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LATEST NEWS AND UPDATES

Award winners at Business Awards

Weston-super-Mare's prestigious Winter Gardens venue played host to the highly anticipated annual Weston College Business Awards last night. 

The event brought together 250 distinguished guests for an inspiring celebration of learners and local employers who have worked closely with the college to offer work-placed opportunities to people taking their first steps in their career. 

The Winter Gardens was transformed into a hub of excitement and anticipation as attendees, including prominent figures from the local business community, educators, and local dignitaries, gathered to honour the outstanding achievements and commitment of individuals and businesses alike. 

This year we have revamped our awards and rather than separating out learner and employer awards, we celebrated partnerships – with both the learner and employer being recognised for the same award.   

The event was hosted by Bristolian Actor and BBC Radio Bristol Host, Joe Sims.

Interim Principal, Jacqui Ford commented: 

It was fantastic to celebrate and showcase not only the exceptional talent and dedication of our learners but also the invaluable support and collaboration of our esteemed employer network, at the Weston College Business Awards. 

"The overwhelming number of nominations we received is a testament to the high standards and relentless commitment demonstrated by our learners. Each learner showed exceptional drive and ambition, making us immensely proud of their accomplishments. 

"Equally, our partnerships with key employers have proven to be vital for the growth and prosperity of our local community. It is through their unwavering support and collaboration that our learners can excel and thrive in their respective fields.  

"Congratulations to all the winners and nominees. Your hard work, dedication, and passion have truly set you apart. We are honoured to play a part in your journey and celebrate your successes with you." 

Winner of the Luke Wheaton Engineering and Automotive Partnership Award, Damien Pearcey from AmeyBriggs, commented on the evening: “Just to be nominated and shortlisted for these awards has been an achievement in itself, it’s been a fantastic opportunity from day 1 right up to today and i couldn't be more thankful to the college and AmeyBriggs. From here on out the sky is going to be the limit!” 

Additionally, Darcey Winter from North Somerset Council won the Business, Finance and Professional Services Partnership Award commented:  "To come to something like this tonight, it feels really nice to be recognised within the workplace and see all the other Weston College learners. I have my parents here, my colleagues and my apprenticeship assessor and it has been really nice to bring everyone together! 

Additionally, employers were acknowledged for their unwavering commitment to fostering a culture of learning and providing valuable opportunities to their workforce. 

Winners of the Into Work Partnership Award, Elborough Care Services, said: “We are so thrilled that we have won the into work partnership award tonight at the Weston College Business Awards. We are so proud of Josh and feel very lucky to have him in our team!” 

A huge thank you to our headline sponsor CJ Hole and sponsors, Honeyfield Property Services, DPL Partnership, Mindful Education, Image Sign Systems, Pace, Michelmores, Mendip Activity Centre and Skylight. 

A huge congratulations to all of our finalists and winners! 

 

Our 2024 Winners are:

Business, Finance and Professional Services Partnership Award Darcey Winter and North Somerset Council. 

Construction Partnership Award 

Evan Williams and S.J. Price Plumbing and Heating 

Digital Partnership Award 

Lewis McKeating and MBDA UK Ltd. 

Education and Service Sectors Partnership Award 

Ruby Johnson and Little Bears Day Nursery 

The Luke Wheaton Engineering and Automotive Partnership Award 

Damien Pearcey and AmeyBriggs

Health, Sport and Community Partnership Award 

Lola Fitzpatrick and University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust 

Mentor of the Year Award 

Paul Denning, ADM 

Industry Placement Partnership Award 

Tom Collier and Lloyds Banking Group 

Adult Training Partnership Award 

Mark Catton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust  

Into Work Partnership Award 

Joshua Reynolds-Hailing and Elborough Care Services  

Traineeship Partnership Award 

Shayla Ladipo and TaxAssist Accountants 

Apprenticeship Partnership Award  

Riley Burton and Rotamec Engineering Solutions 

Learners and employers in simulation suite.

Over 20 enthusiastic Level 2 Health & Social Care learners and industry employers met at our Health and Social Care careers event on Wednesday.

The event was designed not only to showcase the learners' skills and aspirations but also to foster meaningful interactions between learners and potential employers, laying the groundwork for future collaborations and employment opportunities!

The day began with a unique reverse careers fair, where learners presented their skills, experiences, and career ambitions directly to visiting employers through their creative work stands and CVs.

Employers engaged in one-on-one conversations, gaining firsthand insights into what the learners get up to and their future aspirations, learners were also able to speak with people within the industry to find out about their career journeys.

Participants then moved to the simulation suite, where learners demonstrated their practical skills in a controlled, real-world healthcare setting. Employers also experienced an interactive virtual reality (VR) session, showcasing the high standards of the Health & Social Care program.

The students conducted themselves in a professional manner, were eager to speak with the employers, and were especially proud to show off the incredible simulation suite. It was an all-round great event with learning opportunities for both employers and learners!

If you want to find out more about our Health and Social Care courses, click here: https://www.weston.ac.uk/what-can-i-study/courses-16-18-year-olds/health-and-social-care

Newton Room Grand Opening - Ribbon Cutting

North Somerset has become home to a new Mobile Newton Room located at our South West Skills Campus.

The mobile classroom with three table-top flight simulators will be used to teach students STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) concepts with a specific aviation theme. 

The facility will provide a unique and unforgettable experience for visiting students and teachers providing them with the opportunity to explore, use high-quality equipment, collaborate, discuss, and have fun with STEM subjects.

The Boeing-supported Mobile Newton Room is engineered by the non-profit foundation FIRST Scandinavia, which will see Weston College offer a career relevant “Up in the Air with Numbers” Newton-module. Three-hour flight specific lessons run by teachers and flight instructors will target 18 students per session for a 12+ age group and will help to inspire and build STEM-related careers within the UK’s important South West aerospace hub. 

Councillor John Crockford-Hawley, The Mayor of Weston-super-Mare, officially opened the Mobile Newton Room, joined by representatives from local government, Boeing apprentices, students from the college, and local education and community groups. 

The concept, which originated in Norway, sees North Somerset as the latest in a network of Boeing-sponsored Newton Rooms across Europe. The UK’s first Newton Flight Academy was opened in Scotland at Glasgow Science Centre in 2022 followed by Newton South Yorkshire which opened in Rotherham in January 2024.

I am very proud of our UK-based Newton collaborations to date and want to emphasise the importance of like-minded partners such as Weston College and FIRST Scandinavia in nurturing the next generation of scientists, engineers and aviators,” said Maria Laine, president of Boeing in the UK, Ireland and Nordic region. “Boeing is currently exploring the provision of apprenticeship courses with Weston College, and this Newton Room will ignite the start of an important partnership between our two organisations to support our future talent pipeline.

The Mobile Newton Room builds on Boeing’s long-standing presence in the UK’s South West region and the recently opened Boeing Bristol facility, home to Boeing Defence UK and a workforce of over 700 employees. 

Alex Warner, Deputy Principal, Curriculum of the Weston College, said “We are thrilled to host the Mobile Newton Room at Weston College and as the lead college of the West of England Institute of Technology, this initiative aligns perfectly with our commitment to providing innovative and engaging STEM education. By collaborating with Boeing and FIRST Scandinavia, we are not only enriching our students' learning experiences but also contributing to the development of future talent in the aerospace industry. We look forward to seeing the positive impact this unique educational opportunity will have on our students and the wider community.” 

Per-Arild Konradsen, CEO and founder of FIRST Scandinavia, added “Boeing and Weston College are excellent partners for bringing the Newton Concept to Weston-super-Mare. We feel honoured to work with institutions that share our values and passion for inspiring and preparing young students with quality STEM education. With the Mobile Newton Room experience, we hope to give a great STEM learning experience with our concept to teachers and students visiting.”

The Mobile Newton Room will be open between June 10 to June 28.  For schools wishing to book please follow this LINK.

 

The Crown Electric playing at the Aston Villa Stadium

Weston College proudly announces that Ewan, a distinguished student and former bassist for the band The Like-Minded, has been officially recruited as the deputy bassist for Alex Lipinski's celebrated band, The Crown Electric. 

Ewan, whose exceptional bass skills and stage presence have been honed during his time at Weston College, made a remarkable debut with The Crown Electric at Aston Villa Stadium. His performance left a lasting impression on the audience, underscoring his talent! 

Weston College is immensely proud of Ewan's achievements. Ewan's journey from a student musician to playing with The Crown Electric is a testament to his hard work and the supportive environment we strive to provide at Weston College. We are thrilled to see our students making significant strides in their future careers and contributing to the vibrant music scene!  

The Like-Minded, a project among Weston College students, have a following for their distinctive style and exciting sound. Ewan's transition to The Crown Electric marks a significant step in his musical journey, promising exciting developments for both him and the band. 

For more information about studying music at Weston College, click here!

To find out more about Alex Lipinski and his music, click here

LGBTQ Rainbow flag waved at a pride march

June marks Pride Month, a time for celebration, awareness, and continued allyship. We proudly stand with the LGBTQ+ Community, acknowledging both the progress made and the ongoing challenges that need to be addressed. 

 

Pride Month is a vibrant celebration of love, identity, and diversity. However, it is crucial to recognise that LGBTQ+ lives are still in danger. As highlighted in the research conducted by Libby (our Teaching, Learning and Assessment Manager) in her doctoral research proposal, "During pride month, the UK is bombarded by messages from well-meaning companies and individuals of ‘love is love’ and ‘don’t hide your pride’; yet they fail to address or acknowledge the core issue facing the LGBTQ+ community: LGBTQ+ lives are in danger.” 

 

At Weston College, we are dedicated to supporting our LGBTQ+ students, staff, and the wider community. We do this by listening, creating safe spaces and constantly re-evaluating our practices and training to ensure it is up to date and progressive. Our strong links with the North Somerset LGBT Forum provide a great place for local meetups, support groups, and coffee drop-ins at their venue on 68 Meadow Street in Weston-Super-Mare. These connections are vital in creating a sense of belonging and support within our community. 

 

This month, we are raising awareness and showing our allyship through several exciting events. We are proud to present the upcoming queer musical 'Everybody's Talking About Jamie,' a powerful story that champions diversity and acceptance. Additionally, we are hosting a Pride Prom for learners on June 21st at Loxton Campus and a Pride Silent Disco for the entire community on the same day. These events aim to celebrate diversity, encourage inclusivity, and provide a safe and welcoming space for all. 

 

As we celebrate Pride Month, we stand with our LGBTQ+ community in solidarity and reaffirm our dedication to making Weston College a place of safety, support, and empowerment for all. 

 

Below are some College and external events you can get involved in this LGBTQ+ Pride Month: 

 

Our Events: 

LGBTQ+ Prom: 

Pride Silent Disco:

‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’:

 

Local Events: 

Beautifully Proud Exhibition:

Bristol Pride:

  • Multiple events running between 29th June and 14th July 
  • Read more here 

Broadoak Academy’s Festival of Culture:

  • Broadoak Academy playing fields 
  • Saturday 15th June 
  • 11am – 4pm 
Tom on laptop.

Our very own Tom Collier has been awarded Regional T Level Student of the year at Lloyds Banking Group in the South West and is off to London this July where the national winner will be announced!

Tom is studying one of our Digital T Levels and conducted his 315-hour industry placement at Lloyds Bank, which he says has been the highlight of his T Level experience as he gained real life industry knowledge.

One of Tom’s most accomplishing moments of his placement was presenting his work to data colleagues within Lloyd's bank. Before beginning his placement, Tom says he would never have thought he was capable of doing this. However, with his increased industry confidence and enhanced digital skills in areas like data visualisation, he has been able to do things he never would have imagined being able to.

Following his work placement, Tom has been offered a degree apprenticeship at Lloyds Bank. He says he feels optimistic about the opportunity because he will be working within the team that he has already built up a rapport with and will have the knowledge necessary to complete the tasks assigned to him.

Tom's future aspiration is to progress into a Master's degree for data science - which is his passion. He would love to work with Lloyds Bank for this and will be building strong connections to the data science team and other colleagues beforehand.

Whilst in London this summer, Tom is excited about networking, getting to know other company members, and talking about the work he will be doing next year as a degree apprentice at Lloyds Bank.

The combination of completing an industry work placement and the theory covered in the course has been really helpful in setting Tom in the right direction with his digital career journey – therefore he highly recommends T Levels!

alex lipinski and phoebe

One of our talented A-Level students, recently had the incredible opportunity to interview singer/songwriter and musician Alex Lipinski on the Wave Community Radio.  

Phoebe, who studies A-Levels in English Literature/Language, Sociology, and History, has always had a passion for writing and a strong interest in journalism. "I have always wanted to go into journalism. I love to write and so was looking to go into some sort of field to do with this, but I ended up falling into the Broadcasting Journalism sector and am absolutely loving it," she shared. 

Her involvement with Wave Community Radio began when she saw an opportunity to interview key industry figures at the CareersFest at the Winter Gardens. "I saw a message on Teams about Wave Radio offering an opportunity for students to interview key industries at the CareersFest... It felt like something I shouldn’t miss as I wanted to go into Journalism, so I put myself forward," Phoebe explained. Following the success of her initial interviews, she eagerly sought more opportunities with the station and has been hosting her own show since the start of May. 

phoebe

The interview with Alex Lipinski was a highlight for Phoebe, as she has known him both as an artist and a family friend. "The whole interview with Alex was incredible... The highlight would have to be hearing his soon-to-be-released song ‘The Ballad of The Boy,’ which he played for the first time ever exclusively on the show," Phoebe recounted. She was also impressed by Lipinski's cover of The Killers' ‘Read My Mind’ and was intrigued to learn about his musical upbringing. 

Phoebe’s show, part of the Student Takeover on Wave Community Radio, features a music guest every other week for performances and interviews. Her dedication to giving small artists a spotlight and discovering new music is evident in her programming choices. "Being able to give small artists a spotlight is what I am also aiming to keep on my shows, and I love discovering new music," she noted. 

Phoebe’s experience on Wave Community Radio has solidified her desire to pursue a career in broadcasting journalism. "This is what I want to do now, so I am going to continue working hard and hopefully make it into BBC one day," she expressed. 

She also shared some valuable advice for aspiring journalists: "Ask the questions, do some digging, take all the opportunities given to you and communicate effectively. Be brave also... It was extremely out of my comfort zone to do those interviews, but I am so grateful to myself that I did it anyway." 

Listeners can tune in to Phoebe’s show every other Monday from 7-8 PM on Wave Community Radio. Her next show is scheduled for June 10th, where she will continue to feature new and experienced artists, providing them with a platform to share their music and stories. 

You can also listen back to shows on Mixcloud, by searching 'Wave Community Radio' and look for The Student Takeover. 
Phoebe also has an Instagram account, updated with her upcoming shows and her music favourites - @one.phoeberculley

If you are passionate about education and are looking for an opportunity to join the staff team at a leading college, then look at the latest job vacancies available at Weston College here. You can find all the latest job opportunities that Weston College has to offer, with a commitment to providing quality education for learners and a focus on continuous professional development for staff, Weston College is an excellent place to work and grow in your career. 

 

Airport

Two T Level students have recently had the exciting opportunity to complete their placement with Griffiths Farrans JV, as part of their commitment to support the next generation of talent in construction and civil engineering.

The work placement element of T Levels (which equates to 20% of the duration of the course) gives learners the opportunity to put the theory they have learned in the classroom into practice and gain real-life experience in an industry related to their course.

Ned and Kimberly, who study Construction: Design, Surveying and Planning, have been working on an exciting public transport project at Bristol Airport since April, which has involved helping in delivering an enlarged public transport interchange with an enhanced internal road system.

The learners are also working on an additional multi-story car park which includes waiting rooms and rest facilities. These projects are part of Bristol Airport’s multi-million-pound transformational development plan which aims to allow 12 million passengers a year to use the Airport.

Kimberly says that the activities she usually carries out day-to-day at her work placement involve taking levels, marking out points for ground works, and creating surveys. The area that she has found the most interesting has been using modern technology to set out different aspects of the construction of the project such as a total station, magnet field controller and GPS to take levels and to set out on site.

When asked if Kimberly would encourage others to apply to T Levels, she said, “I would definitely recommend T Levels to other students. T Levels give you a more practical insight of the career field you want to go into.”

“Going to placement has really helped me think about my future and has provided a clearer vision of what I may want to do for my future. I am confident that this is the career field I am meant to be in, and I really enjoy it.”

Click here to read more about T Levels available at Weston College: https://www.weston.ac.uk/what-can-i-study/courses-16-18-year-olds/t-levels

Leslie on a boat.

I’m Leslie Warren, a qualified Chartered Surveyor and currently an Asset Manager for a c.£4bn (AuM) UK property portfolio.

Last year when I was searching for a job, I attended the Weston College Takeover Day at the Job Centre, as I wanted to refresh my Microsoft Excel skills. Whilst there I found out about the Pre-employment courses on offer at the college and decided to apply.

The course was really beneficial to me, as I increased my skills in Excel, improved my CV, and I also found out about AI, and how this can be utilised to enhance job applications.

I used the AI elements of the course to create a PowerPoint presentation, which I then used in the interview to get the job I have now.

I enjoyed the course, met some lovely people, enjoyed visiting Weston College and benefited from what I learned there.

The teaching was excellent, the tutor able to disseminate information to a wide demographic with skill, patience, care and kindness shown at all times.

I now work nationally, from home most of the time, but with an office in Bristol and London that I visit weekly as well as completing site visits when required.

The type of tasks I complete include Asset-Evaluations, Options Appraisals (which are Board Reports that request a decision on a recommendation that I create), managing budgets, conducting and commissioning financial analysis, portfolio management and Net-Present-Valuations.

The part that I most enjoy about my job is when I identify an underperforming asset and my recommendation to dispose of it is approved by the board, and I then get the chance to financially prove myself by acquiring capital receipt from open market disposals that more than cover the cost of hiring me.

My time at Weston College brought me up to speed with contemporary norms and I’m grateful for the opportunity to have had the chance to learn.

Leslie.

Marketing and Communications

The marketing department is responsible for promoting Weston College to the public, by promoting the Colleges courses, achievements and events.

Our aims are to attract learners to study within the Weston College Group, build and grow the College’s brand and highlight its reputation, and promote the College Group’s success, student progression and outstanding support for our learners.

The marketing department manages the College’s websites and official social media accounts, runs advertising campaigns, creates press releases, and manages many of the College Group’s events, such as Graduation, the Celebration of Success and the Business Awards.

We produce a wide range of publications including our full-time, Higher Education and part-time prospectuses, course leaflets and posters, and other documents such as the College’s annual report, magazines and newsletters, course brochures and the student handbook.

Weston College is committed to providing accurate and timely information for local, regional and national media, and the general public.

The marketing team is available between 8.30am and 5pm, Monday to Thursday and 8.30am to 4.30pm on Fridays. You can get in touch with us by emailing marketing@weston.ac.uk.

All of our press releases are uploaded to the news section of our websites. News from the academies we sponsor, including the North Somerset Enterprise and Technology College, can be found on the news section of the Inspirational Futures Trust’s website. News pertaining to our Higher Education Provision can be found on www.ucw.ac.uk.

The marketing department produces most imagery and film in house, and keeps an extensive archive of the photographs it takes. If you would like a copy of an image featuring you or a member of your family, please contact us at photography@weston.ac.uk.

Our photos of graduation and many other events can be found on the College’s Facebook page. High quality images can be found on the College’s Flickr account.

Weston College is able to accommodate many requests to provide locations for film and photography. The College has a range of attractive, modern and adaptable facilities which can be viewed on our youtube channel.

We also are able to provide heritage facilities such as the Victorian Hans Price designed Conference Centre and, from September 2017, the 1927 Winter Gardens Pavilion.

For booking details, contact marketing@weston.ac.uk.

For enquiries about sponsoring key events such as Celebration of Success, Business Breakfast, Business Awards and Graduation, please contact the marketing team by email at marketing@weston.ac.uk.

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One Message, Different Voices

Take a look at this powerful film made by the staff of Weston College to show how important it is for everyone from different backgrounds to be included. The film shares heartfelt stories and interviews with a diverse group of staff, showing how accepting different identities and backgrounds can make a big difference. Its purpose is to encourage viewers to think about their own biases and work towards making our community more welcoming to all. We invite everyone, regardless of their background, to join us and be a part of our journey toward a more inclusive future.

Halo workplace logo

Our workplace champions the right of staff to embrace all Afro-hairstyles. We acknowledge that Afro-textured hair is an important part of our Black employees’ racial, ethnic, cultural, and religious identities, and requires specific styling for hair health and maintenance. We celebrate Afro-textured hair worn in all styles including, but not limited to, afros, locs, twists, braids, cornrows, fades, hair straightened through the application of heat or chemicals, weaves, wigs, headscarves, and wraps. In this workplace, we recognise and celebrate our colleagues’ identities. We are a community built on an ethos of equality and respect where hair texture and style have no bearing on an employee's ability to succeed.