Dancers open the show at Hippodrome

Walsall College Dance students at the Hippodrome L-R: Georgia Williams, Alice Cant and Charlotte Day

Walsall College Dance students at the Hippodrome L-R: Georgia Williams, Alice Cant and Charlotte Day

Walsall College Dance Students gave a dazzling performance at the Birmingham Hippodrome theatre on Thursday 12th February.

Alice Cant (18), Charlotte Day (19) and Georgia Williams (18) were part of a group that staged a six minute dance piece on the main stage, inspired by Edward Scissorhands and choreographed by young choreographers from the area.

The students were given the honour after impressing judges during the auditions process, where 180 hopefuls tried out and only 22 were selected.

The short piece was the ‘curtain raiser’, before the professional cast from New Adventures performed Matthew Bourne’s adaptation of the film, Edward Scissorhands in front of a packed house.

Matthew Bourne OBE is widely hailed as the UK’s most popular and successful Choreographer and Director. He is the creator of the world’s longest running ballet production, a five-time Olivier Award winner, and the only British director to have won the Tony Award for both Best Choreographer and Best Director of a Musical.

Head of Curriculum for Performing Arts at Walsall College, Julie Wight said: “The performance was an outstanding success and the result of weeks of hard work to perfect their piece, the students should be very proud of themselves.

“Having the opportunity of working within a professional environment and with one of the most successful and popular British choreographers of all time, was a fantastic experience and one the students found truly inspiring.”

Dance student, Alice Cant said: “It was incredible performing in front of such a large crowd and I loved every second of it. Being involved in the project has been an eye opener into the professional world of dance.”

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Shrewsbury College launches Traineeships to help young people not in education or employment into work

Traineeships to help young people not in education or employment into work 1Shrewsbury College is launching traineeships in Hospitality and Construction alongside a range of local employers, to give young people a helping hand toward employment or further education.

Government figures released this month, showed that 954,000 people aged 16-24 in the UK were not in education, employment or training (NEET) in the third quarter of 2014.
Out of this number, 47% were unemployed and the rest were not seeking work and/or not available to start work.

In England, the West Midlands is among the regions with the highest proportion of 16-24 year olds who are NEET, alongside the North East and Yorkshire & Humber.

To help tackle this, Shrewsbury College has joined forces with a number of local employers to offer 16 week traineeship programmes in Hospitality and Construction, for the first time,
The traineeships are available for 16 to 18-year-olds and those aged 19 to 24 who have not achieved a Level 2 qualification.

Laura Jeffrey, team leader for Employability at Shrewsbury College, said: “As well as providing these young people with a pre-organised work placement giving them fantastic experience in a work setting to gain employability skills, those taking part will get help improving their English and Maths, get a helping hand if they need to build their confidence levels and the programmes provide a stepping stone towards employment, an Apprenticeship or further education within the College.

“Everyone who completes a traineeship with us will get a Level 1 qualification in Employability Skills which includes interview skills, CV writing, an English and Maths qualification (if they haven’t already achieved one), practical experience and work-based skills and a planned, organised and structured exit interview as well as training in how to complete a high quality, sector-specific application form.”Traineeships to help young people not in education or employment into work 2

Young people who are unemployed and claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance may be allowed to continue claiming whilst completing a traineeship.

Anyone who is interested in finding out more about the traineeships on offer can attend an information session at The Enterprise Centre at Shrewsbury College on March 10 at 11am or 2pm.

Initially the College is offering a 16 week traineeship programmes starting on March 16, but the programme will be extended into most subject areas in September 2015. People who come along to the Advice Event on March 19 from 5pm to 7pm to find out about these and other courses at Shrewsbury College, may still be able to start one.

For more information, call 01743 342333 or visit

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Birmingham students and businesses shortlisted for Apprenticeship awards

Young people and businesses in Birmingham have been shortlisted to receive awards ahead of the eighth annual National Apprenticeship Week [9-13 March].

South and City College Birmingham is celebrating the success and achievements of apprentices, trainees and employers at an awards evening which will be held at the Macdonald Burlington Hotel on Thursday 5 March.

16 awards will be given out on the evening, which will be hosted by Free Radio presenter Tom Ross. Alongside an overall Apprentice of the Year, apprentices from seven different industry sectors will be named as Industry Apprentice of the Year; chosen for their attendance, time keeping, motivation,  quality of work, attitude and work ethic.

Local businesses will also be recognised, with awards being given to large and SME employers for the valuable contribution to they have made. The college’s InBusiness network has organised the event, and Honorary President, Sir Doug Ellis OBE will be presenting the award to the overall winner along with the Lord Mayor of Birmingham.

Mike Hopkins, principal of the college said: “Apprenticeships and traineeships provide excellent opportunities for both young people and businesses. We held our first awards evening last year, and we hope this year’s will follow in its success.

“Congratulations to all the apprentices and businesses who have been shortlisted for their excellent work, and I wish them luck on the evening.”

Last year Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust won an award for the valuable opportunities they provided young people. Alexandra Kustas, Skills and Apprentice Manager said: “We were very pleased to have been given the award. As an organisation that is all about providing services in and for the community, we are delighted to play a part in providing high quality learning and career opportunities for young people living locally.

“For us, apprentices are incredibly valuable to the business, and we go on to hire many as full-time members of staff once they complete their apprenticeships.”
Shortlisted for the Apprentice Large Employer Award 2015 are: Kier Partnership Homes, Midland Heart and National Express.

Shortlisted for Apprentice SME Employer Award 2015 are: Braywhite & Co Ltd., Fix Autos Birmingham, East and Benson Road School.

Shortlisted companies for the InBusiness Student Experience Employer Award 2015 are: MG Motors, Hollywood Monster, Roy G Hemmings, The Sounds of Philadephia and Motown Show, XPro and Eze Group.

The individuals who have been shortlisted for the InBusiness Student Contribution Award 2015 are: Aksar Khan, Kash Gill, Nick Bailey, Gary James, Jamie Dunn, Eddy Ankrett, Tom Ross, Steve Staunton, Edward Van der Keijn, Dave Barnett, Nyla Naseer Jimmy Franks, Kostas Petrou, Sheila Kelly-Trow and Tim Andrews.

The National Federation of Builders (NFB) will be presenting the Excellence in Construction award to a South and City College student from Birmingham excelling in construction. The NFB currently provide the college with the NFB Construction Fund which supplies bursaries to students in need.

The college would like to thanks the generous sponsors of the awards: OCNWMR, Edwards Plumbing and Heating Supplies, Morgan Hunt, Keepmoat, NFB, British Military Security, National Federation of Builders, AB Waste Management Ice 7 Media and The Asian Today Newspaper.

National Apprenticeship Week is co-ordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service, and is designed to celebrate Apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the economy.

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South Staffordshire College hosts Careers Day for Tamworth Students

South Staffordshire College hosted a Careers Day at their new TORC Professional and Technical Centre on Friday 13 February.

Students from six local Tamworth High Schools attended the careers day to gain an insight into college life and receive information on possible career paths.

Representatives from further training providers and local employers were also present to talk to students about opportunities and careers, including Drayton Manor Park.

Students also had the chance to have a tour of the new campus, including opportunities to see the state-of-the-art Construction facilities, as well as the new Hair and Beauty salons and Engineering equipment.

Staff from South Staffordshire College were also on hand to answer students questions about what to expect from studying at college.

Head of the TORC Campus, Karen Burley, says: ‘We were extremely pleased to be able to host this event on behalf of the Tamworth schools involved. We have worked with other external providers to give local young people hands on experience of what their next steps could look like.’

‘The young people that attended had a fantastic time and we are looking forward to inviting them back for future experiences to help them build their future.’

To find out more about the College’s Open Events and courses, call 0300 456 2424 or visit

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Open Evenings at South Staffordshire College this March

South Staffordshire College is holding a series of Open Events this March, which will give prospective students an opportunity to tour the facilities, meet current students and tutors and enjoy a taste of College life.

All five of the campuses including Tamworth, Cannock, Lichfield, TORC and Rodbaston will be open from 6pm-8pm on the following dates:
Rodbaston and TORC Campuses – Monday 2 March
Cannock Campus – Tuesday 3 March
Tamworth Campus – Wednesday 4 March
Lichfield Campus – Thursday 5 March
Visitors will be able to apply for Full and Part Time courses and Apprenticeships on the day and take part in an exciting range of have-a-go activities from CSI style crime scene investigations to creative hair styling. The South Staffordshire College Team will also be on hand to provide information on finance, applications and the extensive range of additional support available.

With a wide range of inspiring subjects on offer, there will be expert tutors on hand to offer advice on what life is like in industries including Motor Vehicle, Construction, Business, Hair and Beauty, Childcare, Land-based subjects and many more.

To find out more about the events and pre-register your attendance, visit: or call 0300 456 2424

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Build your business over breakfast at college’s free apprenticeship event

As part of National Apprenticeship Week (9-13  March), Rugby College is hosting a free breakfast event during for local businesses to find out all they need to know about hiring a construction apprentice.

The number of apprenticeships in the construction industry is continuing to grow and offers businesses a great way to develop a young and energetic workforce.  Apprentices trained at Rugby College have been showing their worth by picking up national and regional awards:
•       Ben James named the British Woodworking Federation Apprentice of the Year
•       Alex Smith won the Stepnell Ltd Apprentice of the Year award
•       Bricklayer Max Thompson won the West Midlands Guild of Bricklayers junior competition last year

If you would like to hear more about hiring an apprentice and how it can benefit your business then come along to the event at Rugby College on Wednesday 11 March from 8am – 9am. The event will cover:
•         Why take on an apprentice – the benefits
•         The recruitment process and how the college helps
•         First-hand experience from employers who currently work with the college
•         Funding apprenticeships – including grants

To book your place and free bacon bap go to or call 01926 319097.

Warwickshire College Group offers a range of apprenticeships in a wide variety of industries. For more information go to or call 0300 456 0049.

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WNSC Outdoor Adventure Sports students head to University

L to R: Oli Cockburn, Ffion Brutnell and Josh Barre at WNSC’s Walford Campus

L to R: Oli Cockburn, Ffion Brutnell and Josh Barre at WNSC’s Walford Campus

Three students at Walford and North Shropshire College (WNSC), who are completing their Level 3 Extended Diploma in Outdoor Adventure Sports, are now preparing to continue their studies in the exciting subject of Outdoor Adventure Sports at University. The three; Oli Cockburn; Ffion Brutnell and Josh Barre have finished the two year course and are now excited to take their studies to University.

Oli Cockburn, who has received a conditional offer from Cumbria University, commented on the steps he is taking to prepare ‘The tutor, Patrick McBride, is helping with my prep for uni. The tutors are cool, and they do stretch you, I’m enjoying the course more than I thought I would.’

Ffion Brutnell, who is going on to study Sport Health and Physical Education, commented on how she came to do the qualification, saying ‘I started doing A Levels, but after a month, I decided A Levels weren’t for me so I transferred to the Outdoor Adventure Sports course. Every day there is something practical to do, you get cold wet and muddy, but you enjoy it.’ She added ‘It’s quite a practical course, spending a week in Towers, North Wales, was great, we did rock climbing; caving; mountaineering; kayaking and mountain biking.

WNSC’s Extended Diploma in Outdoor Adventure Sports is specifically designed to offer an A Level equivalent in the exciting area of Adventure Sports. If you enjoy the outdoors, are active and fit, have potential leadership skills and want to combine practical activities with vocational study, this may well be the ideal qualification for you.

For more information about the Extended Diploma in Outdoor Adventure Sports at WNSC, please contact course lecturer, Patrick McBride, on 01939 262109 or email For other enquiries about qualifications at WNSC, please contact the College Admissions Team at 01691 688080.

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