Student chosen as finalist for Young Florist of the Year at the Chelsea Flower Show


A student from Bath College will compete for the title of Young Florist of the Year at one of the world’s most famous flower shows.

Level 3 floristry student Emily Smith is due to head to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show with a team of students from the college on May 22.

She will be competing against 16 rivals for Young Florist of the Year and will also be there to see Bath College compete for College of the Year.

Miss Smith, from Heddington, Wiltshire won her place in the Young Florist of the Year final after taking part in the Chelsea Flower Show South West regional heat.

Judges for the competition, held at Bath College, awarded her 90 points out of 100 for her bouquet decorated with seashells, inspired by a seaside wedding.

The 17-year-old, who works at Devizes florists Ammi, has been asked to design a floral headdress with a Brazilian carnival theme for the final.

She said: “I’ve always been really competitive. I’ve started practicing all the wiring work and all the details. I’m excited to see what everyone does and all the different designs.

“I’ve never actually been to Chelsea and now I’m in it. Everyone at work is really excited, they all have tickets to come and see it. They love following the competition.”

Bath College floristry tutor Jo Matthews said: “I am very pleased for Emily and wish her every success. As a college we support all our students to reach their full potential and are very lucky to have great resources to enable us to do this.”


Going further with Bath College: Festival of Learning 2016


At Bath College we know that learning is a life-long journey, which is why we work hard to provide a wide range of courses catering for people from all walks of life.
Adults of all ages and abilities study at Bath College, to improve their job prospects, to start on a new career path, or simply to enjoy learning as a leisure activity.
The valuable role colleges play in providing adult education is recognised by the Festival of Learning, a national celebration of life-long learning taking place in May and June.
With the festival in mind, we’re taking the opportunity to highlight three ways you can get involved in college life at our city centre campus and our Somer Valley Campus in Radstock.
Designed to cover a wealth of hobbies, interests and specialities, our Love2learn adult leisure courses are perfect if you enjoy learning and are looking to develop new skills.
This year, we already have 1,500 people enrolled as part-time students on a variety of courses, from floristry, photography and cooking to business, decorating and stonemasonry.
We offer a range of courses for people looking to gain professional qualifications or study for an apprentice in accountancy, childcare, marketing, management and teaching.

Students studying creative subjects benefit from access to specialist equipment provided by Bath College’s Art and Design department, rated Outstanding by Ofsted.
Love2learn Co-ordinator Anna Dawson said: “The Art and Design studios are really fantastic and well equipped for courses like printmaking, ceramics, sculpture and fashion.
“People enjoy trying something new and it’s a social activity. People start learning a language, and quite often they come back because they enjoy the group conversation. I know that the Italian classes go out for dinner and our History of Art group have been meeting too.
“Some people have been coming to our Love2learn courses for years. Our tutors are passionate about their subjects and this benefits the learner, they pass on their enthusiasm and knowledge to their students.”
If your dream is to study at university, an Access to High Education Course can help you achieve your ambition and get you the right qualifications to secure a university place.
Most students study at college for three days, choosing to specialise in health and social care, education, science, the humanities or social science.
Bath College’s Adult Community Learning courses are open to adults over 19 and take place in public venues across Bath and North East Somerset.
Students can take part in practical hands-on activities, such as art workshops and animal care sessions, as well as sessions put together to get them ready for employment.
Anna Wheeler, Community Engagement Officer at Bath College, said: “Adult Community Learning is designed to help people of different ages and backgrounds gain new skills and boost confidence.
“Many of our learners have not been in an educational setting for a long time or found school difficult.
“Our courses are often run with other community partners and will give people the chance to meet others, develop existing skills or gain new ones to improve their wellbeing, find work, or better support their family.
“The most important thing for us is supporting all of our learners to move forward – whether it is giving people the ability to cook a meal, boosting their maths and English skills or improving employment prospects.
“We listen to our partners and potential learners to put on courses which they feel are needed in venues they find easy to access.”


Students create arrangements for the Theatre Royal and the Pump Rooms

Floristry students at Bath College have been using their creative talents to decorate two iconic venues in the city: the Theatre Royal and the Pump Rooms.


Students studying for a Level 2 and Level 3 qualification have been busy creating arrangements for business meetings and high-profile networking events.


They have enjoyed working to a specific brief, providing décor for afternoon tea in the Pump Rooms or corporate events in the Theatre Royal’s 1805 Rooms.


Many students are already working in floristry shops and the assignments have provided them with new inspiration and practice time.


Theatre Royal4


Louise Waters, 49, from Tormarton, helped create four arrangements featuring red roses and germini for an event at the Theatre Royal in April.


She said: “Doing flowers for a client helps us to put our skills into practice. It allows us to use the new techniques we have been learning.


“It was a pleasure to be involved in creating flower arrangements for the Theatre Royal. It’s great for our portfolios and to see them appreciated.”


Last year Bath College won College of the Year at the RHS Flower Show, and in May students will exhibit their work at the Chelsea Flower Show.


Tutor Jo Matthews said: “The students are arranging flowers for some high-profile venues and events – I think that’s an amazing opportunity.


“We have some great students this year, a lot of them are already working in industry. They are really committed and I’m really proud of them.”


Anji Henderson, Development Officer at the Theatre Royal Bath, said: “It has been a great pleasure to work with the floristry department at Bath College on three corporate hospitality events here at the Theatre Royal.


“The standard of the students’ floral displays have been exceptional, and their designs for each of the different occasions met our requirements perfectly. We are delighted to be able to support the development of local talent and hope to work with the floristry students again in the future.”


Take part in creative media and product design taster sessions


Students with a passion for creative media and product design are invited to Bath College to take part in practical taster sessions.

Tutors are organising a creative media evening and product design challenge day to show students what it’s like to study at Bath College.

Students looking for a course to study in September are invited to visit, take a look at the college and speak to current students and staff.

The creative media taster evening, on April 28th, is aimed at students interested in filmmaking, design and animation.

Film and video producer Ed Powell will be on hand to help those who want to have a go at Photoshop, animation, and video editing.

He said: “The creative media production course is one of the leading programmes in the South West.

“Learners work on a variety of projects within digital publishing, animation and film production using industry standard software, such as Adobe Creative Suite.

“Those that study on the course thrive in our teaching environment, which offers them the opportunity to work collaboratively on industry-style project briefs using state of the art software and equipment.

“Students who are thinking that media might be for them should sign up to one of the sessions on offer, as it will offer them the chance to chat with current students and sample some of the software you would use.”

Bath College runs a busy product design course. This year students travelled abroad to complete work experience with German manufacturing companies.

The Bath College product design challenge takes place over a day, giving students the chance to see how the design process works.

Participants will be asked to work in small groups, come up with design ideas, and present these on paper to tutors.

Art and design lecturer James Purslow said: “The day is organised to give you a chance to experience product design and offer an insight into how the industry approaches idea generation, design, making, and presenting your work.

“At Bath College, the focus of the product design course is creativity. The course focuses on the development of our learners as creative thinkers and problem solvers. They use drawing and making to develop an understanding and appreciation of visual communication, materials, and historical influences, to inspire and inform ideas and concepts.

“We also provide students with an external client brief, and they will have the opportunity to apply for work experience with a local firm. We can promise more ‘making’ than any other product design course at this level.”

Come along to the creative media taster evening on Thursday April 28th from 5pm to 7pm. For more information e-mail Media@bathcollege.ac.uk.

The product design challenge takes place on May 16th from 10am to 4.15pm. E-mail james.purslow@bathcollege.ac.uk.


Music students to play on the main stage at the O2 Academy in Bristol


Music students at Bath College are heading to the O2 Academy in Bristol to play the biggest gig of their lives so far on the main stage.
Thousands of people visit the O2 every year and the group will be playing on the same stage as famous musicians from around the country.
Eleven acts and DJs will be performing a wide range of music, from acoustic folk and alternative rock, to punk and drum and bass.
They will be showcasing the best of BA1 Records, Bath’s biggest youth record label set up by the college music department.
Music technician Laine Pearce-Rees, who teaches at Bath College and works at the O2 Academy, is organising the event.
He said: “This is a pretty huge deal to get to play the main stage at the O2. Since the venue was opened, so many big bands have graced the main stage – far too many to mention.


“The students are ecstatic about the chance to play. Having this opportunity will be a big boost to their musical CV and will help them visualise what they want to achieve in their careers.
“The biggest challenge I think for many will be stage fright, it’s a big stage to fill and when you think about the musicians who have been there before it can weight on your mind a little.
“I still get giddy thinking that I work in a venue that all my favourite bands have played on, but I know that all the acts will do their best and blow us all away.”
Bath College has a thriving music department and counts Gabrielle Aplin, Laura Doggett, and music producer Julio Bashmore amongst its alumni.
Student bands and musicians playing include rock and indie band Tell The Hoi, The Bohos, Axial View, Coitus Futon, Just Parsons and Euphoria.
Also joining the event is singer songwriter China Bowls, who was recently signed by Bristol’s first female record label Saffron Records.
Georgia Turnbull, 16, from Trowbridge, will be playing with her band Euphoria.
She said: “I feel this opportunity will give the band a lot more confidence and will encourage us to progress even further to become a bigger and better band.”
Band member Ruby Donadel, 16, from Bristol, said: “I’m super excited to play at the O2. I can’t wait to be on stage giving people a taste of Euphoria.
“I’m sure the girls would agree, this is our biggest gig yet and to be given the opportunity to play at this venue is absolutely breath-taking.
“For our friends at Bath College, this will be such a memorable night.”
Students will be playing at the O2 Academy on May 6. Doors open at 6pm and the evening finishes at 10pm. Tickets are £3 on the door, or free with an NUS/Bath College card.


Students secure work experience with top accounting firm Deloitte


Students at Bath College have secured work experience at one of the UK’s biggest accounting firms after entering a national competition.

Twenty students studying BTEC business and AAT accounting courses raised nearly £300 for charity after taking part in the Micro Tyco Challenge.

They were given £1 and asked to increase this amount, using their entrepreneurial skills to collect money for the charity WildHearts.

Business advisory firm Deloitte assessed the students’ performance, looking at the money raised, entrepreneurial thinking, and teamwork skills.

Students decided to fundraise through the website GoFundMe, competing against thousands of others at schools and colleges across the country.

Now five students will have the chance to complete work experience at the Deloitte offices in Cardiff over the summer holidays.

The charity WildHearts funds micro-loans for people in developing countries who want to set up their own business.

To complete the challenge, students produced a diary explaining their business concepts and presented them to Deloitte.

Student Daylan Davies said: “I have taken full advantage of every opportunity that has been available to me at Bath College and look where it’s got me.
“I’ve been offered work experience with one of the biggest accounting firms in the business world. My advice would be to grab anything that comes your way with both hands.”
Bath College tutor James Hammett said: “It was a great experience to work with both Deloitte and WildHearts and give our students this unique opportunity.

“The activities promoted real business thinking and gave an insight into working with a highly reputable accountancy firm.”


Bath College to hold electronic music showcase


Bath College’s music department is holding an end of year showcase to celebrate the success of its electronic music students in 2016.

Produced by Level 3 students in their final year at college, the showcase will include an exciting mix of sound and visual effects.

Industry professionals, performers, labels, producers and promoters will all be invited to meet students and listen to their work.

Later, guests are invited to an exclusive evening at The Nest’s Lounge Bar with back to back DJ sets from students and special guests.

Electronic music students have a regular club night at The Nest, giving them an opportunity to share their work with music fans.

Many students at Bath College go on to succeed in the music industry. In the last few years, staff have seen DJ Julio Bashmore sign a deal with record label Dirtybird and secure his own show on Radio 1.

Others signing record labels include singer songwriters Gabrielle Aplin, Laura Doggett and electronic musician Louis Sterling (AUXX).

Former student Max Goff is touring the world playing bass for Tom Odell, and Greg Feldwick (Slugabed) has signed to record label Ninja Tune.

Music lecturer Ginny Saunders said: “The college’s music department runs a variety of courses, in both performance and production.

“Staff at the college include a number of renowned DJs and producers – Adam Arkist, Badeshi, Raiden, KSP, Second Storey and Appleblim.

“Students have the opportunity to work alongside performers and songwriters, to record and release music, and to stage live events across Bath and Bristol.

“With this in mind, it’s no surprise that the college has established itself as a one-stop shop for musicians, producers and DJs who are serious about a future in the global music industry.”

The event takes place at Bath College on Thursday May 26th from 5pm to 8pm. For an invitation call Ginny on 07712 651679 or e-mail saundersg@bathcollege.ac.uk


Bath College apprentice chosen as a finalist for the 2016 Bristol Post and Bath Chronicle Apprenticeship Awards


New mum Kyan Wyatt has a second reason to celebrate after being chosen as a finalist for the 2016 Bristol Post and Bath Chronicle Apprenticeship Awards.
Miss Wyatt, an apprentice with Bath College, is studying for an advanced apprenticeship in hairdressing at The Courtyard Salon in Chippenham.
She gave birth to her daughter Cherylynn three months ago and was delighted to receive news of her nomination for the final while on maternity leave.
Miss Wyatt, 19, from Chippenham, said: “I love doing hair. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do since I was a little girl, and when I started doing the apprenticeship I fell in love with it even more.
“With an apprenticeship you get the whole package, you’re working and studying at the same time. Two months into my training I took over colouring, cutting and hairstyling. That’s been a good challenge, I was thrown in the deep end which I enjoyed.
“It was a shock to be nominated for the awards, especially as I was on maternity leave, so I’m really happy to be chosen as a finalist. It makes me feel like an important part of the business.”
Miss Wyatt started her hairdressing career by studying for a Level 1 apprenticeship while she was still at school, and quickly progressed to study on a Level 2 course.
She plans to finish her Level 3 qualification in the summer, fitting her time around caring for her daughter and looking after customers at the salon.
Miss Wyatt said: “The salon is really flexible, you can do the hours which suit your baby’s needs.
“Even though I’m on maternity, I worked right up until my due date and I’m already back at college. I’m determined to get my qualification and I want to give my little girl something, I want her to think of me as a role model.
“The best thing about being a hairdresser is having the chance to make people feel better about themselves. I love talking to the clients and I love doing wedding hair – it’s nice making someone feel special.
“My job can be challenging at times, but I know I always have the support of people at Bath College, my assessor, tutor and peers, who are willing to help me and teach me the correct way to do things.
“My dream for the future is to open up my own salon and take on apprentices myself. I have been through it and I know it’s a really good opportunity.”
At The Courtyard Salon, Miss Wyatt runs a general hairdressing column, taking responsibility for her own clients and also providing support to the salon’s newest apprentice.
She has been nominated for the Outstanding Service Industries Apprentice of the Year, sponsored by Mercedes Benz Bristol.
Manager Sam Jones said: “I have worked with Kyna over the last two years and have witnessed her excellent rapport with her work colleagues and the outstanding work she does at Bath College.
“I have no doubt Kyna will go on to a fulfilling hairdressing career, and eventually achieve her dream of opening up her own business in the future”.


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

Spaces available for the Bath City Football Academy in September


The Bath City Football Academy is searching for talented young players interested in developing a professional sports career.

Twenty-five spaces are available for players aged 16 to 19, to start training with head coach Billy Clark in September.

Teenagers will have the chance to play at Twerton Park in the South West Youth Counties League and will complete a national diploma in sport at Bath College.

Bradley Champion, 16, from Bath, started at the academy last year and has enjoyed the opportunity to train regularly.

He said: “I have made new friends, my teammates have become my best friends. When I see them play it encourages me to develop.”

Players at the academy will train three or four afternoons each week, with one or two matches per week.

They will be picked to compete in the ECFA Premier League, the South West Counties League or the ECFA South West North League.

Students can also choose to study two types of diplomas, designed to prepare students for employment or higher education.

Sports lecturer Paul Blenkinsopp said: “A lot of people think ‘you go to an academy and if you don’t make it where can you go?’ We have the right exit routes to help them progress into different careers.

“We’re giving them the best of both worlds. If you’re interested in going to university you will follow our route to higher education course and study for a BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport, which is the equivalent of three A-levels.

“If you’re more interested in employment you will follow our route to employment course and study for a BTEC Subsidiary Diploma in Sport, which is the equivalent of two A-levels, as well as additional qualifications.”

Head coach Billy Clark spent most of his career with Bristol Rovers and is keen to give players the best start for the future.

He said: “In the past we’ve recruited players from far and wide, from Swindon, Westbury, Radstock, Bristol and Bath.

“My aim is to enhance and develop the players, as footballers and as people, preparing them for adult life. Ultimately I am aiming to develop players that will be good enough to play for Bath City.

“An important part of this process is the club’s link with the University of Bath, where players can go to continue their football and education program.

“Some players who progress from the academy programme take up scholarships in America. Others have become coaches and most continue to play for clubs at western league, southern league and conference league levels.

“To date, six players have played for the Bath City first team and many more have played for the club’s under 21 development squad.

“The overall opportunity for students is excellent.”

To find out about the Bath City Football Academy call (01225) 312191 or e-mail paul.blenkinsopp@bathcollege.ac.uk

For website information click here.


Project Search students secure paid work with Bath employers


Project Search students are proving they have the right skills for the workplace by securing paid employment just halfway through their course.

Two students have been offered casual contracts with major employers in the city: The Assembly Rooms and the Bath Recycling Centre.

Eighteen-year-old Kyle Longstaff started with Project Search in November and will be helping with housekeeping at The Assembly Rooms.

As part of the team at The Assembly Rooms, he will work to clean the venue for visitors and set up for important functions and weddings.

Ashley Westcott, 21, from Bath, has also secured paid work helping customers sort their waste at the Bath Recycling Centre.

He will be working alongside Roxy Garraway, a former Project Search student who is now in full-time employment at the centre.

Project Search is a programme run in partnership with Bath College, Bath and North East Somerset Council and Sirona Health and Care.

The aim is to help young people with learning difficulties and disabilities secure paid permanent jobs at the end of a year-long employability programme.

Kyle, from Saltford, was advised to apply for Project Search after starting a woodworking course at Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus.

The programme has given him a big confidence boost, helping him to get ready for work and improve his customer service skills.
He said: “Project Search is helpful for me because I wasn’t able to get a job before. This is my first paid job so it feels good.

“I was quite quiet at first and I didn’t want to do much, but now I feel more confident and I enjoy getting out of the house and doing something.”

Project Search tutor Catherine Stargatt said: “The thing about Project Search is there’s an end product, there’s something they’re working towards, which is a full-time job. Last year we ended up getting eight out of ten students employment.

“We’re really pleased that some of our students have already found some casual work. Kyle came to the programme late, he missed the first couple of months, and he worked really hard to catch up.

“He has gone from strength to strength, he has been exceptionally quick to learn new tasks and has impressed his employer no end. He has been advised to apply for a permanent position when he finishes Project Search.”

Project Search is accepting applications for new students, who must have an EHCP (Statement of Educational Needs).
Visitors are welcome to an open event at the Guildhall, Bath, on May 4 from 10am to 2pm.
For more information click here.


Tutor’s head shave raises nearly £500 for cancer charity CLIC Sargent


A Bath College tutor has had her head shaved to raise money for charity and encourage young people to talk about cancer.

Public services tutor Sarah Bishop has raised nearly £500 for children diagnosed with cancer after braving CLIC Sargent’s Big Buzz Challenge.

Students from the college supported the fundraiser and were keen to rally round after hearing how Sarah’s family has been affected by cancer.

Sarah’s mum, Karin, has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and her dad, Islwyn, has also been diagnosed with lung cancer.

Karin, who worked as a nurse for 52 years, is a big charity fundraiser and used to look after terminally ill adults and young people as part of her job.

Sarah, from Bristol, was keen to get students talking about cancer to raise awareness and stop it being a taboo subject.

She said: “The first time I had my head shaved was when my mum was going through chemotherapy and her hair had fallen out.

“There are lots of ways to fundraise, but when a female has her head shaved it’s noticeable. Hopefully people will say to me ‘why did you have it done?’ and then I can support the charity and say ‘I’m raising money for CLIC Sargent’.

“It’s a case of trying to raise awareness to get as much money to fund the research and hopefully find a cure.”

Students watched Sarah have her head shaved in the Bath college salon. Seventeen-year-old Beth Rivers was part of the volunteering team and helped to collect money on the street and order t-shirts and posters.

She said: “Sarah was very open about her story and it almost shocked us to speak about it, because we didn’t want to say the wrong thing. Now we can just talk about it.”


Sarah said: “When you hear cancer on the news it’s always about adult cancer, but with the students being teenagers, it was good to relate things back to that group.

“They have done really well, they have t-shirts and balloons and they have been collecting around offices in the town. I know it’s my head being shaved, but it’s them doing all the publicity, they have taken the responsibility for it.”

CLIC Sargent fundraising manager James McDonald, who attended the fundraiser, said: “This is the best bit of my job. It’s great that Sarah could take part in the Big Buzz Challenge for CLIC Sargent to support children and young people with cancer.

“It’s thanks to supporters like Sarah that we could help 6,800 children and young people with cancer last year.”

To sponsor Sarah click here.

Students Union

April – walkies

After a crazy busy month we have just got back from a lovely 2 week Easter break.  Day one back and we are getting straight back into the swing of it.


I have set up a re-charge centre where students can charge their electronic devices outside the college shop. This gave me a chance to talk to students about the Student’s Union nominations, trips and ideas.
We have been talking about a new online voting system for students to get their ideas to us.  Students would be able to submit an idea, other students could then vote on it,  the ideas with the most votes will then come to us to make happen!  So there has been a lot of meetings, ideas, planning and designs relating to that.  It’s all very exciting, you guys are going to love it!
WE ARE GOING TO AIR HOP!! you asked for it, so we did it.  29 students got involved in the trip to Bristol’s trampoline park. They all had a great time, including Scarlett and Nick of course.
Our other big event this month was our 13 mile sponsored walk from city centre campus to Somer Valley campus all for charity. Loads of students and staff got together and walked the beautiful valley to each campus taking 6 ½ hours. This is the second time we have done this and looks set to become and annual fundraiser.
Finally, I have made the decision not to run again for Student’s Union President next year, not because of the job its self. I want to pursue a career in youth work. This means it is giving another student the chance to have this amazing opportunity to be Bath College Students’ Union President.




Students to showcase their music by running a new club night at The Nest


A new club night at The Nest will feature original compositions created by music technology students at Bath College.
Level 3 students entertained a large crowd at the first Isotropic club night in March, playing a mixture of electronic and urban music.
After a successful first night, they have been offered a regular slot at The Nest, which is keen to support young and emerging artists.
The night will be an opportunity for students to play their music in public and learn valuable skills in event management.
Mark Smithers, learning coordinator for music technology, is excited to see the club night become an established part of the Bath music scene.
He said: “This is an exciting opportunity for students to showcase their own compositions in a public venue. It’s quite a big step up from DJing and performing in college, and we’re very proud they’re doing that.
“It was extremely busy on our opening night, which was a very promising sign- it shows that the students can put on a good event.
“It got to midnight and people just kept coming in, so that by 1.30am the venue was completely full. To fill a venue with that many people was testament to how hard the students worked.”
Students made £150 profit from their first night at The Nest and this money will be used to turn the club night into a successful business, paying for décor and merchandise.
Each night will be organised by students, giving them experience of organising an event from start to finish.
Music technology student Taylor Lyon, 18, said: “It’s exciting to have the chance to show people what you can do. As soon as you see people enjoying it, it takes the pressure off. I’m glad everyone enjoyed it and I hope we get more people next time.”
Bath College has a thriving music department and counts chart toppers Gabrielle Aplin and Laura Doggett amongst its alumni. Laura, who studied music performance, played at The Nest last year before going on to support Taylor Swift at the British Summer Time festival.
It is hoped the club night will help other students build successful careers and find employment in the music industry.
Mr Smithers said: “We used the first event as a bit of networking opportunity. We invited people from industry down, our local radio stations, record labels and any movers and shakers in the music world.
“It’s all about work-based learning opportunities and linking with employers. The events management industry has a range of roles that students can work in and this is giving them direct experience of a job they can do on completion of their course.”
Max Johnson, who owns The Nest, said: “We like to encourage young musicians, whether they are DJs, acoustic musicians or live bands.
“They are the people who are producing new music for the future, so I’m really pleased to have this link with Bath College.”
The next Isotropic club night is on April 18, starting at 10pm.


Hundreds visit the Bath College Futures Apprenticeship and Jobs Fair

Hundreds of people had the chance to network with employers at the Bath College Futures Apprenticeship and Jobs Fair.


Over 800 pupils and college students came along with parents and carers to find out about career opportunities at the event on March 23.


They were able to choose from over 50 stallholders, from a wide range of industries such as travel and tourism, construction, law, healthcare and retail.


There was the chance to try out an ejector seat, brought by QinetiQ, and taste flambéed pineapple from the Bath Hotel and Restaurant School.


Apprenticeships at Rotork, a major employer in the South West, were on hand to speak to people and brought in an actuator to display.


Bath Mayor William Sandry visited the event and had a go at stonemasonry with the help of Bath College apprentice Michael Colston.


He said: “The Apprenticeship and Jobs Fair was a genuinely impressive event. It was great to see such a diversity and quantity of both local and national employers, all of whom had good quality apprenticeships on offer to the visitors.


“The event was very well attended and all the visitors were able to talk to existing apprentices who all seemed enthusiastic, engaged and happy in their roles and were great ambassadors for apprenticeship programmes.”


As well as speaking to stallholders, visitors had the chance to take part in mock interviews and listen to several short talks. A number of experience placements and interviews were offered on the day.


The government has a target to recruit three million apprenticeships by 2020, and during the event, Bath College hosted the Ambition 2020 torch.


Katherine Lusty, from the Co-operative food store in Radstock, said: “Today wasn’t all about offering jobs, it was about educating people about what else is available in retail – not just stacking shelves and working on tills, but the varied career paths in finance, logistics and HR, as well as general retail.”


Employability officer Lucy Beattie said the event had helped introduce apprenticeships to students and dispel some of the myths surrounding them.


She said: “It was a great networking opportunity and there was a real buzz around the college. The employers gave really positive feedback and benefitted from speaking to a huge number of people.


“Parents were scouting for opportunities for their children and plenty of links were made between employers, the college and visitors.


“Several people at the fair were offering higher-level apprenticeships, up to degree and masters level, showcasing what is on offer in our community.”


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.



Apprentices put the focus on customer service at Gradwell Communications


Taking on apprentices has altered the way business operates at Bath-based company Gradwell Communications.
The communications technology company has taken on five apprentices from Bath College over a two year period.
Each of these has gone on to work full-time at Gradwell and have helped to put customer experience at the heart of the company.
Martin Lippiatt has tracked the career progression of all five former apprentices, who started out studying for a Level 2 customer service NVQ.
He said: “We used to take on technical people that weren’t necessarily customer focused, so the rapport that needs to be built with customers wasn’t necessarily there.
“We flipped that round and said ‘let’s get customer focused people in and we can teach them the technical side of things.’
“It’s much easier to recruit. Going through agencies can be really expensive and sometimes it doesn’t work out, but with the apprenticeship scheme they can learn from us and we can develop them in a way that fits with Gradwell.”
Rory Larsen-Baker was 18 when he applied for a customer service apprenticeship at Gradwell through Bath College.
As a new recruit, he started out helping customers with product queries, and last year he was given a new job as technical account manager.


Rory Larsen-Baker - Gradwell
He said: “It’s similar to the customer services job, but it pinpoints you in a different direction. I call up new customers to see how they’re getting along.
“I didn’t have a job at the time and I was looking for something IT based. It was a lot more of an adult environment, at least compared to school.
“You got a lot more freedom and responsibility, which was what I needed at the time. I’ve already recommended trying an apprenticeship to other people. It’s a great thing to do.
“I know quite a few people who need jobs and are looking for them. Part of the reason is they have the qualifications, but not the work experience.
“With an apprenticeship you get both – it’s experience and qualifications.”
Mr Lippiatt said: “With the apprenticeships, a lot of people still have this idea that they will be photocopying and making coffee all day, but it’s a proper experience.
“Our apprentices study for customer service NVQs and their time with us allows them to put into practice what they’re learning at college.”


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.



Speak to employers at the Bath College Apprenticeships and Jobs Fair


Over 50 employers will be on hand at an Apprenticeships and Jobs Fair, held at Bath College on March 23.

The event is an opportunity for school pupils, students, young people and parents to speak to regional and national employers.

Top companies signing up to take part include First Group, BT, the MoD, Halsall Construction and Premier Inn.

Current apprentices working at Curo, Bath Aqua Glass and Bath College will be at the event to take about their experiences.

There will also be opportunities to take part in mock interviews with some companies, such as The Pig Hotel near Bath.

Parents and young people can book into short talks about apprenticeships from 4pm to 6.30pm.

The event will give visitors the chance to find out about a wide range of apprenticeships, including degree-level apprenticeships.

Law firm Lyons Davidson will be one of many companies advertising current vacancies.


A5 - Futures Apprenticeships and Jobs Fair v8 - JAN 2016
The Bristol-based firm provides a law apprenticeship that can lead to becoming a qualified solicitor or going onto university.

During the event, Bath College will host the Ambition 2020 torch, which is travelling between employers and apprenticeship providers.

The government aims to provide three million apprenticeships by 2020 and Bath College has its own target of 800 apprenticeships by 2020.

Employability adviser Lucy Beattie is organising the event.

She said: “I’m really excited by the range of employers and opportunities we have to showcase at the fair.

“I’m sure if I’d had the opportunity to be paid while I learnt a job I would have jumped at it.

“Before I started organising the fair I had no idea you could be an apprentice in such a wide range of career pathways, from jewellery making to stonemasonry, engineering, business administration, landscaping and working in the health care sector.

“I hope that the opportunity to meet employers face to face will help dispel some of the myths around apprenticeships.

“This is about showing that apprenticeships offer an opportunity for everyone.”

The Futures Apprenticeship and Jobs Fair is free to attend and open to school and college pupils from 12pm to 3.30pm.

From 4pm to 6.30pm, the event is open to parents, young people and members of the public.

To pre-register for the event click here.


Bath College Principal Matt Atkinson to leave at the end of the academic year


After nine years at Bath College, Principal Matt Atkinson has announced he will be leaving at the end of the academic year.
Mr Atkinson, who has led the college since August 2007, joined Bath College from Andover, where he was Acting Principal for 15 months.
Under his leadership, the college has strengthened its reputation, delivered new buildings and, most recently, completed a merger with Norton Radstock College.
Mr Atkinson, who will continue to live in Bath, plans to set up a business offering leadership support services to education providers.
He said: “Leading the college over the past nine years has been the significant highlight of my long career in the college sector.
“The experiences I have had here have been career defining and over my time here I have become very attached to the college and the areas we serve.
“Having led the college into the next phase of its development, I have decided that now is a good time for to pursue new interests in the college sector.
“The college sector is undergoing a period of significant change at the moment and I intend to offer a range of leadership support services to colleges and other organisations to help them deliver strong and effective organisations.
“I am grateful to staff, governors and students for their support in making the college a better place to learn and work.”
Mr Atkinson’s highlights during his career at Bath College include opening the new multi-million pound Roper Building, on James Street West, in 2012.
A year later, the college received its highest inspection rating in six years in an overwhelmingly positive Ofsted report.
Since then, the college has maintained an Ofsted rating of good and has built up links with local businesses, increasing its number of apprenticeship programmes and making sure that students gain key employability skills.
Carole Stott, Chair of the Board of Governors at Bath College, said that the college had gone from strength to strength under Mr Atkinson’s leadership.
She said: “Following the recent successful merger with Norton Radstock College, Matt and the board have developed ambitious plans for the new Bath College. Together we remain committed to delivering on those ambitions.
“The board has discussed the process of appointing Matt’s successor and the post of Principal and Chief Executive will be advertised in April 2016.
“The board’s priorities over the coming year are to continue to embed the merger, deliver the new vision and strategy and ensure the ongoing success of Bath College.
“The board is enormously grateful for Matt’s leadership and commitment to this college. Matt has positioned the college so that it is an essential partner for business and the local communities.
“The quality and reputation that the college now enjoys owes much to his leadership.
“We wish Matt all the best in his next endeavour and are determined to secure someone of equal calibre to lead the college during its next important phase and fulfil our role supporting our local community.”


Students help to tidy the Kennet and Avon Canal


Students from Bath College have been working hard to make sure cyclists, walkers and boat users can enjoy a trip along the Kennet and Avon Canal.

The students, who are studying for a Step-Up Diploma at the college, have been volunteering their time to clear the canal since September.

Starting at Widcombe, they have been using the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust boat to clear hedgerows and paths, cutting back overhanging trees.

The group of ten have also repaired benches at the teashop in Widcombe and painted bat boxes, to encourage bats to roost.

Last month, the group helped plant 125 trees at the Caen Hill Flight, in Devizes, as part of the Caen Hillside Diamond Jubilee Woodland scheme.

The project, funded by the Forestry Commission, will see 30,000 trees and two wildflower meadows planted to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Bath College’s Step-Up Course is for 16 to 18-year-olds looking to gain independence and move into further study or employment.

Step-Up Coordinator Julie Tonks said: “The course helps to develop life skills, independence and confidence for young people that need more support to be in college.

“This project has given them valuable work experience and improved employability skills like timekeeping. It has also developed communication and teamwork skills.

“They have benefitted from new experiences, working with people they don’t know as well, and learning more about their local environment.

“For some of them, it’s the first time they’ve been on a boat or picked up a spade.”

Students Union

March – RAG


March has been crazy busy! Two weeks of RAG (Raise and Give) fundraising for a brilliant charity called Time is Precious. Some of the team and I over Somer Valley went to the extent of having gunk tipped over our heads to raise money!  Great fun but not my favourite day.  We also did a collection in Radstock town centre where we came across the BBC Wiltshire radio bus, nervously we took the opportunity to speak on live radio!!!! The Students’ Union first 60 seconds of FAME for 2016!  RAG week is just some of the fundraising we are doing over the year, so keep an eye out for our fundraising total.
We hosted an NUS conference with a few other colleges at our Somer Valley campus, I really like getting together with other colleges to share ideas and challenges, it was useful for new ideas and to find out how other colleges gather student voice.
Possibly one of our biggest stories of the year was facial palsy awareness week. I have been working closely with a student called Freya who wanted to do a stall event for the week to raise awareness of Facial Palsy. As part of the campaign we painted half our faces and got loads of other students involved.  Freya has gone on to do various interviews in the media and has really become an ambassador, read up on what she has achieved HERE
I have been busy organising a new idea called ‘Student Take Over WEEK’ I am planning for students to take over some main roles in the college. I can’t wait to start promoting it and getting students signed up. SO if you think you could be Principal for a day then keep an eye out!



In January some SU members delivered first aid awareness stall which led me to set up a free first aid course for 30 students! The event went so well, I’d like to thank St Johns ambulance for being so amazing and answering all the students’ questions. All the students who got involved were very pleased with their certificates. It’s something we are going to look to do more of next year.
It’s already that time of the year where we start recruiting for new Students’ Union members. I am about to go out and start talking to students, hand out flyers and get people signed up!!
I set up an Easter egg hunt around the college. It was funny watching students scrabble around trying to find the special tickets.
Have a great Easter holiday, eat lots of chocolates and relax. See you after half term!

News, Students Union

Student shares her story for Facial Palsy Awareness Week


A teenager born with facial palsy has made the brave decision to share her story as part of a national awareness raising week.


Freya Beaumont was born with unilateral congenital facial palsy – a condition which meant she couldn’t move the left side of her face.


As a young child, she needed two operations to help her smile and her appearance meant she found it hard to fit in at school.


Now a student at Bath College, Miss Beaumont is using Facial Palsy Awareness Week to highlight the difficulties of living with facial paralysis.


The 17-year-old, who is studying childcare, said: “Having facial palsy meant that I couldn’t smile and couldn’t close my left eye, in fact I had no movement at all on the left side of my face.


“When I was five I had surgery at a hospital in London, which was the first of two operations intended to give me a smile.


“While the surgery has left me with a lot of scars – the back of my legs, my chest and both my jaw lines, there is no doubt it has made a big difference.


“I wanted to take part in Facial Palsy Awareness Week because it’s something that I have lived with. I know how it can affect a young person’s self-esteem, as well as their emotions.


“I thought that if more people, especially young people, were aware of the difficulties, they would treat sufferers with more understanding.”


On March 1, Miss Beaumont set up an information stand at Bath College with the help of Students’ Union President Kez Hawkins.




She had half her face made up as part of Facial Palsy UK’s #FaceMyDay challenge and encouraged other students to join in the challenge.


The idea of the challenge is to get people thinking about how others react when they look different from those around them.


Miss Beaumont was inspired to set up the stand after sharing her story on Facial Palsy UK’s website.


Her story struck a chord with parents caring for young children with facial palsy, who wrote to say how it had encouraged them.


In the future, she hopes to use her college course to work with young children in hospital, or become a healthcare assistant.




Miss Beaumont said: “I find it easier to talk about my facial palsy to family and friends, but sometimes I feel it’s difficult to talk to strangers.


“Psychologically my facial palsy has affected me in many ways. When I was little I didn’t appreciate that my face was any different from other children’s faces.


“But when I started school it soon became more apparent. Other children would tease, point, stare and laugh at me. I felt like I didn’t fit in.


“Over the last six months or so, I’m feeling much more positive about myself. My future is bright and the challenges I’ve faced have served to make me stronger as a person.


“I think people need to know that there are support groups out there for anyone who has facial palsy and wants to share their experience.


“I have always had a passion to help children who have special needs or disabilities and I would love to do this in my career after college.


“I can achieve anything I want to and I won’t allow my condition, or other people, to hold me back.”

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