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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

Apprenticeships-news-imageYoung people and businesses in Birmingham have been shortlisted to receive awards as part of the seventh annual National Apprenticeship Week [3-7 March].

South and City College Birmingham, which has been recently named as Birmingham's largest local provider of Apprenticeships, is celebrating the success and achievements of both apprentices and Apprenticeship employers at an awards evening which will be held at the Macdonald Burlington Hotel on Thursday 6 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 2014, apprentices from eight 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 they have made. The college's InBusiness network has organised the event, and Honorary President, Sir Doug Ellis OBE will be presenting awards during the evening to members of InBusiness who have provided exceptional student experiences, contributed to student learning or offered Apprenticeships and work placement opportunities.

Mike Hopkins, principal of the college said: "We have a whole range of events taking place during National Apprenticeship Week including a public jobs fair on Wednesday 5 March, visits to schools and the awards ceremony. We think it is not only important to raise awareness of how beneficial Apprenticeships are to young people to help them get their foot on the career ladder, but also how they can really help local businesses secure their workforce for the future.

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

Tom Croxford, a professional chef Apprentice at Michelin star restaurant Purnell's in Birmingham said: "I am really proud to have been shortlisted as Apprentice of the Year for my industry. It has been hard work, but I think I have been given an excellent opportunity and I have learnt so much from working with Glynn Purnell and the other chefs in the kitchen. It has been a great experience and I love being part of the Purnell's team."

Alexandra Kustas, Skills and Apprentice Manager at Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust added: "We are very pleased to have been shortlisted for this award. We have found apprentices incredibly beneficial to our business. They are eager to learn, hard working, adaptable and quickly become important members of the teams they work in. We are looking forward to attending the awards evening."

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.

The college would like to thanks the generous sponsors of the event: City and Guilds, OCNWMR, National Express, PS Office Supplies, Morgan Hunt, Keepmoat, BMS Security, National Federation of Builders and Social Media Buz.

Shortlisted for business awards are:

Apprentice Large Employer Award 2014

Shortlisted companies: Kier, Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust and National Express.

Apprentice SME Employer Award 2014

Shortlisted companies: Unicorn Plastering Ltd, Eventmasters and the green house.

Apprentice InBusiness Employer Award 2014

Shortlisted companies: Subway, Red Rob Catering Supplies, British Military Security, Visual Security Services and Purnell's Restaurant and Bistro.

InBusiness Student Experience Employer Award 2014

Shortlisted companies: Vantage Toyota, Nigel Davey Films, and BPM Media.

InBusiness Student Contribution Award 2014

Shortlisted companies: Utopia Resourcing, Help Harry Help Others and Touchwood Training Centre.

And finally an InBusiness Student Ambassador Award 2014 will be given to an individual who has exceptionally represented South and City College and the InBusiness network.

Published in February 2014

Lakesh traineeshipSouth and City College Birmingham is working with Birmingham City Council to offer a Traineeship programme that is giving young people in Birmingham the skills and experience needed for employment.

The council has offered a ten week Traineeship opportunity to 12 young people who have little skills or experience in the workplace but who want to work in business administration.

Following the Traineeship, there will a guaranteed interview that may lead to up to six full time, paid Apprenticeship jobs.

The Trainees who started their placements on Monday 20 January are working within Birmingham City Council's People's Directorate, and are getting on the job experience as Professional Support Assistants in providing administration and clerical support to staff and external customers. They also attend the college to gain additional workplace, CV and interview skills to increase their employability prospects.

Traineeships were launched by the Government in August 2013 to help young people who would like to undertake an Apprenticeship or job but who do not yet have the skills or experience to be successful in getting employed. They are unpaid work experience placements, which include essential workplace skills as well as on-the-job training.

Lakesh Paul, aged 18, from Wolverhampton, is one of the Trainees. He said: "I've really enjoyed my time at the Council and I'm now familiar with working in an office environment. This week I've been working alongside people services helping with adoption administration work like archiving and managing databases. I've also had the chance to develop my telephone skills and I have learnt about the internal mail system. Working with a range of teams has allowed me to broaden my knowledge of the organisation and I have been able to transfer skills I've learnt in one department to another.

"This Traineeship has given some great experience to put on my CV. I really wanted to work in administration, but was struggling to get a job because I didn't have any experience - I am hoping that completing the Traineeship will change that for me."

Mike Hopkins, principal of South and City College said: "Traineeships are a chance for young people who don't have the skills or experience under their belt to get their foot in the door of employment. It gives them a chance to get on-the-job experience with an employer but also gain the workplace skills employers are looking for.

The fact that they lead to interviews for Apprenticeships are excellent and I think that this programme will really help young people gain meaningful employment."

Cllr Muhammad Afzal from Birmingham City Council said: "We are delighted to be offering 12 young people in the region the chance to get some great work experience which may lead to employment. The people that complete the Traineeship will be guaranteed an interview for an Apprenticeship with the Council – which may be the start of a long and fulfilling career with us."

Published in February 2014

Ambassador Barzun Visits CollegeThe US ambassador to the UK visited the college's Digbeth Campus to talk with students about the role of diplomacy in world relations and to get their views on political issues [Thursday 6 February 2014].

Ambassador Matthew Barzun delivered an interactive talk with clickers allowing students to respond to multiple-choice questions on US/UK relations and the role each country plays in global politics; he later opened up the floor to allow students to air their views and ask questions on matters including equality, Syria and the power of corporations.

The purpose of the visit was for Ambassador Barzun to engage with young people from a range of backgrounds to get a better understanding of their opinions on world and national issues. The US Embassy is looking to regularly interact with youth audiences as part of their public diplomacy mission. The ambassador spoke to 30 students from IT and business courses for just over an hour.

Ambassador Barzun has been in post since last summer having been appointed by President Barrack Obama. He has previously been a US ambassador to Sweden and worked in sourcing finance for Obama's two presidential campaigns.

When asked about his visit to the college, Ambassador Matthew Barzun said: "I loved coming in today to talk to the students. It's always good to listen to what they have to say as well as learn from it and feed it back."

Student union president, Selmah Habib, spent the morning showing Ambassador Barzun around the campus: "I really enjoyed the talk by Matthew today, there were a number of interesting debates covered which was very enlightening. It was also inspiring to see how governments try to work together on global issues."

Principal Mike Hopkins said: "I think it's great to have been selected by the ambassador who was particularly interested in listening to what our students had to say on big issues. It shows the standard of excellence the college has with people −with credentials such as Matthew's − wanting to come visit us."

The visit has now formed a relationship between the college and the US embassy who will now look to work together in future ventures.

Published in February 2014

Topps Tiles DonationTopps Tiles, the UK's leading tile and wood flooring specialist, is supporting students at South & City College by providing much needed materials for their studies.

Students on wall and floor tiling courses at the college have received over 500 square metres of tiles from the retailer, to help with their practical studies.
Carl Goulden, Course Tutor at South & City College said: "The on-going donations made by Topps Tiles have made a huge difference to our students. Having materials to practice with means they are able to gain essential practical experience, boosting their skills and improving their employment opportunities after graduating from college."

Beth Boulton, Head of Marketing at Topps Tiles said: "Supporting local people to improve their career prospects is important to us; in fact here at Topps Tiles we deliver an award-winning apprenticeship scheme. We are delighted to have created an on-going partnership with South & City College – it's great to know our donations are making such a difference to the tilers of the future."

Published in January 2014

Walk the Albion waySouth and City College are supporting the The Albion Foundation's charity event in which five blind footballers will walk 86 miles later this month.

Walk The Albion Way will see the footballers take on the challenging task of walking from Anfield to the Hawthorns in five days.

The college is providing a team of media students and staff who will document the venture through film and camera.

A number of media students will be accompany the team, putting their filmography and photography skills learnt in their lessons at the college into practise to capture the whole event.

Principal Mike Hopkins said: "We are excited to be supporting Walk The Albion Way. The college and our students often get involved in charity events. Not only does it help others in the community, but it gives our students the excellent opportunity to put their skills to the test in a real work situation. It is great for their CVs and their confidence."

Olivia Phillips, a level 3 media student said: "I am really looking forward to this event. I am on the second year of a level 3 media course now so I am ready to undertake something like this. I think it will be really good experience that I can use in interviews to impress employers when I am looking for a job!"

Challenge organiser, Jon Ross, from The Albion Foundation, said: "We are overwhelmed by the support shown to us by local businesses and we want to thank them for encouragement."

With the support of their guides, the B1 Blind Team players will walk from Anfield Stadium, Liverpool, to The Hawthorns, West Bromwich, from 27th January 2014, with the aim of raising £10,000 to help the charity continue to support them and the other ten disability teams within The Albion Foundation.

For 21 years, the charity has provided children, young people and adults with physical and learning disabilities with training, coaches, kit, transport, venues, accommodation and more, so that they have the chance to play competitive sport. Through schooling, sport and education, The Albion Foundation support more than 520 disabled people every week, with the aim of raising aspirations and helping everyone they work with to achieve lifelong goals.

For more information on the challenge visit www.walkthealbionway.co.uk. To donate to the challenge you can text WTAW14 to 70070 to donate £5 or visit http://www.justgiving.com/albionfoundation.

Published in January 2014

Kade and Michael discuss the industry with studentsStudents from South and City College Birmingham were offered an insight into the world of hairdressing when two high-flying industry professionals came to visit.

Kadekut, 25, and Michael Damiance, 26, offered to come along to the college's Hall Green campus to work with budding level 2 and 3 students studying barbering. During the class students were able to ask about what it was like working in the industry.

The duo demonstrated basic haircutting skills and more advanced patterns using a cut throat razor to students, who then in turn had a go themselves with Kade and Michael monitoring their progress.

The opportunity came about after South and City College and two professionals attended a local tradeshow in Birmingham. Black Exposure Live took place at the Town Hall in September 2013 with the college sponsoring and exhibiting at the event; whilst Kade entered the 'Battle Of The Barbers' competition taking place at the show and went on to win the top prize. After networking with staff at the event the duo agreed to come down to help out the new wave of barbers training at the college.

The two friends, who attended school and trained at their local college together, may only have been in the sector for a short time but both are already proving to be big successes.

Michael worked in the industry before being head-hunted by Simon Shaw the director of Whal, one of the leading clipper companies in the business and on top of his Battle of the Barbers accolade, Kade has won Wahl UK King Barber Competition 2010, 2011 and 2013 and entered competitions all over the world and achieved second place in both New York and Las Vegas events. He has also gone on to work with celebrities.

Dextry Kidd, a Level 3 Barbering Student at South & City College, said: "I found the session with Kade and Michael very inspirational. It's given me a better depth of knowledge and understanding of the barbering industry."

He continued: "Kade's techniques were intriguing and working with him has convinced me to look into different avenues with my barbering techniques. Michael was really motivational with the delivery of his techniques and the experience has encouraged me to go on and succeed."

Jill Dagnan, a barbering lecturer at South & City College, said: "It's inspiring for our students to see two young men so motivated and focused in a competitive market. The industry is not just about a 9-5 job in a barbers shop, there are many different avenues you can go down to become a successful barber."

Published in December 2013

GEW MarketStudents at South & City College Birmingham who hosted their very own Christmas Market as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week raised over £360 for local charity, St. Basil's.

The event was to promote enterprise skills of Business, IT & Finance (Division 7) students alongside their programmes of study. It has provided students with valuable experience in events management for their course in general and their portfolio.

There were only 8 stalls available and the teams had to pitch their ideas to have a chance to take part on the day. Those who were selected for the event had a budget of £60 per team who in turn had provided an income and expenditure sheet. The winning team were from Level 3 Business Admin who rose over £170 profit and were awarded a 'tablet'.

Each stall sold Christmas themed products and services including jewellery, handmade cards, teddy bears, t-shirts, football merchandise and hampers.

Global Entrepreneurship Week is part of a wider, annual campaign to promote entrepreneurship and encourage more people to start up their own businesses.

Amrit Singh, Assistant Director of Finance and Management at South & City College, said: "The students have been excellent for this project. Their planning, execution and overall passion has been exemplary. Their experience will assist them, not only on their course, but with employment and further study."

Student at the college, Valerie Bennett, said: "It was a great event and it's really going help me with some of the units on my business course. I hope we get the chance to do a similar market again sometime in the year."

St Basil's is a Birmingham based charity which helps over five thousand 16-25 year olds per year who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Published in January 2014

Schools team win awardSouth and City College Birmingham's Schools Team won Silver at the FE First Marketing Awards in the Collaboration category for their work with schools on 25th November 2013.

The Silver Award was presented for the college's work with local schools that improved the building of partnerships and innovative collaborative work with key feeder schools.
The College Marketing Network's FE First Awards 2013 were held at the Hilton Hotel Warwick alongside the organisation's 26th Annual Conference.

The judging team praised the college for its innovative approach to working with schools in the region and empowering young people by raising awareness of their employability skills.

Sapreena Kumari-Malins, Assistant Director for Recruitment, Support and Enquiries, said, "It's great for the team's hard work with schools to be recognised by an outside organisation and we want to push for the gold award next year. The team would also like to thank the schools we've closely worked with to achieve this award."

The Schools Team offers a wide variety of services to schools in the region ranging from organising employability workshops such as practise interviews, work experience preparation and talks around apprenticeships.

Published in January 2014

MatrixawardSouth & City College Birmingham were awarded the Matrix Award for their delivery of information and guidance in November 2013. This is the first year the Information & Guidance (IAG) team have achieved the accreditation and we are the only college in the region to achieve this status for a solely outward-facing IAG team.

The matrix standard is a quality standard for establishments to assess their advice and support services, which supports people in their selection of career, learning, work and life goals.

An external assessor gathered a range of information from staff, students and partners of the college to compile a report looking into the following areas: Leadership & Management, Resources, Service Delivery and Continues Quality Improvement.

Mike Hopkins, Principal for South & City College Birmingham, said: "It's great the college has been recognised for the work we do in schools. Being accredited for the IAG support we offer partners and their students shows how focused we are in giving young people the best options to make post-16 decisions."

Published in January 2014
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