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Bob Brolly and students at South & City College BirminghamBirmingham's Bob Brolly has been busy filming his new show 'Brolly and Friends' with the help of South and City College Birmingham students. The show, which airs on Irish TV, is recorded in the college's state-of-the-art auditorium based within the Digbeth campus.

This week, Beauty students were on hand to ensure Bob and his VIP guests were camera ready. During Thursday's recording, Level 3 Theatrical Special Effects and Media Make-up student Kiran Kaur (pictured) had the opportunity to practice her honed skills by doing the make up for young Irish country singer Ben Troy, a performer for the show that day. Whilst Ben didn't need too dramatic a makeover, Kiran was expert in making sure he wouldn't look washed out under the bright studio lights.

Kiran, who was accompanied by fellow make-up artist Cindy (pictured with Michael Foster), currently works as a freelance make-up artist and for a large cosmetic brand but decided to study with South and City to help strengthen her CV and future opportunities.

Also appearing on Brolly and Friends were glamorous Irish country singer Kathy Crinion and Irish country legends Allen and Foster. Allen and Foster have been performing together for over 40years and have a strong fan base in and around Digbeth.

Speaking about his esteemed guests, Bob commented "Irish TV's Midlands base will open up a whole new audience for Irish TV, as well as ensuring the Irish in this region can become more connected with home by telling their own stories of what's happening in the Irish scene in the UK and following what's happening back home in Ireland. The fact that we are based within South and City College is perfect and we are planning to work with the students using their incredible facilities to offer them a 'real life' experience of broadcasting as we prepare our programmes going forward – helping to create career opportunities for their young people".

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BA Hons Graduates at South & City College BirminghamSouth and City College's music department successfully delivered a brand new Birmingham City University accredited BA (Hons) Popular Music programme, with the first of our finishing students graduating on earlier this month following a special ceremony at Symphony Hall. This new validation exemplifies the kind of growth in Higher Education that the college is keen to achieve.

Having consisted predominantly of internally progressing students, the Popular Music course has already gained widespread interest, with the 2015-16 cohort including students from Halesowen, Kidderminster and Telford colleges.

James Burgess and Hannah O'Connell (pictured) are two of the three students gaining 1st class honours, James having transferred to the college from Coventry University. They achieved consistently across the course's various disciplines – musical, technological, academic and industry focused.

Speaking about his time on the course, James explained "South and City College exceeded my expectations in many ways. The first thing that was very apparent to me when I started the course was the professionalism and relevance my studies had to working in the actual music industry. This is an area that many academic courses lack in my previous experience. As a working musician I meet a lot of ex-SCCB students on the local scene.

"The facilities are advanced compared to many other institutions in the country, mainly because of the on-site venue [The Auditorium at Digbeth]. I was able to gain work from both studio demo recordings and YouTube videos, all of which were made to a professional standard using the course's facilities for free. I have been involved with bands that have previously paid over a thousand pounds for similar quality.

"Although it was hard work, the course was very fun at times especially in the practical assessments. The tutors actually joined in some of our practical assessments and it was greatly beneficial to perform with people of that level of experience. I also found the one-to-one instrumental lessons really opened up my mind of how to push the boundaries of my instrument.

"Towards the end of my course, my tutors were more than happy to organise one-to-one sessions to make sure I was on the right track with my work. I believe that the tutors' accessibility and attitude to helping students was the main reason in me achieving my overall grade of 1st Class Honours.
Overall, the course has been extremely beneficial both practically and academically. I've had a brilliant time and developed relationships with many great people. I feel ready to enter the working world with confident knowledge of my skill set"

South and City College Birmingham - Aston Villa FC in the CommunitySouth and City College Birmingham have teamed up with Villa in the Community to create a fantastic opportunity to gain skills in leadership through sport.  The life  changing sixteen month programme is aimed at anyone aged 16-19 (but can be made available to anyone up to the age of 24 in some circumstances).

The programme will allow students to develop personally and professionally with the guidance of local, national and international businesses.  The success rate of the programme is fantastic and 100% of graduates from Leadership Through Sport & Business from the first two cohorts went on to full time employment or chose to take their education further at a higher level.

Beginning in September 2015 the programme gives students these opportunities:

  1.  An internationally recognised AAT qualification through South & City College Birmingham, with the chance to work with expert tutors in the centre of Birmingham
  2. Employability training, including; interview training, CV coaching sessions and the opportunity to partake in public speaking and debates - which contribute to a further qualification with an OCN Employability Certificate Level 1.
  3. The students will gain work experience, assisting Villa in the Community outreach programmes which will include attending public events and working with leading companies and some of the best entrepreneurs in the region.

And that's all in the first four months!  Once the student has completed their first four months they will then be put on to an AAT level 3 apprenticeship.  The students will work four days a week for one of a whole host of leading organisations and the remaining day will be back at Villa Park studying toward their AAT exam.

The programme's results in previous years speak for themselves:

  • 91% of intake successfully complete the programme
  • 100% of the intake were placed as AAT level 3 apprentices
  • 80% of apprentices have been subsequently hired by their apprenticeship employer
  • 100% of graduates have found employment or progressed to university or further education

Do you think you have what it takes to succeed in business but haven't been given a chance to showcase your skills?  

If you fit in the following criteria then Villa in the Community want to hear from you!

  • Aged 16-19 (up to 24 in exceptional circumstances)
  • Haven't been the chance to showcase what you can do
  • Hold a minimum of 5 GCSEs at grade A* to C including Bs in maths & English
  • An interest in finance and sport
  • Determined, enthused
  • A natural leader

You can contact James at Villa in the Community to find out more and to apply for the programme:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A recruitment day is taking place for this event on September 10 2015 - contact James Hinton (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for more information.


NFDC South and City College BirminghamThe National Demolition Training Group (NDTG) are pleased to announce a joint initiative with South and City College, Birmingham to provide demolition specific training to the unemployed with a view to them becoming part of the growing demolition workforce needed in Birmingham.

Funding for this ground breaking scheme has been provided by CSkils and Birmingham City Council and will allow the college, with specialist input from NDTG trainers, to give basic training to students resulting in a CCDO card – the demolition industry specific skills card - and a guaranteed job interview.

The pilot course, which will commence on August 1st and is already oversubscribed, will include training in demolition & asbestos awareness, non-notifiable asbestos removal, manual handling, abrasive wheels, PASMA tower scaffold erection & use and a basic health & safety course, with delivery by a variety of trainers from the college and NDTG.

NDTG Chairman Gary Bishop said "Here at NDTG it is our aim to educate the next generation of demolition men & women and we are delighted to partner with a college of education to assist them with this great idea".

Bob Howlett, Director of Construction at South and City College Birmingham said "NDTG are completely committed to training and upskilling their work force. The discussions on the need to provide a pre start programme for entrants into the industry was very informative and I look forward to working with the group to drive forward their obvious passion for the industry. I hope South and City College will become, not only the premier construction college in the midlands, but also the premier college for the reverse engineering of buildings at the end of their useful life".

Tuesday, 28 July 2015 16:46

Public Art exhibited in Handsworth Park

Handsworth Park Art Exhibition near South and City College Handsworth CampusAn exciting new initiative is taking place in one of Birmingham's oldest parks this summer. Between July and October 2015, Public Art is being exhibited in Handsworth Park.

Local residents in Handsworth have seen how Handsworth Park has flourished over the last few years following the restoration programme which turned what was a no-go area into a wonderful oasis, cherished by local people of all ages and backgrounds.

Handsworth Park Association has championed the views of local residents for many years and organised a wide range of activities in the park, but this is the first time a community group such as this has put on a major public art event. The idea for the Arts Trail came from two local residents, Pauline Bailey and Jan Kimber who have organised and curated the exhibition.

Handsworth Park Arts Trail is an exhibition of public art centred around the Boating Lake in Handsworth Park. It includes sculptures and installations from artists: Pauline Bailey, Graham Jones, Scylla Magda, Katie Surridge, Julie Edwards and Ron Thompson.

The creation of the art work followed the theme of 'making use of local resources'. This included working directly with local school children and users of Handsworth Park to design some of the pieces of art; along with using felled tree trunks, reclaimed wood, metal and old sails from boats. It aims to bring Public Art directly to the local community and to also encourage more local people to visit and walk around the park.

Pauline Bailey said "Handsworth Park is a wonderful place and it is the perfect environment to exhibit public art and introduce people to a range of artistic styles. We have thoroughly enjoyed selecting the pieces for exhibition and we hope visitors have as much fun visiting the Arts Trail too."

Jan Kimber said "Local residents know how beautiful Handsworth Park is, and we hope that the Arts Trail will encourage people from other parts of Birmingham to visit the place and see for themselves. We hope this will put Handsworth in the news for all the right reasons."

The Arts Trail has also been actively supported by officers from Birmingham City Council's Parks Service and the Culture and Commissioning Team. It links with the development of a new Public Art Strategy in Birmingham, The Big Hoot Project and The Active Parks Programme.

There will be activities organised throughout the summer connected to the Arts Trail, to find out more follow the Arts Trail on Twitter @h_parkartstrail, and keep a regular check on the Facebook page

The organisers welcome comments and feedback about the Arts Trail and suggestions for the future as they hope to run a second Arts Trail in 2016 via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

South & City College Birmingham SkillBuildOn June 2nd, South and City College Birmingham played host to the West Midlands regional heat of the SkillBuild competition – the largest multi-trade competition in the country. As you may be aware, this year the College ended up with a very impressive medal haul, with a total of thirteen medals awarded to students – the most successful year yet!

Our winners:

  • Anthony Gaffey – Carpentry, New entrant – (2nd place)
  • Ozan Ghani – Carpentry, Senior – (3rd place)
  • Mitchell Chubb – Carpentry, Senior (1st place)
  • Nafees Raza Latif - Joinery, New entrant (3rd place)
  • Magnum Samateh – Painting and Decorating, New entrant (3rd place)
  • Mohammed Saheed – Plastering, New entrant (3rd place)
  • Khalid Mahmood – Plastering, New entrant (1st place)
  • James McGann – Plastering, Senior (3rd place)
  • Hannah Mealey - Plastering, Senior (1st place)
  • Joshua Greaves - Wall and floor tiling, New entrant (3rd place)
  • Aaron Rice – Wall and Floor Tiling, Senior (2nd place)
  • Patrick Wong – Wall and Floor Tiling, Senior (1st place)
  • Louis Barton – SkillElectric (3rd place)


As an old adage goes, behind every successful student is a great teacher and this is certainly the case within Construction's SkillBuild team.

Staff have dedicated extra hours, special tuition and their priceless expertise to their students to help prepare them for the regional heats. The Competition Champions, as they have come to be known, have worked tirelessly and with unrivalled success in the regional heats, their hard work has paid off with 4 students now going to compete at Nationals in November.

Aside from practical tuition, the Champions also were on hand for the emotional support and confidence-coaching that can be necessary to produce a winning performance from students. It is clear from the competitor's comments that their Champions' support was invaluable to them:

"I just want to thank Trevor for everything he has done and for having the confidence to put me through and guide me every step of the way" – Dan C

"..The pressure could have been overwhelming but it was a good experience to be a part of something so great...I thank Trevor for all the things he helped me with" – Moe Hassan

"At times I didn't think I was capable of competing. However, through training with Trevor - and my tutor John Ward - I managed to sharpen my skills and scored gold for the college. It has been the best experience I've had in college" – Mitchell Chubb

"As my second year at SkillBuild, I enjoyed this year much more...I would like to thank Trevor for training me" – J. Ghani

"Half of the time I wanted to give up but my Champion motivated me to continue" – Nafees

Competition Champions were: Trevor Huggins, John Ward, Alan Mason and Carl Goulden

South and City College's Deputy Director of Construction Crafts, Simon Winder, said of the event visitors "They were all amazed, and very impressed at what was on display, especially the quality of work that was being produced by all the competitors".

A huge congratulations to all of our winners, all of the competitors and their Champions and everyone involved with the event that helped make it a great success.

Our gold medal students are writing a blog to keep us all up to date with their progress as they prepare to compete at the National tier of the competition at the NEC Birmingham this November: click here to read more.

Supersonic festival at South & City College BirminghamBack by popular demand, Birmingham's annual experimental experience Supersonic Festival returned on 11th – 14th June and a variety of exceptional acts took to the stages at South and City College's Digbeth campus.

Eclectic in every sense of the word, marketing itself 'For Curious Audiences', Supersonic is the brainchild of Birmingham arts organisers Capsule and the festival has become an established and anticipated standing in the city's cultural and art scene. With music, performances, talks, workshops, art and exhibitions, the event is, according to The Times, "expressive, challenging and generally out there" and has gained national and international notoriety.

Local arts events and production company, Capsule, have gained notoriety for Supersonic's initiative, multi-disciplinary displays and South and City College's Digbeth campus was an idyllic setting for a main performance space. Using the campus large 'The Crossing' auditorium area, Supersonic's acts were very much at home in the venue. In turn, several South and City College staff and students were working at the event, supporting in a number of integral ways – from lighting and projection to stage-changeovers to, in Assistant Director Nik Wells case, performing.

Speaking about taking part in Supersonic, Nik said "I have worked alongside festival organisers, Capsule, for over 15 years now on a variety of projects but the Supersonic Festival is really the jewel in their crown.
"I have been fortunate enough to have performed at every Supersonic since it began 12 years ago so it has a very special place in my heart as far as festivals go. I have seen it grow to become a world renowned international festival with artists and fans from all over the world converging on Birmingham for this one weekend every year. Its uniqueness is what has kept it so successful and I am guaranteed that every year I will experience many acts and artists that I have never been exposed to before which keeps things fresh and vibrant for myself and lots of other music lovers.

"For South and City College Birmingham to play host to an event of such high quality and calibre not only shows the level of the facilities that we have to offer here at Digbeth, but also the industry standard level of our students who worked on it as part of the Student Crew and the Music and Media staff who were involved over the weekend".

A total of 25 South and City College students worked in collaboration with festival audio production HTF Media, organisers Capsule and specialist backline equipment suppliers Urban Audio Productions and STS Backline Services. Urban Audio Production's MD Warren Fisher said "Initially we as a company had some reservations about having such a large number of students involved in a high profile production like this, but any doubts proved unfounded as all the students conducted themselves in a very professional manner and performed to a high standard".

Heading up the lighting in the auditorium was student Charlotte Barnes, who has just completed a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma Music Performance Course and will be going on to study for a HND in Popular Music Practice from September. Speaking of her role at Supersonic, Charlotte explained "I was in charge of the lighting in the auditorium for the duration of the festival. Most of the acts had a good idea of what lighting they wanted whilst performing – for example, blue lights on the floor during a certain song – so, ahead of their performance times I met with them and we would discuss what could be done. I would take notes and then follow their guidelines.
"My favourite part of the festival was doing the lighting for an act called Slow Magic; they were a dance act and they gave me free reign on the light production. I got to be really creative and as their music was up-beat, got to experiment with moving, up-tempo lights.

I hope to go on to become a lighting engineer in the future, or maybe work in music management dealing with the artists, so Supersonic was a great learning experience for me. I now feel confident enough to run the lighting for future shows"

In keeping with the event's own character of being a time-honoured tradition, the organisers are currently collating a Supersonic Collective Memory online - An ongoing collation of mentions of Supersonic 2015 across the internet. If you were at Supersonic and would like to contribute with your photos, reviews, blog post or generally want to share your experience of the festival, visit the event's website:

Dragon's Event at South and City CollegeThe National Federation of Builders (NFB) Employability and Enterprise programmes continue to deliver results for the young construction students at South and City College Birmingham!

Director of Spark Global Education Jamie Dunn leads on the programme for the College, and this month a 'Dragon's Den' style event was organised in conjunction with South and City's InBusiness Corporate Network.

Students on the NFB Programme presented to 6 of the College's InBusiness Corporate partners, each pitching their business plans to the 'Dragons' in turn.

Ranging from renovating narrow boats to unique app development, the students presented their ideas with pride and enthusiasm. Ideas were shared and advice was given in plenty and a couple of the students secured more than they expected!

One student who wanted to develop his unique tiling business received the offer of work from InBusiness 'Dragon' Aksar Khan, who runs 11 Subway franchises across the City. Aksar said ' when I saw the passion and dedication that this young guy had for his business and how skilful he was, I knew that I needed tiling work completed at one of my branches and he was certainly capable, so I hired him there and then'.

Another student received the offer of 'advice and support' for his business planning, and all of the students gained fantastic guidance to take forward.

Linking Business and Education is really working at South and City College. The InBusiness Network creates great B2B opportunities and, more crucially, helps model the future workforce of the region – giving real life experiences to students AND creating jobs for our young people through the platforms created by partners like the National Federation of Builders.

For more information about the College InBusiness Network , please contact Steve or Dawn :
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Paul Fulford Reviews South and City College Birmingham's KaribunisEarlier this year, the Birmingham Mail's restaurant critic Paul Fulford and his wife visited Karibunis and his review made the paper and online edition on 1st May.

Karibunis is the college's fully working, training restaurant staffed entirely by students at the Hall Green campus. It is open to the public, so the students can develop their culinary skills through hands-on work experience.

As with any review, it is both a privilege and a time to be slightly nervous but, thanks to the hard work by all at the restaurant, any nerves were unwarranted. Paul was very complementary about the reasonable prices and the challenging dishes the young chefs are learning to create.

Paul said "These are youngsters who are being taught very well indeed and they have ability. Plus they are working with good-quality ingredients." He added "Service throughout the evening was attentive, informed, efficient and completely charming."

Karibunis offers customers the chance to sample a variety of contemporary dining styles from some of the region's most promising young chefs

Wayne Scarce, a lecturer at Hall Green said "During the last academic year we have run a level 3 Hospitality Supervision course, where part of the working week is taken up with the supervision of level 1 & 2 leaders in the restaurant. This has raised the bar for restaurant service in Karibunis which, already popular, has seen an increase in customer numbers."

If you are thinking of sampling the fare of Karibunis, then make sure you book ahead. Wayne advises "Karibunis' Thursday evening has been fully booked since last October. Our lunch service has regular bookings of 20-30 diners Tuesday to Thursday and we also operate a take away service to a very high standard alongside this".

The restaurant is open Tuesday to Thursday during term-time for lunch and dinner service and is also available for corporate hire.

The restaurant closes for the summer on Thursday 4th June; however is open again in October.

Call 0121 694 5021 to make your booking. You will need to book early to avoid disappointment.

You can download Paul's review here: Karibunis Review pdf

Zaf South and City College BirminghamMohammed Zafran, Community Liaison Officer at South and City College Birmingham who has spent the past few years working tirelessly to improve the lives of local young people, has been recognised in the Queen's birthday Honours List.

Zaf, as he is affectionately known at the College, has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) following his founding of All 4 Youth & Community, a project that helps young people get back into education through sports.

It was after the tragic death of his brother-in-law in March 2010 that Zaf decided to try to help young people and support Asian women in the deprived areas of the city. His work earned him a Pride of Birmingham award last year and now, following a nomination from Prime Minister David Cameron, Zaf is being honoured nationally.

On hearing the news he was to be honoured, Zaf said "I was shocked when I received the letter saying I was being honoured by the Queen–the work I have been doing is obviously not to get recognition, I just want to make a difference.

"To be given such an accolade is a real thing of pride for my family; we have suffered a lot on this journey and this award means a lot. Hopefully it will inspire other people to put back into their community".

Speaking about Zaf's achievement, South and City College Principal, Mike Hopkins, said "Words cannot describe the contribution Zaf makes within the community and for the college. I am very proud of what he's achieved and what he continues to do for young people".

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