Nadhim Zahawi and Lord Digby Jones with visiting students from Studley High School

Nadhim Zahawi and Lord Digby Jones with visiting students from Studley High School

Stratford-upon-Avon College has helped Warwickshire’s school and college leavers on the first step towards a successful career. 

On Friday 18 September, the College held its Get the Edge Apprenticeship Careers Fair. Students and young people from across Warwickshire attended the event and talked to employers about their apprenticeship opportunities.  Among the employers in attendance were Jaguar Land Rover, RAF and Q Hotels.

The College’s Work-Based Learning team were on hand to discuss the content and mutual benefits of apprenticeship programmes, and young people currently taking part in the scheme gave talks on life as an apprentice and the advantages of combining practical training with college-based tuition.

Nadhim Zahawi inspires the next generation of apprentices

Nadhim Zahawi inspires the next generation of apprentices

The fair also saw the launch of the College’s Apprenticeship Academy, which will provide assistance to the county’s students who are interested in apprenticeships with local firms as a launch pad for a future career, by offering weekly coaching sessions on vital skills such as CV writing and effective interview practice.  The College is confident that this new initiative will provide the students with the best chance of securing the right apprenticeship and so set them on the path to career success.

Stratford MP Nadhim Zahawi and business entrepreneur Lord Digby Jones both attended the event and gave inspirational speeches to open the Fair and officially launch the Academy.  They stressed the benefits of apprenticeships for both students and employers: apprenticeships offer fantastic opportunities for preparing students for the world of employment, and employees gain an enthusiastic addition to their workforce, whilst at the same time paying back into the community.

They also acknowledged the great commitment Stratford-upon-Avon College has shown to apprenticeships by hosting such a valuable event and launching its Apprenticeship Academy.

Mr Zahawi was impressed by the event: “I am delighted to play a part in Stratford-upon-Avon College’s Apprenticeship Fair.  It brings together young people from across Warwickshire interested in securing an apprenticeship and prospective employers, and the College should be congratulated on the quality of the information provided on their apprenticeship schemes.  I wish all those involved a very successful future.”

Nicola Mannock, Stratford-upon-Avon College Principal and CEO, explained the College’s view of apprenticeships: “We are extremely proud of our apprenticeship programmes.  Our aim is to set our students on the road to a successful career, and our tailor-made combination of College-based learning and work-based training, enhanced by the assistance provided by our new Apprenticeship Academy, provides the best opportunity for achieving this.  This year, we are running 25% more apprenticeships for 16 – 18 year olds; we really are going from strength to strength.

“On behalf of everyone at the College, I should like to express our warmest thanks to Nadhim and to Lord Jones for taking time from their busy schedules to help us launch our Apprenticeship Academy and make the fair such a success.”

For more information on any of Stratford-upon-Avon College’s courses, please visit or call the College on 01789 266245

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GENERIC GREETING’S ‘HOMECOMING’ EXHIBITION1Artist collective Generic Greeting are returning to the land of cider and famous cattle, in an exhibition at Hereford College of Arts (HCA). ‘Homecoming’ opens on Monday 28th September until Friday 6th November at the College’s College Road Campus, with a private view on Thursday 8th October and celebratory after party at Rule of Tum.

Generic Greeting currently consists of 24 artists working across a wide variety of mediums: illustration, music, writing, sculpture, embroidery, photography and film. They thrive on collaboration, between members and across these mediums. Homecoming aims to show the full range of this collaborative collective practice.

GENERIC GREETING’S ‘HOMECOMING’ EXHIBITION2The collective describe their feelings about the exhibition: “Whilst Generic Greeting has always been made up of members from all over the UK (and beyond), the place many of us call home is the endearing rural city of Hereford. Whilst most of us have flown the nest for a more chaotic existence in some of the UK’s bigger cities, and the collective has built a new spiritual and physical home in Manchester, Hereford will forever hold our hearts. We’re excited to come back to the place where so many of us cut our teeth, and to bring back some of the people and the experiences that we’ve picked up in our absence.”

Although they will be exhibiting a wide range of new and old work, the idea of Homecoming will run throughout as an underlying theme.

GENERIC GREETING’S ‘HOMECOMING’ EXHIBITION3A number of the collective are former students of the College; Will Berry and Harry McKenzie both studied on the Extended Diploma in Art & Design, Esme Rees studied the Foundation Diploma in Art & Design and Grant Peacock studied BA (Hons) Illustration. HCA’s College-level and University-level courses provide students with the opportunity to be innovative and explore new ideas, which played an important formative role in these former students’ artistic development.

The exhibition will be open Monday to Friday from the 28th September, with the launch event on Thursday 8th October from 6-8pm. There will be celebratory drinks and popcorn provided by exhibition sponsors, Propercorn. This will be followed by an after party at Rule of Tum, for burgers and music from Generic Greeting’s very own DJs.

For full details of the exhibition, and the College’s courses, visit

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Loren Green, from MTV's Ex On The Beach, at the filming of a Temptr promotional video

Loren Green, from MTV’s Ex On The Beach, at the filming of a Temptr promotional video

New dating app, Temptr, launched this week with ambitions to lure singletons around the world from main rival Tinder.

Jack Knowles, 26, from Stratford-upon-Avon, is the CEO of Temptr, and feels confident that its new and exciting features will impress: not only can users swipe left and right to indicate their attraction to potential suitors, but they can exchange pictures with matches and even ‘check-in’ wherever you are in the world, from nightclubs to gymnasiums.

While late onto the dating market, Temptr are confident that they offer a unique user experience. A spokesperson for Temptr stated: “Our pledge is to keep Temptr free, fun and the fastest, easiest way to meet people online. It’s no longer seen as a taboo to meet people on these apps, and with availability on iOS and Android, we’re hoping to attract a large number of people.

CEO of Temptr, Jack Knowles is very confident of his new app’s success

CEO of Temptr, Jack Knowles is very confident of his new app’s success

“We’ve tried to keep the format simple while adding some special features. This is a great place to meet people. It’s everything you’ve always wanted from a social discovery app. We’ve been waiting for this day to come, the app has been in the pipeline for a while, and we’re just waiting to celebrate our first Temptr marriage!”

Temptr also have verified accounts for well-known personalities and already have a number of celebrities lined up to join the app.

Check Temptr out now at

Jack developed his entrepreneurial spirit while studying Business at Stratford-upon-Avon College and considers his time studying there as crucial to his current achievements. “I spent an amazing three years at Stratford College and I’ll always be grateful. That fact is I wouldn’t be where I am today without studying on the course. My lecturers Richard Silcox and Nicola Lee were both incredible and the encouragement, after a disappointing secondary school experience, was second to none.”

For more information on any of Stratford-upon-Avon College’s courses, please visit or call the College on 01789 266245.

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North Shropshire College Launches Search for New Finance Governor

One of Shropshire’s main colleges has launched a search for a new volunteer Governor to join its Board, and to take over as its Chair of the Finance & Resources Committee, in a two-year appointment. Significant senior-level experience of finance is a must, although from which sector is less important.

North Shropshire College (NSC) is governed by a Board of sixteen volunteer Governors who oversee the strategic management of one of the area’s largest employers. The College serves over 1,400 full-time and 5,000 part-time students based at campuses across the county at Oswestry, Walford, Shipley and the Aspire Centre at Burford.

The Board aims to be as diverse and as representative of its community as possible, so that individuals can bring their insight, experience and ideas to widen the perspective of the Board overall. Applications are welcome from all ages and cultural backgrounds and from across the county and beyond.

Jackie Doodson, NSC’s Principal and Chief Executive, said: “Our Governors hold a key position in overseeing the running of the College and ensuring I am held to account along with my team. This role offers the post-holder a valuable experience in governance.” Gillian Richards, Chair of the Board of Governors, said: “This is a very important role: the Chair of the Finance and Resources Committee works closely with fellow Governors to oversee the finance structure and the executive team. This is a very specific role for someone with the necessary skills and experience in finance to allow them to fulfil the requirements of the role. I look forward to meeting the candidates, and to making the new appointment.”

To find out more about the role or request an information pack and find out how to apply, please contact Carol Thompson, the Clerk to the Board of Governors. Email or telephone 07944 297 877. The closing date for applications is Friday 9th October 2015.

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‘Blind’ Dave to Kick-off Hub Fit and Fun Day!

‘Blind’ Dave Heeley

‘Blind’ Dave Heeley

Walsall College has announced that local celebrity ‘Blind’ Dave Heeley will be helping it to boost health and wellbeing in the region at its ‘Community Fit and Fun Day’ on Saturday 26th September for the official opening of The Hub in Walsall.

The Fit and Fun Day invites the whole community to take part in the 5km Walsall walk starting at 10am from The Hub, on Littleton Street West, and heading around Walsall Arboretum with plenty of entertainment along the way. Following the walk, there will be a host of free and exciting activities taking place in The Hub sports hall including football, basketball, table tennis, badminton, boccia, wheelchair football, face painting and a bouncy castle.

Barbeque food will be available and there will be an opportunity for visitors to receive a free fitness test using the latest technology in the fantastic new gym, along with information on how to improve their health. In addition, anyone who signs up for a gym membership on the day will benefit from not having to pay a joining fee.

Walsall College’s new £11m Hub, which has now opened its doors, features a range of state-of-the-art facilities available to students as well as the general public looking to get engage in physical activity. These include a multi-purpose sports hall, dance and fitness studios, gym, spa, sports training and injury clinic.

‘Blind’ Dave, who lives in West Bromwich, became the first blind person to complete the seven-marathon challenge in 2008. He will be cutting the ribbon to the new venue and inviting visitors to come and have a look at the outstanding facilities.

The Hub Manager, Lee Bate, said: “We are delighted that Dave Heeley is able to join us for our community Fit and Fun Day. He is a great ambassador for not letting any barriers get in the way of him achieving his goals and maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle, making him an inspirational to all.”

Dave commented: “I’m very passionate about the health benefits that can be gained from sport and fitness activities, so give my full backing to The Hub and the range of options that the new facilities present to local residents to get them more involved in physical exercise.”

To register your place for the Fit and Fun Day, please visit

To find out more about the facilities on offer in The Hub please visit

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Hereford College Of Arts Music Students Stage Fundraiser For Syrian Children

Extended Diploma in Music second year students, who will perform at The Venue on Wednesday 30th September

Extended Diploma in Music second year students, who will perform at The Venue on Wednesday 30th September

Second year Extended Diploma in Music students from Hereford College of Arts (HCA) will perform a fundraiser at The Venue on Wednesday 30th September, to support Save the Children’s Syrian Crisis Appeal

Unlike a conventional gig, the students will not be playing as established bands; instead they promise an exciting evening of unpredictable collaborations and mash-ups to perform a diverse mix of covers and original songs that they have written together in the run up to the event.

“Like so many people, our staff and students have been deeply moved by the plight of the Syrian refugees,” said Alex Gordon, a lecturer on the course. “Our students wanted to support them and show solidarity, and the idea for a fundraiser was born. As well as offering a fantastic night of live music for the local community, our students have the opportunity to showcase their talent and develop their skills in planning and running the event.”

The Extended Diploma in Music at HCA is a two-year, post-16 course, providing students with an opportunity to develop playing and singing skills, song-writing and composition, music technology, sound recording and performing, with the support of experienced tutors. The course is very popular, welcoming students from across Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Shropshire and Wales. The College has built on the success of the course and now offers a BA (Hons) Popular Music degree course at its College Road Campus.

The gig takes place at The Venue on Gaol Street, Hereford, on Wednesday 30th September. Entry is £4, or £3 with a valid NUS/NHS/Forces card, with proceeds going to Save the Children’s Syrian Crisis Appeal. Doors open at 7:30pm with admission to people aged 16+, ID advised.

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Students Cook Up Cakes For Charity Coffee Morning

Shoppers in Wolverhampton city centre can tuck-in to freshly baked cakes, biscuits and pastries cooked up by students at City of Wolverhampton College at a charity coffee morning in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

The event – at the college’s Metro One campus in Bilston Street – has been organised by students studying for bakery, cookery and hospitality qualifications as part of the charity’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning on Friday, 25 September.

Heath Arnfield, curriculum manager for catering at the college said: “Our students are really looking forward to welcoming shoppers to the coffee morning and to selling their freshly baked cakes, biscuits and pastries to raise money for such a good cause.

“Last year’s event raised over £160 and, thanks to the growing popularity of the bakery shop among shoppers and workers in the city centre, we are hoping to beat that figure this year.”

The event will run from 10am to 12pm and will also feature a ‘baked or faked’ challenge to see if customers can  tell the difference between homemade and shop bought cakes, a sweepstake to guess the number of edible spots on a cake, and a raffle with a range of tasty prizes.

The college offers a range of full and part-time cookery, bakery and hospitality qualifications and, as part of their course, students gain experience of working in a commercial environment in the on-site bakery shop and popular Academy restaurant. For details of courses visit

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