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WIDJET Q&A with Dr Daisy Walsh, Head of Technology

 

Bath College is running a brand new course: WIDJET. WiDJET’s focus is to get Women into Digital Jobs, Education and Training. We spoke to Dr Daisy Walsh, Head of Technology at Bath College all about the new programme:
 

What is WIDJET?
WIDJET (Women into Digital Jobs, Education and Training) is a new skills programme from the West of England Combined Authority, funded by the Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, to help and support women to find jobs in digital roles.
It’s a play on the word ‘widget’ as in our sessions, we will be working with robots. Bath College is running a free taster session that will give people a chance to experience programming, which if they enjoy, they can then sign up to a free 6 session course to develop their skills further.
 

Why is it important for women to be involved in digital jobs?
If you look at a cross-section of IT/computing jobs, you see that it is still very male dominated. That’s not to say that there aren’t lots of very successful females, but we need to keep at it and keep promoting these opportunities to women. Our WIDJET sessions could be for women who have already forged a career in another discipline, perhaps you think it’s too late, but it’s not! Computing roles are vast, and programming is a key skill that employers are looking for. Our free session offers a sound base so that you can progress onto a specific course after if you wish.
 

Tell us a little bit about your background.
I am heading WIDJET at Bath College because I was accidentally introduced to Computing and IT through a ‘Women in New Technology’ scheme 30 years ago, which focused on machine programming languages. At the time, I was a Secondary School Science Teacher. After learning programming I worked for Avon and Somerset Police as a programmer before moving to Bath College to teach IT. I am now the Head of Technology at Bath College and have just completed my PhD in Education Management.
 

What do you have planned for the sessions at Bath College?
After the first taster session, the course will focus on basic programming principles, getting robots to move, getting them to respond to sensors and interacting with the environment. At the end of the 6 sessions the participants will have the fundamentals of programming and could look to pursue a career in web development, app development and general programming.
 

How can women get more info/apply?
To sign up to the taster session on 18th June, email me, Daisy Walsh at WIDJET@bathcollege.ac.uk or call 01225 328533
 
 

 
To look at a whole range of Computing/IT courses at Bath College, click here.
 

Experience Business and Technology Day

During February half term (18th-22nd) we will be hosting an event where you can experience what it’s like to be a Bath College student for the day. This is an opportunity to get hands-on experience with a course that you’re interested in, help decide between two different courses, or even whether College is right for you.

On each day of the week we will be hosting a different experience day covering a different department. You can register for as many days as you would like and pick up to two workshops to attend per day.

REGISTER FOR THIS EVENT


On Thursday the 21st February we will be hosting our Experience Business and Technology Day, where you can pick and attend up to two of the following workshops:

The day will run from 9:30am – 1:30pm and will provide you with the opportunity to take part in pre-apprenticeship workshops, learn about the courses and meet your potential tutors.



REGISTER FOR THIS EVENT

For further details on the other experience days please see our main event page.

If you have any questions regarding this event, please email events@bathcollege.ac.uk.

Apprenticeships, News

Westgate IT talks careers to Bath College Computing Students

On Wednesday December 12th December, Nigel Phillips, Director of Westgate IT, and Luke Nix, ex-Bath College student, spoke to Computing Students about careers in computing and opportunities at Westgate IT.

 

Bath College students had an interesting talk from the Director of Westgate IT, Nigel Phillips, who discussed different career options for anyone looking to go into the IT and Computing industry. He also talked at length about the different options available to work with Westgate IT after College.

 

Westgate IT are an IT support company, currently working with over 200 companies. They have offices in Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter and Bath. Over the past 3 years they have taken on 9 Bath College students in Apprentice and Trainee roles, and are currently looking for new trainees. Westgate IT have worked with Bath College in the past, taking on students to work one day a week between May and June to prepare them for an apprenticeship after they leave College. Nigel was keen to offer this opportunity again, which is an incredible opportunity for the students.

 

 

Westgate IT pride themselves on allowing people to grow within the company, and they try to keep all their staff up to date with training. They also offer staff the chance to find their own courses to continue their professional development, and if it will better their skills at work then Westgate IT will pay for it. Nigel also explained how to write a good CV for the computing industry, which provided the students with a good insight into what a top industry expert is looking for in a new employee.

 

Assisting Nigel with the talks was ex-Bath College student Luke Nix, who started off as an Apprentice at Westgate. Luke said that he was initially just interested in getting work experience, however after completing his apprenticeship he realised that he loved working there and was offered a first line contract which he gladly accepted. Luke told us that progressions are incredibly fast in Westgate IT and after a year on a first line contract he now has a review to move onto a second line contract, which is a great promotion in such a short space of time. In Luke’s own words ‘ask and you will get, Westgate will always assist you’.

 

Westgate IT pride themselves on looking after their apprentices, they don’t pay them an apprentice wage, they pay them national minimum wage for their age, and upon completion of your apprenticeship (around 12 months), you are given a pay rise to reflect your status as a contracted member of staff. Your development is then assessed regularly and promotions and pay rises are awarded where necessary.

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