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Talented young design engineer James Owen has won a major accolade after being recognised as one of the industry’s future leaders.
He was highly commended for the national, Alfred Manly Management Award which celebrates the achievements of young engineers who are judged to be capable of progressing to a senior role within the sector.
James, who completed his higher level apprenticeship with Birmingham building services provider, J S Wright last year concluded his Environment (Building Services Engineering) course at SCCB with a double grade Distinction Merit and went on to achieve his BTEC Higher National Certificate in Building Services Engineering with a Merit. Having gained qualifications at the highest level, James continued to voluntary guide and mentor younger engineers.
The 23-year-old from Solihull was singled out by his panel for his “experience, maturity and obvious passion for the industry” and went on to receive his certificate from BBC TV Presenter, Gavin Hewitt in the presence of Margaret Manly of the Alfred Manly Trust at the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) annual general meeting.
Paul Millington, J S Wright Associate Director and Leader of the J S Wright Academy, said: "James is an inspiration not only to our younger engineers but also to all those across the building services industry and thoroughly deserves his success."As well as continuing to develop his engineering knowledge and management skills, he is always willing to encourage and guide the next generation of building services engineers."
The full article can be found here

Mike Hopkins, Principal of South and City College Birmingham, will take over as Interim Principal at Bournville College on Monday, 1 August. The news follows the recent announcement of a merger between South and City College Birmingham and Bournville College, as an outcome of the Birmingham and Solihull Further Education Area Review.

Mike will take over from Michele Sutton CBE, who has been an Interim Principal of Bournville College since January 2014, in preparation for the merger of two colleges later in the year. He will retain his role at South and City College Birmingham.

Mike said: "This is an exciting development for Birmingham and will secure the future of Bournville College which will remain at the state of the art campus in Longbridge and continue operating under the current brand. The merger will take two very good colleges and create an excellent one. As we go into the future, we will be able to develop our curriculum, offering our students more choice and progression opportunities. Excellent financial and organisational stability will allow increased investment in facilities and resources, both physical and teaching, ultimately resulting in a better learning experience for our students."

Mike started in FE in 1993 as Director of Corporate Services and Clerk to the Corporation at what was then South Birmingham College, with a turnover of less than £10 million. He was responsible for bringing about a merger with City College in 2012 to what is now South and City College Birmingham. After the merger with Bournville College, the turnover will be over £73 million.

A consultation on the merger was held between March and April this year. The merger is expected to be formally approved by the Government during 2016/17 academic year.

Any applications to Bournville College or South and City College Birmingham can be made on their respective websites as normal.

Future First are a charity who provide Alumni, an online network that will enable us to keep in touch with students as they leave South and City College Birmingham.

The Alumni network will allow us to build an online community of current and former students so we are able to see how they are doing and if they have made any achievements within the working world. Not only this, by keeping in touch, we will be able to offer our former students exciting opportunities to improve their CV’s, gain and improve skills and even increase their employability.

Our former students will get the chance to act as e-mentors to those who need a bit of help and advice with their course, come along to talk to classes about how the course has helped them get to where they are today as well as their overall journey. Our former students may even be able to offer work experience opportunities to current students.

By signing up to Alumni, we will not only be able to follow your journey, you can follow ours as we update you with the latest news and events that are occurring.

To register, or for more information, follow this link:
Current students: 
Former students:

Perry Beeches Infant School & South & City CollegeThe morning of Tuesday 21st of June saw the official opening of work completed by college students and staff, together with pupils, their parents and teachers of Perry Beeches Infant School, Great Barr Birmingham. The school already had classes named after various jungle animals, so when it was time to create a wonderful new play area for the children, the jungle theme was an easy choice to make.

The project started earlier in the year, when Perry Beeches decided that they needed to make more of the sheltered area within the playground for their young pupils. Our college students quoted for the project, and once it was won, proceeded to make and paint all of the wooden animal chairs, tree tables, a safari jeep and camouflage seating and storage areas, complete with lovely decoration touches, that really brought the area to life.

Head Teacher, Vicky Colley waxed lyrical about the whole project, just before the opening ceremony. She told FYi “Everybody has commented, without question, on the professionalism of the students and the vision of the end product. It really has surpassed all our expectations. John Ward [South & City College carpentry lecturer] has been brilliant to work with. John wanted to make a connection with schools and give his students real world experience, instead of say making bird boxes. It is absolutely phenomenal. Other head teachers have seen the work and have said how amazing it is. We will be advertising who completed the work at the front of the school, so I expect your students to be very busy over the coming years.”

John Ward agreed “This is been such a fantastic project to work on. The school has been amazing and the students have been so professional, together with the standard of work being second to none.”

At 9:30, the new Lord Mayor, Carl Rice, arrived to start the opening ceremony saying “I became Mayor to celebrate the very best of Birmingham and when I saw the invitation to attend today, of course I said yes. This is a wonderful project, worked on by parents, teachers, pupils and South & City College students and staff. It shows what can be done with true partnership.”

The young pupils have watched the project come together over the past few weeks and of course were not allowed to touch or get too close. So when they were allowed to go in and play, they were very happy and excited. When asked what their favourite bit was, the boys loved the jeep, but everyone loved the cute chimp in the corner, sporting a pair of binoculars. They also loved the painted bus at the back. Every reception pupil had painted a self-portrait so that they were truly part of the project themselves.

Angela Williams, one of our Painting & Decorating students, responsible for some of the painting said “It was actually quite challenging, because I am not used to working in such a confined space, but I got used to it quickly and enjoyed it so much. It will be a great project to have on my CV and I learned a great deal.”

Three of our Carpentry students also came along to see the project being opened: Arron Jones; Ben Parsons and Charlie Gaston are all studying at level 3. They commented about working on the project “It was good fun and a pleasure. It was hard to visualise the end result, when seeing all of the various bits and pieces at college, but it is great to see everything in place and all the kids happy and excited to be able to play with it.”

Bob Howlett, Faculty Head also said “I have spent the last few weeks in college workshops, meeting all the jungle animals and jeep. It is great to see everything in place.” With a big smile he added “We await lots of orders from other schools.”

This is not the end of the project either, phase II is to replace an aging climbing frame in the playground, with a wooden pod for the pupils to play in. Watch this space for updates.

Thursday, 16 June 2016 15:42

'In Focus', a SCCB photo exhibition

South and City College Birmingham media and photography students recently took to Green Street Arts to showcase their portfolios and work during a photography exhibition.

The ‘In Focus’ exhibition featured the interesting collection of images from a variety of up and coming studio and landscape photographers and attracted staff, students, family, friends and the public from across Birmingham. The work that went into the portfolios and exhibition have proved to be very beneficial to all students including level 3 year 2’s Jesse Machin and Paige Goodman who have both been accepted the UK's number one arts university - Falmouth with only 60 in 300 people securing places. Paige said: “a lot of hard work and commitment has gone into our portfolios, many people think photography is easy but you need many resources and a lot of creativity.”

Level 3 year 2 student, Francesca Alonzo Beckett said: “the creativity of the projects has really helped me in stepping outside of the box. The work I have done during the course has assisted me in being accepted for a two month photography internship in Italy to kick start my career and passion for traveling.”

The exhibition brought together all levels of photography students and the work they have done is so much more than achieving grades, it has given them valuable experience and allowed them to create superb portfolios. Richard Hamilton, media lecturer said: “well done to all students, I am very proud of them all and proud to present their work to people.”

Do find out more information on our media and photography courses, click here.

On the 7 June, we were delighted to host the Midlands regional heat for SkillBuild 2016, for the 10th successive year at Bordesley Green campus.

SkillBuild is the UK’s biggest and longest running skills competition for apprentices and trainees, showcasing the best talent in construction based disciplines. The event is run by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and covers construction occupations: bricklaying, cabinet making, carpentry, dry walling, electrical; joinery, painting & decorating, plastering, plumbing, roofing, stonemasonry and wall & floor tiling.

The competition comprises of regional heats from April to June each year, with a national final held in the autumn at The Skills Show.

This year, in the Midlands heat, there were to be over 100 competitors from 14 local colleges and close to 30 employers are due to attend. Unfortunately due to accidents on both the M6 and M42, together with a clash of dates for an exam, the competition had fewer competitors this time round, though this did not hinder the students.

Effy Harle, a South & City College Carpentry & Joinery competitor said before the competition “I have been preparing for this competition since January, completing tasks from previous years against the clock to gain speed. I am really looking forward to it, but I haven’t competed before, though I am quietly confident and excited to be the only woman competing in Carpentry.”

Conna O’Toole, another of our Carpentry & Joinery students said “I didn’t sleep well last night, but I’m still confident”. Conna has an apprenticeship with Kendrick Homes.

100 school children from Broadway Academy, St Georges Hub and Handsworth Wood Girls Academy also came along that day and took part in the ‘have-a-go’ areas. The students could have-a-go at various activities such as putting pipes together, or the ever popular buzz-wire game and also go home with a few goodies, kindly supplied by ScrewFix.


Friday, 10 June 2016 11:47

A Handsworth Graduation

A Handsworth Graduation 2016 - South & City College BirminghamCongratulations to our supported learner students at Handsworth campus who successfully graduated on 26 May.

The ceremony kicked off with a fantastic performance of David Guetta’s Titanium by student Charity Dyson who said: “I am very proud to be graduating the college having got myself a job. I had a good time here and made lots of friends.”

The graduation was filled with smiles and proud parents, carers and tutors as students walked the ‘red carpet’ to retrieve their certificates. Shanaz Gaibee, supported learning lecturer initiated the event for the students before Ramadan started.

Caroline Gray, assistant faculty head said: “we would like to congratulate all of our graduating students and our sponsor ‘My Party Package’ who’s support helped the graduation become a success.”

If you would like to book a party with My Party Package, take a look at their Facebook page:

Monday, 06 June 2016 09:55

Birmingham Pride 2016

On Saturday, 28 May, South and City College Birmingham took part in Birmingham’s most successful pride ever with over 75,000 people coming along to support the parade as it made its way through the city centre.

The college joined in the 20th annual pride celebrations with both staff and students from different courses and campuses taking part in the parade along with the brightly, rainbow decorated college bus. 

Commencing at Victoria Square, organisations and participants gathered in their hundreds creating a fantastic atmosphere for all while waiting for the parade kick off at 12noon, where we went on to make our way to Hurst Street. 

Alison Harrison, assistant director of student engagement said: “thank you to all who participated for supporting the college at the pride parade. It was a great day and it’s really good that the college was represented so well.”

You can find pictures of the pride celebrations on our Facebook page:

National Express donate coach to South & City CollegeNational Express is driving forward its partnership with a Digbeth-based college by donating a coach to enable students to broaden their horizons.

Building on a long-standing partnership between two organisations, the Birmingham-based National Express has donated the vehicle to South and City College Birmingham. The coach will be used by the college to take students on a variety of trips around the UK.

Located in close proximity, both the college and National Express have led the regeneration of the Digbeth area over the past few years, with respective investments in the new coach station and the extensive college campus. Both look to provide education, employment and training opportunities for the community.

The donated coach was previously used daily, serving much of the National Express national network; it has now been rebranded with the college's vibrant pink and purple branding and will carry staff and students around the country. Trips have, and will, include residential stays in Wales, National Trust excursions and visits to London.

The company will continue to support the operation of the coach, as engineers from National Express West Midlands will ensure the vehicle is regularly serviced and maintained.

Transport Manager for the college, Andrew Williams said: “Without National Express donating these vehicles, students could miss out on educational, valuable trips. Hiring coaches is a large expense so to have our own has made things significantly easier.”

Principal of the college, Mike Hopkins said:" I am immensely grateful to National Express for their support in providing this coach, it will be a great asset for our students and support them with educational visits and activities. We have an excellent working relationship with National Express and this shows their commitment to Birmingham and to education.”

South and City College Pastoral Team has been working with the Faith encounters project to take groups of students to various places of worship over the course of the last term

The Faith Encounters project is a multi-faith group working to develop mutual respect and understanding between people of all faiths and none. The project offers opportunities for encounter between members of all faiths in the hope that participants will seek to develop mutual understanding, trust and respect, not hiding difference and recognising the uniqueness and special contribution of each faith to its people and the world.

Groups of students were taken on a guided tour of the various places of worship.  Visits included the Shree Ram Mandir Hindu Temple, English Martyrs Roman Catholic Church, Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara and a Jewish Synagogue. The guides provided an insight into the faiths and places of worship. 

Students were invited to try the religious dress in the Jewish synagogue and were shown examples of other religious items. The Sikh Gurdwara offered insight and understanding into the religious practice and its history. Students were again shown examples of religious items associated with the faith. To finish the visit, students and staff were offered food and refreshments made by volunteers, illustrating the warmth and hospitality offered to the community on a daily basis.

During all of the visits and after it was apparent the similarities between various faiths and worship. Students openly compared each faith to their own noting similarities.

This project offered a valuable, holistic experience which not only actively promotes fundamental British values and equality but offers an opportunity for personal reflection. Witnessing the similarities between faiths breaks down the barriers, many students commented on how shocked they were on how similar they were to each other

All who took part in the visits felt they had got a richer experience and level of understanding from taking part on the project. 

The Pastoral team would like to thank all of the students and staff who took part in this project as they were a credit to the college showing great respect and enthusiasm.