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Apprenticeships, News

COVID 19 – Apprentice and Employer FAQs

 

Bath College is committed to supporting our apprentices and employers to progress with their programmes during the COVID-19 outbreak.
 
We are continuously investigating new and exciting way to ensure that apprentices are provided with a high quality learning experience during these challenging times.
 
This resource has been designed to support our apprentices and employers by providing detailed information on a range of circumstances which you may be facing related to your apprenticeship programme.
 
If you cannot find your answers here please send your questions to your assessor who will pass it on to our Apprenticeship team who will ensure that you query is answered
 

Bath College approach to supporting Apprentices during COVID-19

 
The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) is implementing new measures, for the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic, to make it easier for apprenticeships to continue and complete in a different way. This is designed, where possible to prevent a break in learning and avoid an apprenticeship programme needing to be resumed at a later date. This will allow apprentices to continue with their learning and complete as planned.
 
The Bath College approach to learning and assessment in the current situation is:
• Delivering training to apprentices remotely and via e-learning as far as is practicable
• Using remote end-point assessment arrangements wherever practicable and possible
• Ensuring that apprentices ready for assessment, but who cannot be assessed due to COVID-19 issues, can have their end-point assessment rescheduled.
• Providing extensions to the assessment timeframe if Gateway needs to be delayed
• Confirming that, where apprentices are made redundant, it is our ambition to find them alternative employment and continue their apprenticeship as quickly as possible and within 12 weeks
 
Please note we may update these details from time to time as we continue to be informed by the ESFA.
 

Frequently asked questions and further information

 
These questions and answers will be updated regularly in line with advice from central government, the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) and Public Health England (PHE).
 
For queries not covered by this guidance, please contact apprenticeships@bathcollege.ac.uk to speak with one of the Bath College Apprenticeships team or contact the National Apprenticeship Service helpline who can be contacted by telephone on 0800 150 600 or email helpdesk@manage-apprenticeships.service.gov.uk.
 
This section covers anything that affects how learning will be conducted and learning activity that will be carried out.
 

Changes to learning and employment

 
1. If I need to self-isolate, what will happen to my apprenticeship?
If you need to self-isolate, please talk to your employer and assessor about the best way to continue with your apprenticeship.
 
Options include:

• an increase in online learning
• a short pause of less than 4 weeks in your apprenticeship while you are in self- isolation. This will not affect the planned end-date of your apprenticeship
• re-scheduling a planned end point assessment activity for a later date.
 
The appropriate steps will be agreed based on you and your employer/training provider’s situation.
 
2. I need to take care of myself/a family member. Can I continue my apprenticeship learning at home?
 
Yes, this will be possible using online learning and telephone/video conferencing support. Please contact your assessor for further information.
 
3. My employer is enforcing a work from home policy and my classroom provision has been withdrawn. What are my options?
 
• Bath College will provide digital or distance learning solutions in most cases.
• In unique cases, agreed with the college, you can take a short pause if it is likely your apprenticeship can resume in less than 4 weeks, and you will still be able to complete your apprenticeship by the planned end-date.
 
Please talk to your assessor to agree the right approach for you.
 
4. My employer is asking me to take a period of unpaid leave/furlough, what happens to my apprenticeship during that time?
 
Where you are no longer able to work, but have not been made redundant, you can continue with your apprenticeship and resume practical work when you return to work. Please get in touch with your assessor who will ensure that remote learning is in place. Once you are back at work, you can resume the practical elements of your apprenticeship.
 
You should refer any queries around terms and conditions, including wages, to your employer in the first instance. We would also ask employers to consider using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme before making apprentices redundant.
 
The ACAS website may also be a good source of information.
 
5. What happens to the apprentice during a period of unpaid leave in terms of monies. Do they have access to Universal Credit?
 
Universal Credit may be available for both workers and the unemployed alike, as long as they meet the other conditions of entitlement (including that the applicant and their partner have savings of under £16,000 between them). Apprentices may be entitled to access Universal Credit during a period of unpaid leave. They may also have access to Universal Credit even if they were working and being paid. Being laid off or on a lesser number of hours could increase the rate of Universal Credit entitlement.
 
Apprentices on unpaid leave may also be eligible for other benefits.
 
Through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.
 
6. How do I record progress towards my apprenticeship while I am subject to different working conditions like working from home?
 
You will already be recording your off-the-job training activity using an approach agreed with your assessor. Please continue to use this in the coming weeks. If your work circumstances change because of COVID-19, so that the minimum 20% off the job cannot be met in the workplace, you will need to liaise with your employer and assessor to agree other relevant distance learning that can be completed during normal working hours, that compliments your apprenticeship programme.
 
7. My employer is laying me off/making me redundant. What happens to my apprenticeship?
 
Please speak to your assessor who will report the situation to our Apprenticeships Manager. If you are made redundant, your apprenticeship training will still be able to continue. Your assessor will still be able to offer training, based on your circumstances, in the short term. The college will support you in finding a new employer as quickly as possible and within 12 weeks. All attempts will be made by the college to work with your current employer to look at all options to avoid any redundancy situation.
 
We would urge all employers to consider using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.
 
8. If I can’t work/attend training, will I still be paid?
 
An apprenticeship is a job with training, so even when you are not able to do your training, you are still employed. You will be paid in line with the details in your employment contract.
 
Where you are unable to work, we suggest speaking to your employer about their polices on pay. The government is providing a range of support to employers to help them retain and pay the wages of employees (including apprentices) during the coming months.
 
9. Due to business continuity measures all staff are required to be available at their usual place of work. How can apprentices continue their learning?
 
If apprentices are unable to attend their scheduled learning events, there are several options available to you:
• Bath College will be providing apprentices with high quality digital or distance learning opportunities to continue with their training. This will continue to go towards their off the job hours and improve their overall skills. The apprentice will need to be provided with time to complete this work during their normal working week.
• they could be offered additional on-site mentor support and shadowing
• they could take a short pause in their learning of less than four weeks while still completing by their planned end-date
Please speak with your assessor to plan the best approach for your circumstances.
 
10. I am having to move staff into different and/or business critical roles that aren’t related to their apprenticeship. What happens to their apprenticeship?

 
It is our goal that apprentices can promptly resume their apprenticeship and continue to successful completion of end-point assessment. In these cases, the apprentice can continue to works towards their apprenticeship programme and distance learning will be provided to continue to deliver all knowledge and theory elements of the current programme. This will need to be monitored closely by their assessor so please keep in contact with them during this time.
 
If that move becomes permanent, you should look to see which alternative apprenticeship your apprentice can transfer to.
 
Please speak with your assessor if this situation is affecting you.
 
11. What do I do if I think an apprentice is not well enough to work (especially in a health setting)?
 
Employers should follow the government’s guidance for employers and businesses on coronavirus (COVID-19).
 
12. I am a non-levy paying employer recruiting for/having apprentices due to start. Can I still go ahead?
 
Yes. Please take guidance from the college as you would for an apprenticeship start in any other circumstances. We will need to enrol your apprentices remotely via skype/phone but a full information, advice and guidance session will still take place ensuring a successful and well planned start for your apprentices.
 
13. What happens to my funding reservation as a non-levy employer, if my apprentice can’t start?
 
Reservations will expire if they are not turned into a commitment within 3 months of the apprenticeship start date, detailed in the reservation. Where a commitment is needed, and a previous reservation has expired, a new reservation must first be made.
 
14. Should employers use the ‘Stop’ or ‘Pause’ apprentice facility in the apprenticeship service?
 
In circumstances related to COVID-19, employers should use the ‘Pause’ function in the service once they have consulted and agreed this with the college. Employers must only use the ‘Stop’ function when they are certain that training will not resume at any point. Using ‘Pause’ will stop payments temporarily and allow the employer and apprentice to resume the apprenticeship at a later date. We are reviewing options to simplify the process of re-starting apprentices on the service, including to facilitate a transfer to a different apprenticeship or employer in due course.
 
Levy employers should contact your dedicated account manager for further details apprenticeship.
 

Changes to assessment

 
This section covers all questions related to completion of the apprenticeship.
15. I am on a fixed-term contract, which would ordinarily have given enough time to complete the training and the end-point assessment. If the training is delayed, and I have not completed my EPA before I leave employment, can I do the end-point assessment afterwards?
 
You should be employed when you are taking your end-point assessment so, where a where a programme has been delayed, and the planned end-date for your apprenticeship will be hindered, please speak to your employer and assessor to arrange how best to facilitate the EPA.
 
16. What will happen if I am not well enough to take my end-point assessment?
 
If you are unwell, or in a period of self-isolation, and unable to attend your end-point assessment, please contact your assessor as soon as you are able, to allow them maximum time to re-schedule your assessment.
 
17. Gateways are being delayed and we cannot complete the end-point assessment in the required time frame. Can we extend the EPA timeframe due to the current disruption?
 
Apprentices who are deemed ready for assessment, and cannot be assessed due to assessor illness, or Covid-19 related measures, are allowed to take a break before taking their EPA, and for the EPA to be rescheduled.
 
If the EPA timeframe needs to be extended beyond what is allowed in the assessment plan (where specified), EPAOs are responsible for agreeing extensions to EPA timeframes during the current disruption. EPAOs should work closely with EQAPs to ensure quality of EPA is maintained.
 
18. Where the end-point assessment plan states that assessment must be conducted face-to-face, but cannot be under the current circumstances, can we conduct these remotely?
 
Where an assessment method requires face to face engagement, this can be conducted remotely, subject to the following conditions:
 
• arrangements are cleared in advance by the EQA provider
• the apprentice’s identity is verified
• remote tests are supervised by an appropriately trained invigilator or assessor:
o who has the necessary qualifications, training or experience
o who has not been involved in the training, preparation or line management of the apprentice
• appropriate technology and systems are in place
• the impact that remote assessment may have on apprentices is to be taken into consideration, to ensure a fair and reliable assessment of occupational competence
• where alternatives are not appropriate, a pause and rescheduling might be the only action. An extension of 12 weeks is allowable for those Endpoint Assessment Plans (EPA) where a time limit is specified from gateway to EPA. It is to be logged on and shared with EQAPs on a timely basis.
 
19. How will invigilation of assessments be conducted remotely?
 
Remote tests should be supervised by an appropriately trained invigilator, or assessor who has the necessary qualifications, training or experience, and who has not been involved in the training, preparation or line management of the apprentice.
 
Tests must only be carried out within a supervised and controlled environment. EPAOs must ensure all testing meets security requirements, and that the details of invigilators are recorded and available for confirmation by EQAPs.
 
20. If the current situation continues for a long period of time, would you consider awarding the apprenticeship without the end-point assessment?
 
Unlike some other exams, the Government would not consider this to be appropriate at the current time.
 
21. Can the timeframe for completion be extended if the completion of EQA activity cannot take place?
 
EQA activity should be delivered remotely and continue within current guidelines. EQAPs should reschedule audits where this is appropriate.
 
22. We can deliver part of the end-point assessment, but some sections require direct observation. How do we deal with these components?
 
These elements of the EPA will need to be rescheduled if they cannot be undertaken remotely. If the EPA timeframe needs to be extended beyond what is allowed in the assessment plan, the EPAO should seek agreement from the EQAP. Where a specified assessment method for a specific standard might be adjusted, without threatening safety, and in a manner in which it meets the original intent, EPAOs should discuss this option with their EQAP, who may refer it to the Institute for authority.
 
The substitution of assessment methods is not considered appropriate at this time.
 
With the prior authority of their EQAP, assessments may be conducted in an appropriate simulated environment, such as a training facility.
 

Additional Information

 
There may be instances relating to some of the circumstances above where a break in learning may need to be considered. If you believe this to be the case, please discuss this with your assessor. This query will be passed on to the Apprenticeship Manager at Bath College for further investigation.
 
Other Useful Links
COVID-19: Guidance for employees, employers and businesses can be found using the link below
www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19
 
Detailed advice from ACAS for employers and employees related to COVID-19 is available here:
www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus
 

News

Applying to Bath College for 2020? What to expect and what we are doing FAQ’s

 

Given the current situation with COVID-19 nationally, we are conducting our interview and applications process slightly differently this year to ensure that you are fully supported and clear of what is expected of you. We have compiled a list of FAQ’s you might have about applications, and will be adding to it as more questions come in so please check back here if you have any questions.

 

If you have a question that’s not detailed on here, or want some general information please contact admissions by emailing Admissions@bathcollege.ac.uk

 


 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

If I apply what will happen to my application next?

Great news, we can’t wait to hear from you. We know there is a little uncertainty about exams at the moment so we want to make your transition to Bath College as simple as possible. Therefore if your current predicted grades meet the entry criteria for the course you are applying for, you will be guaranteed a conditional offer at our college. As part of the condition there are a couple of courses (Music and Performing Arts) which will expect you to complete an online task of two, but you will be advised of that in your offer. Welcome on board.

 

I have a conditional offer already and it is based on achieving certain GCSE results. What happens now?

Your original conditions for your course would have been based on you achieving certain grades in your exams. Given the uncertainty around exams currently, we are writing to each of you individually to let you know that we will use your predicted grades now instead. Welcome on board. Your offer with us is safe and we don’t want you to worry. Make sure you accept your place so we can get excited about meeting you again.

 
 

News

Riley Phillips – Bath College Case Study – IT

 

Riley is one of our hard working BTEC IT students, who is also currently working part time at an IT company called SoVisionIT, Riley is really enjoying his course, and his part time job is helping him get valuable work experience in aspects of cyber security, the sector he would like to go into after he completes his BTEC.

 

We had a chat with Riley to find out what it’s like to be an IT student at Bath College, and what he does in his part time job.

 

What course do you study at Bath College?

I study Information Technology BTEC Level 3

 

What part of your course do you enjoy the most?

The most enjoyable aspect of the course would be the Web development with Steven Harries. I enjoy coding, and Steve’s class is all about that. My future goal in IT is to become a member of a cyber security firm. HTML is a great starting point, to find an error which could lead to the development of my problem finding skills.

 

What have you done on your course that you think has been valuable?

I feel like the most valuable part of my course is the multi-subject part, being able to experience nearly all fields in the IT industry and being able to communicate with others who have the same interest of IT as I do.

 

What made you apply to Bath College?

I applied for Bath College to expand my knowledge in IT and achieve qualifications that can be shown on my CV and help me later in life.

 

What are you doing now/what would you like to do in the future?

I am currently working on software testing. This allows for me to gather experience finding errors and bugs within programs that will need to be always stable. This is similar to work they do in cyber security which is the IT field I would like to go in, in the future.

 

Can you describe a typical day on your job?

I test websites that are used to control tracking systems, web applications etc, clicking each button making sure that it does what it was programmed to do. I work with the development team, they make/fix software designed mainly for websites from clients. They finalise it, pass it on to me and I try my best to break the system. Discovering errors which then can be fixed, preventing future errors.

 

What piece of advice would you give to students looking at enrolling on a BTEC IT Course?

The best piece of advice I would give to students is to just go for it. IT may look difficult to some people, or that they can’t understand anything, but however this course is what eliminates those thoughts. If you’re interested in the subject and want to study more, don’t hesitate and just go for it!

 

If you’re interested in enrolling on our BTEC IT course, you can find it by clicking here. You can find our full IT Course list by clicking here.

 

If you’re interested in IT Leisure Courses, we do evening courses in HTML and CSS.

 

News

Covid-19 College Updates

**Updated 14.05 3rd April** Fully accessible link here
 
 
Bath College campuses are closed to all but a small selection of learners until further notice following the Government’s announcement regarding the Coronavirus. Tutors and teaching staff will keep in touch with students during the closure to aid learning from home.
 
Bath College’s Safe Space for vulnerable learners is due to open on Friday. Students will be contacted individually with invitations.
 
Staff are all working remotely at this time, so are contactable via email, but may take slightly longer to respond than normal as they are teaching online.
 
Please check the website, social media and your emails regularly for updates.

 

All students and parents have been emailed. If you have any queries please contact the College on closure@bathcollege.ac.uk. You can also read the letter sent to parents/guardians here.
 

Laurel Penrose, Principal & Chief Executive

 
 

 
FURTHER INFORMATION
 
Click here for Department of Education Guidance: Closure of educational settings: information for parents and carers
 
Click here for Ofqual’s guidance on exams and awarded assessments.
 

Click here for B&NES information on applying for welfare support.
 
Click here for Parent/Carer FAQs
 
Click here for a list by B&NES of useful links about support for council tax, food banks, housing, debt and grants.
 
Emails are being sent to students and parents/carers that students have consented to be informed. If you did not receive it, you may wish to change your email address the College holds for you on ProPortal.
 

‘Closed’ does not mean you don’t need to study
Neither of our campuses will be open for normal lessons. This means that during the next few months, you will be having online or remote learning that you’ll need to do at home. Our lecturers and managers have been planning for this over the last few weeks and have done a great job in setting up arrangements for this to happen. The way it will work will be slightly different depending on which course you are doing but all College staff are committed to ensuring you are successful in your course this year.
 
Tutorials
You will still be supported by a Primary Tutor during this period. This Tutor may not be your regular Primary Tutor but they will be a lecturer you already know. All Primary Tutors have been planning how this will happen and will ensure that you get all the support you need to progress on your course. They will be ringing you every day and will share tutorial schedules with you at the start of the week. (When they ring you, their number is likely to who as ‘withheld’.
 
English and Maths
If you are studying towards English and/or Maths GCSE or Functional Skills, you will have no doubt heard that many exams have been cancelled this year. Grades are still likely to be awarded though and so it is going to become even more important that you take part in the work that your English or Maths teachers are going to be giving to you as those grades might be given based on what progress you have made in class (and now at home). Your teachers will explain more.
 
Welfare and Safeguarding
Our Welfare and Safeguarding Staff are still around to support you and so if you have a problem or if you have been talking to one of the team up to now, you will be able to do so, just not in person. They will be available during normal College hours on the numbers below.
 
07815 491988
07966 980534
 
Accessing IT at home
Please contact your lecturer or Primary Tutor if you know that you will not be able to access IT from home.
You’ll get another email today or tomorrow from me with some FAQs and advice on working at home but in the meantime please email closure@bathcollege.ac.uk if you have any specific questions.
 
Apprentices and Employers
Please read our full Q&A here.
 
 

News

A spring forward for vocational training

 

An exciting new event called Spring Forward is taking place later this month, focussing on new skills and opportunities.
 
The event is ideal for anyone interested in finding out more about training opportunities in and around Frome; whether you’re a young person getting ready to enter the workforce for the first time, or someone looking to retrain or return to work. Or maybe you could just be looking to learn some new skills and gain some new experiences.

 

Taking place on Wednesday 25th March at Somerset Skills & Learning in Frome, this new event was borne out of a steering group that Frome Town Council set up last September. The group’s aim was to explore what vocational training opportunities are available in and around Frome. The evening will showcase what is currently available, as well as finding out from residents in Frome what other types of training they would like to see in the future.
 
As a collaborative effort, training providers from Somerset Skills & Learning, Edventure, Frome Community Education, Strode College, Bath College and Wiltshire College will be on hand to give advice about the training opportunities they offer. These include a wide range of courses from subjects such as Agriculture; Arts/ Creative Media; Business Management; Catering & Hospitality; Construction; Digital; Engineering; Health & Safety; Music & Performing Arts; Social Care; through to Sports & Leisure.
 
These courses are offered on a full-time or part-time basis; but there are also other practical ways to train including placements, apprenticeships and traineeships. Jobcentre Plus and Skill Up Somerset will also be at the event to give advice.
 
Cllr Maxine Crawley who is part of the steering group said, “The event offers a great relaxed space to come and find out about what’s on offer to learn and train locally. There will be delicious free food available courtesy of the catering students from Frome College, and we will have DJ workshops and Virtual Reality experiences running throughout the event to keep everyone entertained”.
 
The free event takes place at Somerset Skills and Learning, 15 Palmer Street, Frome and starts at 4pm and goes through to 7pm, and you are welcome to drop in at any time.
 

News

Coronavirus Advice for Places of Education

Updated 17th March 6.40pm
 
 
While we have no confirmed cases of Coronavirus, the College has taken the difficult decision to suspend face-to-face teaching for the rest of this week, starting on Wednesday 18th March. We will be closely monitoring the national and local situation over the next few days and will evaluate our position before the end of Friday 20th March. We expect students to be back at College in the week commencing Monday 23rd March unless we inform you otherwise.

 

If you have a vital examination in the next few days, we will be in touch via email to give you more details. All students and parents have been emailed. If you have any queries please contact the College on closure@bathcollege.ac.uk.
 

Laurel Penrose, Principal & Chief Executive

 

 
This guidance will be reviewed daily by 4pm until further notice.
 
If you are a parent of a Bath College student and have not received updates from the College on the Coronavirus situation, please contact Jordan Wilkins on Jordan.Wilkins@bathcollege.ac.uk stating your son/daughter’s name, date of birth and the email address you would like the updates to come to.

 
 

 

Department for Education Coronavirus Helpline

 

A helpline has been set up to answer questions about COVID-19. Staff, Parents and Young People can contact the helpline as follows:

 

Phone: 0800 046 8687

Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk

Opening Hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

 

Where to find the latest information

 

You can find regular updates on COVID-19 (Coronavirus) HERE

 

You can find the Government Advice for Educational setting HERE

 

 

News

Project SEARCH Interns secure jobs in Bath

 

Young people with learning difficulties or disabilities, who want to increase their employability skills and find paid work, can apply for our Project SEARCH internship programme. Each year Bath & North East Somerset Council provides internships from September through to June in professional work environments. The interns learn transferrable skills working in three different departments for ten weeks. This year, our interns have worked in places such as B&NES Offices, Better Leisure Centre, The Roman Baths, Charlton House Care Home as well as many other places.

 

During their time on the course 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.

 

Two of this years cohort of Project SEARCH Interns have secured jobs and had a tea party to celebrate. Jake will be working as a Porter at The Roman Baths, a job he did on his first rotation of his internship. Jake is really excited to be starting his new job;

 

“The Roman Baths was my favourite job, and I’m really looking forward to starting at The Roman Baths!”

 

Jake’s Grandparents attended the tea party to celebrate and they were absolutely thrilled that he had secured his favourite job, they said:

 

“This time last year Jake was a very nervous boy, but Project SEARCH has really helped with his confidence. It’s wonderful to see him being social and happy”

 

Jake on the Job at Better Leisure Centre

 

Matthew, another Project SEARCH Intern has secured a job working as a Porter up at The University of Bath, and says he is ‘excited to do something new’. Matthew’s favourite rotation was working at The B&NES Offices, as he enjoyed being trained on how to use the computer for work.

 

Matthew (left) & Jake (right)

Matthew (left) & Jake (right)

 

Councillor Dine Romero, Council Leader said:

 

“This is the 12th year we’ve run Project SEARCH and over that time it’s proved hugely successful with our graduates finding community-based employment through the programme. It really is a fantastic way to experience the world of work while developing employability skills.  At a time when the average employment rate in the UK  for adults with a learning difficulty or disability has dropped to just six per cent, its essential we provide opportunities like this to help more young people find sustainable employment.”

 

Project Search is open to young people with learning difficulties or disabilities who are aged 18-25, and applications for next academic year are now open. If you know someone who would like to apply for a placement please click here to go to the Project SEARCH Application page.

 

Following successful completion of the nine-month internship graduates are presented with certificates at a special ceremony in front of an audience of family members, programme partners, local businesses and council staff.

 

News

Up and coming local talent competes in Chef v Chef 2020

 

Bath College hosted their annual Chef v Chef competition on 25th February. Six current local chefs, as well as groups of aspiring students competed in a variety of competitions; the Chefs vying for the Chef Champion title, and the students for best team, best knife skills and best Front of House service.

 

The morning focussed on the student competitions, students arrived and grouped into their teams. They then had 30 minutes to plan their two course dinner, including deciding what wines would pair with their food, and who would be in the kitchen and who would lead on the service. Each group had to produce a paupiette of plaice served with a suitable sauce and potato garnish of their choice, as well as a chocolate tart with appropriate accompaniment for dessert. The student selected to lead on service then took part in the Front of House challenge, demonstrating a napkin fold, cocktail and role play scenarios to the judges; Sylwia Ooger from Lympstone Manor and Stuart Shepherd, retired Front of House Manager. Once the students had completed their dishes, they presented one plate to the judges, for tasting and assessing, and served the other plates inside Bath College’s mock restaurant, where they were once again assessed on their customer interaction, their wine suggestions and how they had laid their tables.

 

 

Whilst this was happening, over in the other kitchen, more students were competing in a knife skills challenge. They had just 30 minutes to prepare 6 different vegetables, and cut them in 6 different classic styles (macedoine, paysanne, brunoise, julienne and chiffonade), and were marked from everything from their hygiene to the accuracy of their cuts.

 

 

The second half of the day was the Professional Challenge, 7 chefs from across the local area were shortlisted to compete; Andrew Jenkinson from Lucknam Park, Christian Orner from Salt Co, Dean Toon from Blunsdon Hotel, Jethro Lawrence from Woolley Grange, Henry Scott from Henry’s Restaurant, Frazer Carroll from No. 15 Great Pulteney Street and Jason Ramplin. Each professional had two and a half hours to compile a main course using game meat, and a dessert using Solkiki Chocolate, Williams Pear and Hazelnuts. Bath College students volunteered to act as Commis chefs for each professional during the challenge, to assist them with cooking but also to learn from the Professionals as they cooked. As with the student challenge, the Chefs needed to produce two plates; one for judging and one for presentation. The dishes looked fantastic, and were on display during the awards reception.

 

 

The judges really had their work cut out for them, and spent a while in the kitchen deliberating over who deserved the title. Once they had decided they joined the drinks reception ready for the awards presentation. Delicious canapés had been prepared by the students, and were being served with an assortment of drinks. The first award announced was the Knife Skills Challenge, which was taken by Joseph Rowe; next was the Front of House Challenge which was taken by Daniel Shermilt. The Team Challenge was won by Team Marcus Wareing, consisting of Lucy, Emily and Eryn. Finally, the Chef v Chef Champion was due to be announced, and Dean Toon from Woolley Grange was announced as the 2020 Chef V Chef Champion. Each competition took a long time to judge as each entry was so close, Scott Lucas from The Crafty Chef, and one of the judges commented:

 

“Sometimes you can pick a winner just by their dish, but today it was element by element, it was that close”

 

 

We want to say thank you to all our esteemed judges for taking time out of their day to judge the dishes:

 

 

We also want to congratulate all our winners:

 

Chef V Chef Champion

1st Place – Dean Toon
2nd Place – Frazer Carroll
3rd Place – Henry Scott

 

Team Challenge

1st Place – Team Marcus Wareing (Lucy, Emily and Eryn)
2nd Place – Team Angela Hartnett (Millie, Vicky and Ciara)
3rd Place – Team Paul Bocuse (Ollie, Dan and Sophie)

 

Front of House Challenge

1st Place – Daniel Shermilt
2nd Place – Destiny Smith
3rd Place – Emily Hunt

 

Knife Skills Challenge

1st Place – Joseph Rowe
2nd Place – Jack Goult
3rd Place – Rebekah Paisley

 

News

Students prepare for official Bath Half Massage Tent

 

Students from Bath College have been busy learning sports massage techniques ahead of the Bath Half Marathon on 15th March.
 
Spa Therapies, Sport and Beauty Therapy students from the College will be running the official massage tent in the Runners’ Village.
 
They have been practicing a four-minute cool down lactic acid flush sports massage to relieve the painful muscles of the competitors, who will have just completed the 13.1 mile course.
 
Diana Rowe, Spa and Complementary Therapies Lecturer at Bath College, said:
 
“After the success of last year’s massage tent we have had 50 students together in our College Spa practising their techniques.
 
“This is a fantastic opportunity for them to progress their skills and also lots of fun. We can’t wait for race day.”
 
The College students will be offering all runners a cool-down massage for £5, donating 10% of the proceeds to Bloodwise.
 
Students are offering pre-event massages on 12th March in the College Spa for £17 and post-event Thai compress massages on 18th March for £25. To book in, call the Bath College Academy on 01225 328511.
 
 

News

East Met West at The Mint Room in Bath

 

The Mint Room Bath was the venue for the latest Chefs’ Forum event which saw a celebration of Indian gastronomy led by Executive Chef Soyful Alom.  The first impression of Soyful’s food was of vibrancy and culinary excellence as he showcased his menu, perfected over the last seven years of heading-up the kitchen in the popular Bath eaterie.

 

Ever since its launch in 2012, The Mint Room Bath has been a much-talked-about foodie destination as Soyful offers diners elegant and vibrant plates, showcasing the very best in local produce. The restaurant is very stylish and the food very modern and the team now boast four sites, including the newly opened Bandook in Bath’s city centre on the former Carluccio’s site.

 

 

Soyful invited students from Bath College and Gloucestershire College into his kitchen to prepare Indian canapés for some fifty industry professionals that were to fill this fashionable venue at midday.

 

Soyful said:

 

“It was a pleasure to have the students in my kitchen today.  I was very impressed with their existing knowledge of flavours and spice combinations, their enthusiasm and willingness to learn was really pleasing.  I have offered trial shifts and a free dinner to three outstanding students from Bath College today, that shows how impressed I was with these and all students who participated in today’s event, the second that we have hosted for The Chefs’ Forum”

 

 

Soyful, inspired by his mother’s cooking has been cooking for over 20 years.  He relished the chance to pass over skills he learnt to the next generation.

 

Mark Hyde-Catton, Chef Lecturer at Gloucestershire College said

 

“It has been really inspirational for our students to work with a group of professional Asian chefs, for many it is their first attempt at cooking authentic, fine dining Indian cuisine and experimenting with such intense and rich flavour.  It was also a great chance for them to get to know their peers from Bath College – They all got on very well indeed.  We welcome chefs like Soyful into our teaching kitchens with The Chefs’ Forum Academy, that we implemented in the college in 2016.  The curriculum enrichment programme really forges links with employers, opens up opportunities and makes our students more work-ready on leaving college”

 

Alex Byrne from Walter Rose gave a fantastic beef butchery masterclass, showcasing the finest cuts of Stokes Marsh Farm steak. Soyful then cooked-up the steaks so the chefs were able to sample the finest quality Wiltshire beef, many of whom were already customers of Walter Rose, award-winning catering butcher.

 

 

Another highlight of the day was the Welsh Fine Food Cluster leading a fascinating and insightful Welsh food sampling session. Ffion Jones and Dafydd Jones gave a very interesting talk and tasting of Welsh cheeses, condiments and sauces.

 

 

The visiting chefs and students relished the chance to have a glimpse of complex Indian cooking techniques, handed down from generation to generation.  Soyful performed an excellent cookery demo of seabass moilee, one of the most popular dishes on his menu, usually made with mixed seafood as sampled in extra portions that came from the kitchen for the chefs to enjoy.

 

Bath College student Daniel Shemilt very much enjoyed his Indian cookery experience, he said

 

“Working at The Mint Room today under Soyful and his team has been different and very inspirational.  It was great to learn how to make samosas by hand and I’m delighted to have won a meal and trial shift here on the back of it.”

 

Eryn Beales (front of house) and Ellis Ali (kitchen), both of Bath College have also been awarded dinner at The Mint Room and a trial shift with a view to a part time job if successful, for being nominated as Soyful’s ‘Stars of the Day’ – A great result all round.

 

The Chefs’ Forum holds quarterly events in the Bath & Cotswolds area and forty chef events per year nationally.  Any chefs wishing to get involved should contact catherine@redcherry.uk.com

 

Photo credit: www.jcampbellphotography.co.uk

 

Josh Chambers – Commis Chef Apprentice

Apprenticeships, News, Student Spotlight

Apprenticeship Case Study – Josh Chambers – Commis Chef Apprentice

It’s National Apprenticeship Week this week, and we want to celebrate one of our Apprentices, Josh. Josh is on a Commis Chef Apprenticeship at Graze in Bath, where he learns his trade alongside other experienced Chefs in a busy restaurant kitchen. We visited Josh on site to ask about how he was finding his Apprenticeship, and see what he got up to on a typical day.

 

What apprenticeship are you studying at Bath College?

I am studying on the Level 2 Commis Chef Apprenticeship.

 

What is the most enjoyable aspect of your apprenticeship?

I like bringing what I learn from College to my job at Graze and what I learn on the job to my College studies, it’s interesting to adapt between the two environments.

 

What have you done on your apprenticeship you feel is most valuable?

I think what’s been really valuable is being given the same work and responsibilities as my other colleagues. They don’t treat me differently because I’m an apprentice, so I get real job experience.

 

What made you apply to Bath College?

Bath College has both extensive kitchen facilities for learning in, but is also conveniently local.

 

What do you want to do after your apprenticeship?

After my apprenticeship is finished I want to keep progressing forward in my career. I want to keep learning so I can keep myself motivated and focused on securing a secure job in the hospitality industry.

 

What piece of advice would you give to someone looking to do an Apprenticeship with Bath College?

Go for it! It gives you the opportunity to learn on the job and actually experience the working environment and all that comes with it. You can put what you learn in College straight into practice in a real environment.

 

 
For more information about apprenticeships at Bath College, click here.
 
 

News

Bath Half Family Fun Run 2020 sponsored by Bath College opens for entries

 

The 2020 Bath Half Family Fun Run is open for entries and with 1250 spaces for runners, it is set to be the biggest fun run the race organisers have held to date. This year’s Fun Run is sponsored by Bath College, who are also providing massages in the Runner’s Village to those who are running the half marathon.

 

The Family Fun run is open to all ages and abilities and takes place immediately after the start of the half marathon, starting and finishing under the main gantry in Great Pulteney Street. The course is ¾ mile long and completely traffic free. Runners use the first section of the half marathon course, running down Pulteney Road to North Parade Road before turning and running back again.

 
Entry to the Family Fun Run costs £6.80 for a child under 16yrs and £10.80 for an adult, and there is a free t-shirt for every entrant and a medal and goody bag for all finishers.

 
Race Director, Andrew Taylor said “We are delighted to welcome Bath College back as a local partner for the Bath Half. As the largest community event in the city, we particularly value the support of the local community”
 

“The Family Fun Run is an ideal way to introduce people to running in a safe race environment and to find out what it is like to run a bit of the main course too. It is great fun and open for people of all ages and abilities to take part. It is hugely popular and every year the fun run sells out very quickly, so if you are keen then my advice is to sign up as soon as you can.
 

“If you have a loved one running the Bath Half you can take part in the fun run and still have plenty time to be finished and support them on the course, it is also a good way to keep the kids entertained while you are waiting to cheer your runner over the finish line.
 

Laurel Penrose, Principal and CEO of Bath College said “We are delighted to be sponsoring the Bath Half Family Fun run again this year. We know what an important event this is to the Bath Community and as a college with our roots in the heart of the city, we feel this is a fantastic partnership”
 

The Bath Half Family Fun Run 2020 takes place on Sunday 15th March. Entries can be completed online at www.bathhalf.co.uk/entries. General entries for the Bath Half are sold out but there are still some charity places available on the website www.bathhalf.co.uk
 

News

Bath College Care Academy hosts yet another successful Learn a Skill Day

 

On Thursday January 16th the Bath College Care Academy Learn a Skill Day took place at the City Centre Campus.

 

This has become an annual event at the Academy and this year’s event was bigger than ever. The aim of the day is for students to work with practitioners, as well as people they support, to participate in practical workshops to learn a new skill for the health and social care sector; and thanks to the generosity and enthusiasm of the practitioners and services involved, there was such a broad a range of opportunities on offer during the day.

 

 

Workshops were facilitated on Occupational Therapy, Care and Support Work, Youth Offending Team Support work, Physiotherapy, Mental Health Nursing and Psychosis awareness, Midwifery Skills, supporting Children’s Emotional Health and Wellbeing, Radiography, Orthoptics, Understanding some experiences of young LGBT+ people and social work.

 

Practitioners who took part were from Designability, The Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust, Way Ahead Care, Wiltshire Council, B&NES Early Intervention in Psychosis service, Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, Butterfly Care, Off the Record (BANES), Dimensions, Wiltshire Health and Care, Relax Kids, Banes Youth Offending Team and Winchester University.

 

As well as discussions, the activities they took part in included: experiencing some Physiotherapy exercises, finding out what it is like to be moved in a hoist, looking through prisms, trying out relaxation exercises and experiencing dementia through a virtual reality headset.
As always it proved to be a fantastic way to encourage learners to consider career areas they may not have thought about otherwise, to explore a range of knowledge and skills and to see how these skills are so transferable within the sector.
The learners and staff enjoyed hands on, experiential activities and working with practitioners, and those they support, to discover more about the sector as well as the skills and knowledge needed for the range of roles within it.

 

 

As well as facilitating workshops, Practitioners had the opportunity to attend other workshops.

One of the visiting Practitioners said:

“I really enjoyed working with your students, and learning alongside them. They were very accepting of having an unknown adult in their midst. The workshops I attended were really informative, and the students appeared very engaged.”

 

Some learners have secured work experience placements and others have already starting researching next steps for new career paths they would not have even considered before.
Some of the learner’s comments are listed below.

 

“Everybody was very friendly and informative as well as letting me know about how to become what they are!”

“This really helps me to look further into different careers and what I would like to do!”

“I liked learning things that I didn’t know before, such as how people can benefit from help from us”

“The employers were very good at explaining what kind of obstacles comes in with their jobs”

 

Staff also had an amazing day and have talked about how much this has helped them to broaden their understanding of the sector and enhance their teaching. Thank you again to all involved.

 

Apprenticeships, News

Bath College Apprenticeships and Jobs Fair returns this March

 
Young people will get the opportunity to meet potential apprenticeship providers and employers at Bath College’s annual Apprenticeships and Jobs Fair.

 

This year’s event, which will be more interactive than previous years, is taking place at the Assembly Rooms on 4th March between 11am and 4pm, giving local businesses the chance to showcase their vacancies to local people.
 
This year’s lead sponsors are B&NES, Curo, EDF Hinkley Point C and Persimmon Homes all whom will be found in the Octagon offering apprenticeship opportunities.
 
The fair will be categorised by the types of careers on offer and will include Agriculture, Environmental and Animal Care, Business and Administration, Care Services, Catering and Hospitality, Construction, Creative and Design, Digital, Education and Childcare, Engineering and Manufacturing, Hair and Beauty, Health and Science, Legal, Finance and Accounting and Sales, Marketing and Procurement.
 
Last year’s event was attended by over 1000 young people, with a number of these going on to secure positions at local companies after attending and making the most of networking opportunities.
 
The Apprenticeships and Jobs Fair is open to people of all ages as opportunities will vary in level. Students from schools and colleges will be in attendance but adults looking for opportunities are encouraged to attend also.
 
Ellie Selway, Electrical ApprenticeEllie Selway is currently doing a Level 3 Electrical Apprenticeship through Bath College.
 
She said: “Personally from my experience this is the best route to go down you get paid whilst you’re learning and get a variety of hands on work and theory, an apprenticeship offers a lot of opportunities for progression and as long as you have the right attitude and make the most of what is being offered it can take you far.”
 
Event organiser John Jefferies said: “The fair is a great opportunity to find out about local apprenticeships at Bath College and beyond ranging from Level 2 right up to degree level.
 
“The fair is growing year on year and we have lots of new employers joining us for what will be a more interactive event than ever before.”
 
The event is taking place on 4th March 11am-4pm at the Assembly Rooms and is free to attend.
 

Limited spaces are available to exhibit, please contact john.jefferies@bathcollege.ac.uk for info.
 
For more details about apprenticeships at Bath College visit www.bathcollege.ac.uk/apprenticeships
 

News

Eleanor Penning – Case Study – Early Years

 

It’s our second week back of 2020, and whilst we already have lots going on in the College, we thought we’d kick off the new decade with a Case Study.

 

Eleanor studied on one of our Early Years courses, and is now studying at Norland College, alongside agency work for experience and a job at Waitrose.

 

Norland are a renowned institute for Early Years Education, having moved to Bath in 2003. You may have spotted them around in their tell-tale uniforms!

 

 

 

What course did you study at Bath College?

Children’s Play, Learning and Development Level 3

 

What was the most enjoyable aspect of your course?

Whilst doing the course I think the most enjoyable aspect was placement as it allowed me to put my knowledge and learning into real life situations, increase my communication skills, meet new people and show good practice.

 

What have you done on your course that you feel is most valuable?

 During my time at college I had many opportunities to take part in charity events. One occasion was when we raised money for Children in Need which involved us coming up with ideas, planning the event, working as a team and being enthusiastic.

 

What made you apply to Bath College in the first place?

I knew I wanted to do an Early Years course therefore when I attend a jobs fair I focused on related courses, I then went to an open evening where I felt very welcomed. I also applied to Bath College because of the great support available, the friendly environment and the opportunities they give you.

 

What have you been doing since you left Bath College?

Since I left Bath College, I carried on working in a nursery that I started half way through college. I then started Norland College in September alongside an agency job called Eyears. I left my weekend job at Primark and I am now employed at Waitrose.

 

What piece of advice would you give to students looking to study Early Years?

To work or study a child base course you have to be enthusiastic, passionate and interested in the topic. It is a hard/full-on course therefore you need to be organised and prepared. The opportunities you receive from the course is phenomenal e.g jobs, trips, practice and experience.

 

Eleanor kindly came in to talk to our current Early Years students about progression routes after College and her own progression into Norland College. It was really inspiring for our students to see the success that our past students have had, and we hope it helps spark excitement for their future and career.

 

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