1512137706 <![CDATA[News]]> 2017-12-01T14:15:06Z Copyright (c) 2017, Lisa Price ExpressionEngine tag:shrewsbury.ac.uk,2017:12:01 <![CDATA[Health & Social Care students help those less fortunate this festive season]]> tag:shrewsbury.ac.uk,2017:/6.19539 2017-12-01T13:17:00Z 2017-12-01T14:15:06Z Lisa Price lisap@shrewsbury.ac.uk Health & Social Care students from Shrewsbury Colleges Group are running a food bank to support two Shropshire homeless charities.

The London Road Campus based students have set up collection boxes at English Bridge, Welsh Bridge and their own campus reception until 14 December. There are a variety of things that students, staff and visitors can drop off to help those less fortunate, including: tea, coffee, hot chocolate, sugar, salt, pepper, peanut butter, squash, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, tinned meat, tinned vegetables and single duvets.

Sarah Davies, Health & Social Care Teacher, said: “The students have decided to collect food and essential items for individuals and homeless people in the local area. The organisations we are supporting offer our students valuable work experience, so as well as helping those who sleep on the streets, this is our way of saying thank you.

“I am very proud of the recent achievements of the Health &Social Care students and the great work they are doing within our community. It is such a brilliant course to teach and it is great to see the students progress into careers they love.”

The students have chosen to donate the items collected to Shrewsbury Ark and Maninplace in Telford. They picked these homeless charities to thank them and because even though Christmas is a time to spend with your family, there are those that don’t have that luxury.

The charitable work, will give students a fantastic a hands-on experience, something that is an important part of the Health & Social Care course.

Recently, the second year Level 3 Health &Social Care students were recognised for the efforts they had been putting in on work placement. Over 50 students did exceptionally well over the past two years, with some securing part-time employment and ongoing volunteer opportunities in their most recent placements. These were secured due to excellent performance and this was acknowledged with the College’s Placement Award. The 32 students who were graded ‘excellent’, by their employers, in six areas (overall performance, potential, attitude, time keeping, communication skills and use of initiative) were awarded a certificate by James Staniforth, Shrewsbury Colleges Group Principal.

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<![CDATA[Peter Tatchell comes to College for thought provoking talk]]> tag:shrewsbury.ac.uk,2017:/6.19538 2017-11-30T15:27:00Z 2017-11-30T16:57:32Z Lisa Price lisap@shrewsbury.ac.uk Human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell, marked the 1967 Sexual Offences Act 50 year anniversary with a talk to Shrewsbury Colleges Group students.

This year celebrates 50 years since the Sexual Offenses Act of 1967 got passed, a major piece of legislation that decriminalised many anti-homosexual laws. Peter Tatchell, who is best known for his work with LGBT social movements, came to speak to students about the history and implementation of the bill.

Mr Tatchell is a significant figure of history and is celebrating his 50th year as an activist. On November 29, in the Wakeman hall of English bridge Campus, students and staff of Shrewsbury Colleges Group had the exciting privilege of listening to his interesting discussion on the history of this act, the more recent acts and what it means for the future of the LGBT community.

He commented: “I was delighted to talk at the Shrewsbury Colleges Group on the 50 year battle for LGBT equality in the UK. I'm sure pupils were shocked to learn about the scale of homophobic discrimination and violence in the past, and that the criminalisation of homosexuality across the whole of the UK only ended four years ago. It is astonishing to think that gay men could face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment until 1967. We've made huge progress since then and I am proud to have been part of those changes."

Sian Squire, History teacher from English bridge Campus said: “Our A level History students have been studying changes in society over the last 100 years. One of the biggest changes in the C20 has been the increase of rights and recognition for LGBTIQ persons. As well as the 1967 Sexual Offences Act, in 2013 Britain passed the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act which legalised same sex marriage. Same sex attraction has gone from being a criminal act to being accepted and even celebrated in Britain within 100 years. This has led to a massive change in attitudes and society over the last few decades.

“In the 1950s, an ex-headmaster from Shrewsbury, John Wolfenden was commissioned to write the Wolfenden Report. It made several recommendations which were eventually realised in the passing of the Sexual Offences Act in 1967. We invited Peter Tatchell to speak to students because his name has been synonymous internationally with lobbying for LGBTIQ rights for many years. He is able to motivate and enthuse our students; we’re really excited to have him visit.”

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<![CDATA[Students are ace volunteers for pro tennis tournament!]]> tag:shrewsbury.ac.uk,2017:/6.19533 2017-11-28T11:27:00Z 2017-11-28T11:28:49Z Lisa Price lisap@shrewsbury.ac.uk Students from Shrewsbury Colleges Group have spent their spare time volunteering for the AEGON Pro-Series Tennis Tournament.

At the beginning of the month The Shrewsbury Club hosted the AEGON Pro-Series Tennis Tournament for another year. This event has been supported by student volunteers from the Shrewsbury Colleges Group for the past 3 years and eager students jumped at the chance to do it again.

Volunteering programmes are run throughout the year at Shrewsbury Colleges Group. These extra-curricular opportunities are not only fun to get involved with, but can also help with student’s UCAS applications or CVs.

Students from all three campuses rolled up their sleeves and helped out on the days. Mollie Ann Grant, 20 and Will Hunter, 20 both from London Road Campus, worked as sound engineers and had the important task of providing music throughout the final. Lucy Phillips, 16 and Olivia Myers, 17, both from English Bridge and Welsh Bridge Campus, manned the coffee stand and served spectators and guests with barista style coffees. Finally, Tomos Harrison, 18, from English Bridge and Welsh Bridge Campus was able to capture all these spectacular volunteering moments with his photography skills.

However, students didn’t just help out on the day; a group of Carpentry students form London Road Campus made a timber frame tunnel that would be used for the players and officials to enter the court. This construction was requested by Dave Courteen, Managing Director of The Shrewsbury Club, who was very pleased with the final outcome.

The AEGON Pro-Series Tennis Tournament is where many players start their professional careers and in the past the likes of Heather Watson, Laura Robson and Johanna Konta have all played at The Shrewsbury Club. Each of the men’s and women’s tournaments attract around 1,000 people from all over UK and Europe to Shrewsbury. This year saw Anna-Lena Friedsam and Lesley Kerkhove in the final, with Anna lifting the trophy and a prize of £25,000.

Lorraine Burrage, Agency Project Co-Ordinator, said: “I am always really proud of all the students at Shrewsbury Colleges group who give up their free time to help at events like this. I would like to thank each and every one of them for working within their local community and proving to be great ambassadors for the college.”

For more information on Shrewsbury College visit: shrewsbury.ac.uk or call 01743 342 332 For Shrewsbury Sixth Form College visit: ssfc.ac.uk or call 01743 235491.

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<![CDATA[College apprentices win gold at skills competition]]> tag:shrewsbury.ac.uk,2017:/6.19532 2017-11-27T11:02:00Z 2017-11-27T11:25:44Z Lisa Price lisap@shrewsbury.ac.uk Two apprentices from Shrewsbury Colleges Group have been flying the flag for Shropshire and showing the rest of the UK how skilful this county is by bringing home two gold medals.

At WorldSkills UK competition last week Andrew Balmer, an Advanced Apprentice (Level 3) in Site Carpentry, won gold in the SkillBuild carpentry final and Marc Marshall, an Advanced Apprentice (Level 3) in Electrical Installation, won gold in the SkillElectric final.

Overall Shrewsbury Colleges Group came 9th in the competition, out of 119, and no other college got two golds.

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.

Both students competed against seven other opponents to be crowned champions. Winning gold gives entrants the honour of going to the WorldSkills final as part of Team UK – this will take place in Russia in 2019. Marc will perfect his skills over the next two years and focus on representing the UK on an international platform. Sadly, Andrew will be too old to compete in 2019, so he will focus on continuing his studies with Shrewsbury Colleges Group towards a Higher Apprenticeship studying a Higher National Certificate in Construction and the Built Environment NVQ in Site Supervision.

Andrew, aged 25, from Baschurch, works for JR Slee Building & Joinery Contractors based in Condover. The company are active supporters of Apprenticeships and 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.

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.

Stuart Raine, Construction Curriculum Leader, said: “I am absolutely delighted that Andrew and Marc both won gold medals. I cannot praise the lads high enough for their commitment, motivation and passion to compete at this level. Since winning their regional finals in June, they have been training twice a week, fitting it in around full time work and college studies.

“It is a shame that Andrew will not fit into the age requirement for WorldSkills in 2019, but that does not detract from the truly remarkable achievement by these two talented and gifted students. This is a tremendous achievement for Andrew and Marc and winning two gold medals at a national final is a first for Construction”.

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

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<![CDATA[Performing Arts students give us a panto with a spin]]> tag:shrewsbury.ac.uk,2017:/6.19531 2017-11-24T16:24:00Z 2017-11-24T16:26:47Z Lisa Price lisap@shrewsbury.ac.uk It’s pantomime season and the Performing Arts students of Shrewsbury Colleges Group are putting on a show.

Students from London Road Campus will be putting a spin on the classic fairy-tale Cinderella to bring you Spinderella - a fun pantomime full of magic and sparkle. The original script is written by the College’s own Performing Arts teacher, Andy Pierce.

Cheer and boo as Spinderella, a young girl living in her late father’s record store with her evil step-mother and sisters, tries to keep her father’s legacy alive and stop the store falling into the wrong hands.

Spinderella is a quirky homage to traditional pantomime, with a very contemporary feel. Well -loved characters like the Fairy Godmother and Buttons share stage space with evil music mogul Rich Filthy, his spoilt daughter Paris Filthy and of course, the eponymous Spinderella herself. Mixing together rock, pop and musical theatre songs, dance numbers and great jokes – Spinderella is not to be missed.

Teacher Andy Pierce said: “This is a challenging run for the students, two weeks of matinee and evening shows mirrors the industry. Students will perform in the college theatre and take the show on tour to local schools. This really is real world experience and shows the students that tenacity, effort and stamina are just as important as their singing, dancing and acting skills.

“It’s a great chance for our students to perform and interact with the audience and promises to be a lot of fun for everyone! Our students have worked really hard on the show and we have some incredibly talented performers. It’s open to the public in the evenings so get into the Christmas spirit now and buy your tickets!”

The Level 3 students have been working hard in rehearsals and getting ready for their first performance this Monday (27 Nov) - taking it to the local schools in the afternoons and the college theatre in the evenings.

Performances will be taking place in the Performing Arts Theatre at the London Road Campus from Monday, 27 November to Friday, 1 December, and Monday 4 to Friday, 8 December, at 7.30pm. Tickets can be reserved by emailing boxoffice@shrewsbury.ac.uk

For more information on Shrewsbury College visit: shrewsbury.ac.uk or call 01743 342 332 For Shrewsbury Sixth Form College visit: ssfc.ac.uk or call 01743 235491.

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<![CDATA[100% job success rate for students]]> tag:shrewsbury.ac.uk,2017:/6.19527 2017-11-22T10:01:00Z 2017-11-22T10:06:09Z Lisa Price lisap@shrewsbury.ac.uk Beauty Therapies and Hospitality and Catering students who achieved their qualifications from Shrewsbury College, London Road Campus, in summer 2017; have excelled in their first steps after education.

The fifteen Level 3 students studying Beauty Therapy and Complementary Therapy, and the nine Level 3 students studying Professional Cookery have all acquired jobs in their fields and are on their way to a successful career doing what they love.

The successful students have achieved their new jobs in a variety of places; from one of the many suitable Shrewsbury businesses, to big ventures in London, to starting their own business.

Beauty Therapies students learn a wide range of treatments during their study time, including body massage, hot stones, anatomy and more. The on-site Hair and Beauty Training Academy gives students the chance to gain valuable experience by performing these treatments on clients.

Lucy Wilde, 21, who has gained a Level 3 Diploma in Complimentary Therapies, secured her job after a positive two week work placement. She is now a Beauty Therapist at Evolve Hair and Beauty Salon in Shrewsbury. Lucy said: “I loved my time at Shrewsbury College, it’s a great place to learn. My teachers Mel Poutney and Kelly Hodgkiss encouraged and inspired me every day and I’m so thankful to them for helping me find my perfect job. Mel had faith in me for my work placement with Evolve and that instilled a confidence in me that helped me perform my best to secure a job.

“In the future I would like to broaden my skills and become a versatile employee by training as a Hair Stylist. I would definitely study a Hairdressing apprenticeship at Shrewsbury College to get there.”

Professional Cookery students cover areas that include, kitchen skills, classic cuts and bakery. Plus the added benefit of being able to put their newly learnt skills into practise at Origins – the college restaurant that is open to the public and has an AA rosette highly commended. The food at Origins is prepared and served by students, giving them a good practising platform and real-life experience.

Abbi Lycett, 21, is a Chef de Partie at Tredwells, a Marcus Wareing restaurant in London’s West End. After studying at Shrewsbury College and gaining her Level 3 Diploma in Professional Cookery, Abbi wanted to go further afield and she successfully applied for a job in London. She commented: “I wouldn’t have got this job without everything I learnt at college, or the encouragement from Senior Chef Lecturer, Dan Gibbons. The way service is run and taught at Origins is just like the service in London restaurants.

“Going forward, I’m hoping to progress within the kitchen. I’ve already been promoted in the three months I’ve been there; so I’m excited to see what the future holds for me.”

Jackie Swan, Curriculum leader for both Beauty Therapies and Hospitality and Catering said: ““We are delighted that our last cohort of Level 3 Professional Chefs and beauty Therapy students have all gained employment as a result of studying with us at Shrewsbury College. Our students are trained to industry standards in our commercial salon and restaurant, which allows for them to develop and practice outstanding vocational and employability skills. I’m very proud of all the hard work put in by the students and teachers."

Aiming for more successfully employed students in summer 2018, Dan Gibbons, has set up two prestigious work placements for two of his students. Corbyn Gilham and Jack Kirby have been given the opportunity to go to Lainston House in Winchester and The Cliffe at Dinham in Ludlow. They will spend an alternating week in each, learning from the two very different, yet equally valuable environments.

For more information on courses at Shrewsbury Colleges Group visit: shrewsbury.ac.uk and ssfc.ac.uk or call 01743 342 332 and 01743 235491.

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<![CDATA[Charlotte and Jess secure work placement at local travel magazine]]> tag:shrewsbury.ac.uk,2017:/6.19522 2017-11-16T14:21:00Z 2017-11-16T14:29:26Z Lisa Price lisap@shrewsbury.ac.uk A local publishing company who specialise in the travel trade are supporting Shrewsbury Colleges Group by placing students from the Level Three Diploma in Travel & Tourism on work experience. Blueprint Travel Media, whose clients range from English Heritage and The National Trust for Scotland to West End theatre shows, stately homes and all types of visitor attractions, produce their own bespoke publications covering the UK and Europe, guides for The Tourism Society, Heritage Railway Association and AGTO as well as gourmet food guides and Original Shrewsbury’s town map and town guide.

Nick Bevan, Managing Director of Blueprint Travel Media said,  “It is a great opportunity for both parties. We have had an amazing year, growing rapidly, and it is fantastic to be able to help the college with the student's education experience. We work in a vibrant industry and the students we’ve met so far have a genuine enthusiasm for UK tourism. It is often a forgotten industry but it is the backbone of many livelihoods in communities – our town is no different with over £500 million being added to the local economy through tourism related activities.”

Jackie Swan, Curriculum Leader for Hospitality & Catering said, “It’s absolutely brilliant that two of our students have been offered placements with Blueprint Travel Media where they will get the opportunity to be involved with real projects in the tourism publishing industry. They went through a selection process and were given valuable feedback on both their CVs and their interview skills that will be invaluable when applying for future jobs. Last year the college organised 883 placements for students, which offer them invaluable experience that not only helps them decide what areas they would like to work in the future but also gives them a real insight into what working in industry is like. It opens up further experiences and Charlotte Taylor-Jones and Jessica Davenport-Sheridan will have a real advantage to help them move up that career ladder following their studies.”

Visit www.blueprintmedia.org.uk to find out more about Blueprint Travel Media or call 01743 231135 to see if they can help your business with print buying, distribution, bespoke design work or a sales campaign.

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<![CDATA[Singer Carol Decker really did push her dreams on Shrewsbury College’s art course]]> tag:shrewsbury.ac.uk,2017:/6.19521 2017-11-14T15:48:00Z 2017-11-14T16:18:09Z Lisa Price lisap@shrewsbury.ac.uk Shrewsbury Colleges Group has welcomed one of its most well-known past student to its alumni, a music star who lives and studied in the town in the 1980s and wrote her biggest hit which topped the charts for 5 weeks 30 years ago this month!

Carol Decker, lead singer with the band T’Pau, studied the Foundation Art Course at the Wakeman School of Art in 1979, just before the course and facilities were moved to the London Road site.

Carol, originally from Liverpool, lived all over Shropshire, including Wellington, Ironbridge, Bridgnorth and Shrewsbury, where she went to College when she was 22. It was during this time that she met Ronnie, who was to become her partner and the other founding member of the hit band T’Pau.

Carol said her parents, a singer and a pianist, loved the fact she decided to attend art college following her stint at Wellington School for girls and they encouraged her to follow her passions. It was on the course that she met many like-minded artists.

“Quite a few musicians were doing the courses, although music wasn’t a part of it, I mixed with graphics, fine art and photography students,” she said.

“It was a very eclectic mix of artistic people and we always had the radio on while we worked and were always harmonising. I knew I could sing as people had told me, but the other students would say ‘Carol, why don’t you stop annoying us all and join a band?!’

“It never occurred to me that I could make a career from singing, but they were serious and they invited me to a party where I met Julian Ward and he wanted me to audition for his band.”

Around this time Carol also met Ronnie Rogers, who was also in the local band The Lazers – just before T’Pau was formed.

“We lived in a flat above the Pengwern Rowing Club and it’s where all our hit records were written. We used to rehearse there and there were no neighbours so it was great.”

The rowing club is where China in Your Hand was written and this month marks the 30th anniversary of the song’s release, which held the No 1 top spot in the British Charts for 5 weeks. This month, Carol and Ronnie, who have reformed the band are embarking on a special set of live shows, starting off by coming back to Shrewsbury, where it all began for a gig at The Buttermarket on 17 November.

The band stopped George Harrison from getting to number one in the singles chart with 'Got My Mind Set On You' and they also kept Paul McCartney off the top spot in the albums chart with 'All The Best' as 'Bridge of Spies' was number one in the Album Charts for a week when 'China' was number one in the singles chart.

Carol has recently become an alumni of Shrewsbury Colleges Group and said her time on the course definitely helped her with her future aspirations.

“I felt so lucky to be doing the course,” she said. “I had kind of drifted before that and was 22 when I started the course, so I guess I was a mature student. But my parents really supported me and I remember really enjoying the chance to be creative and spend time with so many likeminded people who essentially encouraged me to continue to be creative, which got me where I am today!”

Art Teacher Ed Catley, said: “Our Foundation Art started at the English Bridge campus and moved to London Road in the early 1980s. The artist Peter Edwards attended the Foundation in 1975 at English Bridge, so did the artist Geoff Hands in 1976.

“Our art school can trace its history back to 1855. It was originally located at College Hill and moved to the Wakeman Building when the building opened. We still offer the popular Foundation Art Diploma which has continued ever since without interruption.”

If you are a past student, the College would love to hear from you. You can join our alumni by visiting www.shrewsbury.ac.uk/friends or www.ssfc.ac.uk/Alumni

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<![CDATA[The cream of the Apprenticeship Crop get rewarded]]> tag:shrewsbury.ac.uk,2017:/6.19512 2017-11-10T12:40:00Z 2017-11-13T09:32:26Z Lisa Price lisap@shrewsbury.ac.uk Shrewsbury Colleges Group has held its first Apprenticeship Awards to celebrate the successes of not only those training across a range of sectors, but also the businesses they work with.

At a three course gala dinner and ceremony held at the College’s training restaurant Origins last night (Thurs), 10 awards were handed out to apprentices, including the Apprentice of the Year Award, as well as an Employer of the Year Award.

A panel of judges chose the winners from over 50 apprentices, judging against criteria including commitment, contribution and success within the role, including the overall apprentice and business of the year winners.

Nathaniel Gibbs, a 35-year-old apprentice with Caterpillar, scooped the overall prize.

Principal James Staniforth, said: “We chose Nathaniel because of the outstanding effort he has put into learning and the obvious contribution he was able demonstrate in his work. Since joining the Inspection Department at Caterpillar, Nathaniel has gone above and beyond to seek out further opportunities. He has volunteered to give demonstrations to visitors from local schools and colleges. He has also played a leading role in an apprentice project to design and build a vehicle to race in the Much Wenlock Soapbox Derby.

“As a mature apprentice, it is clear that Nathaniel understands the value in his own learning and development and has actively pursued training in addition to the standard Apprenticeship curriculum, such as the National Physics Laboratory (NPL), which in turn is giving confidence to other apprentice colleagues to ask similar questions.

Alwyn Bedford, Inspection Team Leader at Caterpillar, added: “Nathaniel has also taken the time to analyse and refine the Inspection Team’s e-filing system, which has led to improvements for the whole team. Overall he is an enthusiastic, conscientious and committed apprentice whom we are glad to have in our team. He is a deserving winner of this award and has a great future ahead of him in engineering.”

Nathaniel’s teacher, Chris Caldwell, said: “Nathaniel is a great student. He was totally committed to his learning programme and devoured his NVQ, working ahead of all work set for him by his assessor. His progress was so swift, both in terms of the NVQ and the technical certificate, that it was agreed he should be fast tracked and a two year programme became one year, which he achieved comfortably. Not only did he achieve in record time, he was able to progress to Level 3 with ease.”

He was keen to learn and always has a positive attitude to his studies, even when he might be struggling with a topic. He was a pleasure to teach and I wish that all students' shared his passion for learning.”

Nathaniel said: “I was really surprised to win the Apprentice of the Year Award. I was flattered I was chosen as there were loads of other deserving candidates. I’m really enjoying the Apprenticeship. It’s challenging and there is a lot to learn, but it’s good to go down this route. I have four years to really learn my trade and become skilled so it can take me where I want to go in my career.

“I was a team leader and quality auditor for a deserts company. I wanted to change career and do something that was challenging and where I could continue to learn and develop a career with longevity. The pay cut was tough but it is an investment in my future. I was going to train as a teacher which would have meant paying out £20-30k, so this is a better route.”

Winner of the Employer of the Year Award was Oswestry based IN2 Access & Control Ltd, which manufacture and supply activation safety products to the automatic door and gate industries.

Mr Staniforth, said: “IN2 Access & Control have recruited eight apprentices over the past four years. Director Mark Buchan is totally committed to monitoring each individual’s progress. He attends all employer reviews and also requests feedback after each assessment visit. 

“Mark works closely with the College and sees the role of the College and the employer as both being key to the development of apprentices. Full time jobs have been offered to several apprentices as the company sees them as being key to the future of the business.

“Mark is an enthusiastic and committed leader, all staff in the organisation work hard for him. No one wants to let him down. In turn, they are rewarded for their dedication.

Mr Buchan, Director of IN2 Access & Control Ltd, said: “It was a massive surprise to win. We work well together with Shrewsbury College and have done for a number of years. We really orientate ourselves towards apprentices because helping them fit into the business world is really important to us. It’s one of the key elements from our point of view, we want to employ young people and help guide them through a significant stage in their careers. We encourage our apprentices to move forward with their careers within this business or elsewhere in the future.”

Mr Staniforth added: “It’s absolutely heart-warming to hear that students and employers are gaining so much value from the Apprenticeship programme with us. For some people it’s absolutely the right route and it enables these students to get hands on experience and the academic excellence they need to progress in their careers. With changes to the programme, which puts the employers at the centre of the training programme, apprentices are not only able to fulfil roles which they need to drive their businesses forward, but also to make a valuable difference to the future shaping of their companies. I want to offer my congratulations to every student who has won an award tonight.”

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<![CDATA[Shrewsbury Colleges Group students to mark Remembrance across all three campuses]]> tag:shrewsbury.ac.uk,2017:/6.19511 2017-11-09T18:16:00Z 2017-11-09T18:20:49Z Lisa Price lisap@shrewsbury.ac.uk Students and staff from Shrewsbury Colleges Group will be concurrently performing Remembrance services at their three campuses on Friday.

The poppy nets are already proudly cascading from each building and are visible to passers-by at the London Road, English Bridge and Welsh Bridge Campuses.

The poignant services, which will involve staff and students across the whole group, will pay tribute to all the men and women who lost their lives fighting for their country. On Friday, 10 November, staff and students will gather at their respective campuses to take part in or watch the event that has been organised by Commercial Manager and War veteran, Ted Coxon.

Mr Coxon, who was a Sergeant Major with the Light Infantry and Rifles Regiment and has completed over ten active tours, including in Afghanistan, Iraq and Northern Ireland, said: “This year is the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele in Belgium, the bloodiest battle of World War One, and as time passes the living memory is fading. That is why this service is great for the students getting involved and for the ones watching. It is important that they are made aware of these world events and keep the memories of all the great servicemen and women alive.

“It is also a brilliant opportunity for the College students to have the chance to perform in front of their peers.”

They will take place in front of a backdrop of poppies that have been placed on a cascading, camouflage, army net draped over the college buildings. They were designed following the 2015 Tower of London Poppy Display which saw nearly 900,000 ceramic poppies displayed at the Tower of London. The programmes at all three campuses include a variety of songs, poems and music performed by college students.

Samira Hills, 16, a Music Technology student who is performing John Lennon’s Imagine at London Road campus said: “I am really pleased that I was asked to play the piano during the remembrance ceremony. I feel proud that I can honour all the past and present servicemen and women. This song was my first choice because of the message that it conveys and I am looking forward to performing it for such a worthy cause.”

The service at all three campuses will simultaneously start at 10.50am and finally be brought to a close with a student performing an emotional rendition of The Last Post and Revelle on a bugle at London Road and on a trumpet at the other campuses.

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<![CDATA[Shropshire Businesses invited to launch of College pilot]]> tag:shrewsbury.ac.uk,2017:/6.19501 2017-11-06T13:08:00Z 2017-11-06T13:10:37Z Lisa Price lisap@shrewsbury.ac.uk A number of businesses across Shropshire were invited to a special launch dinner at Shrewsbury Colleges group, which is taking part in a Government pilot to help shape the vocational education landscape of the future.

The move comes a Lord Sainsbury undertook a review vocational education, which resulted in the Post 16 Skills Plan being written. It suggests a change to the current qualification structures and the introduction of 15 new Technical or ‘T Levels.

The recommendations were that the qualifications should better represent the skills that employers want from new recruits with work placements becoming a compulsory part of the suggested 15 routes. Shrewsbury Colleges Group is one of only 15 colleges in the country to be involved, and the only one in the West Midlands. It was chosen based on the number of students it already successfully secures work experience places for.

Some of the new T Levels are expected to be rolled out in 2019 and 2020 and by 2022 all of the vocational routes are expected to be ready for students to start. Under the new scheme, every student taking a T Level will have to complete 300 hours of work experience in order to pass.

Principal of Shrewsbury Colleges Group, James Staniforth, said: “The Government is keen to understand how the work placement aspect will work best, so the Department for Education (DfE) launched a funded pilot project. We are one of these few Colleges. The pilot is about finding the employers to commit to taking on a student for 300 hours work experience, which is approximately 40 days.”

Before July 2018 when the pilot finishes, 168 students at Shrewsbury College will need to undertake 300 hours of work experience with an employer. The areas that the College is working with are Health & Social Care, Media, Music, Construction, Engineering, Catering and Hospitality.

Catherine Armstrong, Group Vice Principal for Curriculum Support and Business Development, said: “We match the students to the employer, monitor the process and feedback to the DfE about the experience for the student and employer. The feedback we give will help to shape the work placement aspect of the qualifications. This is an important opportunity we have been given in Shropshire to really shape the future of training and likewise, for local employers to be able to have a say in what they want the training and skills of their future workforce to be like. We were delighted to be able to host some of our business partners at a dinner in our Origins Restaurant this week, to begin to explain the new T Levels and what it could mean for their businesses.

James Staniforth said the College’s role was a “critical” one, not only in terms of the pilot, but also in terms of educating people in Shropshire.

“It’s an exciting opportunity for businesses, as they have the opportunity to influence the skills, knowledge, and behaviours of their future workforce. It’s also a great way to get to know a student which could lead to an Apprenticeship or employment in the future,” he said.

The College is keen to hear from local businesses with any suggestions, ideas or who would like to be involved. Contact Julia Davies, Work Experience Co-ordinator at juliad@shrewsbury.ac.uk or call her on 01743 342347.

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<![CDATA[Creative Students try to scare you silly]]> tag:shrewsbury.ac.uk,2017:/6.19475 2017-10-30T16:36:00Z 2017-10-30T16:39:14Z Lisa Price lisap@shrewsbury.ac.uk Creative Arts and Media students from Shrewsbury College are putting on a Fright Night to make you jump this Halloween.

The Performing Arts block at London Road Campus will be transformed into a creepy dungeon on October 31, with Performing Arts, Music and Media students combining their skills to put on a Fright Night that is sure to scare you silly.

Participants are invited to meander through a combination of entertaining scenarios on foot. Each creative subject will play their part in the spooky evening with live music, scary visual media, singing, dancing and acting. Full costumes and gruesome makeup add the final touches to the hard work the students have put in.

Performing Arts, student Chloe White, 16, from Shrewsbury, commented: “I have really enjoyed the rehearsals so far - I will be performing a dance on the night. The Fright Night is the first performance I will do since starting at Shrewsbury College. The preparation has been helpful in learning about characterisation. Also, I can’t wait to scare everybody!”

Gina Evans, Performing Arts teacher, said: “Fright Night is the first performance for our new students, so it’s a brilliant way for them to get started. It is a lot of fun to take part in, but also a part of their curriculum and it goes towards their final grades. The students get to perform in an unusual setting and there is great audience interaction. Because of the interaction you don’t know how each audience member will react, therefore the students learn improvisation skills and have to quickly think on the spot.

“We have been doing a Halloween performance for seven years and the students enjoy it every time. It is an exciting opportunity and they get to dress up and have an enjoyable night. The event is not recommended for under 7s and fancy dress is optional! Bring a torch.”

Fright Night takes place on October 31 with performances at 6.30pm, 7pm and 7.30pm. Tickets are £5 for adults and £3 concessions can be reserved by emailing boxoffice@shrewsbury.ac.uk with some available on the door on the night.

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<![CDATA[Shrewsbury College is first in the world to install advanced engineering ‘factory of the future’.]]> tag:shrewsbury.ac.uk,2017:/6.19446 2017-10-24T10:19:00Z 2017-10-24T10:51:35Z Lisa Price lisap@shrewsbury.ac.uk Engineers of the future now have the chance to train on FESTO’s newest FMS Industry 4.0 system at Shrewsbury Colleges Group – the first place in the world where this training equipment can be found in an education setting.

The equipment is being installed thanks largely to £500k in funding from the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), via its Growth deal with Government to develop one of three advanced manufacturing training hubs in the region.

The College added a further £250k investment and with gifts from a number of other companies, including Status Metrology, who put £100k towards metrology equipment and software for the College. The total value of new equipment and software for the department totals around £1m.

The latest addition, the FESTO FMS ‘product manufacturing factory’, worth over £125k alone, was shipped over from Germany and installed this week. It means the College is now the first training provider in the country and world with what is known as equipment from ‘the fourth industrial revolution’ or Industry 4.0 Technology. The system, which is a "smart factory that fits within a classroom setting" has wireless connectivity and includes nine stations for distribution and testing, product handling and processing, robotic assembly and automatic warehousing.

Andrew Lee, Head of Engineering, said: “We took the decision to wait nearly 12 months to have this equipment in place, as it was imperative to us that we are training our students and apprentices on the latest technological advancements within the industry. The FMS system will offer enhanced training for engineers of the future in engineering technologies and industrial centre processes, including areas such as hydraulics, pneumatics, PLCs, process improvement, quality systems, robotics and automation, to name but a few.

“The fact we have been able to secure such advanced technologies here at Shrewsbury Colleges Group is an enormous coup. We are the first training provider to secure this equipment outside of Germany. We have an established relationship with FESTO through the WorldSkills competitions and it’s also thanks to our partnership with the LEP and the fact that we are now one of the largest and best-equipped engineering and automotive centres in the region.

“Students from Level 3 (A Level equivalent) up to Level 6 (degree level), as well as apprentices, will be able to train on technologies so innovative they are not commonly used in industry yet. The processes are just starting to be used, but we will now be providing a level of training so that students leaving us will have an edge to be able to go to any engineering processing or manufacturing company in the region, confident they will have the latest and most employable training and skills. We even have a large multi-national manufacturing company waiting for a bespoke training programme on some of the processes and software used within the system as they can’t source it anywhere else.”

Principal of Shrewsbury Colleges Group, James Staniforth, said: “The investment has already had a big impact on the department. Several students who have been training on the new equipment we have already installed have made it into the final of WorldSkills UK next month. Our relationships and partnerships with local businesses have strengthened and we have increased the number and type of Apprenticeships we are offering both local and multi-national companies, to enable them to train engineers with advanced skills to best suit their developing business needs.

“We were willing to wait to have this final piece of kit installed – which completes a significant amount of investment and our staff and students will receive the first initial training on it this Thursday and Friday.”

LEP Director, Gill Hamer, comments on the importance of engineering to the Marches' region: "The engineering sector plays a vital role in the overall economic success of the Marches but to ensure this continues and strengthens, we must provide local employers with the very best trained employees both now and in the future.

"World-leading technology such as this 'factory of the future' is a huge step forward in addressing the skills needs of those in engineering sector and the Marches LEP is delighted to have been able to support this through funding from our Growth Deal with Government." 

To celebrate the investment the College’s Engineering and Motor Vehicle Centre, was officially relaunched on 18 May with specially invited guests from the region’s industry, the latest equipment installation marks the last of this investment spend in the department.

The Engineering Centre will be open to the public as part of the last of three Open Evenings across the Colleges Group on 2 November from 5-8pm at the London Road Campus. James Staniforth will be presenting at 5.45pm and 7pm in Clayton Hall at the College.

To book onto one of the Open Evenings, please visit www.shrewsbury.ac.uk/i/open_evenings

For more information on Shrewsbury College visit: shrewsbury.ac.uk or call 01743 342 332 For Shrewsbury Sixth Form College visit: ssfc.ac.uk or call 01743 235491.

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<![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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