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engineeringStudents at South & City College Birmingham will benefit from some exciting new engineering equipment as they start their courses this month.
The Engineering Workshop based at the Bordesley Green Campus will teach aspiring engineers the skills they need to meet the needs of the industry.
Following a major investment, the college has recently installed six new machines including ‘Trainer’ Lathes, Turret Vertical Milling Machines and a ‘Crossover’ CAD/CAM Lathe).  This will increase the current capacity of the workshop whilst maintaining the rigorous quality standards required by the regulatory bodies, and increasing the skill set of the students utilising user-friendly CAD/CAM machinery.
The college recognises the increasing demands by employers to provide highly skilled students and has expanded the existing workshop, investing in equipment necessary to meet these demands.
Mike Hopkins, Principal said: We have a major engineering skills shortage in and around Birmingham and this investment will help our students to gain employment to fill these positions.
It is important that we stay up to date with the needs of industry and this will help ensure we do so.”


The education map of Birmingham has changed forever as South and City College Birmingham and Bournville College have completed their much-anticipated merger, to form one of the biggest and best colleges in the country. The merger was finally approved last month, following a long period of cooperation between the two institutions.

The new College is expected to provide education and training to over 22,000 students, employing around 1,200 staff. It will keep the current South and City and Bournville College brands and identities.

The newly merged College is totally committed to the best interest of present and future students and staff of both institutions as well as the local community and business communities. The merger embodies a shared commitment to the creation of a strong college offering high quality, well-resourced education and training provision to serve the
needs of Birmingham and the West Midlands.

Mike Hopkins, the Principal of South and City College said: ‘Everything we do is about providing the best for our students. What we are doing here is taking two very good and successful colleges and creating an excellent one. As we go into the future, we will be able to capitalise on different strengths of each college and benefit from best practice, creating a high quality institution which will provide fantastic opportunities for learners of all ages. It will offer a wider choice of courses, improved facilities and equipment and an even better service to the local community and businesses. Our financial and organisational stability will allow us to invest more increased in facilities and resources, both physical and teaching, which will in turn mean a better learning experience for students. Importantly we will be a large college with a small college mentality, focused on students as individuals.’

The new college is already offering over 20 new courses across its eight campuses, from new A Levels in Geography, Criminology and Graphics at Bournville College to Diploma in Interior Design and a HND in Theatrical and Media Make-up at Digbeth campus. Over time, there will be an even greater choice of courses at more levels and more locations to suit local students.

Mike added: ‘Our vision is to improve education and training opportunities in Birmingham and the West Midlands and raise the aspirations and achievements of the local people. We have an integral role to play in the future of the local area by supporting the changing needs of the labour market and helping shape its future direction.’

It is not too late to be part of the new College, we’re enrolling now. Call 0800 111 6311 or visit to find out more.

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Friday, 18 August 2017 09:26

Fairway success

FairwayNichole Snelling found Fairway back in 2015 thanks to a group called Talent Match who pointed her in the training provider’s direction. Fairway’s aim is to make a huge difference to the quality of care in Birmingham and continue to provide genuine and real job outcomes and career progression to those who embrace it.

Nichole began her ‘My Care Portfolio’ back in January 2016 after spending a lot of time caring for her husband and sister-in-law, as she explains: “I joined Fairway as I was and still am a carer for my husband and sister-in-law, I enjoyed helping them and wanted to go onto help others. 

“After completing my four week My Care Portfolio (MCP) training, I was handed my uniform and have not looked back since. 

“Since completing the MCP, I have started and nearly completed the QCF Level 2 in Health and Social Care, the tutors and care coordinators have been really helpful throughout my time here pushing me to progress and providing me with a helping hand when needed, I hope to move onto my level 3 once level 2 is complete.

“In the last year, I have grown in confidence and my self-esteem has really improved and it is thanks to Fairway for giving me the support and advice in order to succeed.”

Operations Director, Alex O’Neill praised Nichole’s hard work: “she is a great example of the success and the impact that the My Care Portfolio programme has had and continues to have on genuine caring individuals who are seeking the right pathway for themselves. Often overlooked, rejected or simply ignored, there is a plethora of vocationally driven care professionals out there and Fairway Homecare took the decision over five years ago that enough was enough and this deep reservoir of talent needed harvesting. 

“We had the dream and the vison at the beginning to “grow our own” to create an academy type business where we invested in people that chose care for the right reasons. Those that demonstrated compassion, a genuine desire to care for others and a real passion for making a difference. Nichole personified just that and really needed some support and signposting to reach that “inner carer”. After putting in a huge amount of effort and hard work as well as receiving solid support from the beginning to the end she has blossomed in to a confident, professional and excellent HealthCare professional. She is hard working, has found an inner confidence that is infectious and has been rightly identified as one of our ‘My Care Portfolio Champions’ taking part not just in work place activity but going out on the road to Job Fairs, Workshops and Group information sessions at job centres and exhibitions. 

“The power of ‘I have done the journey myself’ is hard to ignore and she is a fabulous advocate that the My Care Portfolio programme is both achievable and valuable but also essential in giving anyone the foundations for a great Care Career.

“Nichole goes from strength to strength and Fairway Homecare in partnership with South and City College, as she continues to progress within her career, gaining professional hands on experience through Fairway Homecare, whilst completing her Level 2 Diploma in Health and Social Care at South and City College. Nichole is one of many such great success stories and we are bulging with pride at the team that we have cultivated, developed and grown in to our own to supply us with an enviable talent pool of excellent compassionate carers that may otherwise have been overlooked and ignored.”

Bournville College, now merged with South and City College has a long standing relationship with Fairway Homecare in supporting the provision of pre-employment programmes to help unemployed people gain the skills they need to enter a career in Health & Social Care.  Candidates are then given the opportunity to progress onto an Intermediate Apprenticeship in Heath & Social Care ensuring they receive the training and qualifications they need to progress within their roles and offer the highest level of support to the service users they work with.   To date over 40 candidates have been through the apprenticeship programme and this is anticipated to grow in the future as well as offering progression onto advanced apprenticeships. 

If you are interested in a career in care, contact Fairway on 0330 024 1370, for an honest, confidential and informal chat.

To find out more about how South and City College can support your organisation recruit and upskill the staff you need to be a success contact the employer services team on 0121 694 6966


Preet Gill

On Friday 23rd June, Bournville College had the pleasure of welcoming Preet Gill, an ex-student and first female Sikh MP, alongside an ITV crew. Preet Gill MP for Edgbaston made history when she won the labour seat for Edgbaston and becoming the first ever female Sikh to become an MP in Britain.

Studying a range of A Level courses at Bournville College including Psychology and Sociology, Preet met with current A Level students and spoke of her story to success. Following a brief introduction and quick narration of Preet’s many involvements in work with deprived children abroad as well as within the local community, current students had the opportunity to participate in a debate with the MP. The students also made a great impression through their insightful questions regarding current issues such as Brexit and equality in the parliament; launching a stream of discussions about modern day problems.

Mike Hopkins, Principal of Bournville College commented, “We are delighted to welcome Preet back to Bournville College and immensely proud of Preet’s achievements. We actively encourage all of our students to be politically involved and voice their views. Our students were very inspired by Preet’s journey.”

If Preet’s story has inspired you, why not consider applying to study A Levels this September? Bournville College offers an exciting range of subjects including Geography, graphics and Criminology diploma. Why not visit to find out more.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017 15:54

Access University in only one year

download 1Bournville College is launching two new courses for adults wishing to study sports or criminology at university. Designed for mature students with no previous qualifications, the ‘Access to University’ course aims to give people grounding for a degree in Sport Studies or Criminology in only one year.

It is never too late to study for a degree, even if you have no qualifications at all. ‘Access to University’ courses have always been popular at Bournville College, attracting over two hundred students every year, because they give adult students a second chance. Many adults return to education after they realise that their career opportunities will improve if they get a degree. Successful students on ‘Access to University’ courses have so far been able to enter careers in Nursing, Teaching, Social Work, Law, Business and related disciplines. The College has now increased its Access portfolio even further by introducing the ‘Access to Sport Science’ and ‘Access to Criminology’ pathways.

‘These new courses have been introduced as response to demand from local people and we expect a huge amount of interest. The course can be funded with an Advanced Learning Loan, which does not need to be paid back if the student completes their degree. Students can apply to study degrees in Sports, Criminology or related subjects.’ Alma Aganovic, Director of Marketing at Bournville College, said.

‘We have students from all walks of life enrol on our Access programmes. Many students decide it’s time to do something for themselves once their children start school. Others spend years working in jobs that don’t challenge them before discovering that university qualifications would open doors to better opportunities.’ Alma added.

Rebecca Shuck from Longbridge tells a typical tale: ‘I worked in beauty therapy for years before discovering that I needed a Nursing Degree to work as an Aesthetic Practitioner, which was something I was really interested in. Bournville College, where I studied a Beauty Therapy course previously, recommended this course and I haven’t looked back since.’

Merger means more choice

Bournville College will merge with South and City College Birmingham this summer to create of the biggest and most successful colleges in the country. As a student you will be able to directly benefit from high quality education and increased opportunities. Access courses are available at various locations throughout the city There will be an even bigger range of Access programmes to choose from in locations throughout the city, including Hall Green and Bordesley Green.

Many adults encounter various obstacles when it comes to doing a college course and because of this both Bournville and South and City colleges are determined to reduce potential barriers to education. Students will have access to the Learning Support Fund to help them with childcare and transport costs. In addition, they can fund the course through the Advanced Learning Loan which does not need to be paid back if the student successfully completes their degree course. To find out more about Access to University courses across the city, call us now on 0800 111 6311.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017 15:52

The great Rover recreation


On 30 September, Artist Keith Harrison will be presenting a ‘Joyride’ life-size clay replica of the final Rover 75 to leave the Longbridge carplant at the Jerwood Open Forest commission.

The creation of the ‘joyride’ will take place across the summer here at Bournville College where the former Longbridge carplant once operated. Working alongside world-renowned car-modeller, Anthony Tovey, the classic model will be reconstructed using a series of plywood profiles, polystyrene and clay gathered from the River Rea which runs through the former Rover works.

The artwork will be complete with a structure informed by Capture Point UK’s detailed 3D scan of the original Rover 75, and will be complete with the original Rover wheels, our students will even have the opportunity to help out with the final stages on their return in September.

Following the completion The Rover 75 will be transported from Bournville College to Cannock Chase Forest on the afternoon of 30 September, where the artist will release the replica down a temporary 8-metre ramp. Speaking of the car’s release, Keith Harrison says: ‘I want to use this energy, this velocity to re-launch the vehicle into the unknown. Metaphorically alluding to how this industrial area may be regenerated and the car industry reimagined.’ Accompanied by a specially commissioned soundtrack, the model will be released at dusk, referencing how the role of the car can transition from practical to recreational, between daytime and night.

Audiences are invited to join Keith at Cannock Chase Forest, Tackeroo Site from 5.30pm. Joyride is a one-off event so spaces are limited and booking essential; tickets are £5 (including refreshments) and booking is open now. Please visit for more information.  

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Over 300 Bosnians from across the world gathered together at Bournville College in Longbridge earlier this month.

Organised by the Bosnia UK Network, a charity organisation based in Birmingham, it was the 19th event of its kind to take place since the Bosnian conflict. It’s an annual opportunity for the community to see each other, create and build friendships and keep traditions alive.

Amongst the crowd there were some important guests including Samra Koricic Mujkic from Embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina in London, Dr. Azmi Waqar, the chairman of Remembering Srebrenica charity, Councilor Lynette Kelly from Coventry City Council and representatives from World Diaspora Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina, from countries such as Sweden, Turkey and Holland.

Bosnian and Herzegovinian supplementary schools from Birmingham, Coventry, London, Hertfordshire and Derby took part, with the children providing cultural entertainment in the College’s Conference Centre, including folk dancing, singing traditional songs, poetry recitals and more.

The crowd then moved to the College Street, where a traditional lunch was served, lovingly prepared by Bosnian ladies from Birmingham. In the true Bosnian style, there was enough to feed an army!

In the afternoon, the children took part in sports activities in the College sports hall, after which they received medals for their achievements. All supplementary schools received a certificate of appreciation for their efforts, along with a token gift.

The event also raised over £21,000 towards the first international Srebrenica Memorial Learning Centre, due to be built in Birmingham.

‘It was a truly memorable event and we’ve had a lot of positive comments from the guests who attended. It’s lovely to see young people performing and speaking Bosnian language – it makes all the work of our supplementary schools worthwhile. We would like to thank Bournville College for making the event possible.’ Lejla Solakovic from Bosnia UK Network said.

‘We were privileged to host this event, it’s always nice when the local community can benefit from using our facilities.’ Julian Tye, Events and Conferencing Manager at Bournville College added.


South and City College Birminghamis a winner at the RoSPA Health and Safety Awards 2017 for the third year running. The College achieved the Winner of the Education and Training Services award in the prestigious annual scheme run by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

The team were presented with the award during a ceremony at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole hotel on Wednesday, July 12, 2017. The award was achieved during a special year for family-safety charity RoSPA, as it celebrates its centenary.

Through the RoSPA Awards 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. The awards are now in its 61st year.

Dawn Francis-Jones, Health and Safety Manger at South and City College Birmingham, also picked up the RoSPA Guardian Angel Award for making a demonstrable difference in the world of health and safety and accident prevention, through personal initiative, diligence, enthusiasm and commitment

Dawn said: “I’m absolutely delighted with both the College award and my personal one. It’s lovely to see your work recognised in such a prestigious way.”

Julia Small, RoSPA’s head of awards and events, said: “The RoSPA Awards are the most prestigious in the world of occupational health and safety, and held in high regard around the world, as winning one demonstrates an organisation’s commitment to maintaining an excellent health and safety record. Achieving the standard required is no mean feat.

“This is a special year in the history of RoSPA, and we congratulate all of our winners in this, our centenary year”.

Friday, 21 July 2017 10:05

Access Course Changes Lives

kiana thomas access

A year ago retail assistant Kiana Thomas would have never believed she had the potential to study at university. But now this hard working mum from Birmingham is looking forward to starting a degree in Nursing in a few months.

It is all thanks to an Access to University course at Bournville College that Kiana enrolled on in January. Its aim is to enable adults without formal qualifications to gain a broad base of knowledge and skills so that they can go onto University the following year.

‘I didn’t want to be a typical young mum with no ambition. I wanted to educate myself so my daughter can have a better life. I always wanted to do nursing so I thought I’d give it a try.’ she explained.

Kiana admits that the course was a challenge: ‘It was very daunting to start with and a major culture shock as going back to education isn’t easy. I had never been to college before this,I did an apprenticeship years ago when I finished school. The course is very intense and it required a lot of hard work. I have made many good friends along the way, all classmates are very supportive and encouraging of each other.’

Now Kiana is looking forward to her degree course and a rewarding career in Adult Nursing. Her fellow Access students have gone onto study various subjects at university, including Social Work, Midwifery, Teaching, Engineering and more. In fact, this course is so popular that this year Bournville College has expanded the range of subjects that it covers by introducing new pathways into Criminology and Sports Science.

Alma Aganovic from Bournville College explains: ‘Adult students come flocking to Bournville to do the Access course because they realise it offers a second chance. Even if you left school early you can still go to university with only one year of study. What’s more, you can get an Advanced Learning Loan that you don’t need to pay back if you complete your degree course, so technically your Access course is free of charge.’

To find out more, call the College on 0800 111 6311 or visit and search for Access to Higher Education courses.

Friday, 07 July 2017 10:26

Silver medal for teaching excellence

The College has been awarded a Silver medal rating for the new Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) for Higher Education.

This result is a testament to our talented and hardworking staff, who should be very proud of their efforts.

The TEF recognises excellence in teaching, the learning environment and student outcomes in addition to existing national quality requirements for universities, colleges, and other higher education providers. It provides information to help prospective students choose where to study.


Friday, 07 July 2017 10:24


IMG 0165On 20th June, our Bordesley Green campus played host to the UK’s biggest and longest running skills competition, SkillBuild.

Delivered by CITB, this renowned competition covers a range of crafts including bricklaying, carpentry, joinery, painting and decorating, plastering and wall and floor tiling, attracting competitors and colleges from across the country.

Running for over 45 years, the SkillBuild sees the very best in construction talent compete against each other to be crowned the winner in their chosen trade. Following this, winners will be invited to compete at the National SkillBuild Final at the NEC, Birmingham, and if successful here, they will be offered the chance to have a place on the WorldSkills UK team.

This year, we had a number of entrants into the competition and came away with eight medals!

Our Winners:

  • Conna O’Toole, Carpentry, Senior – first place
  • Jack Hull, Wall and Floor Tiling, Senior – first place
  • Ryan Griffiths, Painting and Decorating, Senior – second place
  • Joseph Parker, Joinery, Senior – second place
  • Mohammad Orang, Carpentry, New Entrant – second place
  • Mohammed Ramzan, Joinery, New Entrant – third place
  • Curtis Green, Plastering, Senior – third place
  • Suleman Sillah, Wall and Floor Tiling, New Entrant – third place

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.

Friday, 07 July 2017 10:23

Customer Service Excellence

Customer Excellence Accred LogoWe are pleased to confirm that the College have retained the Customer Service Excellence Standard after an inspection took place at Hall Green and Bournville.

The standard aims to ensure that organisations provide services that are effective, efficient and equitable with the customer at the heart of everything they do, and thanks to the great efforts of our staff, we were able to preserve our fantastic achievement.

The inspector granted us with record 15 ‘Compliant Plus’ grades (the highest of any college).

Our praised strengths included:

  •               Student feedback
  •               Marketing and publicity
  •              Using the merger for continuous improvement/development
  •               IT and MIS systems.

Thank you to all who contributed during the inspection, and a special mention to Kay Snelson for her endless hours of hard work when producing a very impressive CSE submission.

Friday, 07 July 2017 10:20

Young Painter of the Year

IMG 0226Ryan Griffiths began his journey at South and City College on a supported learning ICT programme, which he did not enjoy. After some thought, he went on to join the Carousel Construction Course.

Thanks to changing courses, Ryan did not only find himself excelling in many trade areas, he began to like college again, in particular, painting and decorating. Due to his range of learning difficulties, such as Autism, ADHD, dyslexia and dyspraxia, Ryan’s learning posed many barriers, however, he has managed to overcome them with the help of student engagement alongside teaching staff.

Ryan is now on a Painting and Decorating Level 1 course, working at distinction level through all practical elements. Despite all the additional needs, he has successfully completed work experience and was entered for the Johnston’s Young Painter of the Year Competition at South Leicester College April 2017.

Painting and Decorating lecturer Matthew Wadron said: “Ryan’s work is outstanding, so much so, that he won first place and has now qualified to represent the college at this year’s Johnston’s painting and decorating national finals at the Ricoh Arena and represented the college at the Skillbuild West Midlands Regional Heats held at the Bordesley Green Campus on 20 June 2017. On the day, Ryan was promoted from the new entrant level to senior students, where he went on to gain second place, which is an absolutely fantastic achievement.

“The transformation this learner has made is fantastic.

"Both support staff and tutors are extremely overwhelmed and proud of his achievements so far this year and we will continue to nurture and push Ryan to his full potential as he continues his study with us.”

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