Michelle Cooks Up Competition Success

Michelle Moore preparing her dish in the training kitchens at Burton and South Derbyshire College

Michelle Moore preparing her dish in the training kitchens at Burton and South Derbyshire College

A budding chef at Burton and South Derbyshire College has cooked her way to the final of the Kikkoman Student Chef Competition.

Students from colleges across the country were challenged with developing an innovative dish using Kikkoman soy sauce as an integral ingredient, excluding classic oriental dishes.

Catering learner, Michelle Moore, made it to the final after the photos and descriptions of her banana tarte tatin with salted caramel were chosen by Michelin starred chef, Simon Hulstone. Five student chefs have been selected to take part in the cook-off final, set to take place on Tuesday 6th May at Westminster Kingsway College.

The final will bring the best college students from around the country together to battle it out for the title of Kikkoman Student Chef of the Year, along with the first prize of a £250 equipment voucher and a week’s work experience at The Elephant Restaurant with Simon Hulstone.

During the final, students will be asked to prepare their dishes with 30 minutes preparation time and 1-hour cooking time. Judges will be looking at taste, skills and ‘Mis en Place’ when selecting the overall winners.

Michelle commented: “I really enjoy trying different flavours together that shouldn’t work but do, so using soy sauce in a pudding was a fun challenge. I was so excited when I found out I’d been selected as a finalist for the competition; I didn’t think I would get through. It’s the first competition I’ve entered and getting to the final has given me a real confidence boost.

“Before I started the course, I thought I would go back into quantity catering but the course has given me the chance to be more creative and I would like to work in a restaurant in the future. I love being creative in the kitchen and coming up with new ideas!”

Sean Sleigh, Catering Lecturer at Burton and South Derbyshire College said: “Michelle produced dishes that were of a very high quality and we’re extremely excited that she has been selected to compete in the national final. Taking part in competitions is a great way for learners to develop their skills and techniques and gain experience in working under pressure. We wish Michelle all the best for the final in May!”

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South Staffordshire College Offers Free Microchipping

South Staffordshire College, in co-operation with the RSPCA, is offering local residents the opportunity to protect their family pets with a free microchipping service.

The College’s Animal Zone, based at the Rodbaston Campus, has teamed up with RSPCA Stafford, Wolverhampton and District to provide a microchipping service for dogs, cats and rabbits on Sunday 27th April, between 12 noon and 3 pm.

No appointment is necessary and owners will be asked to make a donation towards the cost of the service.  A tiny microchip will be inserted under the animal’s skin, giving them a unique code, and this can be scanned and matched to the owner’s contact details should they get lost or injured.

David Riley, Animal Centre Manager at South Staffordshire College, is delighted to be able to offer the service to local residents, saying “South Staffordshire College’s Animal Zone has an excellent reputation for animal welfare and it’s nice to be able to extend this to the pets of local residents.  Please remember to bring your animals in to us in pet carriers or on leads.”

Rachele Follini, RSPCA Branch Support Specialist, says “Microchipping your pet gives them the best chance of being identified and returned to you if they become lost or stolen.  Thousands of pets are lost every year and many are never reunited with their owners – microchipping can change that.  While collars and tags can get caught or removed – microchipping identifies your pet permanently and effectively.”

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Find out about courses and career skills at College open evening

People wanting to boost their job prospects and impress future employers can find out about courses and qualifications to improve their skills at an open evening at City of Wolverhampton College next month.

The college’s Paget Road campus will be open on Wednesday 7 May, 5pm-8pm, to give people the chance to learn more about full andpart-time courses on offer and have a go at a range of job-related activities showcasing the industry-standard skills they could develop.

Tutors will be on-hand to talk to potential students about A Levels and apprenticeships and over 300 qualifications in beauty, business and administration, computing and IT, construction, counselling, creative arts, early years, engineering, hairdressing, health and social care, hospitality and catering, motor vehicle, science, sport, teaching and education, travel and tourism, and uniformed public services.

People interested in a career in construction can try their hand at painting techniques, plumbing push-fit joints, installing an electrical door bell system or hammering it out in a timed carpentry challenge; whilst those wanting to work in the engineering or motor vehicle industry can have a go at computer-aided design or changing a wheel against the clock.

Creative types can visit the college’s production and recording studios, find out how computer games are designed and see garments being made in the fashion studio; sports enthusiasts can test their fitness levels in a penalty shoot-out, and those interested in a career in the hair and beauty industry can have a go at blow drying, styling and nail art.

Visitors to the open evening can also get information on higher education qualifications such as HNCs, HNDs and foundation degrees, access programmes for people who want to move on to further education but lack formal qualifications, courses for those who want to brush-up their English and maths skills, and support or people who need extra help with their studies.

Anyone unable to attend the open evening can find out more about courses and download a prospectus at www.wolvcoll.ac.uk

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Investment in Erdington Campus Builds Futures

Investment in Erdington Campus Builds FuturesBirmingham Metropolitan College is investing almost £4 million, of which £1.33 million is grant funded by the Skills Funding Agency, in redeveloping its successful Skills Centre in Erdington – making a valuable contribution to building futures for people in local North Birmingham communities.

The Erdington Skills Centre currently offers a range of Entry and Level 1 Construction as well as Foundation Learning and ESOL courses for local schools groups, people who are not in education, employment or training (NEETs) and for unemployed adults who are aged 19 or over.

The existing mix of Edwardian and 1950s buildings which used to be Erdington Technical School will be replaced with purpose built facilities including classrooms and workshops which have been specifically designed to accommodate a range of provision including construction trades as well as training rooms with enhanced technology.

John Starmer, Executive Director for Estates at Birmingham Metropolitan College, said:  “The facilities on offer at the Erdington Skills Centre, especially the old school buildings are not fit for purpose in terms of the training and education provision we offer now.  We have committed to investing a considerable amount of money, combined with the Skills Funding Agency grant, to demolish the existing buildings and build a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to construction where eventually we hope to expand the courses on offer to a much wider selection of learners.”

Jack Dromey, MP for Erdington, said:  “The plan to invest in rebuilding the Erdington Skills Centre is an important and exciting development, not only for Erdington and the surrounding area, but for Birmingham as a whole.  The improvements to facilities will mean that we have an exceptional facility on our doorstep to deliver practical and valuable training experience to help equip local people with skills to support the growing economic upturn – especially in the construction industry.”

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Art and Design Students Go ‘Dutch’

Art and Design Students Go 'Dutch'Birmingham Metropolitan College students based at the Art & Design Campus in Brierley Hill went Dutch for a week when they visited Amsterdam on a residential study trip recently.

80 students on the University of Arts London Awarding Body Foundation Diploma in Art & Design course travelled to Holland, supervised by members of staff, to undertake research for their final project – work which is due to be exhibited later this year.

Paul Shackleton, 3D Lecturer at the Art & Design Centre, said:  “Amsterdam is a fantastic place for students to visit because it has a superb variety of art and design on display all over the City covering textiles, contemporary art work, fashion and 3D Design as well as more general educational interest such as Ann Frank’s House.  It’s great for the students to see how other artists are inspired and really adds value to their learning experience. We visited the Oude Kerk (Old Church) which is the oldest building in Amsterdam built in 1306 and also the Rijskmuseum, viewing work by Rembrandt and Vermeer.”

Student Jessica Mason said:  “The Amsterdam trip was fantastic and the whole experience was inspirational!”

Birmingham Metropolitan College offers a variety of Art & Design courses across Birmingham, the Black Country and in Kidderminster.  Check out the website www.bmetc.ac.uk for more information.

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Golf Coaching Drives Home Success

Golf Coaching Drives Home SuccessBirmingham Metropolitan College Golf Academy students studying for Sport qualifications have benefited from an intensive two day coaching course which has helped drive home success for students.

Alan Beard, Worcestershire & Herefordshire County Development Officer, has worked in partnership with the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA), Hagley Golf Club and Birmingham Metropolitan College lecturer, David Faulkner, to provide support for students studying for their Level 1 PGA course.  He said:  “Our partnership’s aim is to increase the number of players coming into the game with initiatives such as Get into Golf and the National Golf Month happening in May.  It’s good to grow the number of potential coaches and volunteers who may continue to work with local clubs in the future to help keep them sustainable.”

Birmingham Metropolitan College runs a Golf Education programme for school leavers preparing them for careers in golf or progression to university. The course runs at Birmingham Metropolitan College’s Stourbridge and Sutton Coldfield Campuses and includes a vocational qualification in sport and free golf coaching plus the opportunity to take part in local regional and national competitions.

Pete Ball, Tutor for PGA, took students through their paces on the intensive two day coaching course which all the students passed, and said:  “This is some of the best coaching I’ve seen from a group this young – some of the students demonstrating a maturity that I haven’t seen from Level 2 and 3 coaches.”

Alan Beard said:  “When a tutor of Pete’s standing gives quality feedback on the delegates it makes you feel that golf coaching in the future will be in safe hands.”

Hagley Golf Club will continue to support the County Golf Partnerships and the PGA to offer future Level 1 qualifications for students studying golf at Birmingham Metropolitan College’s Stourbridge Campus.

More information on the variety of sport academies on offer, including golf, is available on the website: www.bmetc.ac.uk and keep up with student golf news on Twitter@BMET_Golf.

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Take a trip down memory lane at College exhibition

Former students of City of Wolverhampton College can take a trip down memory lane at a fascinating exhibition charting the history of its Paget Road campus.

The Learning 62 exhibition documents the campus from its opening – as Wulfrun College – in 1962 to the present day and features a range of photographs, videos, displays and memorabilia capturing developments on the site and memories of people who worked and studied there.

The exhibition – funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund – has been put together by former student and staff member Paddy Davies, who worked at the college as principal technician and purchasing co-ordinator for 47 years, with support from college staff and media students.

The free exhibition is being held in the college’s conference centre at the Paget Road campus and is open 12pm-4pm on Thursday 17, Tuesday 22, Thursday 24 and Friday 25 April, and 9am-5pm on Monday 28 April.

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