The college has taken part in Birmingham Pride 2014 for the first time in its history. Staff and students from the college took part in the lively carnival parade and also had a stand at the community village green.
Despite pouring down with rain the spirits of the staff and students certainly weren't dampened. South and City College were the only college in attendance and joined over 60 other organisations to support this year's event. Hundreds of people came out to support and watch the parade which made its way from Victoria Square to Hurst Street.
The theme of this year's parade was freedom and equality around the world and was opened by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham and Peter Tatchell. Peter is a famous political activist who has fought for equality and did a moving speech on the subject. It's important to realise there are still more than 40 common wealth countries who jail LGBT people just for being who they are.
The college would like to say a big thank you to the staff and students who gave up their time to support the college at Pride 2014.
Staff: Vicki McNamnee, Kim Hearne, Claire Beale, Jay Hearne, Elaine Jones, Jacqui Mayer, Sapreena Kumari-Malins, Harj Jutley, Hayley Ridewood and Sarah Clarke.
Students: Edward Herbert, Tomas Kirby and Belinda Melendez
South and City College Birmingham can today announce the official sponsors of each stage for the Coast2Coast cycle challenge which will raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust in association with The Stephen Staunton Foundation [Wednesday 28 May].
Local businesses from around the West Midlands have pledged to help the charity bike ride get well on its way to reaching the £50,000 target which has been set by Principal Mike Hopkins.
Mike will also be leading the challenge, which will see a group of cyclists pedal around 800 miles over nine days, travelling from coast to coast across the UK and Ireland this summer (July 19 to July 27).
The cycle route and sponsors are as follows:
Day one sponsored by Wassifa Showcase will start from the college's Digbeth Campus to Cleethorpes after first visiting the Teenage Cancer Trust Ward at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Day two will start from Cleethorpes to Congleton and is sponsored by East End Foods.
Day three is sponsored by Subway franchisee Aksar Khan which will start from Congleton and head over to Betws-y-Coed in Wales before resting up for the night.
Communications and design firm, DesignBP will be the sponsors for the ride from Betws-y-Coed to Dublin after a taking the team take a ferry over the North Sea from Holyhead.
Day five is sponsored by Phoenix Green & Alvesta Energy and will see the riders travel all the way down the east coast of Ireland from Dublin/Bray to Rosslare then travelling on another ferry back across to Fishguard in Wales.
Day six will see the team bike from Fishguard to Barry Island and is sponsored by AB Waste.
Birmingham based publisher, Packt are sponsoring day seven which will see the riders start from Barry Island back into England, heading for the coast at Weymouth.
Day eight is sponsored by Aston Manor Brewery and will start from Weymouth travelling to Burford in Oxfordshire.
Day nine is the final leg of the ride and is being sponsored graphics and signage company, Hollywood Monster.
Travelling up from Burford, the team will make a pit stop at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry where they will be joined by students, staff and the general public to take part in a final celebration ride back into Birmingham to the college's Digbeth Campus for a celebration event.
Principal Mike Hopkins said: "I'm really proud of the local businesses who have come onboard with such great support for the challenge. It really goes to show what a close community we are in Birmingham.
"By working with well known organisations in the region we hope it will have a greater impact in raising awareness of what we're trying to achieve for the two charities as well as the good work they do for young people.
Media students from the college will be involved in supporting the project by filming and editing videos to capture the ride in detail.
For more information on the Coast2Coast challenge please visit: www.challengesccb.co.uk
Seven young people from Birmingham, including a jobseeker of four years, have been offered full-time Apprenticeship jobs through one of the region's first Traineeship programmes; a scheme challenging the skills and employment gap young people are facing in the West Midlands.
South and City College Birmingham have championed the scheme by delivering one of the first Traineeships in the region that has followed through with full-time work upon completion through a partnership with Birmingham City Council.
The college hopes the success of its first group of young people on the scheme will raise the profile of Traineeships to those who are also struggling to find work in the West Midlands, which has one of the highest rates of youth unemployment in the UK.
12 young people worked as business administrators within Birmingham City Council's children's services department on the Traineeship scheme for a ten-week period developing their work-based skills and gaining valuable experience in a professional environment.
The Traineeship concluded at the end of March with all 12 trainees being interviewed for seven full time Apprenticeship roles. The seven successful candidates started their new business administration roles at Birmingham City Council on Monday 19 May.
The government launched Traineeships in August 2013 to help young people who would like to undertake an Apprenticeship or job but who did not yet have the skills or experience to be successful in getting employed.
A Traineeship involves work experience placements including essential workplace skills and on-the-job training. Trainees also attend college to learn more about their line of work, employability skills such as CV writing and interview techniques and to improve their English and maths qualifications.
The seven successful trainees were Mandip Chumber aged 23, Amy Braithwaite and Michael Abraham aged 22, Sean Guiden aged 21, Jack Nixon and Lucy Garland aged 18 and Qasim Mahmood aged 17.
Amy Braithwaite, aged 22 from Castle Bromwich, had been unemployed for four years before signing up to the scheme. She said: "I was applying for jobs regularly but wasn't getting anywhere. I wouldn't even be able to tell you how many jobs I've applied for over the years – I've lost count.
"I would recommend to any young person who is struggling to find work to look into taking up a Traineeship as it's helped me to turn things around."
Mike Hopkins, principal of South and City College Birmingham said: "It's great to see the college leading the way on Traineeships and trying to tackle youth unemployment head on in Birmingham.
"Through our partnership with the council we have been able to give seven young people who were struggling to find work the opportunity to develop their skills and improve their employability. The scheme has helped them to bridge the gap between education and employment and I wish them all the very best in their new roles."
Steve Wise, service director of business change for Birmingham City Council added: "What a fantastic and innovative scheme this is to get unemployed young people into work. It is incredibly rewarding to see so many of them succeed in getting Apprenticeships with the council.
"I would recommend Traineeships to any employer looking to appoint talented, young people who for whatever reason have missed out on opportunities to get into work."
Due to the success of the initial scheme the college and council have opened talks about creating more Traineeship opportunities for young people across other departments in the organisation.
Photo from left to right: Yvette Brechon-Smith (Professional Support Services Team Leader), Amy Braithwaite (Successful Trainee), Jack Nixon (Successful Trainee) and Maggie Brason (Professional Support Relationship Manager)
South and City College Birmingham has been awarded a Highly Commended in the Education & Training Services Sector award in the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) Occupational Health and Safety Awards 2014.
The college has received a sector award for the second year running, this year achieving 'highly commendable' for its excellent approach to workplace health and safety and continuous improvement in accident and ill health prevention for the benefit of its staff, students, visitors and partners.
The prestigious annual award was presented to the college by RoSPA during a ceremony at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel, at the National Exhibition Centre, on May 14, 2014.
The college was awarded the accolade for its continuous development and improvement of health and safety management within the college. The college has demonstrated the ability to identify strengths and weaknesses and collective collaboration to achieve a safer workplace for all and to ensure best practice is not only implemented but maintained and monitored.
As the UK's family safety charity, RoSPA's mission to save lives and reduce injuries covers all ages and stages of life. In support of this mission, the RoSPA Awards, which date back 58 years, recognise commitment to continuous improvement in accident and ill health prevention at work. Through the scheme, which is open to businesses and organisations of all types and sizes from across the UK and overseas, judges consider entrants' overarching occupational health and safety management systems, including practices such as leadership and workforce involvement.
Dawn Ward, the college's health and safety manager said: "The award means everything; it is the ultimate benchmark to reflect our hard work and commitment. It enables me as a practitioner to continually improve against the high standards and to develop and maintain a leadership culture ethos."
David Rawlins, RoSPA's awards manager said: "The RoSPA Awards encourage the raising of occupational health and safety standards across the board. Organisations that gain recognition for their health and safety management systems, such as South and City College Birmingham, contribute to a collective raising of the bar for other organisations to aspire to, and we offer them our congratulations."
The sponsors of the RoSPA Awards 2014 are: headline sponsor - NEBOSH; The RoSPA International Sector Award - airsweb; The MORR Trophy - Allianz; The International Dilmun Environmental Award - GPIC; The Best New Entry Trophy - Safety and Health Expo; The Workforce Involvement in Safety and Health Trophy - Springfields Fuels; and, The MORR Technology Trophy - Tesco Dotcom.
See www.rospa.com/awards/ for more information about the RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Awards.
South and City College Birmingham hosted the first two heats for the West Midlands region WorldSkills UK 2014 Health and Social Care Competitions on 13 and 14 May 2014.This years' competitions are sponsored by Profiles4 Care and the NHS Leadership Academy.
The heats have enabled 32 of the 104 competitors who registered to compete from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, to demonstrate their excellent skills in delivering health care whilst in a competitive environment.
Heat 1 on 13 May saw some fantastic skills being delivered by competitors, with person centred care being demonstrated throughout. The following were the worthy winners:
1st place: Reanna Harper (18) from South Devon College, currently studying Health and Social Care level 3 advanced diploma, whilst working at Margaret Clitherow House for residential care. She was chosen by her tutors to enter this year's WorldSkills UK.
2nd place: Megan Bailey-Earl (16) also studying at level 3 in South Devon College, works in residential care at The Grange Lea residential care home in Paignton.
3rd place: Ashley Irvine (18) from CWT Chamber Training was also chosen by his tutors to enter this year's WorldSkills UK.
Heat 2 on 14 May saw further examples of excellence with the following competitors' achieving:
1st place: Krysia Knox (19), currently studying at Stoke on Trent College, was chosen by her tutors to enter this year's WorldSkills UK.
2nd place: James Groocock (19) from South Leicestershire College, studying Year 1 BTEC Level 3 National Diploma in Health & Social care.
3rd place: Tamara Roberts (20) from Coleg Llandrillo Cymru was also chosen by her tutors to enter this year's WorldSkills UK.
Health and social care students and staff from South and City College Birmingham also played a central role in the competition.
Mike Hopkins, Principal of South and City College said: "We are delighted that the West Midlands heat of this competition has been held at our college. We have been very impressed by the competitors and I congratulate them all on how much effort they have put in and how professional they have been.
"At the college we believe that competitions help boost students' confidence, whilst also giving them an excellent experience.
"Good luck to the South and City College students, and the other students, who are still to compete."
Reanna Harper said: "It feels fantastic to win, it was such a surprise! The whole day was a really good experience. The highlight of the day for me was the scenarios and getting into the situation, I really enjoyed it."
James Groocock enthused: "I feel pretty amazing - it's a real confidence boost, something to write about. I really enjoyed meeting and working with the other competitors, there was a real synergy between us that really helped with the nerves".
Tamara Roberts also said: "I feel fantastic, like I've really achieved something, I didn't think I could do it. The highlight for me was the learning difficulties scenario, this is an area I enjoy and I feel like I can learn a lot from".
Debbie Sorkin, Chief Executive of the National Skills Academy for Social Care, said: "The expertise and leadership demonstrated by our frontline care workers has once again been a pleasure to observe. To see competitors confidently showing what they can do when supporting people is a privilege. Health and social care has a lot to look forward to from the people who have taken part in this competition."
Making the awards, Lead Judge Pat Pearson said: "WorldSkills just gets better and better as a competition and a real showcase for how well social care is carried out. It was a pleasure to observe such committed competitors taking part in this heat at South and City College Birmingham and to award prizes to some outstanding care workers and students."
Retail Fusion, a sweet shop set up by retail students at the college, has been a roaring success since first opening in early December.
In the five months Retail Fusion has been trading at the college, the sweet shop has raised nearly £2300 pounds of revenue, with £1200 coming in as gross profit.
The students have been providing confectionaries for audiences at events which have been going on around the college in a bid to boost sales. Highlights include the recent Capital and Vamps concert that took place in Digbeth auditorium and this week's hair and beauty show where the shop made a whopping £260 in one day.
The retail entry level three, level one and level two students initially set up the shop to apply their knowledge of retail they had learnt in lessons in a real life situation. The students have been involved in all aspects of buying, selling, marketing and advertising.
The running of the shop has seen students gaining hands on skills in merchandising and display, showcasing their selling and customer service, as well as being responsible for stock control, security, sales records and handling cash.
Retail Fusion are available to attend college events and have already been booked up for the upcoming open day, the fashion show, an employment and a charity event. The department are also speaking with Kings Heath's market manager for an off-site market day stall on the high street
Meskerm Risome, a retail level 2 student said: "I have been with the college almost two years and this project has been very exciting to take part in. I've been able to develop my communication and English skills whilst giving me the opportunity to practice and improve my customer service within a retail business. It's given me a lot of knowledge where I've been able to apply and gain practical experience. Retail Fusion has been a lot of fun learning, from the preparation and packing of stock to actually setting up and selling."
Retail tutor, Naz Nazarali said: "Retail Fusion has really a real success story for the learners and the college. The enterprise continues to grow and generate excellent sales and profit, which in turn will benefit the division and learners with various enrichment projects planned for the next academic year. The goal and vision is to now develop this into a full-time enterprise run by the students across the college."
South and City College Birmingham have taken part in celebrating excellence in the construction industry at the Built Environment Hub's Celebrating Construction Awards 2014.
The college sponsored the Leadership and People Development Award which was awarded to Bournville Village Trust – Building a Future – Bournville Propertycare Services.
More than 600 hundred leaders and innovators from across the construction sector gathered at the ICC, Birmingham, to celebrate West Midlands' most inspiring construction projects and people.
The college who are a leading provider of Apprenticeships in Birmingham and offer employers high quality, up to date training for their exiting staff in a wide range of construction, technical and management skills, sponsored the Leadership and People Development Award as they understand the importance of workforce development and ongoing skills and training.
Bournville Propertycare Services won the award as they have a long history of Apprenticeship training and have continued with George Cadbury's vision of training and innovation; believing that they have cultivated some brilliant talent. Not only are they keeping alive the historical methods of building and construction but they are also embracing the future and have recently constructed a whole estate of housing with modern, up to date technologies. In 2013 they were named the 'UK Apprentice Employer of the Year' by the CITB and an 'outstanding training provider' by OFSTED.
Mike Hopkins, principal of the college said: "It is important to us as a college to support and celebrate the construction industry, particularly where skills and training are concerned.
"We believe passionately about the positive impact Apprenticeships have on the construction industry as well as other industries to bring new talent in, and also the benefit to young people themselves.
"The business services team at the college help local and regional employers access the training and qualifications necessary for their workforce as well as providing and end-to-end Apprenticeship recruitment service.
"Congratulations to Bournville Propertycare Services who have embedded Apprenticeships, training and development in everything they do."
Steve Fellows, head of asset management from Bournville Village Trust added: "Working with South and City College Birmingham has enabled Bournville Village Trust to train not only technically excellent apprentices, but fully rounded social housing professionals. Advanced technical skills are supplemented with training in areas of safeguarding the vulnerable, the importance of understanding equality and diversity and dynamic communication skills."
Built environment chair, David Bucknall OBE said: "Celebrating construction is now firmly established as a high point in the regional construction calendar. Each year it commands the attention of the industry professionals and these free to enter awards are an excellent platform to showcase and promote the very best of our industry achievements. Importantly, the Midlands' winners automatically become finalists in the national awards."
Students training to join the retail industry at the college had a great experience by hearing what managers from Asda had to say about the industry.
Andrew, a fresh trading manager and Sandra, a community liaison manager both based in Birmingham spoke to the students about working in the retail industry, what it is like to work for Asda and also how they got to where they are today.
Andrew started working part time at the age of 17, doing 15 hours a week. He later went on to work in Sainsbury's for 18 months but he soon found himself back working for Asda again.
Andrew told the students he and his team at the Asda in Shirley believe in the three "S"s: service, sales and standards. Andrew said: "I believe Asda's culture is happy and friendly and from a business view is structural."
The students also had the opportunity to watch three videos on what sales, service and standards mean to the staff at the new Shirley store, and then they were able to question Andrew and Sandra about their roles.
When Andrew was asked "What do you look for when hiring?" he replied: "I look for personality and how they would engage with the customers, which is really important. We train people in the skills needed on the job but they need to have the right attitude, with a good smile to greet customers to start off."
When Sandra was asked "Why would you want to work for Asda?" she answered: "Asda has fantastic flexibility with hours and location. Asda is a good and friendly family company to work for."
Murtaza Nazarali, retail tutor added: "It's great to have retail industry experts come in and share their knowledge with students. It gives them real insight to what employers are looking for from future employees."
Construction students from the college have been working on a restoration project for one of Birmingham's most historic buildings in a bid to develop their skills and be ready to enter the industry.
Nine students have been on two week placements across the last six months with building firm Fairhurst Ward Abbotts Limited who are completing the restoration and rebuilding of the historic Newman Brothers Coffin Fitting Works situated in the Jewellery Quarter.
The brickwork students have been replacing and repointing damaged bricks to make sure the building remains structurally sound and carpentry students have been installing stud walls, insulating and replacing flat roofing to ensure the building remains warm and dry.
Whilst developing their standard construction skills on site the students have also been given the opportunity to learn new skills around restoration techniques. The specialist training has given students a chance to see how old and new construction skills are used to bring the Coffin Fitting Works back to life.
With the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors reporting record construction growth in the first quarter of the year compared to the previous 20 years there are concerns about a skills shortage forming in the industry.
The college are tackling Birmingham's high youth unemployment rate and skills shortage head on by ensuring they effectively train students and get them the relevant experience through work placements so they can enter the construction industry upon completing their course.
Since undertaking the partnership three students have secured full time work or Apprenticeships in the construction industry thanks to placements at the Coffin Fitting Works.
The repair and conservation of the grade two listed building has been under construction since last summer with the project being overseen by the Birmingham Conservation Trust. The two million pound restoration is being funded by Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage, amongst others, and is due to be opened to the public as a museum toward the end of September 2014.
The Newman Brothers Coffin Fitting Works first opened its door in 1894 until the business was finally shut down in 1999. The company have fitted coffins for famous figures including Joseph Chamberlain, Winston Churchill, the Queen Mother and Princess Diana.
Ozan Ghani, 18, from Handsworth is studying carpentry at the college and is currently on a two week placement.
He said: "Coming to work on this project has given me chance build on what I've learnt at college. I've also had the opportunity to learn new skills around restoration techniques and I'll now have a better chance of securing a full time job because of the experience I've gained."
Mike Hopkins, principal of South and City College Birmingham said: "It's a real achievement for our students to be working on the multi-million project at the Coffin Fitting Works. With the construction industry starting to pick up again it's great to see the college playing an active role in securing our students placements and preparing them to enter the workplace.
"Through our partnerships we are ensuring our young people in the West Midlands don't suffer from having a skills gap and can confidently become the workforce for the future."
Ian Bird, conservation regional director for Fairhurst Ward Abbotts Limited said: "It's great to see young people taking an interest and a willingness to learn more about the restoration and construction of this project which means so much for the region both historically and economically."
After the success of the placements the college, Fairhurst Ward Abbotts Limited and Birmingham Conservation Trust are due to continue their partnership on future projects.
A student from the college has organised a lively musical show as part of her qualification and to raise money for charity [Friday 9 May].
Roxie's Confessions – loosely based on the hit musical production Chicago – masterminded by HND in Popular Music student Hannah O'Connell included singing, dancing and acting and proved to be a roaring success with about 100 people attending.
Helped by fellow students in areas such as stage management, sound and tech, Hannah also called upon friends in the entertainment industry to create a dynamic and uplifting performance.
The show raised £324 for two charities Wythall Animal Sanctuary and Marie Curie Cancer Care.
Musical favourites such as Cell Block Tango from Chicago, Summer lovin' from Grease and The Timewarp from the Rocky Horror Show were performed by the cast who received a standing ovation at the end.
The show was sound tracked by a live band and was held in the college's 450 seat auditorium at the Digbeth Campus which boasts 5:1 surround sound allowing the audience to feel like they are on stage with the cast.
Hannah, aged 21 said: "We aimed to create a unique show sure to give our audience the feel good factor. The whole Roxie's Confession cast has a great love for live music and we wanted to create something that was fun, live and memorable.
"We have spent a lot of time working on it but I think it has all paid off – I won't forget it in a hurry!"
Well done to everyone who took part, particularly the crew and cast including:
Band: James Burgess, Ashley Allen, Chris Russel, Nigel Groovy, Theo Seaton and Ben Jones. (Relo, Call Me Unique, Tom Walker Trio, I Luv Live, Elements of Sound, Musical Youth, Lushea)
Singers/Acting: Sara Linton, Shauna kelly Alder, Christof Jennings, Smash Entertainz, Debbie Bird and Tembi McKenzie.
Choreography: Holly Routley and Alex Maher (Kitty Brucknell, Kabuki, XFactor)
Dancers: Phoebe Le Blond and Rebecca McCormack (UTX, BOA)
Photography: PHD Media
Hair, beauty and barbering students from South and City College wowed an audience and put on a hair-raising show at their annual showcase event and competition on Wednesday 8 May.
Over 60 students on full time, part time or Apprenticeship courses took part in the competition, creating diverse, exciting and dramatic looks for their models around the theme 'A Night at the Movies'.
The students who study at the college's Hall Green, Handsworth or Fusion Centres had to create whole looks including make-up, hair styling and outfits with many students hand making their own costumes. Level 1 students based their designs on romantic movies, whilst level 2 students focussed on thriller and level 3 on fantasy films.
The incredible finished designs were shown off on the catwalk in front of a 400 strong audience of local hair and beauty businesses, friends and family. Four highly regarded local experts judged the students' work; Edith Webster Director of The Hair Company in Solihull, Bill Brown, Founder of BEX Live, Gloria Spense who set up a the first Handsworth based hairdressing training centre in 1985 and Shabana Yasmin a former student now working as a freelance make-up artist and winner of last year's competition.
Bill said: "I thought it was exquisite. Every one of them was very good – I thought they were all to a very high standard and they all deserved to win a prize."
Edith added: "I thought the standard was excellent, and much better than what I expected from a college. The whole evening had a fantastic atmosphere and I was blown away by the presentation."
Students were awarded prizes at each level based. The winners were:
Level 1 hair: Faduma Omar
Level 2 hair: Salam Yohanes
Level 2 beauty: Ghazala Shabnam
Level 3 hair: Meleasha Ottey
Barbering: Natalie Williams
Elizabeth Farebrother, assistant director of hairdressing at South and City College Birmingham said: "Well done to all the students who took part. They have spent weeks thinking about and creating their designs and all day executing them. I am so impressed at the standard, drive and passion that they showed tonight. I think what they have showcases really stands them in good stead for getting jobs when they complete their courses."
Former student and last year's competition winner Shabana added: "I can really see the improvement in quality from last year. I was amazed by what they created, and very proud that I trained at South and City College."
Gloria finished with: "The students really thought creatively and executed their ideas well, bringing everything together. I was a very professional standard of work."
Other students from across the college were involved with the event, with retail students running a stall selling sweets and snacks, as well as selling raffle tickets for the college's nominated charity The Teenage Cancer Trust and music and media students providing technical, sound and film support.
See all the pictures on our Facebook page here.
To find out more about the hair beauty and barbering courses at the college visit: www.sccb.ac.uk/courses/hair-beauty
Construction students from the college have used their skills to complete a full internal fit-out of a youth centre for young people in Kings Heath, Birmingham.
32 students aged between 16 to 18 years old who are studying different construction trades at the college took the room from an empty shell to completed project in under a year.
Committee members from the All Saints Youth Project aimed to create a dedicated centre for young people in Kings Heath but didn't have the full funding to pay contractors to undertake the work. They approached the college for help to fit out the empty shell benefitting from the work, but also providing students with vital on-site experience.
Soon after a small team of tutors, assessors and member of the centre's committee began to plan, design and programme the project. After a professional survey and drawings were drawn up, work began.
Students on a carpentry level 1 course were amongst the first on site and they set to work on constructing a timber frame - a task usually exclusive to more advanced courses. The tutors took full advantage of this opportunity to teach the eager students the skills needed within such an advanced task.
Plastering apprentices also joined the project. They boarded and plastered the centre to a professional standard. The project really developed the skills of the apprentices who quickly became skilled at using new materials to what they had used before.
During the project tutors and assessors promoted high standards for the students to work to. This resulted in students working at industry standard and made sure the work carried out followed industry guidelines.
Painting and decorating and wall and floor tiling students helped complete the project, working as a team to finish the project in the allotted timeframe.
Loris Cimarosti from South and City College said: "The students have done an excellent job and should be proud of the work they have achieved.
"They behaved very professionally – arriving onsite, finding out what needed to be done and then getting on with it - exactly what employers in the industry want. They have gained excellent experience, built up their confidence and now have something really good to include on their CVs."
Kiu Wai Lam, the Young Leaders Coordinator from All Saints Youth Project said: "It was always part of our vision for our Young People's Centre to be made by young people; so when this partnership with the college arose we jumped at the opportunity. We're proud to say that we've been able to involve young people every step of the way in realising this centre; from the design and layout right through to the bricks and mortar –literally!
"We hope the build provided an educational and meaningful experience for the students of South and City College Birmingham. Their workmanship and commitment were key to making this much needed facility a reality.
"We were also very pleased that the college were able to extend their accreditations to four of our young people who received a level 1 qualification in Handle and Store Construction Materials and Components."
Callum Baker, aged 19, who is studying a Plastering Level 2 course at the college said: "I really enjoyed myself working on this project and I learned a lot. I improved my technical skills such as how to plaster around objects like plugs, as well as really increasing the speed at which I plaster and getting to plaster large areas.
"I think it is just as important, if not even more important that students like me get to go out and have the opportunity to work on projects like this alongside their courses. You are able to put what you have learnt in the classroom into practise in the real workplace and improve a lot.
"Not only have I been able to gain from this experience, but it feels good that we have been able to give something back to the community."
All Saints Youth Project's Young Peoples' Centre opened on 1 May and will be providing a great service to the community for many years to come.
South and City College Birmingham is providing the skills and training needed for the growing construction industry in the West Midlands, amid fears of skills shortages.
Training on average 1,500 people a year across the different construction trades and professions at a dedicated construction centre in Bordelsley Green, the college aims to provide each student with the skills, qualifications and experience needed to work in the industry.
With the construction industry beginning to show signs of national recovery - the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have reported a rise of 0.3% in construction sector in the last quarter (GDP report 29 April 2014) and the Royal Institute for Chartered Surveyors (RICS) have estimated an output growth of around 4% in the sector by the end of 2014, resulting in a skills shortage of 60,000 trades people.
However, the college is on hand to ensure people who want to take the opportunity of available jobs in the industry gain the skills they need to be first in line, whilst providing the industry with the workforce needed to sustain growth.
In addition to basic courses and qualifications, the college ensures students have the opportunity to gain real on-site experience. Since September, 150 construction students have undertaken work experience placements arranged by the college with leading employers such as Balfour Beatty, Willmott Dixon and Wates Construction, gaining invaluable skills and contacts within the industry and resulting in 33 students being offered jobs as a direct result.
The college has also placed 175 young people into construction related Apprenticeships with local employers.
Mike Hopkins, principal of the college said: "I am confident that we provide our students with what they need to be employable in the construction industry.
"We have seen an upturn in construction in the region and there are jobs for our students who are finishing courses with us now – in fact many of them are being offered jobs ahead of even completing courses so they can go straight from education to employment.
"But what is even more positive is that the number of jobs are set to rise and so those who are considering embarking on construction training over the next few years can be secure in the knowledge there will be jobs waiting for them."
Abdellatif Mohamed, aged 19, is currently on an Apprenticeship in Tiling, working at WBS Simpson said: "I was studying tiling at the college and they helped me find a work placement at WBS to gain real experience of working on-site – as I know it is important to have experience when you come to look for work. They were so impressed with my work I was offered an Apprenticeship. I am now earning when I complete my qualifications, and I am getting a lot of great experience; I couldn't be happier."
The college provides courses in a wide range of construction trades and professions including bricklaying, plumbing, electrical, plastering, wall and floor tiling, site management, civil engineering and more. Courses are available from entry level 1 to higher education, both on a full time and part time basis.
To find out more about construction courses and facilities at South and City College Birmingham visit http://www.sccb.ac.uk/courses/construction
South and City College Birmingham have today [Wednesday 9 April] announced they are planning a gruelling cycle challenge to raise money for Teenage Cancer Trust.
Principal Mike Hopkins will led the challenge which will see a group of cyclists pedal around 800 miles over eight days, travelling from coast to coast across the UK this summer.
The challenge will set off from Cleethorpes on the East coast of England on Sunday 20 July and visit coastlines around England, Ireland and Wales. Each day the core riders will ride in support of a young person going through a cancer journey and the Irish stage will support The Stephen Staunton Foundation.
It is expected around 15 core riders will complete the journey, and will include Stephen Staunton, Blind Dave Heeley and staff and students from South and City College. A support team will accompany the riders, including media students from the college who will document the epic journey.
The final 30 mile leg of the journey from Coventry to the college's Digbeth Campus on Sunday 27 July will be opened up to anyone interested in supporting the team, those who would like to raise money for Teenage Cancer Trust or to simply celebrate the excellent work the charity does.
Mike Hopkins said: "As a college our students and staff are committed to raising money for charity and taking part in charitable events. We have been involved in a number of cycle challenges over the years, and this year we thought we would launch our own.
"Teenage Cancer Trust is a charity we really believe in and is close to our students' hearts, and I hope we can raise as much money for them to continue the excellent work they do in helping young people fight against cancer. Our aim is to raise £50,000 but we'd like to raise more than that!"
Michelle Aucott, Regional Fundraising Manager from Teenage Cancer Trust said: "Good luck to everyone taking part in the event. It's great to have to support of the college and I am confident that this will raise lots of money so we can continue our work with teenagers and young people with cancer in the West Midlands."
Jess Beedle, aged 17 from Wolverhampton, was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease when she was aged 12, and relapsed again at 13 where she received care and treatment on Teenage Cancer Trust's ward at the Birmingham Children's Hospital. She said: "I spent two two-week periods receiving treatment on a specialist ward for teenagers – the ward felt less like a hospital and allowed you to have fun not just sit in bed and worry.
"Teenage Cancer Trust also provide after care such as social evenings for people who have been through similar experiences. It is good to meet other people who have been in the same position – it helps you come to terms with what has happened and move on, it also helps you feel less isolated.
"My experience with cancer has given me a drive to succeed and I have realised life is short. I have been in remission since the end of 2010, and I am now in college doing A Levels, and I plan to go to university to study English. After that, I'm considering a career in journalism or writing.
"I think the Coast2Coast Challenge is brilliant. People fundraising in this way helps the charity continue to improve facilities, open more specialist units and provide after care such as social evenings.
"Good luck to the cyclists – they should be really proud of what they are doing."
College InBusiness Honorary President, Sir Doug Ellis OBE and Stephen Staunton launched the challenge, which will continue the 'Bring Back the Bike' to the city initiative and help make a difference to the lives of young people.
The college is calling upon its partners and businesses in the community to support the challenge. There are sponsorship opportunities for companies to sponsor and individuals to get involved in individual stages of the challenge.
Pictured from left to right: Jess Beedle, Sir Doug Ellis, Mike Hopkins, Blind Dave Heeley and Stephen Staunton.
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