor of SkillFRIDGE, provided a range of equipment for this year’s competition, including Y-joints and headers for the piping test rigs and graphical recreations of Toshiba outdoor units. The company also supplied a number of controls rigs equipped with various interfaces, including its remote controllers and Touch Screen controller.

 

Another piece of equipment featured at the final was the JAVAC Nitrogen Regulator. It is suitable for testing systems which use R410A refrigerant gas and allows for 300 bar maximum inlet pressure and has a 0-50 bar outlet pressure range. It also includes a ‘T-bar’ handle designed to protect the gauges from impact should the gas bottle get knocked.

 

On Saturday, the final day of the competition, the apprentices came together to participate in a surprise Saturday feature led by Jacinta Caden.

 

The feature was based around the classic construction game, marble run, which kept the competitors engaged whilst showcasing their skills to the public without the stress of competing. The task enabled them to use almost all the skills they needed for the competition, as well as showing their ability to follow direction and work as part of a team.

 

With the theme of this year’s WorldSkills event being ‘Mental Strength’, it is important to draw attention to the benefits events like this can provide. Former SkillFRIDGE competitor, Chris Baillie, acted as a judge at this year’s competition, he noted: “This competition changed my life.”

 

He continued: “I used to suffer from quite bad anxiety, I even used to get sick before competing, but through this competition I was able to improve my confidence and communication skills, as well as my skills within the sector. I like being a judge now because I know what they are going through, I’ve been through it. Knowing what competing did for me, along with the support and help I received from the judges, is what really motivated me to keep participating. I like the idea that I can give that back to the younger generation.”

 

Following the two days of competition and Saturday’s feature task, the Gold medal was awarded to Sidney Copus, Bath College Apprentice with Space Engineering, certifying him as the SkillFRIDGE Champion of 2019. He commented:

“I’m feeling very happy about my win and extremely relieved. After coming top in the regionals, I felt quite a bit of pressure to get a win in the finals and the step up in difficulty was a bit of a surprise. The win’s given me a little confidence boost, but the biggest thing about it for me is all the support and messages I’ve got from my lecturers, colleagues and friends. Everyone has been really supportive the whole way through and I’m glad to be able to win it for Space and Bath College!”

 

Ben Wilson of Knights Engineers claimed Silver and Joshua Collins of JD Cooling came away with the Bronze.

 

In preparing for the competition and keeping cool under pressure, Silver medallist Ben commented that:

“I just made sure I was healthy and drinking enough water, concentrating on the task ahead. It was a challenging but great week; I would do it again in a heartbeat.”

 

He also noted his passion for the industry, saying: “I love that in that you come across new things every day and you never get bored. There’s always more to learn and you get as much out of it as you put in in.”

 

Mr Dunn added in response to the results of the competition: “On behalf of TCUK congratulations to all those who took part in this year’s competition. As the industry’s national event, it takes a high level of skill, determination and composure to make it through to the finals, and this year was no exception. My warmest congratulations to Sidney on becoming the UK’s SkillFRIDGE champion 2019. We wish you all success for your future career.”

 

With the current skills crisis occurring in the UK competitions and events like WorldSkills UK are more important than ever. Encouraging young people to pursue careers within engineering industries should be one of the top priorities for schools, as well as the government as the political environment changes.

 

News

Bath College ranked 6th in the country in annual league table

 

This year’s NICDEX rated 172 FE colleges across England in four categories: employer satisfaction, learner satisfaction, 16 to 18 positive progression and adult progression into work.
 
The criteria is based on performance measures published by the Department for Education.
 
Bath College is ranked 6th in the country overall, beating the two previous years’ rankings of 17th and 16th.
 
52% of Bath College’s Adult learners on benefits progressed into work, while 80% of 16-18-year-old learners went onto positive progression, whether this be employment or Higher Education.
 
Employer satisfaction with the College is at 86.6% while Learner satisfaction is at 82.7%.
 
The annual college league table, now in its fourth year, was created by FE Week editor Nick Linford.
 
“The NICDEX was an enjoyable intellectual challenge to create an annual performance table with an overall score, from a mix of key measures,” said Linford.
 
“Most importantly, NICDEX is transparent. The four measures that make up the NICDEX are published by the DfE.”
 
Laurel Penrose, Principal and CEO of Bath College is delighted with the ranking: “We’re really proud to be listed as sixth in the country. This is a brilliant reflection of the passion, commitment and hard work of Bath College staff.
 
“It is great to see that our learners have a positive experience with us and that we aid them to reach their full potential after they leave College.”
 
Read the full report here.
 

News

New Project SEARCH Interns Experience World of Work

 

Ten young people with learning disabilities have started a year-long internship with Bath & North East Somerset Council.
 

It’s the 11th year the council has welcomed interns from Project SEARCH – an initiative led by the council in partnership with Bath College and Virgin Care. The aim of the scheme is to support young adults with learning disabilities into work.
 

Over the next twelve months the interns will work in three placements across the council. The aim is enable the interns to develop skills, gain experience and grow in confidence and independence.
 

Councillor Richard Samuel, cabinet member for Resources, said: “The average employment rate for people with a learning disability in the UK has dropped to just six per cent. We need to address that and increase the opportunities available to young people with learning disabilities. Project SEARCH enables the interns to develop the skills they need to find sustainable employment. Over the years we’ve had huge success with our graduates finding employment through the programme. I’m sure this year’s cohort will benefit enormously from their time with us.”
 

During their time at the council the interns receive on-site tutoring from Bath College and Job Coach support from Virgin Care. The partners also work with local organisations to help interns find vacancies and apply for jobs.
 

Following the successful completion of their internships next June all graduates will be presented with certificates at a special ceremony at the Guildhall.
 

For more information about Project SEARCH click here.
 

News

Meet the Tutor – Gabrielle Malcolm (Creative Writing)

 

Gaby is one of our Love2Learn tutors, teaching Creative Writing (Love2Learn courses are Bath College’s extensive range of Leisure Courses). She’s recently had success with her book, ‘There’s something about Darcy’, which looks at the character of Mr Darcy from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and is inspired by the ‘I *heart* Darcy’ badges sold in the Jane Austen Centre in Bath.

 

Gaby loves writing, and loves teaching writing during our evening leisure classes. We caught up with her at her book signing to ask about how she got into writing, what we can expect from her book, and what she has planned for her next classes. If you’re interested in a Creative Writing course then you can get a real insight into the lessons, and Gaby’s teaching methods here!

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am a writer with a background in teaching and lecturing. I have worked in a number of universities in different parts of the world before coming to live in the environs of Bath. I have a great passion for theatre and literature and have been able to make that my life’s work.

 

How did you get into writing?

Through my academic teaching and research career. Once you write a PhD thesis you can safely say ‘I’m a writer’! It was after I had my children that I started to find ways of making it more commercial for me and soon started on scripts and content for web-series and writing for children’s theatre.

 

What drew you to Jane Austen?

That was all thanks to my mother, right from an early age. We had books everywhere and she was a teacher and a children’s author. We would sit for hours talking about literature and my mother’s appreciation for Austen’s wit and humour really got me into her novels.

 

What was the inspiration for your book ‘There’s something about Darcy’?

I was stood at a bus-stop in the city, not long after moving here, about ten years ago. I saw a girl carrying an ‘I Heart Darcy’ tote bag and it amused me and made me curious. Why this character for all the marketing and merchandise that was coming out of the tourist sites? Apart from the obvious reasons that he is handsome and rich, of course! There is more to it, and that’s what I chose to explore. Plus, it’s immense fun reading Austen again and watching all the adaptations!

 

Can you give us any sneaky insights into the content of your book?

A couple… How Darcy is like a superhero, for example. And the connections between a hero like him and an anti-hero like Count Dracula. You also get to read some of the behind-the-scenes stories of the shooting of the 1995 BBC Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth as Darcy (there, I’ve mentioned him now!).

 

Where can we pick up copies?

It’s available from 11th November, online and in bookshops, and from the publisher (Endeavour Quill) website. Plus, you can get a signed copy from the Jane Austen Centre bookstore online.

 

How did you get into teaching Creative Writing?

I came onto the Love2Learn programme to teach some leisure literature courses, about Austen and other writers, and as the demand for writing courses grew I stepped in to teach some of the groups and it’s grown from there.

 

How do you structure your Creative Writing courses?

I’m a nuts and bolts, bread and butter kind of writing tutor. I encourage creativity, but I also support potential writers into publication. I look at what’s right for you, what’s your style or preferred genre, and I help you to develop that and find a route into publication or further study. From Love2Learn I’ve had students successfully complete the MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa, get agents, and get published. So, it’s really up to you how far you want to take it. Be warned – it’s hard work!

 

What do you enjoy about teaching Creative Writing?

The students. The characters I get to meet! I have made some great friends over the years and seen them go from strength to strength. The recent winner of the Creative Writing Love2Learn prize, for example, Teresa Fowler. She is now a published poet. Her collection ‘Mixed Rhythms and Shady Rhymes‘ is amazing – I highly recommend it! It’s rare for poets to get into print and she did it with her first collection! It’s published by BLKDog Books, London, and is available online. We’re a talented bunch on the L2L writing stream!

 

Why do you think Creative Writing and Literature are important?

It’s about communication, the human need for story-telling, and the way that we grow in the world and help to shape it. Literature can open doors, and it offers so much enjoyment and opportunity. There will always be the need for it, to expand our horizons. And, take it from me, print books will never disappear. They are as strong as ever, in tandem with digital tech. There are also more ways of getting published now than at any time in the history of the human race – so be part of it, I am!

 

When can we enrol on the next course?

Courses are open for January and the rest of 2020. I offer 10 weeks of Creative Writing, and also 5 weeks (intense!) courses on Writing for Children, Writing for Publication, and Writing for Theatre. And my wonderful talented colleague Dr Kate Mattacks teaches alongside me on the 10 week course as well as delivering her own course on Writing for Well-Being. This gives you the therapeutic angle on creativity and self-expression.

 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Persevere, and believe in what you want to do. Rejection is standard. Most of the time, most people, will not want to read what you write. It only takes ONE acceptance, one person saying ‘Yes’ for you to get an agent or a publisher, so keep going!

 

What’s in the works for you for the future?

I am planning more non-fiction, entertaining reads. And I’m working on a novel!

 

If you’re feeling inspired by Gaby you can enrol on one of her courses by clicking here, or you can see our whole range of Love2Learn Leisure courses by clicking here.

 

We wish Gaby the best of luck with her new book, and we’re looking forward to seeing the next novel!

News

Celebrating Success Case Study – International Foundation Year Student of the Year

 

Bath College hosts the University of Bath International Foundation Year. This is a one year full time course which prepares International Students for entry into their chosen course at The University of Bath. The IFY course covers the key principles, theories and practical skills which are the standard entry criteria for the University of Bath, and broadly based on the A-level syllabus.

 

Claudia was our International Foundation Year Student of the Year at our 2019 Celebrating Success Awards. Claudia’s citation from her tutor Larissa was absolutely glowing, and we have no doubt that Claudia was the perfect choice to receive this award, Larissa commented

 

“Claudia was a pleasure to work with in and out of the classroom, as she contributed with happiness and enthusiasm to college life. Some students are, unknowingly, a great asset to teachers, as they set a culture of excellence and academic rigour in the classrooms, the laboratory and in student accommodation.”

 

Claudia is now studying Chemical Engineering at Bath University, and we knew we had to ask her about her time on her IFY course!

 

What course did you study at Bath College?

I studied on the International Foundation Year.

 

Why did you choose to study on the International Foundation Year?

I knew I wanted to go to the University of Bath and the foundation year was a path to do so with my USA high school diploma.

 

What was the most interesting thing you did on the International Foundation Year?

The Labs were really interesting and a great way to solidify knowledge from lectures.

 

What is a typical day like as an IFY student?

Starting at around 9:30 am, we had class until lunch then a break then more class until around 5pm. Most of the week would be a mix of classes around these timings, though it was rare to have a day where the only break was for lunch. I had a lot of free time.

 

What are you doing now?

I am now studying Chemical Engineering at the University of Bath!

 

What are your aspirations for the future?

I would like to become a Chartered Engineer and to work on solving problems we have today such as fossil fuel alternatives and pollution management.

 

What advice would you give to people looking to start the International Foundation Year?

Work hard but also take some time to explore the city. Bath is beautiful and so nice to just take a walk around. Also, you’ll have a head start on all the freshers in your first year at Uni!

 

How do you feel about winning Bath College’s International Foundation Year Student of the Year?

I am so honored and thankful to be chosen for the award. It was such a nice surprise after so much hard work last year!

 

Claudia has worked so hard, and now she is on her dream course at the University of Bath, we don’t think we can sign off better than Larissa, so we’ll use another one of her quotes:

 

“Claudia has all the attributes for fantastic academic and professional careers, and as a chemical engineer could well effect any one of our lives! We wish her every success for the future!”

 

If you’re interested in what the International Foundation Year can do for you, visit our IFY page here, or get in contact at bathfoundationyear@bathcollege.ac.uk.

News

Celebrating Success Case Study – Higher Education Student of the Year

 

Kian started studying Sport with us at Level 1, gradually progressing through the levels until he ended up on the HND (Higher National Diploma) in Sport and Exercise Science. This Level 5 qualification is equivalent to the second year of a Bachelor’s degree.

 

 

Kian has worked so hard to get where he has, and so he was the obvious choice to be the Higher Education Student of the Year. Kian is hoping to pursue a career in Sport, and on completion of his HND in Sport and Exercise Science, has been accepted on to the final year of the BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science course at the University of South Wales.

 

We caught up with Kian to ask about his time at College.

 

What course did you study at Bath College?

I studied the Higher National Diploma course in Sport and Exercise Science, which is a level 5 course.

 

What courses have you previously studied at Bath College?

I have studied sport at all levels, from level 1 to level 5.

 

What did you enjoy about your course?

The thing I enjoyed most about is the interaction between lecturers and students and the many different styles of teaching that the lecturers provided. This could be interactive lessons or group study sessions. I also made many friends throughout my courses.

 

What made you apply to Bath College?

A family member had attended the college and had told me about how good the teachers and lessons were and that they had a good rating from OFSTED.

 

What do you want to do after College?

I am thinking about pursuing a career either in Sports Psychology or potentially teaching at further education level as a lecturer. I have since been accepted on to the final year of Sport and Exercise Science at The University of South Wales.

 

What piece of advice would you give to students looking to study at Bath College?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you’re struggling that’s what the lecturers are here for; to help you to achieve your best self

 

If you’re interested in studying a Degree Level course like Kian and seeing where we can take you, then you can view all our Higher Education courses here. We also do Access to Higher Education courses, which can help you get on to Degree Level courses.

 

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