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SkillBuild at South and City College BirminghamOn 2 June 2015, 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.
For this heat, over 130 competitors from 17 different colleges competed across 9 different disciplines, including bricklaying, carpentry, cabinet-making, joinery, plastering, wall and floor tiling, plumbing and electrical.
SkillBuild has been running for over 45 years and sees the very best in construction talent compete against each other to be crowned the SkillBuild winner in their chosen trade. The event is run by CITB with the endorsement of WorldSkills, competition managers for the bi-annual WorldSkills competitions.
Entrants were judged on their performance on the day and their work was given a score by a panel of judges. Once all of the regional heats have concluded, the highest scorers and overall winners will be invited to compete at the National SkillBuild Final at the NEC, Birmingham. If successful there, candidates are offered the chance to have a place on the WorldSkills UK team and progress to compete at the 2017 WorldSkills competition in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
South and City College had a number of entrants into the competition. The College ended up with a very impressive medal haul, with a total of thirteen medals awarded to students. Certificates were presented to the winners by David Bentley – National President of the Federation of Master Builders.

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)

Along with the fantastic competition, the College had over 100 visitors to the event, hosted an employer's luncheon and held a competition network meeting for 20 delegates. A number of school children also attended the event and took part in the 'Have a Go' activities the college had provided, all of which acted as an early introduction to construction trades.

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 everyone involved with the event that helped make it a great success.

Monday, 11 May 2015 14:26

Fire at Digbeth Campus

Digbeth Campus South and City College BirminghamDue to a minor electrical fire at our Digbeth campus this afternoon (Monday 11th May 2015), the site has been temporarily closed to students for the remainder of the day (Monday 11th May 2015).

Following the fire, all staff and students were evacuated safely and efficiently from the building and thankfully nobody was injured.  West Midlands Fire Service were very quick to respond to the scene.

The building has been thoroughly assessed and confirmed safe for re-entry. All services at the Digbeth Campus will resume from tomorrow (Tuesday 12th May 2015). We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

We would like to extend our gratitude to the West Midlands Fire Service for their timely assistance and support.

Boutique-Fusion-Logo-South-and-City-College-BirminghamSouth and City College Birmingham's fashion department have been working hard to prepare the opening of their first student run shop.

Boutique Fusion stocks a range of bespoke garments and accessories to buy, with the option of made to order garments. The grand opening is set for April 30th at the Fusion Centre on the Digbeth High Street, in the heart of Birmingham. The event starts at 12pm, there'll be all sorts on offer, including:

• An array of unique designs
• Meet the students and see their creations.
• Fashion show (3pm) showing off current student work

Light refreshments will be on offer.

The boutique was set up as a forum for students to sell the goods they make throughout the year, giving them suitable experience in the business and retail side of the fashion industry. The boutique will also sell the supplies that the students require for the fashion courses at the college. It will be open daily to the public and any of the goods in the shop can be ordered in any size and in a selection of colours.

The assistant director of fashion at South & City, Eileen Simons said - "I am thrilled with the direction that the college is taking in supporting new inspirational entrepreneurs in Birmingham. As we are based in the heart of the creative quarter of the city our students are constantly exposed [to] the artistic elements of what Birmingham has to offer. This is a great opportunity for our students to expand their skills and to promote themselves in the industry."

Are you interested in doing a Fashion course with us? Find our Fashion courses here.

Teenage-Cancer-Trust-Cheque-South-and-City-College-BirminghamSouth and City College have raised £32,099 for Teenage Cancer Trust during a gruelling coast to coast cycle challenge.

The college handed over the cheque to Teenage Cancer Trust last week, alongside staff and supporters who took part in the challenge which included Steve Staunton, a former Aston Villa football player.

The challenge saw over 40 cyclists cycle 805 miles from coast to coast across the UK taking in the hills of Wales, Ireland and England and ended with a celebration ride home from Coventry to Birmingham.

Theresa Preston, head of regional fundraising for Teenage Cancer Trust said: "Thanks to everyone at the college, their sponsors and those who took part in and supported this huge challenge in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust. Around seven young people aged 13 to 24 are diagnosed with cancer every day in the UK. They need expert treatment and support from the moment they hear the word cancer. We know that for each young person that we can help, there is another that we can't. The money raised will help us get closer to our vision of supporting all young people that are diagnosed with cancer.

"Young people aged 13 to 24 are neither children nor adults and they get some of the most aggressive forms of cancer, which means they have very specific clinical needs. The amount that has been raised could fund our lead nurse on the Teenage Cancer Trust unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, who several of the staff at the college met and who is responsible for ensuring that young people with cancer in the West Midlands receive the best possible clinical care, support and advice.

"Having spoken to several of the challenge participants, I know just how much time and effort, not only training but also fundraising and raising awareness was invested – this was in addition to everyone's day to day commitments. On behalf of the young cancer patients that we support, Teenage Cancer Trust is really grateful. I have been told by the cyclists that when times got tough they thought about the young cancer patients that they were cycling for and this kept them going."

Mike Hopkins, Principal of the college who is an enthusiastic and competitive cyclist said:

"I am really proud of what the staff and students at the college and our supporters managed to achieve; not only completing one of the toughest cycle routes I have ever ridden, but also raising such an incredible amount.

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.

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.

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.

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

Music_Artists_at_South_and_City_College_BirminghamOver the last few weeks, Digbeth campus has been honoured with the insights from several musical professionals, who came in to the college to offer their knowledge to students looking to break into the music industry.

All sessions included extensive question and answer sessions, inspirational talks and short performances from the guests, making each visit a wholly worthwhile thought provoking experience for all involved.

Amongst the guests were former students, an internationally renowned guitarist, a local rap artist and a world famous drummer.

Former students Lennis Murrain and Matt Brook have, since leaving the college, have both had excellent starts to their musical careers. Lennis now co-owns a successful recording studio and Matt has performed alongside Meghan Trainor on Radio 1's Live Lounge, and is now a touring drummer for Chloe Howl. They both had a lot to share about their experiences in business within the music industry, and had valuable tips on the acquisition and application of knowledge and helped students understand the personal attributes required to succeed.

Aziz Ibrahim, solo artist, record label executive, and guitarist for bands such as Simply Red and The Stone Roses, also paid a visit to level 3, 4 and 5 students to demonstrate techniques he has picked up over his illustrious career, and talk about his highs and lows within the music, from performing live with major bands to running his own business.

Zara Sykes, a local rapper who has supported Mary J Blige at the NIA, came in the to the college to run a lyric and writing workshop with students, teaching them about rhythm, writing styles and what it is like to perform live, as opposed to studio work. She also performed at the end of the session, demonstrating her skill with a microphone to the level 2 and 3 students.

Our final guest was Thomas Lang (see separate article) finishing off what has been an exciting couple of weeks for the music department, and we hope to bring in more guests to continue to teach and motivate both staff and students in the months to come.

To find out more about our music courses, please click here

Thomas_Lang_South_and_City_College_BirminghamOn Monday 9 February, Thomas Lang, Austrian drummer came to South and City College as part of his European tour, set up by PMT (the biggest music shop in Birmingham) and Roland UK (Japanese manufacturer of electronic musical instruments).

Thomas Lang, the most searched for drummer on the internet performed at our Digbeth Campus in the auditorium. Our staff and students helped set up the room and was there to make sure the night ran smoothly.

Thomas Lang has played for artists such as Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple), Peter Gabriel, Tina Turner, Robbie Williams, Kelly Clarkson, Mick Jones (The Clash), George Michael, The Lighthouse Family, Bonnie Tyler, stOrk and many more. Thomas has also released numerous drum tutorial DVD's as well as producing artists in his LA studio.

Thomas Lang started off playing two of his tracks. He then went on to play a long and impressive solo, blowing the audience away.

He then told us all about his kit which was a Roland TD-30 and told the audience about each different component.

He interacted with the audience of 200, made up of our music students and was open to the public, by answering their many questions and breaking down certain techniques. He showed off his rudiments and went into full detail about creativity. The Question and Answer session had probing questions with long and detailed answers, leaving the audience shell-shocked and truly inspired.

When asked by a member of the audience "At what age did you start playing drums?"

He revealed: "I started playing drums at the age of 5."

He played another track at the end of the night and thanked his audience.

Everyone in the audience was given a voucher with money off certain Roland products at PMT lasting for seven days.

People queued up outside the auditorium to meet their hero Thomas Lang, where he did signings and photos.

This was a real coup for the college with this date being only one of eleven dates for Thomas in the whole of Europe.