Leamington’s first ComicCon launched by former student Dan

Leamington’s first ComicCon launched by former student Dan1Former Warwickshire College business student Dan Mallier is making his mark in the events world by organising Leamington’s first ComicCon.

Leamington ComicCon takes place on Saturday 18 October from 10.30am-4pm at the town’s historic Pump Rooms.

Dan, who studied Business at the college’s Leamington centre and has worked in the car hire and fleet management industry ever since, originally had the idea in February this year. Less than a week later, he had set up an Indiegogo crowd-funding project to raise money to fund the venue and logistics.

“I had the idea while driving to work – I sent out a few tweets to gauge interest and it’s just snowballed from there. We raised more than our £1500 target which was fantastic, and in just 20 days, so it really showed the support for the event was there.

“Most ComicCons are in big cities, but I knew there was a market here for it, and we’ve really targeted local comic publishers and artists to give them the opportunity to promote their work.”

Leamington’s first ComicCon launched by former student Dan2The event will include a marketplace for comic publishers, writers, illustrators and traders with talks from respected names from the comic world such as Neil Gibson, Mike Garley, Victor Wright, Borderline Press and more to be announced. There’ll also be magicians, superhero face-painting, a cosplay competition and an appearance from the 501st UK Garrison of Storm Troopers, who will be raising money for charity.

“Organising the event has involved a lot of skills which I’ve developed through my career, such as networking and communications – making contacts and encouraging people to get involved has been so important.

“It’s been a lot of hours of hard work  – I’ve spent so much time on Twitter, Facebook and email – but really enjoyable too. I’ve even build a model of the marketplace so we can plan where all the stallholders will go!

“We’ve already got people booked to come from all over the country, but I really hope that local people come along and support their local comic artists and publishers and make the event a real success.”

Dan will be promoting ComicCon at Warwickshire College’s Freshers’ Fairs in September. Tickets are available from http://www.skiddle.com/e/12154472 and cost £5 + £1 booking fee – under 13s go free. You can follow Leamington ComicCon on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LeamComicCon and on Twitter @LeamComicCon.

Warwickshire College offers a range of business courses at its Leamington and Rugby centres. For more information, go to www.warwickshire.ac.uk/courses or call 0300 45 600 49.

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TONI&GUY Opportunity for Cainaan

Cainaan Skeels (17) outside the TONI&GUY salon in Burton

Cainaan Skeels (17) outside the TONI&GUY salon in Burton

A former Level 2 Hairdressing student at Burton and South Derbyshire College has been given an exciting opportunity to develop his skills further with an Apprenticeship at TONI&GUY.

Cainaan Skeels (17) impressed staff at the salon in Burton upon Trent with his talent and natural flair for hairdressing, and was offered an Apprenticeship to take his skills to the next level.

During his studies at Burton and South Derbyshire College, Cainaan gained the skills required to work in the hair industry, with access to the College’s state of the art salon, Innovations. After completing his course, Cainaan was delighted to be offered employment as an apprentice at prestigious salon chain, TONI&GUY.

Cainaan commented: “TONI&GUY is a big name in the industry and a really good place to work. It will be a great platform to begin my career and I feel lucky to have that opportunity.

“I enjoy hairdressing; it’s going really well. I like to see to see people happy when I’ve done a good job. I would like to progress to a job as a stylist in the future.”

John Hurley-Shaw, Art Director and Franchisee at TONI&GUY in Burton said: “Cainaan has got real potential and the Apprenticeship will give him the chance to develop his skills and techniques further.

“TONI&GUY is renowned for being an innovator within the hair industry and investing in emerging talent is what we’re all about. We believe in training our staff beyond industry standards, pushing the boundaries of hairdressing and delivering creativity, quality and consistency to every client.”

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New innovative college “hub” gets underway

New innovative college “hub” gets underway1Work is set to begin on a multimillion-pound state-of-the-art complex that will become the new heart of Stoke on Trent College’s Cauldon Campus.

Cauldon Campus Executive Director Lesley Morrey will join the construction team at the site, off Stoke Road, as the foundations are laid for “The Hub”; a new £12million learning centre that will be home to teaching and support services at the college.

The Hub will replace the college’s Knapper Building and house classrooms for science, IT, digital, business and sports, as well as student support services such as admissions, learning support, careers and counselling.

Stoke on Trent College secured a £10million grant from the Government’s Skills Funding Agency’s College Capital Investment Fund (CCIF) to carry out the work. Some of the cash is also being used to redesign the Taylor Building, which fronts Stoke Road.

Cauldon Campus Executive Director Lesley Morrey with Project Manager Matt Gregson from Thomas Vale

Cauldon Campus Executive Director Lesley Morrey with Project Manager Matt Gregson from Thomas Vale

Lesley Morrey, Cauldon Campus Executive Director, said: “This is part of a major transformation plan that will benefit our students, staff and local businesses that we work with.

“The modern technology and facilities that will be within The Hub are fantastic and will certainly help to further equip students for future employment and Higher Education studies.

“It will also help put Stoke on Trent College on the map as a leading provider of cutting-edge education facilities and provision.

It is an incredibly exciting time for Stoke on Trent College and we are pleased to be able to offer all this to the local community moving forward.”

Construction of The Hub is being undertaken by main contractor Thomas Vale Construction. Craig Tatton, managing director from the company said: “As a local business we are extremely proud to be involved in Stoke on Trent Colleges’ transformation plan, which will provide innovative educational facilities for future generations.”

Artist impression of The Hub building due for completion in September 2015

Artist impression of The Hub building due for completion in September 2015

The Hub is the second phase of a £36million two-year redevelopment plan revealed by the college last summer which is being carried out across the college’s two campuses.

The Cauldon Campus in Shelton has already seen the construction of a high-tech Sports Academy, whilst the Burslem Campus has undergone major refurbishment and is now set for further expansion as work begins on an advanced manufacturing training facility later this year. All work is due to be completed in September 2015.

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South Staffordshire College Website Offers Great New Resource For Students

South Staffordshire College Website Offers Great New Resource For Students1South Staffordshire College has given its website a facelift to provide students with the very best of resources when making key decisions about their future.

In the latest innovation on the website, Prospectus links are now available to prospective students who can select the various subjects they are interested in and download a bespoke document, saving time and providing vital information about course content, duration and location.

For those students wishing to enroll the ‘Sign up in 25 seconds’ link will allow them to complete the basic contact details and courses they are interested in, whilst a useful ‘Apprentice Vacancies’ link goes straight through to a list of current vacancies.  An  ‘Upcoming Events shortcut completes the new range of site functionality.

South Staffordshire College Website Offers Great New Resource For Students2The home page offers a much clearer, refreshed look and feel to the site, with larger, more impactful rotating images reflecting the College’s state-of-the-art facilities, including the 4D Immersive Learning Space at its newly refurbished Cannock Campus.

Site visitors can also keep up-to-date with the many success stories and activities taking place across all four Campuses at Tamworth, Lichfield, Rodbaston and Cannock via the rotating News stories on the Home Page, with major events promoted by large images at the bottom of the page and a click-through for more information.

Director of Strategy and Infrastructure, Jamie Smith, commented “South Staffordshire College is at the forefront of education technology and the latest update to the website provides students, staff, potential students and parents with a great platform to see the entire offering at South Staffordshire College and the opportunities available to set them on a successful career path.”

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College Name Sets Out To Win The Hearts Of Learners Across Worcestershire

HOW College logoNorth East Worcestershire College and Worcester College of Technology have set out to win the heart of learners across Worcestershire, as their new name
‘Heart of Worcestershire College’ has been approved by the recently appointed Skills Minister, Nick Boles.

Heart of Worcestershire College will be operational from August 1st and will become one of the largest Further Education colleges in the county. The College will have a turnover of some £40 million, with approximately 10,000 full time learners.

Stuart Laverick , Principal and Chief Executive of Heart of Worcestershire College, commented:

“We are extremely pleased that the new name ‘Heart of Worcestershire’ College has been approved by the Skills Minister, Nick Boles. Although finding a suitable name has not been easy, we believe that this name truly reflects the values of the new organisation. We are fiercely loyal to the residents and businesses within Worcestershire and are dedicated to providing relevant education and training to meet their needs.

We will become one of the largest employers in Worcestershire, and through our outstanding partnerships with local organisations such as the LEP, local councils and local businesses, we are in a prime position to support the growth of the local economy. Over the next few years, we will work tirelessly to make Worcestershire proud of the standard of education and training provided by Heart of Worcestershire College.

The OFSTED grading of ‘good’ is a key recognition of the high standard of work and positive progression opportunities that both North East Worcestershire College and Worcester College of Technology are currently providing students across the county.  The merger is a key element in our drive to deliver outstanding qualifications and progression opportunities for a large number of students across many technical and vocational disciplines.”

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Students Get Creative for Cake Company Expansion

Orchid Cake Company Director Tahira Latif (centre) looks at the designs for her new shop with (left to right) students Brian Campbell, 19, Sarah Taylor, 18, Georgina Wood, 18, and Sophie Clemson, 17

Orchid Cake Company Director Tahira Latif (centre) looks at the designs for her new shop with (left to right) students Brian Campbell, 19, Sarah Taylor, 18, Georgina Wood, 18, and Sophie Clemson, 17

An expanding local cake company has called upon the expertise of four Walsall College students as they look to move to a new property.

The Orchid Cake Company, which has been based in Caldmore since August 2012, is moving to larger premises in Walsall later this year as the business continues to grow. In preparation for the move, businesswoman and former project manager at the Forensic Science Service, Tahira Latif, asked Interior Design students from the Ofsted outstanding college for their help in suggesting designs for the new community shop.

Level 3 students Brian Campbell. 19, Sophie Clemson, 17, Sarah Taylor, 18 and Georgina Wood, 18, were given a budget of around £15,000 and have now come up with a range of ideas using research from trade magazines and the internet. Everything from the seating and wallpaper to the lighting and display cabinets were considered by the students before the concepts were presented to Tahira when she visited Wisemore Campus recently.

“I gave them a basic plan for my new double fronted shop and told them the ideas had to come in between a budget of £10,000 and £15,000. But then I went away and just let them get on with it,” said Tahira, who is Director of Orchid Cake Company.

The self-taught entrepreneur, who launched her cake business after a 15 year career in the Forensic Science Service, said she was delighted with the ideas put forward and added that she was eventually hoping to extend the venture into Birmingham.

She added: “The students have done an excellent job in terms of the ideas and branding and I particularly love the display cabinet for my cakes as I had never seen anything like that before! Some of these guys have come up with things I wouldn’t have even thought of so they really have done an exceptional job and I’m definitely going to be using these ideas moving forward.”

Sophie, who lives in Cannock, said: “This has been a great work experience because I want to be an interior designer and to have that face-to-face interaction with a client on a live job with a deadline is simply invaluable.”

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College Involved in European Gangs Project

Associate Researcher Colin Isham is leading on the project for Walsall College

Associate Researcher Colin Isham is leading on the project for Walsall College

Walsall College is involved in a new £55,000 European project which is designed to stop the rise of gang culture by training professionals to work with vulnerable young people.

The Ofsted outstanding college is a partner in the EUGANGS scheme and over the next three years a training package will be created for professionals working with young people in gangs or those at risk of engaging in gang activity. At the end of the initiative, an accredited programme to diploma level will be rolled out across Europe.

Walsall College is working with a number of partners in Birmingham, Italy, Greece and Romania on the European-funded qualification. A recent consultation to identify issues and training needs included representatives from West Midlands Police, Walsall Council, Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust and whg as well as youth and foster care organisations. This will now determine how the programme is shaped for Walsall and the Black Country area.

The agencies discussed a range of issues and highlighted the importance in having ‘real people’ such as young people and ex-gang members involved in the training.

Associate Researcher Colin Isham, who is leading on the project for Walsall College, said: “This project will offer professional development for people in a range of agencies as well as those in the community already dealing with gang related issues. It will give them the chance to build on and gain accreditation for their knowledge and skills, and have a potential route into higher education.

“Through this initiative we hope to contribute to our understanding of what works in helping young people take the right steps in life and stay away from crime.”

Jatinder Sharma, Walsall College Principal and Chief Executive, said: “We’re delighted to be working with our European partners on such an exciting project. We have around 36 months to research, develop and accredit a new national and transnational qualification for those working in Gang and Youth Crime environments across Europe. Ultimately, the aim of the programme is to make communities even safer for us all and to learn together.”

To find out more please visit www.eugangs.eu/

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