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Apprenticeship-Awards-Evening-South-and-City-College-BirminghamYoung people and businesses in Birmingham have been recognised in South and City College Birmingham's apprenticeship awards as part of National Apprenticeship Week [9-13 March].

The awards evening celebrated the success and achievements of both apprentices, trainees and employers, with 17 awards given out in total.

200 people attended the glittery event, which was hosted by Free Radio presenter Tom Ross, and sponsored by Sir Doug Ellis OBE who gave out a number of awards. The Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Shafique Shah also attended, presenting an award and saying a few words.

Young apprentices were recognised for their hard work, attendance, time keeping, motivation and work ethic. The apprentice award winners were:

Business and IT Apprentice of the Year, sponsored by The Asian Today: Joseph EllisConstruction Craft Apprentice of the Year, sponsored Keepmoat: Tom Hall
Construction – Building Services Apprentice of the Year, sponsored by Edwards Plumbing & Heating Supplies: Ben Deakin
Creative Studies Apprentice of the Year sponsored by Ice7Media: Lewis Jones
Health and Social Care Apprentice of the Year, sponsored by Morgan Hunt: Nazmin Khanom
Service Industries Apprentice of the Year, sponsored by OCNWMR: Catherine Orsborn
Motor Vehicle and Engineering Apprentice of the Year, sponsored by AB Waste Management: Christopher Edwards
Overall Apprentice of the Year, presented by Sire Doug Ellis and The Lord Mayor of Birmingham: Ben Deakin
Traineeship of the Year: Amy Braithwaite, who now works as an apprentice at Birmingham City Council
The National Federation of Builders Excellence in Construction Award: Romel Stewart

Apprentice winner, Ben Deakin, 19, Solihull said: "I am so happy and surprised that I won these awards! It gives me a great opportunity for my future and will look great on my CV. I am coming to the end of my apprenticeship and it has been really good. I would recommend apprenticeships to others – it gives you the full package of qualifications and real experience."

Local businesses were also recognised for the valuable contribution to they have made. The award winners were:

The Apprentice Large Employer Award: National Express
Apprentice SME Employer Award: Braywhite & Co
Employer Partnership Award (Business): Birmingham City Council
Employer Partnership Award (Construction): Kier Partnership Homes
InBusiness Student Experience Award: MG Motors Ltd
InBusiness Student Contribution Employer Award: Aksar Khan from Subway
InBusiness Special Recognition Award: National Federation of Builders

Mike Hopkins, Principal of the college said: "Apprenticeships and traineeships are really helping young people and businesses move forward and grow in so many ways across Birmingham, and our awards evening is there to recognise and celebrate that.

"Congratulations to all the award winners, but also to everyone that the college works with to make apprenticeships possible – both young people and businesses. Their hard work and motivation surprises us every day."

Aksar Khan, Subway franchisee and winner of the InBusiness Student Contribution Employer Award, said: "I am pleased, humbled and honoured to receive this award – it recognises our enthusiasm, commitment and sheer hard work.

"I am passionate about working with students. I am member of the college's new entrepreneurial club and also attend mentoring classes. I have students working from the college in our Subway branches, and have taken on apprentices.

"It has been challenging for us to get apprentices but with the assistance of the college, we are working on a programme to fill our employment needs."

The awards evening was organised by the college's InBusiness network.

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

Published in March 2015

Jobs-Fair-at-South-and-City-College-BirminghamSouth and City College's Fusion Centre saw a constant stream of job hunters enter its doors last week, looking to talk with as many of the 30 employers present for the event. Attendees were encouraged to speak to everyone as they entered the main hall, and to make the most of the CV workshop that ran throughout the day. Hosted by two staff members/CV experts, the half hour sessions talked about everything regarding a successful, professional CV. This included presentation, headings, what content to include and what to leave out, the language that should be used in a CV, and finally, they explained the importance of writing a cover letter to accompany any applications.

Also present was a stall showcasing all of the apprenticeships the college has to offer - everything from social media to construction. In total, over 100 apprenticeships were available to young adults aged 16-24.

Andy, 41, spent the day job searching at the college and said:

"The CV workshop was really well presented and taught. I was really impressed. I found the whole day really interesting and useful. I have managed to get a lot of new leads and I have also got an interview in two days with Home Fundraising, which I am really excited for. I think the Jobs Fair was a valuable experience for everyone, as there were lots of differing and amazing opportunities."

This year's Jobs Fair brought in a staggering 500 people in the six hours it was open, improving on last year.

Amongst the employers were Subway, West Midlands Police, the Royal Navy and John Lewis, who were looking to hire staff for their new Birmingham store, opening September 2015.

The John Lewis team (pictured above) said:

"It has been a very busy day. It's been nice to talk to a variety of people. We have all really enjoyed interacting with people. It was very well organised, Paul Leahy has done an incredible job."

Subway also had praise for the day, saying:

"We are very glad to be part of such an eventful and productive day. We hope that we can provide opportunities for everyone."

Paul Leahy, sales manager at the college and organiser of the event, said:

"As a college, we have a responsibility to support the local economy through days like today. The success of this year's jobs fair was achieved by working closely with and understanding our partners and stakeholders to ensure we support their business growth objectives to then bring prosperity to our community at all levels."

If you, like some of our guests last week, would like to know more about apprenticeships, please click here for more information.

Published in March 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"For us, apprentices are incredibly valuable to the business, and we go on to hire many as full-time members of staff once they complete their apprenticeships."

Shortlisted for the Apprentice Large Employer Award 2015 are: Kier Partnership Homes, Midland Heart and National Express.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Published in February 2015

Jobs-Fair-2015-South-and-City-CollegeFollowing the success of last year's jobs fair, South and City College will be hosting a jobs and apprenticeships fair on Wednesday 4 March.

Organisations including the West Midlands Police, British Army, John Lewis, Fujistu, National Express, Birmingham City Council, Topps Tiles, Reed Recruitment, Sertec Engineering, Fairway Care and more will be looking for people to fill full and part time jobs.

The college also have a large number of apprenticeship vacancies available with local employers in a range of industries from customer service, creative media, motor vehicle, administration, hairdressing, social media, sales support, retail, refrigeration and air conditioning and more.

If you live in or near Birmingham and are looking for a job, our jobs fair might be just the thing you need. With hundreds of employment opportunities all under one roof, advice and guidance and CV support workshops, you might just find the perfect opportunity for you.

To find out more and to register to attend, please click here

Published in February 2015

Students Support UK Business and ManufacturingStudents from South and City College Birmingham took part in the launch of a UK specific website.

UK Made Trading - a new online shop dedicated to selling new and used UK made products wanted to make business students aware of the importance of backing UK made products. The event was attended by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, who addressed the young people with words of encouragement to support UK manufacturing.

The business idea is the vision of Ian and Lynda Papworth, who on reaching retirement stage have decided to transfer their years of owning a traditional retail business to offering an on-line shop for UK manufacturers.  As well as listening to speakers, the students were given a dummy share in UK Made Trading with the promise that in 12 months' time they would have some value.

Ian Papworth explained: "The idea for UK Made Trading was born when we tried to find a UK made picnic basket and couldn't. It got us thinking that we couldn't be the only ones trying to source UK made products."

The biggest difference between UK Made Trading and other similar websites is that no listing fee is charged. This means there is no initial outlay for sellers and so cost is not a barrier to getting their products in front of consumers. The ethos of the business is to build a community and to inspire consumers to buy British and the Launch Event followed this theme.

The Papworth's were keen to talk to young people and motivate them to show a loyalty to the UK. Ian Papworth said: "We want young people to understand the heritage of the UK and the respect it has in the worldwide market place. We want to show them that not everything cool started in the United States or is made in China."

Business students from the college listened to a host of speakers from a variety of business backgrounds. They learnt about the history of manufacturing in Birmingham. The students heard more about local job opportunities and not to think that working for a small local business is second best.

They listened to the stories of entrepreneurs and business owners who have turned their passions into a viable business.

Mike Hopkins, principal at South and City College Birmingham added: "Our students have had the opportunity to hear from a number of great speakers about business and manufacturing in the UK, which I hope will inspire them now and in the future. 

"Thank you to UK-Made Trading for launching their new venture at South and City College and for including our students."

Published in November 2014

College becomes NAPIT approved centreThe first NAPIT Approved Electrical Training Centre has been opened in the West Midlands in partnership with South and City College Birmingham.

The college will now be able to offer trainees Blue Flame Certificated Full Scope electrical training, providing a key stepping stone that will allow them to demonstrate competence in one of the key areas required to join the electrical Competent Person Scheme.

The new centre was opened by MP Liam Byrne on 3 November 2014 at the college's dedicated construction centre in Bordesley Green.

Commenting on the opening, NAPIT Chief Operating Officer Martin Bruno said: "NAPIT have been providing industry recognised training across the UK for many years now and we've been ensuring high standards in the electrical industry since our inception in 1992.

"We have been thoroughly impressed by South and City College Birmingham's outstanding commitment to education, training and sustainability. Their investment in practical, vocational skills is central to growth in the local community and we look forward to working in partnership with the college for many years to come. I encourage young people and adult learners alike to consider learning a new trade in this fantastic venue."

John Collins from South and City College Birmingham added: "There are only a handful of other NAPIT approved centres like this across the country, so this partnership feels like a real achievement for us. There will be a real benefit to electricians and people wanting to become electricians in the West Midlands as they will no longer need to travel long distances for the required courses.

"We have excellent facilities here at the college, and our tutors are some of the best in their field. We are looking forward to our first class of students coming through."

Published in November 2014

Have A GoSouth and City College Birmingham and a working group of Further and Higher Education colleges, known as Premier Colleges, have thrown down the gauntlet to teachers, classroom assistants, parents and carers to come and 'have a go' at the fun activities being showcased within the FE feature area at The Skills Show in two weeks' time.

The nation's largest free to attend skills and careers event, The Skills Show 2014, is taking place at Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre (NEC) from 13-15 November and the team at Premier Colleges want young people to bring along the people most important to their future success; their teachers and parents.

The show is an ideal opportunity for schools to bring pupils of all ages through an organised trip, to experience a really fun day out. The event has been designed to inspire thoughts and dreams of the types of careers that may lie ahead for the next generation of our working population. It brings together educators, employers and specialist careers advisers and it provides a real insight into the huge range of skills and career opportunities, plus routes and options to consider in the future.

Mark Wilson, headteacher of a visiting primary school said of last year's event: "Our school is in a socially deprived area where many families have members who are in low skilled jobs or without work so the event certainly helped to raise aspirations. We would like to make a visit to The Skills Show one of the regular transition events for Year 6 and look forward to visiting again next year."

Teacher Pam Nembhard added "The 'Have a Go' activities had a significant impact on my students. Although not all of them will go on to vocational careers, The Skills Show gives them the only opportunity to experience or observe a variety of skills first hand!"
If a school trip isn't arranged and parents or carers don't want their young people to miss out on this fantastic show, they can book their own free places as the event is open to the public. National Express coaches are offering a 25% discount on travel to the NEC between 13-15 November in support of the event.

Mark Knight, director of marketing at South and City College and chair of Premier Colleges said: "Each of our colleges has links with local schools and we are really keen to make sure they all know about The Skills Show and our involvement as a premier sponsor. Our area has been designed as a journey to explore the vocational choices on offer and to get hands-on with a wide range of practical skills. Our team are also ready to welcome parents and families. With so much change in the world of work, education and training, we know how important it is for parents and carers to keep up to date with the latest developments. We want all our visitors to have a fun experience, have a go at different skills and discover new talents."

Keep up to date with Premier Colleges by following on Twitter @premiercolleges.

Published in November 2014

ApprentinceshipsSouth and City College Birmingham and Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (BSMHFT) are encouraging people to take their first steps towards a career in the NHS with the launch of a new apprenticeship programme.

There will be 32 placements available in a variety of trainee roles including healthcare assistants, pharmacists, ICT and business administration. During the year long placement, apprentices will receive job specific training and will be supported to study towards gaining an NVQ level 2 or 3 qualification in their chosen field. Alongside this they will receive the national minimum apprenticeship wage.

The programme forms part of the Trust's commitment to widening participation of local people, with the aim of supporting people to develop skills and gain experience through apprenticeships, volunteering or work placements.

Stephanie Crow, head of learning and development at the Trust, explained: "This is the first time we've been able to offer so many apprenticeship roles in our Trust"

"We want to play our part locally in supporting people to gain experience of working in a mental health setting, ultimately helping us to build our workforce of the future."

Qualifications will be provided through three learning providers; South and City College Birmingham, Performance Through People and Nordic Focus Training Group.

Mike Hopkins, principal of South and City College, said: "We have seen so many great success stories with apprenticeships - not only do they help young people get their foot on the career ladder in the industry they would like to work in, but they also become valuable assets to their employers.

"We offer a range of apprenticeships in a wide number of industries and we are excited that BSMHFT is looking towards young people to help them grow."

Ray Brown, sales director at Nordic Focus Training Group, said: "We are excited to work in partnership with BSMHFT. Our organisations share common interests in training and the development of work related qualifications, particularly where we can give local young people an opportunity to work and progress within the facilities service industry."

Gill Durkin, business development director at Performance Through People, said: "At Performance Through People we firmly believe that encouraging youngsters to take up apprenticeships is a great way to start a career and develop work skills. This great opportunity with BSMHFT will be the start of a real career with real prospects for many young people who may previously not have thought to join the NHS through the Apprenticeship route. Having organisations both large and small supporting apprenticeships will help tackle youth unemployment in our region."

Vacancies will be live for a two week period from 29 September 2014 and applications are welcomed from all ages. You can apply via www.apprenticeships.org.uk/

Published in October 2014

Public Sector Traineeship Scheme LaunchedBirmingham City Council, West Midlands Fire Service and West Midlands Police have teamed up with South and City College and are looking for 15 young people to take part in a unique three month work experience placement that will help them get their foot on the career ladder.

The traineeship scheme is aimed at young people in the West Midlands to help develop their skills and provide valuable work experience to support them at the start of their working career.

Each trainee will spend four weeks working with the council, police and fire service in clerical assistant roles. They will work alongside experienced professionals building their confidence and learning about supporting these important public services.

They will also attend college one day a week to improve their English and maths, communication skills and other key skills employers look for in candidates.

At the end of the unpaid traineeship, the trainees will be guaranteed an interview for a number of full time paid Apprenticeship jobs that are available in the services, which may be the start of a long career in these highly respected regional organisations.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said: "As Police and Crime Commissioner, I want to see a focus on economic development. By reducing crime and the fear of crime, we can build confidence and help create jobs. West Midlands Police as an employer can also play its part. I wholeheartedly support this joint scheme from the police, fire service, council and college, which, through the apprenticeships programme, will give young people the skills and opportunities to get them started in the workplace."

Mohammed Nabeel, aged 18, from Sparkhill will be applying for the opportunity. He said: "I have tried to get jobs but it is hard because employers are looking for people with experience.

"It can be disheartening but I realised I just needed to find a different way to achieve my goal, that's why I am excited about this traineeship opportunity. Although it is unpaid for three months, if I get it it'll give me the opportunity to have an interview for the apprenticeship I'd like. That would be a step closer to my dream of running my own business one day."

Cllr Muhammad Afzal, Chairman of Birmingham City Council's Employment and Human Resources Committee says: "This is an innovative and exciting scheme, and I hope that it will be expanded further. As the lead member for supporting and encouraging work placements, Traineeships and Apprenticeship opportunities within the Council, I am delighted that we are working with our key partners to combine resources and expertise to provide good quality support to our young people, and to enable them to progress."

Joanne Simmonds, HR Manager for West Midlands Fire Service said: "We are very much looking forward to working with South and City College and our colleagues at West Midlands Police and Birmingham City Council, to introduce this excellent traineeship opportunity. Traineeships not only give young people the chance to experience the world of work, they also give us the opportunity to tap into a wealth of talent which otherwise may remain undiscovered.

"We see this opportunity as the chance to introduce young people to some of the roles which support our frontline Firefighters and to consider the wide range of career paths available with West Midlands Fire Service for a career of choice for the future."

Mike Hopkins from South and City College said: "This is an excellent opportunity for young people in Birmingham.

"Traineeships offer a really exclusive opportunity for those who have limited experience in the workplace and little in the way of qualifications to get the experience, skills and confidence they need to get a job. We have seen them be really successful and think this scheme will be incredibly beneficial to 15 young people in the region."

Mia Bye, 16, from Sutton Coldfield said: "I have applied for the traineeship and I am really excited about the opportunity. I would like to be a firefighter but you have to be 17 and a half to apply so I have some time before then. This is the perfect opportunity for me learn about working in the public services.

"I think traineeships are good because they are training and prepping you for a job in that organisation. It is hard for people my age to get jobs. I have applied for jobs but not been successful – it is hard getting passed that interview stage."

The traineeship is open to 16-24 year olds, who are currently unemployed, have little or no work experience and are qualified below level 3 (if 16-18) or have not yet achieved a full level 2 (if aged 19-24).

To find out more and to apply, visit www.sccb.ac.uk/apprenticeships/traineeships.

Applications for the traineeship close on Monday 22 September 2014.

Pictured(From left to right): Iram Maroof from South and City College, Mohammed Nabeel – a traineeship applicant, David Jamieson – West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, Sara Hall – positive action coordinator for West Midlands Fire Service and Mia Bye – an applicant for the traineeship.

Published in September 2014

Jack Sturdy at SkillbuildStudents from South and City College Birmingham have scooped a fantastic thirteen awards at a regional construction competition.

Over 100 young construction students from colleges from across the region battled it out in their chosen trade with skills such as bricklaying, wall and floor tiling and painting and decorating all being put to the test.

The students headed to the South and City College's dedicated construction centre in Bordesley Green on Tuesday 10 June to take part in the latest round of the national construction competition SkillBuild 2014.

South and City College's students proved themselves to be top competitors, with three first place wins, and a number of second and thirds.

  • Jack Sturdy (19) from Shirley, 1st place in plumbing, new entrant
  • Aaron Prince (18) from Lickey, 1st place wall and floor tiling, new entrant
  • Patrick Wong (47) from Moseley, 1st place wall and floor tiling, senior
  • Samuel Johnson (17) from Maypole, 3rd place joinery, new entrant
  • William Steele (18) from Erdington, 3rd place painting and decorating, new entrant
  • Nericka Millanaise-Clarke (31) from Ladywood, 3rd place painting and decorating, senior
  • Masimba Matapo (20) from Billesley, 2nd place painting and decorating, senior
  • Ryan Cowdrill (18) from Acocks Green, 3rd place plastering, new entrant
  • Hannah Mealey (16) from Kings Norton, 2nd place plastering, new entrant
  • Aaron Harris (18) from Small Heath, 3rd place plastering, senior
  • William Weir (17) from Erdington, 2nd place plastering, senior
  • Abdellatif Mohamed (18) from Bordesley Village, 2nd place wall and floor tiling, senior
  • Zach Bateman (18) 3rd in plumbing

Birmingham's regional heat is the latest of 14 taking place across the UK, with the top 10 competitors from across the 14 heats going through to the national final at the Skills Show at Birmingham's NEC in November.

Jack, aged 19 from Shirley is currently on an Apprenticeship in Plumbing Level 3 and works at both Edwards Plumbing and Heating Supplies Ltd and D.G Lewis Estates Limited, came first in the plumbing competition.

He said: "I am really shocked and surprised that I won the competition!

"Two years ago I came third so I'm over the moon to come first this year. It was quite a difficult task they give us – they give you a drawing in the morning and you have the day to complete it. At first I was nervous that I wasn't going to be able to finish it, but I kept my head down and managed to get it done with only a few seconds left. I didn't look at what any of the other competitors were doing until the end – and I was pleased with how mine had turned out.

"I was also really happy with the judges' comments – they said my work was very good, and high quality. I hope to make it through to the final now."

The day also saw competitors take part in a trade specific competitions – Skill Plumb and Skill Electric 2014 regional heats in plumbing and electrics.

Bob Howlett, director of construction at South and City College said: "It was an exciting day for everyone that took part and we are very proud of all our students.

"To come away with thirteen medals is a real achievement for the college and our students and we are excited to see if any of them make it through to the SkillsShow in November."

During the day the college also invited in local school pupils to come and support the competitors and to have a go at different construction trades, as well as having a number of different employer training and events on also.

SkillBuild has taken place for around 40 years, travelling around the country looking for the best in regional talent. The competition is organised and supported by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), the Sector Skills Council and Industry Training Board for the construction industry.

Catherine Bullough, CITB Sector Strategy Manager for the West Midlands region said: "We're really excited to bring SkillBuild 2014 to Birmingham. There is some great construction talent in the region so we're looking forward to seeing what our young apprentices can do.

"SkillBuild is all about the way that people setting out on their construction career work. Most of the competitors are still learning so it's not just about the finished article, it's about the whole process that they go through. The event at South & City College was a great success with a high level of entries. Well done to everyone who took part and congratulations to all of the winners."

You can view all the pictures from the competition here.

Published in June 2014
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