1508511900 <![CDATA[News]]> 2017-10-20T15:12:35Z Copyright (c) 2017, Lisa Price ExpressionEngine tag:shrewsbury.ac.uk,2017:10:20 <![CDATA[College apprentices showcase their construction and electrical skills in national final]]> tag:shrewsbury.ac.uk,2017:/6.19406 2017-10-20T15:05:00Z 2017-10-20T15:12:35Z Lisa Price lisap@shrewsbury.ac.uk Two apprentices from Shrewsbury College have qualified for the National Final of WorldSkills UK 2017.

Andrew Balmer is an Advanced Apprentice (Level 3) in Site Carpentry and has qualified for the SkillBuild carpentry final and Marc Marshall is an Advanced Apprentice in Electrical Installation and has qualified for the SkillElectric final.

Both students were among the highest scorers in the 12 regional heats and they will each be competing against seven other opponents in the finals. Andrew is now studying a Higher National Certificate in Construction and the Built Environment NVQ in Site Supervision – a Higher Apprenticeship.

SkillBuild and SkillElectric are the largest, multi-trade competitions in the UK and have been running for over 45 years. WorldSkills showcases the value of skills and raises the recognition of skilled professionals worldwide. The finals are held to find the best construction and electrical trainees and apprentices in Britain.

Andrew, aged 25, from Baschurch, works for JR Slee Building & Joinery Contractors based in Condover. The company are active supporters of Apprenticeships and have had national success before, with Joe Price competing in the 2011 WorldSkills Final. JR Slee have won a raft of awards including Apprentice of the Year from the Shropshire Chamber of Commerce and were a top 100 Apprenticeship Employer nationally in 2011.

Rodney Slee, Managing Director of JR Slee, said: “We look to our apprentices as an investment in our future. Surprisingly, even though Andrew is learning with us, our employees learn a lot from him every day. He practises the techniques he has been taught at college and we learn a new and modern way to do things.”

Marc, aged 20 from Telford, works for DM Electrics in Telford, as part of Courtland Properties. Courtland Properties manages property development sites until completion working with all the construction trades.

Deslie McGowan, of DM Electrics, said: “Working with apprentices works well for the company. I am retiring soon and Marc has been a very good asset to the company. I wish all apprentices were like him. I think he will do very well in the competition.”

Two other students have also recently been shortlisted in the G4C Awards which celebrate Constructing Excellence in the Midlands. Nick Damerum, 20, from Shrewsbury a Level 3 Apprentice in Site Carpentry who works for English Construction has been shortlisted as Apprentice of the Year. Brice Courtney, 18 from Meole Brace, who works for Morris & Co has been shortlisted as Student of the Year. They will find out how they have done at the finals on November 14 at the NCC in Birmingham.

Principal of Shrewsbury Colleges Group, James Staniforth, said: “I want to congratulate Andrew, Marc, Nick and Brice on their excellent achievements so far. It is no mean feat to be selected among some of the best young construction workers in the UK and I know from speaking with their teachers and employers that they all have very bright futures ahead of them.

“Apprenticeships allow work-based and College learning to come together and when combined with high quality teaching at the College and placements with excellent local employers such as JR Slee, Courtland Properties, English Construction and Morris & Co, all these students have been given a chance to shine, which they have grabbed with both hands.”

“These competitions showcase that skills are the foundation of modern life. Everything, from the houses we live in to the societies we create, is the result of skills. They are the driving force behind successful careers and companies, thriving industries, and economies. Skills keep the world working. We look forward to hearing how our students do in their respective competitions.”

The final for SkillBuild and SkillElectric will take place between 15 and 18 November at the NEC in Birmingham. On the final night, at the Hilton Metropole Hotel, the awards evening will be streamed live on the WorldSkills UK Facebook page.

For more information on A Levels, visit www.ssfc.ac.uk or call 01743 235491. For more information about vocational courses, visit www.shrewsbury.ac.uk or call 01743 342342.

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<![CDATA[Couple mark special anniversary of when they first met at college 45 years ago]]> tag:shrewsbury.ac.uk,2017:/6.19372 2017-10-16T15:08:00Z 2017-10-16T15:20:41Z Lisa Price lisap@shrewsbury.ac.uk Nearly half a century ago, a couple met while studying together at Shrewsbury College and now they return to the campus café on the same date every year to celebrate their romance.

Kevin and Elaine Nester (nee Hill) both attended Shrewsbury College 45 years ago where they studied A Levels. On 14 September, 1972, in their first Sociology class together, it was love at first sight.

Kevin Nester said: “I saw Elaine and I was totally bowled over. She was gorgeous and is still just as beautiful today. She was handing out brochures and I thought I would never stand a chance with such a gorgeous girl – she was really out of my league. Later that day when I was looking for my allocated locker Elaine spoke to me for the first time about lockers - I was far too shy to have spoken to her.

“From then on we started talking. A few days went past and Elaine mentioned to me that she wanted to go and see a horror film at the cinema in Shrewsbury but her friend wouldn’t go with her- this was my chance and I jumped at the opportunity to take her.”

After completing their time at the College, now part of Shrewsbury Colleges Group, the romance blossomed and four years later they were happily married. Mr and Mrs Nester went on to work together for 25 years, running their successful Shropshire company, Alpha Design and Marketing. They have a son together, three adored grandsons and have gone back to studying Sociology again to see how the subject has changed over the years.

Elaine commented: “We loved our time at the College and really enjoy coming back every year to celebrate. It is amazing how much the building has changed and how the College has developed to enhance students’ experiences. Going to the College enabled us both to become more self-motivated after being in a school environment. It gave us confidence as we met other students from diverse backgrounds. We felt ready to enter work at the end of our studies.

For more information on A Levels, visit www.ssfc.ac.uk or call 01743 235491. For more information about vocational courses, visit www.shrewsbury.ac.uk or call 01743 342342.

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<![CDATA[College students excel in Textile design competition]]> tag:shrewsbury.ac.uk,2017:/6.19370 2017-09-29T14:18:00Z 2017-10-02T11:17:44Z Lisa Price lisap@shrewsbury.ac.uk Past and present students studying Fashion and Textiles with Shrewsbury Colleges Group have excelled at this year’s Textile Design Competition held by The Shrewsbury Drapers’ Company.

Former student Amelia Roe won the prestigious Jackie Ryan Memorial Award for her Embroidered ‘Jazzy’ Bowler. This award was won by a Shrewsbury Colleges Group student (Lauren Davies) last year and gives the victor an opportunity to complete a 2 week placement at Tweedmill Textiles in North Wales – one of the country’s leading tweed product manufacturers.

Katie Blower, who is currently studying a Level 3 Diploma in Fashion and Textiles at the English Bridge campus, received a bronze award for her afternoon tea dress. Two more students on the same course, Jazmyn Titcombe and Lauren Rees, were both highly commended for their entries.

A Level Textiles students were also recognised for their hard work. Abby Roberts received a gold award, Emma Shakeshaft received a bronze award and Aoife Holbrook and Emily Yeomans were highly commended.

The annual textile design competition has been held by The Shrewsbury Drapers’ Company since 1995. It is a contest that is open to all Shropshire residents aged 16+ as of 1st September that year. This year’s entries were judged by Stephanie Kemp and Leila Corbet who both have extensive knowledge and experience in the textile industry. The theme “All That Jazz!” gave the entrants a lively subject to work with, full of musical instruments and bright colours.

James Staniforth, Principal and CEO of Shrewsbury Colleges Group commented: “Visual arts have been an area of strength across the college for a number of years. There is a thriving creative environment at the English Bridge campus, where all of the Art and Design subjects are now taught. We are extremely pleased with the standard of work produced by all of our students. We love to challenge our students with industry related, live projects and the Shrewsbury Drapers’ textiles competition really engaged them creatively and helped them to consider traditional, British materials and techniques.”

Bronze awarded student Katy Blower said: “I loved being able to express myself and be creative in the textiles competition. I was so happy and proud to win the bronze award for my entry. Studying Fashion and Textiles with Shrewsbury Colleges Group really helped with this competition because I learnt about the quality of construction and the skills that are needed to create an embellished garment.”

The competition entries will be on display in St Mary’s Church until 30th September and the theme for 2018 has already been decided as “Oriental Journey”.

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<![CDATA[Shrewsbury Colleges Group invite Telford students to find out about their futures]]> tag:shrewsbury.ac.uk,2017:/6.19368 2017-09-22T10:08:00Z 2017-09-22T10:32:36Z Lisa Price lisap@shrewsbury.ac.uk Shrewsbury Colleges Group is inviting Telford students, currently in Year 11, to a special progression evening, where they can get a host of advice about what to do after school.

This one-stop shop to explore the choices available after leaving school includes full-time education, both vocational and A Levels, Apprenticeships and employment, is on Wednesday, 27 September from 4pm- 7.30pm at the Park Inn, Forge Gate, Telford. Information on travel information, and study and financial support is also available.

James Staniforth, Group Principal, said: “We want to ensure young people make an informed decision about what happens when they leave school. The range of education and training on offer to young people is vast and, while this is exciting and opens up a range of opportunities, it can sometimes be daunting for young people and their parents and carers to know what to do and which route to choose.

“As well as choosing subjects, possible careers and university options, young people also need to understand the levels and types of qualifications. So we are delighted to be able to present this one-stop opportunity for the people of Telford and surrounding areas to explore their choices, including travel and financial information, and speak to our support and teaching staff with any questions they may have.”

At the event students will be able to get information and speak to a range of organisations. Exhibitors currently confirmed for this night are: Adams College, Adams' Grammar Sixth Form, Adcote School, The Armed Forces, Business Solutions Apprenticeships, County Training, Ellesmere College, Moreton Hall, New College Telford, NSC, Reaseheath College, Shrewsbury College, Shrewsbury Sixth Form College, Shrewsbury Town FC, TCAT and Wrekin College.

The first of three of these events was held last night at Shrewsbury Town Football Club (STFC) and nearly 500 people attended. After next Wednesday’s event at Telford the final event will also be held at STFC on Monday, 2 October from 4-7.30pm.

Students and their family/guardian (up to 2 guests) are invited to book a suitable time slot to secure their place.

To book your free place on either the Telford or the remaining Shrewsbury Progression Event, please visit this page.

For full listings of upcoming events, you can visit our events pages or check out the Facebook pages, @SSFCShrewsbury and @ShrewsburyCollege.

For more information on A Levels, visit www.ssfc.ac.uk or call 01743 235491. For more information about vocational courses call 01743 342342.

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<![CDATA[MS sufferer cites Shrewsbury College for turning her life around as she sets sail for new horizons]]> tag:shrewsbury.ac.uk,2017:/6.19323 2017-08-04T13:58:00Z 2017-10-10T15:10:34Z Miles Porton milesp@shrewsbury.ac.uk A Shropshire woman battling Multiple sclerosis (MS) has thanked Shrewsbury College for being the ‘turning point’ in her life.

Caroline Gudgion, aged 50, from Whitchurch, was first diagnosed with the disease in November 2013 and as a result of her diagnosis, her ability to work and socialise was drastically changed.

The mother of two, originally from Bedfordshire, left school and trained as a nurse in Barnet in 1985 – and then trained as a midwife at Luton & Dunstable Hospital in 1989.

Moving to Whitchurch in 2001, Caroline continued her work in the health industry as a Health Visitor in the Cheshire and Wrexham area. Over time Caroline began to feel unwell and after numerous tests and assessments, was diagnosed with MS in 2013.

 “I have relapsing and remitting multiple sclerosis. My short term memory is poor due to my MS and I suffer with chronic fatigue,” she said.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition of the central nervous system and over 100,000 people in the UK have it. Once diagnosed, MS stays with you for life, but treatments and specialists can help manage the condition and its symptoms. The cause of MS is unknown and currently, there isn’t a cure for it - although research is progressing fast.

Caroline’s health began to deteriorate, both mentally and physically over time and after reaching “rock bottom”, decided to pick herself up and through research found a Level 3 (A Level equivalent) Counselling Skills course at Shrewsbury College, something she had always had an interest in. Caroline applied for an Advanced Learner Loan to pay for the course – the loan is available to anyone over the age 19 and only needs to be paid back when recipients start earning over £21,000.

 “The last time I studied was 20 years ago at degree level. With my short term memory problems, it did take me longer to complete assignments. My lecturer Donna Morris was very supportive from day one. She gave me the encouragement and positive feedback I needed to keep going. I had very low self-esteem and confidence when I embarked on my course. Thanks to Donna and my fellow classmates I feel I am well on the way back to being the person I was,” she said.

“I gained so much confidence on this course and since completing it, I have enrolled to take part in the ‘Oceans of Hope, Sailing for Sclerosis Challenge’. In October, I am going to Barcelona to learn how to sail a yacht and hopefully qualify as a competent crew member.

“Attending college had become an important part of my life. Some weeks it was the only place I managed to go. Even when I was struggling with my mental and physical health I got there most weeks. Some weeks I found hard, both mentally, emotionally and physically but I always felt in a better place when I left. My husband has been my rock throughout my journey, taking care of me, encouraging and supporting me when I have been at my lowest ebb. He has stood by me and we celebrated our 28th Wedding Anniversary at the end of July this year. I am now also engaging in other activities to fill the gap left by finishing the course and I feel so much happier and fulfilled.

“Completing the counselling course was my turning point in life – accepting my diagnosis and moving forwards. It made me push myself to do things and as a result, I couldn’t be happier.”

Catherine Armstrong, Group Vice Principal for Curriculum Support & Business Development, said: “Caroline is an absolute credit to not only herself, but the College and I know her Counselling lecturer Donna Morris has endorsed her. She had some huge barriers to learning, which would prevent a lot of people from taking up a course like this one. It’s wonderful to hear how much she got out of it, not only educationally, but also through support from the College and her peers. She has now got some exciting goals in place and with that level of determination I am sure she will go on to be hugely successful.”

Caroline will be taking to the seas in October and will raise money for the Neuro Therapy Centre in Chester. The Centre supports people with neurological conditions including MS, Parkinson’s, ME and MND, and their carers from across Cheshire, North Wales and the Wirral. To find out more, visit www.neurotherapycentre.org

Caroline added: “I will donate all the sponsorship to the Centre because I started attending there every week to take part in a Physiotherapy Exercise Class and they have been a great support. I want to increase my overall well-being and physical health before I sail.”

Caroline sets sail on 9 October and will finish on 14 October. You can donate to her cause by visiting https://mydonate.bt.com/events/sailingchallenge

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<![CDATA[Advice Events for all this Summer]]> tag:shrewsbury.ac.uk,2017:/6.19322 2017-08-03T14:10:00Z 2017-08-31T14:47:00Z Miles Porton milesp@shrewsbury.ac.uk Shrewsbury Colleges Group have three upcoming Advice Events for those who may have done better, or worse than expected in exams or for those who simply want to find out more about studying a course, at any level, this September.

GCSE drop-in events are being held on Thursday, 24 August from 11am – 3pm, at London Road and English Bridge campuses, followed by an Advice Event from 5-7pm, at the London Road Campus. 

“Many students choose to come here after GCSEs either to study Level 3 vocational courses, or A Levels, and go on to university,” said Charmian Turner, the College’s Head of Marketing.

“And many now stay on at Shrewsbury College to study an increasing variety of university-level courses ranging from a BA Honours Degree to Foundation Degrees.

“Apprenticeships and higher Apprenticeships are another option to consider,” said Mrs Turner.

“With fierce competition for jobs there’s never been a better time to have marketable skills. Apprentices can earn whilst they are learning and gain recognised qualifications as they work. Since completing their Apprenticeships, some of our students are now working all over the world including Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Antarctica.”

Chris Davies, 24, from Liverpool, a former Creative Media student at Shrewsbury College and Film and Television Production Graduate from Edgehill University, is now a professional freelance cameraman in Liverpool and is working full-time on feature films and TV productions.

Chris said: “When I started at the College I really found my passion for film – the tutors are so knowledgeable and engaging, which is infectious.  We were given a lot of scope to be creative and shoot what we wanted to – it actually was more valuable in many ways than my degree and gave me that first, critical step into the industry.”

Held at the London Road Campus, the Advice Event dates are set for Thursday 24, and Tuesday 29 August and Thursday 7 September, all from 5pm to 7pm. At each Advice Event staff will be on hand to offer advice including lecturers, Course Sales Advisors, Student Services, Higher Education and members from the Business Solutions team for Apprenticeships.

The events are ideal for students who have received their GCSEs and wish to explore the options available to them after school.

Shrewsbury College and Shrewsbury Sixth Form College formed as Shrewsbury Colleges Group nearly a year ago and the Group is now the largest tertiary college in the UK.

For full listings of upcoming events, you can visit our online Events Calendar or check out our Facebook page.

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<![CDATA[Shrewsbury church gets media overhaul thanks to Shrewsbury College student]]> tag:shrewsbury.ac.uk,2017:/6.19297 2017-07-18T14:42:00Z 2017-08-31T14:45:43Z Miles Porton milesp@shrewsbury.ac.uk A Shropshire college computer student volunteered his time to help a local church by building it a website and helping with their social media presence.

St Chad’s Church in Shrewsbury is an iconic Grade I Listed Building – the only circular Georgian church in the country which retains its original interior.  The Friends of St Chad’s, who contribute to the maintenance of the fabric of St Chad’s, recently enlisted the help from a student at Shrewsbury College to help build a new website and build on their social media presence.

Shrewsbury College was approached by Nick Paterson, Membership Secretary of The Friends of St Chad’s in Shrewsbury to see if any students were happy to help volunteer for the job.

Mr Paterson, said: “We wanted to build a new web page and we had no social media presence. I produced a product brief and sent it to Lorraine Burrage, The Agency Project Coordinator at Shrewsbury College, to see if any students would like to volunteer with building us a new website.”

Seth Jurgens, aged 17, from Telford is currently studying Level 3 Computing at Shrewsbury College and stepped up to the challenge.

He said: “The website took me about three to four months to complete. It was quite different making a website in a real life situation than in class. It’s been brilliant because you get the hands-on experience and this is a priceless experience. I’m really pleased with how the website has all come together.”

Lorraine Burrage, said: “I approached Seth at the beginning of the year and I asked him if would like to be involved in the project. From the onset, he was enthusiastic and committed to seeing the project through to the end. Seth enlisted the help of Media students, Brandon Temple-Wood, Nathan Reynolds and Daniel Smithers, to produce the template for The Friends of St Chad’s website and as a result was able to produce a website that exceeded their expectations.”

Mr Paterson added: “The Friends of St Chad’s have now got a timeless web page and Seth has introduced social media elements as we are now on Facebook and Twitter so we are able to communicate better with our Members as a result. We’re hugely appreciative to Seth and Lorraine and what has been achieved with our excellent working relationship with Shrewsbury College.”  

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<![CDATA[College restaurant retains prestigious award]]> tag:shrewsbury.ac.uk,2017:/6.19295 2017-07-18T09:02:00Z 2017-08-31T14:46:12Z Miles Porton milesp@shrewsbury.ac.uk A Shropshire college’s commercial restaurant has retained its ‘Highly Commended’ Rosette award for a further twelve months AND been voted one of the top eight College restaurants in the country.

Last year, Origins Restaurant at Shrewsbury College received a wealth of awards from the AA College Rosettes Scheme, such as ‘Gold Accreditation’ and a ‘Centre of Excellence’ status as well as their ‘Highly Commended’ award.

The AA College Rosette Scheme has been designed to reflect current industry trends within realistic working environments. It recognises a restaurant with a clear commitment to students and the industry, where food is prepared and served with care and understanding to a standard which stands out in the local area. Furthermore, restaurants have to demonstrate that they are completely commercially viable and there are clear links with the industry locally.

Origins, which opened in 2014, is a state-of-the-art training facility for Hospitality & Catering students. It gives students the opportunity to work in a professional environment and stay ahead of industry trends. Students are led by qualified, experienced chefs and front-of-house professionals, and learn about the principles of cookery, flavours, food service and complimentary wines among other things.

Each year, the small selection of restaurants across the UK that have been awarded a ‘Highly Commended’ status will be revisited by the AA Rosette inspectors to see if they continue to meet the standards expected of them. Qualified AA Hotel and Restaurant inspectors with relevant industry experience recently revisited Origins to reassess their current award status and as a result of their continued efforts to be the ‘best in their class’, they have retained their ‘Highly Commended’ award for a further twelve months.

Andy Doyle, Membership Operations Manager from People First presenting the awards said: “The AA College Rosette Scheme, developed by People 1st and AA Hotel Services, recognises college restaurants for the quality of the food they produce and the level of service they deliver. The scheme has been designed to reflect current industry trends in the realistic working environment that college restaurants provide.

“Origins Restaurant at Shrewsbury College, also holders of the People 1st Gold Accreditation, continue to deliver quality food and service whilst ensuring their students are getting the experience needed to thrive in their future careers in this exciting industry.”

Chef Lecturer, Dan Gibbons at Shrewsbury College, said: “It is a great honour to retain our ‘Highly Commended’ status and still be one of only a few colleges nationally to receive this award. The students have continued to show great commitment and attention to detail, which sets them apart from the crowd – well done. We recently found out we had beaten off stiff competition to be named one of the best eight College Restaurants in the Year – again, beating off stiff competition. We had to put together a video and presentation at the awards ceremony in London and judges highly commended what we are achieving here.

Jackie Swan, Curriculum Lead for Hospitality & Catering at Shrewsbury College, said: “Our students and staff work extremely hard each year and we are incredibly proud of their efforts. They have shown their professionalism, enthusiasm and talent. Origins has a brilliant reputation for both its standard of service and cuisine and this is down to our students. They should be extremely proud of themselves.”

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<![CDATA[Students scoop top awards in global competition]]> tag:shrewsbury.ac.uk,2017:/6.19292 2017-07-13T13:07:00Z 2017-08-31T14:46:37Z Miles Porton milesp@shrewsbury.ac.uk Four students studying Creative Media at Shrewsbury College entered ‘A Sense of Hope’, an international competition looking for the most talented in creative media animation, with two students scooping the top places.

 ‘A Sense of…’ is a global film and animation competition for people up to the age of 25 years old. Each candidate was asked to produce an original 90 second short around a new theme each year. This year, entrants have created films and animations around the theme of Hope.

This exciting competition is run by award winning video production company Elstree Film Design Ltd and supported by platinum sponsor Creative England who are dedicated to the growth of the creative industries, and category sponsor Spotlight (for Best Actor and Best Actress), the UK’s leading casting resource.

Industry professionals judged the entries across a range of categories and this year the judges were; Vic Armstrong – Academy Award winning action director and stuntman, Peta Bayley – Animation supervisor at MPC, Mark Horton – Presenter on the BBC 2 programme Coast, Jane Anderson – Casting Director of dramas and comedies, Heather Fenoughty – Film music composer and sound designer, Dr Niall McCann – Presenter for the award-winning documentary Lost in the Amazon and Susan Jacobson – director and producer.

The competition is split into three main age groups. Primary (up to 11 years old), Secondary (11-18 years old) and the 18 – 25 year old group.

Lauren Garbett and Arfon Williams were chosen by the industry professionals to be the winner in different categories. Lauren, aged 20 from Newport scooped ‘Best Original Music’ in the 18-25 category with her work titled, ‘A Selkies Lullaby’ and was chosen as a finalist in the ‘Best Sound’ category. Lauren said: “I was quite surprised, I wasn’t expecting it. I put a lot of work into it – we drove along the Welsh coast to find filming opportunities. I’m really happy my hard work paid off.”

Arfon, aged 18 from Newtown, was awarded ‘Best Production Design’ in the 18-25 category with his work titled, ‘Refuge’ and was chosen as a finalist in the ‘Best Animation’ category. Arfon said: “I put in hundreds of hours of work into this project and I’m extremely happy that I was awarded for my work. It’s been an amazing experience and I am proud of my achievement.”

Brandon Temple-Wood and Paige Dixon, both aged 17 from Shrewsbury were also awarded for their talent, after being placed as finalists in a number of categories in the Secondary age group. Brandon Temple-Wood was a finalist in the following categories, ‘Best Animation’, ‘Best Edit’, ‘Best Production Design’ and ‘Best Look’. Paige Dixon was a finalist in the ‘Best Costume’ and ‘Best Hair & Makeup’ categories.

Sam Finch, Producer at Elstree Film Design Ltd who is running the competition, said: “It was fantastic to have so many Shrewsbury College students take part in this year’s film and animation competition, and it’s brilliant that some turned out to be winners and finalists.  We hope that everyone who took part enjoyed making their entries, and that this competition gives them confidence and encouragement to continue producing films and animations in the future.”

John O’Connell, Curriculum Lead for Creative Media, said: “I am extremely proud of our students and their achievements - they have put in a lot of effort and I’m pleased that their efforts have been rewarded.”

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<![CDATA[Annual Graduation Ceremony rewards Higher Education students]]> tag:shrewsbury.ac.uk,2017:/6.19274 2017-07-07T16:58:00Z 2017-08-31T14:47:25Z Miles Porton milesp@shrewsbury.ac.uk Shrewsbury College has been offering Higher Education in Shropshire for over 20 years – this year saw another successful conclusion as students celebrated their achievements at the Annual Graduation Ceremony.

A line of mortar boards and graduation gowns made its way from Shrewsbury Market Square to St Chad’s Church in the annual Shrewsbury College graduation parade on Friday.

This year, the College has seen over 180 students graduate from a range of university-level courses, with 100 students and tutors taking part in the parade and awards ceremony.

The parade processed from the Square in an array of awarding body colours at 2:45pm, led by the Mayor of Shrewsbury, Councillor Jane Mackenzie.

Students from Performing Arts joined together in song to celebrate the year’s successes and to bid farewell to those graduating. They performed choral arrangements throughout the ceremony of well-known songs. Their programme of songs included, You’ll Never Walk Alone and Climb Every Mountain, both performances sung about hope and aspirations which resonated with the audience.

The graduation ceremony in St Chad’s Church started at 3pm and welcomed Mandy Thorn MBE, Vice Chair of the Marches LEP as the special guest speaker.

Ms Thorn said: "A properly skilled workforce is vital to the economic prosperity of a region. Simply, education and training needs to engage with employers to not only ensure that provision meets the needs of those employers and raises the productivity of a region, but that it is done in such a way as to encourage young people to develop their careers in the areas where they've studied.

"Here in Shropshire, part of the wider Marches region, we have location specific challenges with an ageing workforce and an increasingly retired population and it was with this in mind that, earlier this year, the Marches LEP launched its three year skills plan, supported with a skills action plan.  As a public/private-sector partnership, we're uniquely positioned to bring together a wide range of employers and training providers to meet the challenges that businesses face and work with them to ensure that higher education provision is fit for purpose."

James Staniforth, Principal and CEO of Shrewsbury Colleges Group, said: “I am delighted today to be celebrating the success of our graduates. Higher education provides such wonderful opportunities for students to develop their academic interests and deepen their knowledge and understanding, as well as providing the critical skills needed in Shropshire and the region.

“Shrewsbury Colleges Group is the largest provider of higher education in the county, offering local, quality, affordable courses which help our local area, whether it is through providing engineering graduates, trained teachers or counsellors. I want to offer my personal congratulations to every individual student as we collectively celebrate their personal journeys and achievements. It is a proud day to be college Principal.”

Graduating student Grace Currie, 24 from Shrewsbury, said: “It was really exciting. I didn’t think I’d get this far, but now I have, I’m very pleased.”

Natasha Newman, who also graduated, said: “I've been studying on the PGCE course for two years whilst in full-time employment. The course and teaching staff have been outstanding and I have been so grateful for all the support I have received when training. I feel extremely proud to receive my certificate after all the hard work. The course has allowed me to not only develop skills in teaching and learning but it has also given me the confidence to reach my best potential. I am now looking forward to pursuing a career teaching English which I feel very passionate about.”

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<![CDATA[Students celebrate success at regional competitions]]> tag:shrewsbury.ac.uk,2017:/6.19243 2017-06-28T15:46:00Z 2017-08-31T14:47:50Z Miles Porton milesp@shrewsbury.ac.uk A group of Shrewsbury College students have been successfully placed as the top talent in the region in a variety of Construction Trades.

Six students, studying either Bricklaying, Site Carpentry, Electrical Installation or Plumbing at Shrewsbury College, recently took part in the regional stage of the UK SkillBuild competition - with five students coming out top with three first places, a second place and a third place.

SkillBuild is the UK’s biggest and longest running competition looking for construction skill and talent that’s built to last. The competition, which has been running for over 45 years, sees the best in construction talent compete against each other to be crowned the SkillBuild winner in their chosen trade.

Joe Northall, aged 23 from Chirk, who has been an apprentice bricklayer at Shingler Homes for under a year, fought off the extremely talented individuals to win first place in the UK SkillBuild in Bricklaying. Joe said: “I’m really pleased to win the regional finals, I wasn’t expecting to win but this is a really great achievement and I’m grateful my work has been recognised.”

Luke Vaughan, aged 19 from Shrewsbury was placed second in the region for UK SkillBuild Plumbing. Luke, who is an apprentice at Lee Turner in Shrewsbury, said: “I wasn’t expecting to be placed in the top three. I am really happy about my achievement and how the competition went.”

Marc Marshall, aged 20 from Telford also performed extremely well in the UK SkillBuild in Electrical Installation, winning first place in the region. Marc is currently an apprentice at Courtland Properties in Telford and said: “It was quite daunting at first but once the competition was underway it was really enjoyable, I was totally shocked to win first place but I’m really pleased with the result.”

Andy Balmer, aged 24 from Baschurch and Nick Damerum, aged 20 from Cressage, both entered the UK SkillBuild in Site Carpentry. Both Andy and Nick were placed in the top three in the region – Andy is currently an apprentice at J.R Slee in Condover and said: “This is the second time I’ve won first place at the regional finals of SkillBuild Site Carpentry. I’m hoping to progress to the nationals this year. I’m really pleased to have won as I’ve put a lot of hard work into it and it’s nice to be recognised for my work.”

Nick, who came third place in the same competition and currently an apprentice at English Construction in Shrewsbury said: “It was my first time at the SkillBuild competition and it’s been a fantastic experience. I’m really thrilled to have been placed in the top three in the region. It’s given me the motivation to work towards first place next year.”  

Oliver Farrell, Product Manager for SkillBuild, said: “SkillBuild is an excellent way of showcasing talented young people in the construction industry, and the competition provides them with the opportunity to develop their skills and compete against fellow apprentices. If they are successful, they could reach the SkillBuild National Finals and then potentially progress onto WorldSkills international competitions. SkillBuild can be the start of a successful, rewarding career in the construction industry.”

Stuart Raine, Curriculum Lead for Construction Trades at Shrewsbury College, said: “This year Construction has entered six apprentices into Bricklaying, Electrical Installation, Plumbing and Site Carpentry. I am extremely proud of all the apprentices who competed in the regional heats. In all we came away with three firsts, a second and a third place. This is a tribute to their fantastic ability. They have demonstrated accurate plan interpretation and setting out, high skill, attention to detail and precision together with producing a neat finish that meets the high specifications set by the competition. The brilliant results achieved show that they have what it takes to be outstanding in their respective trades. With three apprentices gaining first place in Bricklaying, Electrical Installation and Site Carpentry confirms that we have some very highly talented young apprentices at Shrewsbury College”.

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<![CDATA[National Barber Award for Shropshire Student]]> tag:shrewsbury.ac.uk,2017:/6.19241 2017-06-27T12:23:00Z 2017-08-31T14:48:14Z Miles Porton milesp@shrewsbury.ac.uk A Shrewsbury College student scoops first place at National barbering competition.

James Roberts, 16 from Bridgnorth got through to the finals of The British Barbers’ Association, National Student Barber of the Year 2017 last month, after stiff competition from other students across the UK.

Following a photographic competition, which had over 380 entries from colleges and training providers throughout the UK, covering three categories: Hair Cut and Finish; Facial Hair Design; and Precision Hair Cut and Finish - the final competition was judged by top industry experts Gary Machin, Chris Foster and Erik Lander.

James, who studies Level 2 Barbering at Shrewsbury College, was then revealed to win first place in the area of Hair Cut and Finish at the competition.

He said: “When they didn't call my name out for 2nd or 3rd I was very worried I hadn't been placed especially as the people who I was up against were very talented. When they called my name for 1st I was very happy I had won.”

The standard was extremely high this year and made it a hard choice for the judges who took several days to deliberate and decide who the three finalists for each category would be.

Erik Lander, BBA judge said: “Everyone who entered should be proud of themselves for taking part in the competition, it’s a great learning curve and I would encourage all student barbers to showcase their work through competitions and if you are not successful keep going, never give up!  Your skills and work will get better each time you enter.”

Chris Foster, BBA Director said: “It was really encouraging to see the high standard of work from the BBA National Student Barber of the Year competition.  It was really inspiring to see how students were looking at the suitability of style whilst pushing the boundaries of technical skill, so early on in their career. Competitions like this are vital for students to feel a sense of pride for the barbering craft.  This pride will help then continue to work to the highest standard in the world of work.”

The winners which includes James, received a trophy and the title of BBA National Student Barber of the Year 2017 but also took away prize money of £500 and a goody bag of Andis Clippers and BBA Male Grooming products.

Jackie Swan, Curriculum Lead for Hair & Beauty at Shrewsbury College, said: “We are delighted with James’s achievements. He is a talented barber and as a result of this has secured his employment at Bull & Co. in Bridgnorth. We encourage all of our students to participate in competitions to showcase their talents and allow their creative flair to be demonstrated in such environments.”

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<![CDATA[Work experience results in employment for student]]> tag:shrewsbury.ac.uk,2017:/6.19240 2017-06-27T11:39:00Z 2017-08-31T14:48:45Z Miles Porton milesp@shrewsbury.ac.uk Hard work and professionalism has paid off for a Shropshire student after their work placement leads to a permanent job.

Natasha Beaman, 17 from Shrewsbury, is currently studying Level 3 Travel & Tourism at Shrewsbury College and as part of the College’s work placement programme, Natasha had the opportunity to work at Opulent Travel Services.

Opulent Travel Services, based in Shrewsbury, are specialists in international lifestyle travel management and create luxury tailor-made holiday packages.

Natasha wowed bosses with the skills she had learnt at college alongside her professionalism and good work ethic and as a result, Natasha was offered a permanent post.

Leighann Morgan, Managing Director of Opulent Travel Services, said: “When Natasha first joined us at the start of her eight-week work experience programme, she was quite quiet. Over the weeks, we have seen her confidence and professionalism build. We are really excited to have Natasha join our team as we know she will be a really great asset. Working with Shrewsbury College enables us to not only get students with a great work ethic but we can also help them into the world of employment – giving them the chance and opportunities to succeed.”

Natasha said: “I am really grateful to be offered a permanent post at Opulent Travel Services. Being able to get the experience of working with the public face-to-face whilst using the knowledge and understanding of my course at Shrewsbury College worked well. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with everyone at Opulent Travel Services and I look forward to starting my career in the travel industry with them.”

Jackie Swan, Curriculum Lead for Travel & Tourism said: “I’m delighted and congratulate Natasha for gaining employment with Opulent Travel Services. She is one of many success stories of our students gaining employment this year as a result of work experience - an essential and key element of the Travel and Tourism programme of study. Students have opportunities to work alongside large and small employers both locally and nationally to grow in commercial awareness, as well as develop and build on their interpersonal qualities and skills needed in the industry.”

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<![CDATA[Students awarded for overcoming adversity]]> tag:shrewsbury.ac.uk,2017:/6.18975 2017-06-23T08:46:00Z 2017-08-31T14:49:13Z Miles Porton milesp@shrewsbury.ac.uk The Shrewsbury Colleges Group Equality & Diversity Committee has recognised students who have overcome adversity for the fourth year running through the ‘Star Awards’.

Adversity takes many forms and the Awards were open to any student (including Higher Education) or apprentice across the Group, who has faced a difficult or unpleasant situation this year and has overcome obstacles and risen to challenges life has presented. 

This year’s Star Awards event has been generously sponsored by Rotary Club Shrewsbury Severn. Kerry Ferguson, Rotary Club member, attended the selection panel along with Governor Christina Gore and members of the E&D Committee. Together, they had the difficult task of selecting an overall winner from a strong list of nominations. Everyone involved was overwhelmed with the determination, drive and courage of the students nominated and would like to thank those who took the time to make the nominations. 
At the Star Awards afternoon tea in Origins at Shrewsbury College, College Governors along with Don Thompson, President, and Colin Sharp, Vice President, of Rotary Club Shrewsbury Severn, presented certificates and prizes to all nominees and the trophy to our overall Star, Benjamin Speck.

Benjamin, 17 from Shrewsbury said: “I was really surprised to have even been nominated, let alone win the overall award. My confidence has increased thanks to the College and I’d like to thank all the teachers for all their support, help and encouragement.”

Gill Cox, Colleges Group Lead for Equality & Diversity said: “When considering these awards, we were absolutely overwhelmed with the bravery, determination, courage and positive spirit of all the nominees. I’d like to congratulate Ben as our overall winner – we are delighted with his performance and progress at College.”
In addition to the prizes and impressive trophy, Rotary Club Shrewsbury Severn have donated funds to enable the College to purchase two Reader Pens to support students in their learning and exams across all campuses. Special thanks goes to all who contributed to this worthwhile event.

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<![CDATA[College Music students remember former Charlatan’s drummer Jon Brookes at special awards ceremony]]> tag:shrewsbury.ac.uk,2017:/6.18973 2017-06-23T08:39:00Z 2017-08-31T14:49:39Z Miles Porton milesp@shrewsbury.ac.uk Music Technology students at Shrewsbury College were rewarded for their efforts at their annual awards ceremony this week - with one scooping the main accolade, named after former Charlatans’ drummer, Jon Brookes.

The Jon Brookes Award for Endeavour was established after Mr Brookes, former drummer with world-renowned British Indie band The Charlatans, became affiliated with the College when he helped to launch its Roland Academy for Music in 2009.

Over the years he held student workshops focused on both drumming and working in the music industry as a whole, which included impressive personal demonstrations as well as giving students the opportunity to play alongside him to famous tracks by his band.

In late 2013, Jon passed away from a brain tumour – but his legacy through the College lives on. Deborah Hill-Brookes, Jon’s wife presented the award in honour of her husband with the help from one of their three children, Coco Brookes.

Year 1, Level 3 Music Technology student, Oliver Davies aged 17 from Bridgnorth, scooped The Jon Brookes Award for Endeavour.

Oliver said: “I’m very happy, I couldn’t believe it, I was speechless – to win this Award is a real honour and I’d like to thank all my teachers at Shrewsbury College for nominating me.”

Other prizes and certificates handed out to students who had achieved a lot and made exceptional contributions to the course this year included:

Best Recording EP – Callum McIntyre, Jack Smith and Brodie Normandin
Performer of the Year – Sam Hendrik
Bromance Award – Jordan Baggott and Josh Dunning
Hard Graft Award – Ben Williams
Outstanding Contribution – Brodie Normandin and Aaron Evans

Music Technology Teacher at Shrewsbury College, Beth McGowan commented: “The students have worked very hard and it’s important to celebrate their achievement, this was made even more special by having Debbie and Coco here. We chose Oliver Davies as the overall winner as he has worked really hard and has shown remarkable improvement throughout the year.”

Oliver, who came to the College from Oldbury Wells School in Bridgnorth, is planning to pursue a career as a professional musician.

Deborah Hill-Brookes, Jon’s wife, said: “This is the third time I have been at the awards event since Jon helped at the College and the first time I have been asked to present the award in his honour. This year, it is the first time Coco Brookes, one of Jon’s three children, has been able to come and see the award being presented in her dad’s name. I’m so glad the College has seen fit to carry on this award in Jon’s name. Jon would have been elated to see everyone here at this event, recognising the students in this way for their hard work. He loved spending time with the students and was passionate about helping them learn about music and its production as it was always his passion. My congratulations go to Oliver Davies and I hope he goes on to have a fantastic career in this industry.”

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