Painting a wall black using a roller, with the words 'Open Door Project' on the side

Weston College is pleased to announce that we have been awarded a grant of £29,995 by Arts Council England to deliver 'The Open Door Project' at HMP Channings Wood – a Category C men's prison located near Newton Abbot, Devon, where the College is the Prison Education provider. This transformative project is set to run throughout 2024, with the aim of providing arts and creative experiences to prisoners, along with potential routes into employment, through collaborative partnerships with local artists and arts organisations.

Key highlights of the project include:

  • An Arts Festival in January 2024 - the project will kick off with an Arts Festival, showcasing the creative talents of the learners. This event will enable learners to try out different art/creative forms and techniques and give feedback on which ones they would like to explore further, as part of the prisoner-led collaborative process.
  • In-Prison Workshops - throughout the year, a series of workshops will be organised within the Library and Arts Centre at HMP Channings Wood. Local artists and arts organisations including printmakers from Double Elephant Print Workshops, willow sculptors from Weird Sticks Community Interest Company, creative writers and performers from the Outsiders Project, and contemporary ceramist Lili John, amongst others, will collaborate with each learner to nurture their creative skills and provide guidance.
  • Touring Exhibitions - the artwork created by the learners during the workshops will be displayed in touring exhibitions at various local partner venues including Cockington Court Centre of Creativity, Torre Abbey Museum, MAKE Southwest, Newton’s Place, and Exeter Quay Custom House. This not only highlights the creative potential of the learners but also fosters a sense of connection with the wider community.
  • Weston College’s Creative Summer Festival - as part of these touring exhibitions, learners' work will feature at the Weston College Festival next summer, celebrating their achievements and the transformative power of the arts.

Kate Linden, Arts Lecturer at HMP Channings Wood, who is spearheading this inspiring initiative commented: “The Open Door Project is a unique opportunity for prisoners to explore their creative potential, connect with their community and gain valuable skills that can lead to employment opportunities upon their release.“

Weston College is committed to supporting 'The Open Door Project' and is excited to be a part of this transformational journey for the learners at HMP Channings Wood. As the project progresses, we will release more information on the dates and times of these future events so people can enjoy the creative outputs.

Tony Jay delivering guest lecture.

In a gripping session, former detective for Gloucestershire Constabulary Tony Jay captivated A Level law, Level 3 Criminology and Access to HE Social Sciences students with his firsthand account of the notorious Fred and Rose West serial killer case. Tony shared insights into the investigation, shedding light on the complexities of criminal profiling and forensic science. The students, engaged and intrigued, had the unique opportunity to explore the intricacies of real-life detective work. Tony's visit not only provided valuable insights into the criminal justice system but also served as a source of inspiration for aspiring law and criminology professionals.  

This guest speaker forms part of the subject Careers Excellence Hub. At Weston College our approach goes beyond the traditional classroom setting. Through industry speakers, workshops, employer projects, and more, we equip our learners with the real-world experiences and insights that set them apart in the competitive job market. It's not just about getting a job; it's about standing out from the crowd when they embark on their job searches. 

To find out more about A Level law, click here. To find out about Level 3 Criminology click here for 16-18 courses and here for adult courses. To find out about Access to HE Social Sciences click here.

leadership and management professionals in meeting room

A recent survey of more than 4,500 workers and managers by the Chartered Management Institute, conducted by YouGov, revealed that 82% of managers who enter management positions have not had any formal management and leadership training – they are “accidental managers”. Leadership and Management skills continue to be one of the most highly requested attributes by employers, with only 26% of managers having accessed leadership & management training in the past 12 months. Alongside this challenge, there is an issue of apprenticeship levy funding not being used. City & Guilds research confirmed that since 2017, £3.5bn of apprentice levy had been unused and handed back to the treasury.  

Weston College support individuals and businesses to develop leadership and management skills. Whether it's those stepping into a new management role, or experienced managers looking to establish themselves in a senior leadership role, the College can provide a training pathway.  

Apprenticeships can be for those progressing within a business and they are a fantastic option for employers to upskill employees. In 2023, the College’s management apprenticeship achievement rate was 12% above the national benchmark and 82% of those studying the Team Leading Apprenticeship achieved a distinction.  

Benefits include: 

  • Skilled Workforce: Businesses that encourage their employees to complete courses at Weston College can expect a more skilled and competent workforce. This leads to increased productivity, efficiency, and innovation within the company. 

  • Leadership and Management Excellence: Businesses benefit from employees who have undergone leadership and management training at Weston College. These individuals are better equipped to lead teams, make strategic decisions, and drive the company's success. 

  • Retention and Engagement: Supporting employees in their professional development demonstrates a commitment to their growth, which can boost morale and increase employee retention. Businesses that invest in their workforce often see higher levels of engagement and job satisfaction. 

  • Competitive Edge: In today's fast-paced and competitive business environment, having a workforce with up-to-date skills and qualifications is a significant advantage. Businesses can stay ahead of the competition by ensuring their employees are well-prepared and adaptable. 

  • Funding: Utilising your levy to build a sustainable leadership and management team makes business sense. Non levy payers are eligible to request funding support through the college so they can upskill at no cost. Apprenticeships not suitable? We can help with a direct Diploma route as a standalone offer... we have routes for every size of business and sector and for any employee; of age and educational background. 


With additional 2024 start dates available, Weston College is poised to scale-up its management training with workshops available in central Bristol at the Bristol Training Institute and in Weston-super-Mare, providing coverage across the West of England. The College can also work with employers to create bespoke programmes nationally.  

Dave Crew, Head of Business Growth & Employer Partnerships, commented: "Weston College are thrilled to announce our ambitions to scale-up our Leadership & Management apprenticeship pathway, which is set to transform the professional landscape for both our learners and the local businesses we serve. Too many people find themselves in a supervisory role but haven’t been trained to manage people. I’ve seen first-hand the impact this training can have on individuals and their teams. We’ve spoken to many businesses who have requested this training. They want us to train the ‘accidental managers’ and equip people with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in leadership roles.” 

“Working with employers, we’ll address the management skills gap and create more productive businesses as a result of this training programme. I’m especially delighted that we’ll be working with partners to share apprenticeship levy removing the cost barrier for SMEs to access this training. Together, we can shape a brighter future for both individuals and the businesses that drive our local economy." 

Find out how you can benefit from a Leadership and Management Apprenticeship and various training pathways, here or email employers@weston.ac.uk  

Kam Stevens smiling

University Centre Weston (UCW) student, Kam, was successfully named the Association of College’s (AoC) Higher Education Student of the Year winner this week, in front of a packed crowd at the ICC, Birmingham.

The annual AoC Student of the Year awards celebrate students who stand out from the crowd, have gone above and beyond, whether in college or their local community.

Corrienne Peasgood, President of the Association of Colleges, said: “Each year the level of applications is extremely high, and it goes to show the fantastic work that students are doing in colleges as well as the lengths colleges go to support their students. Well done Kam on winning you should be extremely proud.”  

Kam is a truly inspirational learner. His life started in a challenging place, experiencing hardships and difficulties all through his childhood and school life. Kam was even incarcerated at one stage.  

Despite these setbacks at the beginning, later on in life Kam made the decision to enter university. At UCW he has thrived, achieving excellent grades and fantastic feedback from his lecturers. Kam’s favourite course module is ‘professional development’ which he describes as “intellectually stimulating and directly aligning with his interests and career goals”. While at university, Kam was shortlisted for the Association of Colleges Higher Education Student of the Year award! 

Kam was incredibly pleased at the news that he’d been shortlisted saying: “When I received the news that I was selected as one of the final three candidates for the AoC HE Student of the Year awards, I was overwhelmed with a mix of emotions - excitement, gratitude, and a deep sense of accomplishment.” 

Kam gave credit to his lecturers for helping to support him on this incredible journey: “my lecturers Ross Bliss, Richard Edkins and Sam Brooks have been exceptionally supportive throughout my journey. Their expertise, guidance, and willingness to support me in my endeavours have been instrumental in my educational and personal development. They've provided valuable insights, mentorship, and encouragement, which have enriched my learning experience.” 

“UCW's facilities and equipment have been incredibly beneficial to my studies. Providing me with not just the hardware to excel in my chosen field but also the technical expertise and encouragement has significantly enhanced my learning experience. The university's commitment to providing top-notch resources has made a tangible difference in my academic journey.” 

Kam is proof that you are never too old for education: “being a mature learner at UCW has been a positive and enriching experience. It's allowed me to bring a unique perspective to class discussions, given my life experiences. The diverse academic environment has provided a platform for meaningful interactions and learning from peers of all ages and backgrounds.”  

A key part of Kam’s journey and one of the many reasons he won this impressive award has been his commitment to social justice outside of university. Specifically, his incredible work surrounding penal reform has gained strong attention: “my commitment to the field of penal reform stems from a profound sense of social responsibility. I firmly believe in the transformative power of education and rehabilitation within the criminal justice system. The work in this area has been both challenging and rewarding. We've made significant progress in implementing more effective programs and interventions, ultimately leading to a more just and equitable system.”  

Excitingly, Kam is helping to develop an app which provides comprehensive support for individuals leaving custodial settings. Kam explained: “The Growth App is a groundbreaking project I've had the privilege to be a part of. By centralising resources from various 3rd sector organisations, the Growth App offers personalised support, addressing individuals' most critical needs in order of importance. Moreover, it provides a structured roadmap for the client, guiding them through their journey towards reintegration and rehabilitation. With the strained probation services and the pressing concern of resettlement, the Growth App serves as a vital bridge between the public and private sectors, empowering both probation and 3rd sector organisations to provide timely and tailored assistance to their clients.” 

To find out more about BA (Hons) Film and Media Arts Production click here and to find out more about Weston College Creative and Digital Media courses click here.


Association of Colleges 2023 / 2024 Student of the Year Winner
7 learners stood against the wall

Weston College is one of seven colleges around the world, which has joined the 2023 ESOL Global Learning Project. The aim of this project is to work collaboratively on blended learning projects, which cover life skills topics.

Weston College students will be joined by people from Bağlica Şehit Kalener Özdemir Anatolian Religious High School (Turkey), Bradford College (England), (Liceum Ogólnokształcące im. P. Stalmacha (Poland), Mircea cel Bătrân Secondary School (Romania) and Norra Real High School (Sweden).

There will be six sessions for learners to get involved in, with each one being based on the hybrid model, flip learning and both online and face to face learning.

The sessions are:

  • Session 1 – Esafety-Getting to know each other
  • Session 2 – Recipes around the world
  • Session 3 – Health and Wellbeing
  • Session 4 – Report writing skills on AI and its uses
  • Session 5 – Writing Futuristic/Scientific stories
  • Session 6 – Evaluation and Celebration

All sessions are delivered on Microsoft Teams to give students around the world access to a high standard of teaching, learning, and assessments, incorporating online resources, access to digital tools/apps and interact with their peers via break out rooms.

Head of ESOL at Weston College, Sam Wilson, said: “We are delighted to join the ESOL Global Learning Project.

“At Weston College we are passionate about creating opportunities for our learners that allow them to thrive, and by joining this exciting project, we are excited to see how our learners will develop.”

Find out more about our ESOL courses, by clicking here.

Three people having conversation in classroom

Weston College has been selected to provide the Future Skills Programme, which is funded by His Majesty’s Prison & Probation Service (HMPPS). The College, which provides education to prisoners in the South West, has received funding to assist individuals in the last six months of their sentence. Employment, housing, and support for ex-offenders are essential factors in reducing reoffending rates.

The Future Skills Programme is a national initiative that works with providers to help ex-offenders secure employment by providing training programs, eliminating employment barriers, and offering ongoing support throughout the early phases of employment post-release. The programme will offer six-week courses in hospitality and catering, utilities, construction, and warehousing logistics, and employers will interview learners during the course to offer them job opportunities before leaving prison.

The initiative will launch in November 2023 and offer courses at HMP Exeter, HMP Guys Marsh in Shaftesbury, and HMP Portland in Dorset. The program is developed with the help of employers who will be involved in the training delivery and will offer those who complete the course a guaranteed interview for a live vacancy in their release area. Weston College is excited to deliver the Future Skills Programme and work closely with employers and learners to develop employment skills and secure jobs before leaving custody.

Jacqui Ford, Interim Principal and Chief Executive at Weston College said:

Weston College is delighted to have successfully secured this opportunity to deliver the Future Skills Programme. As an existing provider of education in prisons, we look forward to working with partners to mobilise this exciting new initiative, working closely with employers, and supporting learners to develop skills for employment and secure jobs before leaving custody.

Dave Crew, Head of Business Growth and Employer Partnerships at Weston College, said:

As an established provider of prison education, we’re seeing an increased level of engagement from employers looking to offer opportunities to fill skills gaps in their business. We regularly hear from our learners that leaving prison can be daunting. Knowing that you have the skills employers need, and a job offer from an employer who believes in you, will make such a difference. I would like to thank those employers including Arthur David and GXO who supported our bid for the Future Skills Programme, and also Kier who will be offering vacancies in construction and street works, and GXO with vacancies in warehousing. We are looking forward to other employers reaching out who may also be interested in this opportunity.

Weston College is seeking additional employers to work on this initiative, if you are interested in participating, please contact the employer engagement team at Weston College by emailing employers@weston.ac.uk

Source: Employing prisoners and ex-offenders - GOV.UK 

engineering apprentice in bristol ar GKN aerospace

Earn while you learn, at global engineering organisation, GKN Aerospace.

We have teamed up with GKN Aerospace to offer 23 vacancies, with roles including:

  • Aerospace Engineer Degree Apprentice
  • Engineering Production Apprentice
  • Engineering Maintenance Technician Apprentice
  • Engineering Technical Support Technician Apprentice.


GKN Aerospace design, manufacture and service systems and components for manufacturers around the world. This opportunity will give you the chance to not only gain a qualification but also get experience from some of the best engineers in the country.

This exclusive apprenticeship programme starts in September 2024 and will allow you to be in paid employment from as young as 16 year old, whilst also studying towards one of three professional and recognised engineering qualifications.

As a GKN Apprentice your time will be split between the real-world production facilities (Filton) or Western Approach (Bristol) and Weston College’s engineering campus on Locking Road (Weston-super-Mare). 

It's easy to apply, fill in the form below and we will be in touch to discuss your application, answer any questions and support you with your next steps.

The closing date for applications is 23rd February 2024, which will be followed by an initial assessment for successful candidates. 

30 day challenge graphic

T Levels are the future of technical education, designed to bridge the gap between classroom learning and practical workplace experience. These two-year courses offer students a unique opportunity to gain valuable knowledge and skills that are directly relevant to their chosen industry. At Weston College, there are 13 different T Level courses on offer, spanning from Education & Early Years to Engineering & Manufacturing, and Construction, plus many more. 

Weston College are the largest provider of T Levels in the region, and on results day in August, an 100% pass rate was achieved by our learners.

One of the standout features of T Levels is the industry placement, which plays a pivotal role in enhancing the learner's understanding of the real-world workplace. There are a huge number of benefits of industry placements, and the results show a positive impact on the employers and their business. 

T Levels are tailored to the specific needs of industries and provide students with a deep understanding of their chosen field. When businesses host T Level learners for industry placements, they contribute to the development of a more skilled and job-ready workforce. Employers can actively shape the future workforce by imparting industry-specific knowledge and skills to the next generation. Some of the fantastic employers we already work with include national employers such as the NHS, regional employers such as Wessex Water, and local SMEs. These employers have recognised the untapped talent that can be provided to the business, and were first in line to experience it. 

One example is one of the largest financial employers in the UK, who had five T Level students on placement last year. The students made such a positive impression that the employer has given four of those students a job offer to work for them when they finish their course. That’s proof that T Levels work.  

Recruiting and training new employees can be an expensive and time-consuming process. When businesses provide T Level learners with industry placements, they are effectively getting to know potential future employees. This hands-on experience allows employers to assess the learner's aptitude, work ethic, and compatibility with the company culture. This reduces the risk of making poor hiring decisions and can ultimately lead to cost savings in recruitment and training. 

T Level learners bring fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to businesses. They often have a strong theoretical foundation and can apply their classroom knowledge to real-world situations. Employers benefit from the infusion of new ideas and approaches, which can lead to improved processes, products, or services. 

Students on industry placements are highly motivated to learn and make a positive impression. Employers often find that T Level learners contribute to increased productivity by taking on tasks and projects with enthusiasm. Their energy and eagerness to learn can inspire and motivate existing employees, creating a positive work environment. 

Hosting T Level learners on industry placements is an excellent way to identify and nurture potential talent for the future. Businesses can establish a pipeline of skilled and knowledgeable workers who are already familiar with their operations and industry. This can lead to more seamless onboarding and faster integration of new employees when they transition from students to full-time workers. 

T Levels offer substantial advantages to both businesses and learners. By providing industry placements to T Level learners, employers can help shape a skilled and job-ready workforce, reduce recruitment costs, introduce fresh perspectives and innovative ideas, enhance productivity, create a talent pipeline, contribute to corporate social responsibility, and align with government initiatives. 

The positive impact of T Levels on businesses is a win-win scenario, benefiting both employers and the future workforce. Encouraging more employers to pledge to have T Level learners on placement with them is not just a sound business decision but also a valuable investment in the growth and prosperity of industries and communities. 

Throughout the month of November, we have set ourselves the challenge of receiving 150 T Level pledges from business owners and employers just like you. Don’t miss out on your opportunity to change the future of your business through an industry placement - click here to find out more. 

We look forward to working with you! 

Dave Crew, Head of Business Growth & Employer Partnerships 

Jess - Leadership and Management Apprentice of the year collecting her award

Meet Jess from VADO! Jess completed her Leadership and Management Apprenticeship with Weston College and received top honours at the Weston College Business Awards. She was named Leadership and Management Apprentice of the Year and Overall Apprentice of the Year. Learn more about her story below...

"I really enjoyed my apprenticeship journey; it opened a world of opportunities to me. The modules were broken down clearly and this made it manageable. Once I had set up a structure to how I would complete each module I could really commit and throw myself into it! The whole experience was a highlight, even modules that I did not think I would enjoy as much actually turned out to be some of my favourites, I love to learn and understand, and this apprenticeship was right up my street.

The knowledge and skills I gained during my apprenticeship were transformative, both personally and professionally. I delved deep into the nuances of being a manager, understanding the various facets of leadership, and mastering the art of emotional intelligence. These newfound skills didn’t just stay confined to my coursework; they became an integral part of my managerial approach. 

I applied these skills to navigate complex situations, manage change effectively, and foster a positive work environment. The project management skills I acquired proved instrumental, especially when I transitioned to a new team. Every lesson learned, every theory grasped, and every skill acquired became a stepping stone, propelling me toward my goal of senior management within VADO. I was promoted at the end of my course and the skills I developed have helped me make this transition, I am still learning but it has given me a great foundation overall to make that step further and continue to develop. 

Balancing work and study was undoubtedly challenging at first however, with time and determination, I discovered a rhythm that worked seamlessly for me. Having a supportive network made this balancing act much easier. The unwavering support from my manager, Michelle, and my tutor, Greg, played a pivotal role in shaping my learning experience. Michelle’s hands-on approach and dedication, coupled with Greg’s mentorship, guided me through the intricacies of the course. Their understanding and encouragement allowed me the time and space I needed to excel in both my work and studies. 

I was incredibly fortunate and humbled to be nominated for Apprentice of the Year at the Weston College Business Awards. Winning the award was beyond my wildest dreams! I owe this achievement to the incredible people around me at VADO and Weston College. To be recognised as the overall learner of the year left me speechless.

Reflecting on my journey, my advice to anyone considering an apprenticeship is simple: go for it! The knowledge and confidence I have gained on this journey have been amazing. This experience has not only helped me build great relationships within VADO but has also opened doors to endless possibilities. Weston College made the entire experience easy, and I feel incredibly fortunate to have had this opportunity."

If you're interested in the leadership & management opportunities available at Weston College, click here!

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.

Apply or find out more

Marketing Permissions

Once we have your booking we would love to keep you informed of other, similar events you may be interested in. You can unsubscribe at any time. Your personal information will be processed in line with our privacy notice available on our policy page. Is this ok (please tick)?


By submitting this form you are consenting to Weston College recording and processing the personal information on this form, for any purposes of the college associated with the provision of advice and guidance to potential students on the range of courses available to them, college facilities and any other associated information. In accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018, the information will only be used for the above mentioned purposes.

You will need to complete a full enrolment form prior to starting your course.

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

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.