Newbury College has been awarded £1.75m from the Local Growth Fund, towards the development of the University Centre Newbury (UCN). Additional funds for the £5.5m project will be drawn from the College and investment from supporting partners and will bring a state-of-the-art, digitally integrated, zero carbon, higher education facility to West Berkshire.
Research by the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (TVBLEP) and consultation with local employers across the region, identified critical skill shortages of employees with high-level skills, particularly in Digital Technologies, Engineering, Business & Finance, Health, Social Care & Education and Construction.
The UCN is supported by foundation partnerships with local businesses including Vodafone, Roc Technologies, Xtrac and Sovereign Housing and aims to address the needs of local employers and ensure training is relevant and specific, not only for new employees, but also to increase the opportunities to upskill existing staff and help businesses utilise their Apprenticeship Levy payments more effectively.
Director of Business & Partnerships, Dr Jo Houghton said, “We are delighted to have received the funding and support of the TVBLEP and excited that the Planning Application has been submitted. The University Centre Newbury brings a wealth of opportunity for businesses to meet their workforce requirements to engage and upskill in digital technologies, and provides a fantastic opportunity for students of all ages to achieve a higher level of training locally.”
Newbury College has already formed strong relationships with local businesses in the engineering sector, including AWE and Xtrac, enhanced by the opening of the Engineering Solutions Lab in 2017 and the subsequent strength of the Degree programmes in Engineering, which is already expanding to Postgraduate level from September 2019, in partnership with Buckinghamshire New University.
The “Careers not Courses” campaign, recently launched by Newbury College, marks an open conversation between business and education and designs a curriculum that meets the skills demand of the local community, building and equipping a digital-first workforce with a logical progression from further education into higher education (HE).
UCN provides a solution for the community that sees an expansion of the current HE provision enabling opportunities for young talent to remain in the area and study university-level qualifications alongside their chosen career.
Built to new zero-carbon standards, UCN will be environmentally sustainable. The Centre incorporates digital technologies that enable students the option to study flexibly such as, real-time remote classroom access and blended learning options. Labs will be equipped with the hardware and software that facilitate the delivery of key digital technology including big data, software development, cyber security and cloud computing.
Key partners including, Buckinghamshire New University, QA Ltd, and The Open University, have been specifically chosen for their expertise to support the delivery of a centre of excellence for the development of higher skills.
West Berkshire Council, the Rt Hon Richard Benyon MP, Kennet School and Park House School have also provided strong support for University Centre Newbury.
The first intake for the University Centre Newbury will be September 2020. To find out more about higher-level study options, visit www.newbury-college.ac.uk
7 May 2019 – Newbury, Berkshire - On Thursday 25 April, Newbury College invited a selection of businesses to attend the launch of its ‘Careers not Courses’ campaign, that begins to address skills gaps and dwindling talent pools by creating a forum for conversation and partnership opportunities. The initiative will be driving industrial placements and career opportunities to enable students to learn and develop the skills needed to be in demand.
Through recent consultation with local business, Newbury College has identified that 41% of businesses in the area are asking for better channels between business and education so that they can easily reach out, connect with and recruit young talent.
“Today’s discussion has opened the door between education and the employer.” Stated HR Consultant, Mark Dixon.
Lee Hunt (MBE), Vice Principal, Newbury College said “As an education provider we understand the importance of providing the right training for our students. It makes sense that we collaborate with the students’ future employers to create career-focused courses, teach the right skills and establish business partnerships to enable relevant work experience and career opportunities. These partnerships provides both better career prospects for our students and a valuable pool of young talent for business.”
Motor Vehicle Student, Phoebe commented, “Work experience is a valuable part of my course in developing the skills I need in the workplace”.
The event introduced College students and potential employers in an open discussion that specifically focused on developing the key soft-skills, such as communication, problem-solving and resilience, that 39% of businesses confirmed young recruits needed to develop.
Ella Barrington, Corse Concierge, commented, “Today’s format was great and has provided much more insight into the life of the College and students. It has left me enthused to learn more and participate in this journey.”
‘Careers not Courses’ is part of a long-term National Government project to launch a brand new, fully-funded vocational curriculum designed and delivered in tandem with industry professionals; the T-Levels. Newbury College offers a full range of business services including, T-Level placement, Work Experience, Apprenticeships and Training
If you are a student looking to gain the right skills to be in demand, join us at our next full-time open event on Tuesday 21 May between 16:00 – 20:00.
Newbury College set the stage for a glittering Prom Fair on Thursday 04 April, as school leavers across West Berkshire prepare for the biggest night of their social calendar.
The event, which was supported by Newbury Weekly News and Parkway Shopping, attracted some big name exhibitors from the worlds of fashion, fitness and more to the College's unique, indoor marquee.
School proms have become a cultural phenomenon in recent years, with preparations for the big night getting under way months in advance.
For those young people who were still undecided about what to wear or how to wear it, the Prom Fair was an excellent opportunity to get clued up in the latest trends from Parkway stores Monsoon, New Look and Topman; discover timeless classics with Isabel's Retro & Vintage Clothing and receive expert advice on hair and makeup styling from Andrea King, CJ Beauty & Co, Holly Heimsoth Beauty, Pin It Grip It and Simply Hairlicious, as well as live demonstrations by Hair and Beauty students from the College's own Intuition Salons.
Students from the Newbury College Performing Arts course, a new programme that runs in partnership with Kingsclere Performing Arts College, modelled a range of affordable looks, from classic suits and dresses, to more adventurous outfits for those who dare to make a statement.
Local dressmaker and Newbury College dressmaking tutor, Kim Broughton, was also on hand to offer prom-goers advice on tailoring and customisation.
Other exhibitors included Anytime Fitness, Cascade Events, Chequers Hotel, Dark Star Discos, Double Tree by Hilton, Regency Park Hotel, Infinity Roses, Lucy Booths, NightLights, Nuffield Health, Rosie’s Retro & Vintage Studio and Sweet Stories, all offering their services to help make the moment memorable.
Naomi Cripps, Marketing Manager for Newbury College, said: "This is the first time we have run an event like this and it was fantastic to receive the support of so many big brands and local businesses.
"It was an excellent opportunity for us to showcase the talents of our students, as well as our indoor marquee, which transforms the Sports Hall into a unique venue for weddings, parties and other celebrations.
"Newbury College is well-known for offering an exceptional range of opportunities for school leavers to continue their education through career-focussed courses and apprenticeships. The Prom Fair is just one more way we are supporting young people and local businesses in our community."
To find out more about the opportunities available to school leavers at Newbury College, hiring the indoor marquee or to book yourself in for a pre-prom treatment in one of the College's training salons, search Newbury College or visit the Monks Lane campus.
Newbury College held its annual Apprenticeship Awards as part of National Apprenticeship Week on Thursday 07 March. Organised to coincide with National Apprenticeship Week (NAW), apprentices, employers and College staff came together to recognise the achievements, hard work and commitment of all those involved with its apprenticeship programme.
Host for the evening was Principal and Chief Executive, Iain Wolloff. “The awards ceremony is an opportunity to promote the value of apprenticeships as a fantastic route into many different careers,” explains Iain. “The variety of employers who attended the event demonstrates that apprenticeships provide a great way for businesses to nurture talent”.
The award winners on the night were:
- Best Apprentice in a Small Business – Jake Monger, Harveys Insolvency Service Ltd
- Best Apprentice in a Medium Business – Chloe Bowley, ESA Serviced Apartments Ltd
- Best Apprentice in a Large Business – Emily Swatton, UKAEA
- Best Assessor – Yvonne Pomeroy, Newbury College
- Best Workplace Mentor – Sarah Arnold, Strawberry Hill Medical Centre
- The Nick Carter Award for Outstanding Contribution – Chris Marrs, Xtrac
- Apprenticeship Development Award – Cliff Newcomb, Newbury College
Chloe Bowley, winner of Best Apprentice in a Medium Business, said: “I’m honoured to receive the award. It was not expected, but I couldn’t be happier that I was chosen. All the hard work I’ve put in is finally starting to pay off and it feels surreal that I’m weeks away from being signed off my apprenticeship completely, after a truly challenging 16 months.
“I couldn’t have done it without my work colleagues or my assessor, Yvonne. They have been a massive support for me and for that I’ll be forever grateful. I’m looking forward to signing a brand-new shiny contract (with esa), making many more memories!”
Newbury College holds monthly Apprenticeship Information Sessions, where candidates can find out more about the apprenticeship vacancies on offer. For organisations looking to take on an apprentice, the College has a long history of helping businesses run successful apprenticeship programmes. Read one of our case studies at www.newbury-college.ac.uk/apprenticeships or contact our Business Team on 01635 845229.
International Women’s Day encourages the world to reflect on the importance of gender equality, to celebrate the successes of women, and to acknowledge the work that is still left to be done. Newbury College celebrated the success and achievements of its female students and staff via a special social media campaign for the global movement. Many classes and activities were also dedicated to researching the contribution that inspirational women have made to our society and exploring the careers and progression routes available in today’s world of equal opportunities.
Using the hashtags #iwd19 and #newburycollege, the further education provider featured the inspirational women who both work and study at the College, including members of the senior management team, tutors, technicians and support staff.
Newbury College has a proud history of promoting equal opportunities within its staffing and its curriculum. One of the very first students to attend the college when it opened in 1948 was Sheila Smith, an engineering apprentice from Plenty (now SPX Flow Technology). Sheila left the Newbury Girl’s Grammar School Sixth Form to join a traditionally male-dominated industry. After completing her apprenticeship, Sheila went on to study an HNC in Engineering and later taught Technical Drawing at Newbury College and Park House School.
Karen Taylor, Careers Lead at Newbury College, said, “It has been wonderful to highlight the amazing work that women do, not only at Newbury College, but around the world. We actively encourage all of our students to follow their dreams, whatever they may be, and not to let stereotypes define their future.”
Newbury College inspires women of all ages to experience more and achieve more through a wide range of vocational and technical courses from accountancy, creative arts and hairdressing to forensic science, sport and engineering. The College also offers a vast range of one-day courses for adults and businesses starting from just £30.
As parents of teenagers at secondary school, you may have heard about the introduction of the new T-level qualifications from 2020? At Newbury College, we have been busily preparing the groundwork for T levels for quite a while, and are ready to start incorporating them as they are phased in.
Alongside apprenticeships and A-levels, T-levels will become one of the three main options for school leavers. T-levels are being introduced in the 2020/2021 academic year, and are designed to replace many of the vocational qualifications currently offered at level 3.
The structure of the new qualifications will be different from the current system. The number of hours a student will study increases significantly from the average 540 hours offered now to approximately 1,800 hours over the two years (including the work placement). The work placement element increases to 45 days, but can last up to 60 working days, making it much more meaningful to the student and employer. The timing of the work placement may be different depending on the qualification, some may opt for a continuous block, and others will distribute the work placement across the programme.
In a new two-year, level 3 technical study programme, T-levels will offer students:
• Specific practical skills and knowledge in a chosen industry or occupation
• 45 days’ work placement at a relevant employer
• Core English, Maths and digital skills
After completing a T-level programme, students will have transferrable skills to use in the workplace, they may also continue their education at university or through an apprenticeship with an employer.
Newbury College played host to the district qualifying heat of the Rotary Young Chef Competition 2019 on Saturday 19 January.
In the national competition, which is open to young people aged 17 years and under, contestants must create a healthy three-course meal in under two hours for no more than £20.
The budding chefs, who have already won their local heats earlier in the year, are judged on their costing skills, planning of the menu and the quality of the meal that they produce.
The Rotary Club of Thatcham and District once again selected the College to host part of this annual event because of the ideal location and excellent facilities, including a commercial kitchen and restaurant. Ron Howard, Competition Organiser at The Rotary Club of Thatcham and District, said “I am delighted with the excellent facilities provided by Newbury College and we are very grateful they have been made available to us. The skills and maturity shown by all the candidates during the competition were very impressive."
The winner of the competition was Amy Price, 15, of Licenced Victuallers School, Ascot, closely followed by runner-up Emily Woodford, 14, of St Gabriel’s School, Newbury.
Amy and Emily were presented with book tokens and a voucher for a meal at the Red House, Hamstead Marshall and will go forward to the regional heat in February, where they will compete for a place at the national final.
The winner of the national final will win a prize which includes a visit to the olive harvest, sponsored by Filippo Berio, international producers of olive oil.
Newbury College inspires young chefs with full-time professional cookery courses for school leavers that include real-life experience in their commercial kitchen and restaurant. The College also offers a vast range of one-day cookery courses and masterclasses for adults starting from just £30. Find out more.
December 2018 - We are delighted to announce the appointment of our new Student Governor, Sophie Hemsley.
Sophie joined Newbury College from The Clere in Burghclere, in September 2017 to study L1 Catering and Hospitality, driven by a passion for catering from an early age and impressed by the industry standard training kitchen at the College.
In December 2018, now working towards her Level 3 in Catering and Hospitality, Sophie was appointed Student Governor. “As a Student Governor I provide student insight, working together with the staff to generate ideas and feedback a student perspective. I meet with the College Governors to discuss the agenda for the term, and I have an opportunity to give feedback from the student council, which I chair. It is good to know our student voice is heard and I am privileged to have been chosen to represent the students amongst the governors.”
We asked Sophie to tell us about a typical day at Newbury College
08:00 - Arrive at College and head to The Street Diner for a Starbucks to kick start the day. I tend to get into the Restaurant early and begin polishing the cutlery ready for service.
09:00 - I pop out for a Maths lesson for an hour and then head back to the Restaurant to help set-up the tables, stock the fridges and polish the glasses.
10:00 - Tasks rotate every week; either cooking or front-of-house, this ensures we get experience of all aspects of catering and hospitality. Today I’m in the kitchen, its December so we’re cooking Christmas dinner with all the trimmings. All items are prepared from scratch.
12:00 - Service starts. We plate the food ready for the waiting staff, serving between 30-50 people per sitting. Once we finish in the kitchen we go and help front-of-house with clean down.
15:30 - I head home and have a rest before starting work.
I work 4 times a week as a chef at a local pub and love the fact that I have actual experience within my course. It has made it a lot easier to adapt to life in a professional kitchen.
A little bit of royalty
Sophie is also a Pearly Princess, and having celebrated her 18th birthday, takes the title of Pearly Queen in 2019.
December 2018 - Lynne Stafford of Thatcham received an extra special festive surprise this week, when she heard she was the winner of the Newbury College wordsearch featured in the Newbury Weekly News Christmas Guide. She was delighted to hear that she had won £30 worth of vouchers, towards a part-time course at Newbury College.
Lynne commented, "It was a real surprise to have won the competition, as a childminder I often do the puzzles with the children but this is the first time I’ve won. I am looking forward to browsing the options and trying something new in 2019”.
We have a huge range of one-day courses starting from just £30 and 100s of part-time courses including ballroom dancing, drawing techniques, Microsoft Office for beginners, nutrition for physical activity, business administration and bookkeeping. To find out more, search here
Over 40 businesses took part in the annual West Berkshire Work and Careers Fair at Newbury College on Wednesday 7th November, providing an opportunity for organisations to network and showcase their employment opportunities to students and jobseekers.
As well as meeting with the exhibitors and discovering the opportunities available, visitors to the fair were also able to obtain advice on apprenticeships, tips for successful job hunting and attend 1-2-1 CV workshops with Adviza.
Dawnus Construction, who are currently building the Highwood Copse Primary School at Newbury College’s Monks Lane campus and medical technologies company, Stryker, also offered interactive workshops covering the employment opportunities within STEAM industries from the College’s Engineering Solutions Laboratory.
Participating organisations included a wide range of employers and training providers including local universities, Vodafone, Metro Bank, BUPA, Sovereign, Mencap, WBTC, Healthwatch, Berkshire Labels, AWE, Roc Technologies and many more.
Annie Danielli, Junior Marketing Manager, Roc Technologies, said: “The West Berkshire Work & Careers Fair is a great opportunity to promote your business, network with other local organisations and find the perfect candidate for your latest role. Roc Technologies was delighted to be a part of the event.”
As well as jobseekers looking for full & part-time job opportunities, Newbury College students and pupils from local secondary schools also attended the event to explore their future career options. “Supporting businesses and ensuring that local people are well trained to meet the needs of those businesses, is central to what the College is about. The campus is a fantastic location for exhibitions and events that engage with existing students, local schools and other members of the community,” said Iain Wolloff, Newbury College Principal. “Our aim is to inspire and support informed choices for young people and for all those looking to develop their careers. Anyone seeking further careers advice is welcome to book an appointment with our impartial Careers Advice team. We want to extend our thanks to all of the organisations involved in making the event a success.”
Exhibitors enjoyed an opportunity to network over a complimentary business breakfast, sponsored by Local Buzz magazine, before the main event opened to the public, supported by Job Centre Plus, West Berkshire Council and West Berkshire Skills and Enterprise Partnership.