Construction Comes to Life at WNSC!

L-R Niclas Davies and Dennis Mudzviti arrive at WNSC to prepare for the start of term

L-R Niclas Davies and Dennis Mudzviti arrive at WNSC to prepare for the start of term

Walford and North Shropshire College (WNSC) has recently invested a significant sum of money in creating a brand new Construction Centre at its Oswestry Campus. The Campus is well positioned to help serve the needs of local employers as it is surrounded by many companies in the locality who offer trade services within the Construction area.

From September 2014 the College will offer Plumbing and Bricklaying via the full-time study route or via the apprenticeship route, a cohort on both courses have been interviewed and are ready to start in a matter of weeks. For anyone out there who has not made their mind up yet about College for this September, there are some places available and prospective students are urged to make an application as soon as they possibly can.

One of the bathroom suites within the new plumbing department

One of the bathroom suites within the new plumbing department

The two new tutors in this area are Dennis Mudzviti and Niclas Davies and bring with them a wealth of practical experience and knowledge to pass on to the new students. Dennis is from the East Midlands and is currently relocating to Shropshire; he has 10 years of industrial experience and has been teaching bricklaying for 26 years now. Niclas is from Wrexham and has been a plumbing and heating engineer and house builder for 25 years. He has been teaching plumbing for 6 years now.

Sharon Cooper, Head of Department comments, ‘We are really excited about this new department at the Oswestry Campus. We look forward to welcoming our first intake of students this September. We would also urge local employers to get in touch who could offer an apprenticeship placement in either plumbing or bricklaying.’

An exciting development for September 2015 sees the College further expanding the Construction Centre to offer courses and apprenticeships in electrical installation and carpentry.

The boiler systems students will be working with in the new plumbing department

The boiler systems students will be working with in the new plumbing department

The College has an Advice and Guidance Evening on Wednesday 27th August 4pm-8pm at Oswestry, Walford and the Shipley Campus. The evening is open to anyone who needs advice following GCSE results or who would like to come in and have a chat with the tutors and sign up for a new course. The evening is also open to mature learners who may be considering a career change or wish to study part-time at WNSC. There is no need to book; those interested can drop-in to College anytime between 4pm and 8pm on the evening.

For more information on courses and apprenticeships, visit the website at www.wnsc.ac.uk or call the Admissions Team on 01691 688080. If you are an employer and could offer an apprenticeship placement and would like to find out more, contact Sharon Cooper via s.cooper@wnsc.ac.uk or call 01691 688073.

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South Staffordshire College Agriculture students show they can handle success

Felicity James with Tim LivesyAgriculture students from South Staffordshire College’s Rodbaston Campus are enjoying a rich vein of success in the Young Handlers category at this year’s county shows.
 
At the Royal Three Counties Show in June, Bradie Crooks, Harry Turner and Felicity James took 3rd, 5th and 6th places respectively, followed closely by Alex Wheeler, who came 4th in Young Handlers at the Ashby de le Zouch Show in July and qualified for East of England Young Stockpersons Championships in December.
 
Lancillo Hall Judy 4th with bull calfThe National Horned Hereford Show in August saw further success, with Felicity James coming 2nd, and Bradie Crooks 4th, with the pair taking the spotlight again with their charges, Llancillo Hall Judy 4th and her bull calf taking the top slot at the Staffordshire County Show and 2nd place at the National Horned Hereford Show.
 
Agriculture students with Judge Adam HensonSouth Staffordshire College’s Rodbaston Campus specialises in providing further and higher education courses for land-based activities such as agriculture and they are celebrating a good season.  “With a completely new show team this year it’s been great to see the students work with and produce the young stock, winning recognition for the extra curricular time they put in at College.   Many of them will go on to own their own pedigree stock or work for local breeders.”

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GCSE results? Don’t panic – we’re here to help

With thousands of students receiving their GCSE results this week, Warwickshire College’s student advice and guidance team is on hand to help anyone worried about where to turn.
 
Although the majority of students will receive the results they were expecting and their next step is already set, for those students who may have received better – or worse – results than anticipated this can be a stressful time.
 
Whatever students’ results, Warwickshire College’s advice and guidance team is on hand to talk about all the options. They can offer free, impartial careers advice and information on the courses and support available.
 
Whether you know what you want to study or need some advice, come and see us as soon as you can. Students can drop in to any of our colleges (Leamington, Rugby, Henley-in-Arden, Pershore, Moreton Morrell and Warwick Trident) on the following days to enrol on a course – no appointment is needed, just pop in.

  • Thursday 21 August        9am-5pm
  • Friday 22 August             9am-5pm
  • Tuesday 26 August        10am-7pm
  • Wednesday 27 August   10am-7pm
  • Thursday 28 August       10am-7pm
  • Friday 29 August            10am-4pm 
  • Saturday 30 August        10am-1pm  (Leamington, Rugby, Henley and Moreton Morrell only)

Students can also call 0300 45 600 49 to talk to the team.
 
Bally Sandhu, Guidance Team Manager, said: “We hope that students have got the results they were hoping for, but if not, there is no need to panic. Warwickshire College offers a number of study options including A Levels along with vocational qualifications such as BTECs and apprenticeships at a different study levels.  
 
“We also offer extra help and support in areas of learning where students may struggle. Our student services team will talk to each student to see if we have a course which matches their aspirations.”
 
So from hair and beauty to horticulture, A Levels to animal welfare, computing to construction, Warwickshire College has the course for you. For help and advice, call 0300 45 600 49 or visit www.warwickshire.ac.uk/courses.  

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College Students’ Union celebrate NUS Award success

(L-R): Felicia Vundla (18), SU Deputy President for Further Education; Nicola Taylor (24), SU Deputy President for Higher Education & Governor; Anique Rehman (20), SU President and Billy Howells (17), SU Vice President Equality and Environment

(L-R): Felicia Vundla (18), SU Deputy President for Further Education; Nicola Taylor (24), SU Deputy President for Higher Education & Governor; Anique Rehman (20), SU President and Billy Howells (17), SU Vice President Equality and Environment

Burton and South Derbyshire College’s Students’ Union (SU) Team are celebrating after being named Runner Up FE Students’ Union of the Year in the NUS (National Union of Students) Awards 2014.

The NUS Awards 2014 are a celebration of the work in students’ unions, from officers and staff, to inspirational students and unsung heroes. They are a chance for the NUS to reflect on the past year, celebrate achievements and share amazing stories from across the country.

This year, competition was extremely tough, with over 600 nominations from students’ unions across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

The Team at Burton and South Derbyshire College were selected as runner up for the award due to their achievements throughout the year, including achieving the highest number of registrations across the country for National Voter Registration Day, winning a Green Impact Bronze Award and encouraging students to take part in a range of high profile volunteering opportunities, including leading a group of 80 student volunteers at The Skills Show.

Anique Rehman, SU President at Burton and South Derbyshire College said: “We’re delighted to be named runner up FE Students’ Union of the Year. The SU at BSDC provides learners with a platform to get their voices heard and the opportunity to enhance their learning experience with a fulfilling and enriching college life. Whether it be lobbying MPs and Council leaders or liaising with College governors and staff, we do whatever it takes to get the job done.”

Shane Chowen, Institute for Learning added: “Burton and South Derbyshire College’s Students’ Union’s work to win increased representation across the College and formalise their influence within decision making structures has made the union ideally placed to campaign for change to improve the learning and wider student experience at the College. The Union has been innovative in its approach to involving College staff to promote its work, resulting in increased participation of members in the Union’s democratic and campaigning activities.”

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Traineeships launched by College to help employers overcome skills crisis

Newcastle-under-Lyme College has launched a new training scheme to help employers beat the predicted skills crisis.

The College’s Traineeship scheme is aimed at young people to give them a stepping stone into their chosen career when they have little or no previous work experience.

Those who undertake a Traineeship will spend the majority of their training with an employer, learning as they work, and when the Traineeship is over, trainees will be guaranteed an interview upon successful completion.

According to a recent survey of 616 UK business leaders by The Prince’s Trust and HSBC, 73 per cent of UK businesses believe that there will be a skills crisis within the next three years.

Aimee Colgan, Employment and Training Centre Manager at NULC, said: “Our Traineeship scheme provides young people with a real opportunity to experience working life in their chosen careers.

“Not only do traineeships help employers attract more young people to their businesses, they also give the younger generation a chance at achieving their own career goals at the same time as improving their employability skills.

“Traineeships are a stepping stone into an apprenticeship or other sustainable work and could even help someone discover a passion for a career not previously considered.”

In addition to a high quality work placement, trainee’s will get the opportunity improve their functional skills and develop in areas such as team building, communication and interview techniques.

The research carried out during the survey also found that two-fifths of businesses are already experiencing skills gaps within their companies and over half have difficulties filling vacancies.

Businesses also believe that recruiting young people into the workforce now will help to ensure that there is not a skills shortage in the coming years.

Martina Milburn CBE, Chief Executive of The Prince’s Trust, said: “The current economic recovery is encouraging, but in order to sustain this growth, UK plc needs to invest in the next generation to avoid a skills vacuum in the future, which threatens to hamper economic growth.

“We are urging businesses to take action now to up-skill the workforce of the future to prevent the bubbling skills crisis from boiling over.”

Since the economic recovery around 71 per cent of businesses have seen a rise in demand of their services with 63 per cent saying that they are growing at a significantly higher rate than the same time last year. Over half of these businesses say that the increase in demand is, they believe, the reason for the current UK skills gap.

Anyone aged between 16 and 24 years old can take part in a Traineeship and will receive a three-monthly travel pass, free breakfast on College days, three days per week and also a training allowance paid directly onto their student cards of £20 per week to help with purchasing other meals and stationery.

For more information on NULC’s Traineeship scheme visit www.nulc.ac.uk/traineeships.

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Never too late to learn!

Never Too Late learners Liz Hill, Bill Schofield, James McLaren and Perdie Campbell-Orde, taking part in a photography workshop last year at Burton and South Derbyshire College

Never Too Late learners Liz Hill, Bill Schofield, James McLaren and Perdie Campbell-Orde, taking part in a photography workshop last year at Burton and South Derbyshire College

Burton and South Derbyshire College (BSDC) is set for the return of a series of day courses with the mature student in mind, proving that it’s never too late to learn new skills and expand your knowledge.

The ‘Never Too Late to Learn’ classes, which have been running for twelve years, give mature learners the opportunity to learn new things in a relaxing environment and in good company.

The classes cover a variety of themes, including art, music, literature, poetry, psychology, history and keep fit chair exercises.  They also include occasional visits and days out. There are classes taking place each month from September until June which cost £8 per day, including free tea, coffee and biscuits.  There is also a companion course called ‘Look Closer’, which operates like a book club, following a literature reading programme in the morning session, with history sessions in the afternoon.

Course Lecturer, Robin Wood said: “The ‘Never Too Late to Learn’ classes are extremely popular with mature learners, particularly those who have retired and are looking to take part in fun activities and try new things in a welcoming environment.  Anybody interested in attending can either bring a friend with them or come along to meet new friends.”

For more details or to book a place on a ‘Never Too Late to Learn’ class at Burton and South Derbyshire College, please contact Robin Wood on 01283 494740  or the Community Team on 01283 494502 / email CommunityTeam@bsdc.ac.uk

Those interested in attending can enrol on the course during the week commencing 8th September by dropping into the College reception.

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Free meals scheme launches at Walsall College

More than 600 Walsall College students will have access to free school meals when a new scheme launches in September, it was announced today.
 
Free school meals have been extended to the further education sector after the Government ended an anomaly which meant only students at school sixth forms were eligible for the financial support. A national campaign was set up by the Association of Colleges (AoC) last year in which over 10,000 people signed an e-petition calling for the change.
 
A number of MPs backed the campaign including former education secretary David Blunkett. Now an estimated 103,000 college students from across the country are expected to be eligible for free meals.
 
The additional funding from the Department for Education (DfE) means Walsall College will be able to offer free meals to students for the first time next month. Around 600 are predicted to qualify for the initiative by meeting a range of criteria and a daily allowance of £2.41 will then be automatically available to students each day.
 
Research shows that students do better in their studies when they have access to proper, regular meals.
 
Successful applicants will be free to spend their allowance in the college canteen, Jerome’s Restaurant and the on-site Costa facility. Those that receive free meals will also still be able to take advantage of the College’s free breakfast scheme, which is available to all students.
 
The news coincides with the Ofsted outstanding college moving to a new cashless payment system across both main campuses. From the start of the new academic year, staff and students will be able to pre-load cash amounts to a special Walsall College ‘Smart Card’ which can then be used as a means of payment at any of the College tills. The Smart Card is being introduced to increase security and reduce queues across the sites.
 
June Morrow, Director of Student Journey at Walsall College, said: “It is fantastic news that hundreds of 16 to 18-year-olds as well as some 19-25 year olds will now qualify for free meals at Walsall College. The Government was correct to address this issue which previously penalised students based on their choice of academic institution. We urge students to visit our website and apply for their free meals allowance ahead of the new academic year.”
 
For more information about how to apply for free college meals please visit: www.walsallcollege.ac.uk/courses/v6-vocational-sixth-form/free-college-meals/

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