LATEST NEWS AND UPDATES
Weston College are delighted to announce that Bristol Sport Foundation are partnering with the
College’s Sports & Fitness faculty to offer opportunities to students. Bristol Sport Foundation has a mission to use the power of sport to create active, healthy and happy communities in the greater Bristol area. The foundation works in communities to facilitate physical activity and delivers sports coaching to a range of people, including at after school clubs and holiday camps, with 3,878 children attending their holiday camps in July and August.
The College, which offers Sports & Fitness courses including BTEC Fitness and Sports Exercise Science, Apprenticeships and Higher Technical Qualifications in Community Coaching, has award-winning Career Excellence Hubs for each faculty subject area across the College with several industry partnerships in place. The purpose of Career Excellence Hubs is for College subject areas to work closely with employers to deliver a curriculum designed by industry, inspiring students with a skills focused curriculum. The Sports & Fitness Career Excellence Hub has key industry partnerships that highlight the breadth of careers available to students, offer work placements, develop the skills of learners beyond the qualification they are studying, supporting their progression to higher education and employment.
David Crew, Head of Business Growth & Employer Partnerships commented “Bristol Sport Foundation are a committed employer partner of the College, providing guest lectures to sports students and various work experience opportunities alongside their coaches who deliver inspirational activity in the greater Bristol area. Weston College, through our Career Excellence Hubs, are building collaborative employer partnerships aligned to our curriculum areas, creating a high-quality learner experience at our College and learners ready to progress to employment and higher education when they complete their course. We’re looking forward to having Bristol Sport Foundation as part of our employer community.”
Hannah Davis-Coward, Partnerships and Workforce Manager at Bristol Sport Foundation commented “We are committed to creating active, healthy and happy communities through our work in the region. Partnerships are key to the foundation, as is developing the pipeline of skilled talent that we need in the future to deliver our mission. We’re delighted to be partnering with Weston College, a large forward-thinking further education college with an established sports faculty, and we look forward to supporting students to gain experiences of work.”
To view our sports courses click here. Employers looking to work with Weston College can email email@example.com.
Weston College recently concluded T Level Week; a week of celebration and awareness dedicated to T Levels. This showcased the success and impact of these innovative vocational qualifications, featuring stories from current students, insights from employers, and discussions on key themes linked to the courses. T Level Week at Weston College has not only celebrated the achievements of its students but has also highlighted the pivotal role these courses play in shaping the future of education and the workforce.
T Levels, a relatively new addition to the British education landscape, are two-year technical courses designed to equip students with the skills and knowledge necessary for their chosen career paths. Unlike traditional A Levels, T Levels provide a more hands-on and practical approach to learning, which is highly valuable in today's competitive job market.
One of the cornerstones of T Level Week at Weston College was the first hand accounts of students who are currently pursuing T Level courses. Their stories served as inspirational testimonies to the benefits and impact of these qualifications. Through articles on the college's website and social media channels, students shared their experiences, from the initial decision to enrol in a T Level program to the exciting opportunities they've encountered along the way, plus what they hope to go on to achieve next.
By sharing their personal journeys, challenges, and triumphs, these students provided invaluable insights into the real-world application of T Levels and how they are preparing for their future careers. This not only encouraged prospective students but also allowed current students to reflect on their own growth and development.
Another integral aspect of T Level Week was the involvement of employers. Videos featuring discussions with local businesses, such as Suez, highlighted the tangible benefits of employing T Level students. Employers discussed how T Level students bring a unique blend of theoretical knowledge and practical skills to the workplace, making them valuable assets to their businesses.
These employer testimonials emphasized the crucial role T Levels play in bridging the gap between education and the job market. They also illustrated how T Level graduates are better prepared to step into their chosen careers and contribute meaningfully from day one.
Throughout T Level Week, key themes like Progression Routes and T Level Foundation Day were explored, where insight was given into what steps can be taken to begin a T Level, and what can be achieved following completion of it!
T Level Week played a pivotal role in raising awareness about T Levels and celebrating the achievements of both the students and the college. It demonstrated how T Levels are not just qualifications but a path to success and growth, ultimately contributing to a brighter and more promising future for young learners and the workforce. Weston College has shown that T Levels are not just the future; they are the present, shaping the next generation of skilled and employable professionals.
In a heartwarming initiative to combat stress and promote well-being, Weston College welcomed two furry friends, Alfie and Diesel. The visit of these four-legged friends brought joy and relaxation to students, creating an unforgettable experience for both humans and canines.
Alfie and Diesel, accompanied by their owners, spent the day at Knightstone campus, engaging with learners who may have been feeling the pressures of the new academic year. As the students interacted with the dogs, they could feel their stress melt away, replaced by smiles and laughter.
The canine visitors proved to be a hit with the students, who relished the opportunity to take a break from their studies and enjoy in a little furry therapy. Students said that Alfie and Diesel’s presence brightened their day and provided a much-needed reprieve from their schedules.
Not only did the learners enjoy the visit, but the dogs also seemed to relish the attention and affection showered upon them. The wagging tails and happy barks were clear signs of their enjoyment.
Alfie and Diesel will be visiting the South West Skills campus on Thursday, bringing their therapeutic magic to even more students seeking stress relief and a dose of canine happiness. The initiative has undoubtedly left a lasting paw print of positivity on Weston College.
Weston College has always been a breeding ground for creative talent, and it's about to witness a remarkable reunion as former student and accomplished singer-songwriter, Alex Lipinski, returns to record a brand new album.
On October 12th, alongside his band, the Crown Electric, Alex will step back into the familiar surroundings of Weston College to embark on a musical journey that not only captures his own evolution but also offers aspiring students a chance to learn and create alongside him. This album, considered a retrospective of his songwriting journey, symbolises a union between past and present, mentorship, and creative growth.
Alex's musical journey has been nothing short of remarkable. Having honed his skills at Weston College, he has gone on to release popular albums such as Lonesome Train and For Everything Under the Sun, establishing himself as a gifted songwriter and performer.
His decision to return to the place where it all began reflects his deep connection to the college and his desire to give back to the institution that played a pivotal role in his artistic development.
One thing that sets this album recording apart is the active involvement of Weston College students.
From production to filming, students will have the opportunity to work alongside external professionals and their experienced tutors, on a live album recording. This hands-on experience is invaluable for aspiring music industry professionals, providing them with real-world exposure and the chance to learn from the best in the business – a key part of Weston College’s Career Excellence Hub.
Alex Lipinski, said: “I wanted to curate a ‘document’ of the songwriting journey, from my first collection of songs, ‘Lonesome Train’ recorded in Weston, through ‘Alex’ which we did in Berlin - to the recent ‘For Everything Under the Sun’ which was crafted in London’.
“I wanted to give something back; so, we’re bringing the band, a professional sound engineer, and top-flight videographer to work collaboratively with students at the college, in a real, and incredibly important piece of work.
“I’ve seen the enthusiasm, and high standards to which this next generation of technicians work, and couldn’t be more confident of a successful outcome.
“The finished live album, and concurrent performance video will be available around Christmas 2023 through www.alexlipinski.com as a limited edition, signed, numbered CD. We will limit the run to 250, and this will sit alongside my existing body of work, as the first look at my entire career, across one album.”
This guest artist forms part of the Music Careers Excellence Hub. The College has fourteen sector-specific Career Excellence Hubs, which evidence our dedication to supporting both employers and learners in achieving their future goals. By creating a seamless connection between industry and education, we enable learners to acquire not only the essential skills and knowledge but also the professional networks necessary to excel in their chosen fields.
The recording session on October 12th will be a memorable event. Music students and the up-and-coming band, the Like Minded, will open the evening, setting the stage for Alex Lipinski and the Crown Electric to take centre stage.
This promises to be a night filled with music, creativity, and inspiration, where the past and future of music come together in perfect harmony.
Here at Weston College, we believe the importance of upskilling cannot be overstated. Whether you are an employee seeking career advancement, a job seeker looking to gain new skills, or an employer aiming to enhance your workforce's capabilities, upskilling can benefit everyone.
How Can I Upskill?
Sector-Based Work Academy Programmes (SWAPs)
Sector-Based Work Academy Programmes are government-backed initiatives designed to help job seekers acquire the skills and experience needed to secure employment in specific industries. These programs offer several benefits:
- Industry-Relevant Skills: SWAPs focus on providing participants with the skills and knowledge required by employers in high-demand industries. This targeted approach increases participants' employability.
- Work Experience: Many SWAPs include a work placement component, allowing participants to gain hands-on experience in their chosen field. This practical exposure is invaluable for building a resume and making industry connections.
- Employer Engagement: SWAPs often involve partnerships with local businesses, which can lead to direct job opportunities for participants. Employers may even hire participants who excel during the program.
- Government Support: These programs are often funded or partially funded by government agencies, making them accessible to a wide range of job seekers, including those looking to transition into new careers.
Upskilling Through Skills Bootcamps
Skills Bootcamps provide a unique advantage. They offer intensive, hands-on training that prepares learners for real-world scenarios. In the case of HGV Bootcamps, students gain practical skills, ensuring they are ready for the road. Project management Bootcamps immerse participants in the complexities of overseeing projects, providing valuable experience to carry forward.
Adult courses are a fantastic way to get back into work, upskill, retrain to change career entirely, or gain skills for life. Life is busy, and commitments can vary greatly from person to person. We understand this and have designed adult courses to be as flexible as possible, in as many subjects as possible. With courses in almost every subject you can imagine, that can be moulded to fit around your schedule, the barriers to upskilling are significantly reduced. Whether you're a parent, a full-time employee, or simply someone with a hectic lifestyle, these courses can be a practical solution to your educational aspirations.
The benefits of upskilling are undeniable, whether it's through Adult Courses, Sector-Based Work Academy Programmes, or via Bootcamps. Employees who embrace upskilling enjoy improved career prospects, job security, and job satisfaction.
On the other hand, employers benefit from a more skilled and adaptable workforce that can drive innovation and competitiveness within their industries. These programs are essential in bridging the gap between job seekers and industries in need of skilled talent.
If you would like to upskill yourself, or upskill members of your team, find out how our 30 Day Challenge can benefit you!
- Mike Hudson – Strategic Lead, Recruitment Adult Studies
In a remarkable achievement, two of our outstanding learners, Toby and Kam, have been shortlisted for the prestigious AoC Student of the Year awards 2023/24.
These awards, a testament to their hard work, dedication, and exceptional contributions, recognise the remarkable accomplishments of students across the country.
Toby: Apprentice of the Year Nominee Sponsored by NOCN Group
Toby's journey to becoming a nominee for the Apprentice of the Year award has been nothing short of inspiring. His dedication and commitment throughout his Digital Marketing apprenticeship with Visit Somerset have set a shining example for fellow apprentices and learners alike. Toby's ability to combine theoretical knowledge with practical application in the ever-evolving digital landscape has made him a standout candidate.
Toby has shown exceptional growth and expertise during his apprenticeship. His innovative strategies, creative thinking, and unwavering determination have not only elevated him within the apprenticeship programme but also contributed significantly to the success of Visit Somerset's digital marketing efforts.
Toby was delighted with the news, saying: “To be shortlisted for apprentice of the year with Associates of Colleges, is a great feeling.
“To know your work is noticed not just in the county of Somerset but also the whole of the UK, is truly fantastic recognition.
“I wouldn’t be shortlisted without the help from my management, my team and of course Weston College. Who continuously support my development. To even be shortlisted is an achievement in itself. I am hoping I can win this award in November.”
Kam: Higher Education Student of the Year Nominee Sponsored by Advanced HE
Kam, our exceptional UCW student, has earned a well-deserved nomination for the Higher Education Student of the Year award, sponsored by Advanced HE. Kam's dedication to academic excellence and his commitment to personal and professional development have set him apart as a truly exceptional student.
Throughout his time at UCW, Kam has consistently demonstrated a thirst for knowledge and a passion for learning. His intellectual curiosity, combined with his contributions to the wider community, has resulted in outstanding academic achievements and a profound impact.
Kam's journey is a testament to the transformative power of higher education and the importance of nurturing students who aspire to make a meaningful impact on the world. His nomination reflects his dedication to personal growth and academic excellence.
Kam expressed his pride, saying: “I feel truly humbled and immensely honoured to be shortlisted for Higher Education Student of the Year.
“This recognition is not just a personal achievement, but a testament to the potential that education holds for individuals within the criminal justice system and beyond.
“My hope is that this acknowledgment serves as an inspiration, motivating others to pursue their passions through education. By doing so, we can collectively find fulfilment in our lives and work towards contributing positively to society.”
As we eagerly await the final results, we extend our heartfelt congratulations to Toby and Kam, and we wish them the best of luck in the upcoming competition. Their achievements inspire us all and remind us of the incredible heights our learners can reach.
The winners will be revealed during the AoC Annual Conference on 14 November, where we hope to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of Toby, Kam, and all the nominees.
My name is Nick, and I am currently studying Applied Computing at University Centre Weston, after completing the Digital: Production Design and Development T Level and the Digital Foundation course at Weston College.
The foundation course wasn’t easy for me, but it was the challenges that drove me; the course kept me on my feet and kept pushing me to my limits and made it well worth the challenging aspects.
The T Level course was great, and the highlight was the web development aspects of the course. I had learnt so much and had the opportunity to show off what I could do and what I had learnt from my work experience.
The staff were fantastic during the transition from Weston College to UCW; I had been given opportunities and knowledge about life at UCW before I’d even started. Teachers and would happily show me round the facilities to give me a flavour of university life and introduce me to staff who could help ease the big step from college to university. I ultimately decided to progress onto UCW because I knew I would continue to receive brilliant support.
I always aim high for my educational achievements and don’t set a limit because I always push myself to do better than before. I’ve always believed there is no limit to what I can achieve, so throughout my degree, I just aim to work hard and push myself to be better than before.
Following the completion of my degree, I hope to go straight into a bright and successful career for myself.
My advice for someone considering a T Level course would be not to be afraid of the challenge, but always be willing to try something new. The T Level combines Work Experience with in-college learning, so you're always learning something new.
The one thing you must always remember is that even though it can be a challenge, you will always have teachers and staff who are there to help and support you through all of it. Weston College has many ways to support its learners; it’s impossible to not be supported here. With that & the qualifications you receive at the end, what's not to love about the T Level?
I know that I wouldn't be in the position I am without the help and support from so many staff members & teachers who helped me through my time at Weston College & I am forever grateful. I would not only recommend the T Level to anyone but also recommend studying at Weston College. It is truly the experience of a lifetime.
Weston College ambitiously set the challenge to enrol 500 apprenticeships in just 30 Days, as part of the latest campaign which comprises of three 30 Day Challenges, and we are thrilled to share that not only has this goal been hit, but it’s been surpassed, with 532 pledges!
The first 30 Day challenge was apprenticeship focused, while the second’s goal is to achieve 150 adults upskilled in 30 days, and the third is to reach 150 T Level placement pledges in 30 days.
The incredible achievement of reaching 532 pledges would not have been possible without the college’s wonderful employer partnerships, from global heavyweights, national organisations, and up and coming businesses, such as the following who pledged throughout September:
- GKN Aerospace
- Avon Fire & Rescue
- Future Stars Coaching
- Rolls Royce
- Ministry of Defence
- Cheddar Motors
- UHBW NHS
- Bristol International Airport
- Pier Health Group
- Wessex Water
- Ashton Scaffolding
And many more!
Tracie Leahy, Assistant Principal, Apprenticeships and Traineeships Recruitment, commented: “We are pleased once again, to be leading the way when it comes to apprenticeships, and creating opportunities in such a short amount of time. The tangible benefits are numerous, and offer experiences that ultimately help create brighter futures.
“Every year the bar is raised, and every year we are thrilled to hit the number. A huge thank you must go to our wonderful employer partners as this couldn’t have happened without them.”
Liz Merchant, Organisational Development Manager at Avon Fire & Rescue, told us: “We’ve built up a really good relationship with Weston College. It’s had a huge impact; without the college, we would never have been able to set up any of our apprenticeship schemes and they wouldn’t have been as successful as they have been!”
Callum is currently completing his first year of the T Level in Design: Production Design and Development, following the Level 2 course in computing, which acted as a crucial step in laying the foundation for his T Level aspirations. This choice was born out of the need for flexibility and skill-building, especially since Callum had received home education during his final years of secondary school due to medical conditions. The Level 2 course not only provided him with valuable education but also allowed him to regain essential skills, such as punctuality and professionalism, which are crucial in a professional environment.
What truly ignited Callum's desire to pursue a T Level was the resounding praise he heard from a friend who had recently completed her own T Level. Intrigued by her positive experience, he embarked on an investigation into what Weston College's T Level had to offer. After conversing with his tutors and considering the incredible work experience, high-quality education, and professional atmosphere that awaited him, Callum knew that the T Level was the path he wanted to follow.
The transition from the Level 2 course to the T Level brought with it exciting challenges and opportunities. One particular highlight for Callum was the coursework focused on data analysis. It was demanding, but it allowed him to engage in a real and time-consuming project, preparing him for the rigors of the T Level program.
However, the real gem of Callum's T Level journey lies in the work placement component. Callum eagerly anticipates gaining real-world working experience and skills, a prospect made possible by Weston College's support in finding suitable placements. He has set his sights on securing a work placement with Lloyds Bank, a company renowned for its commitment to T Level students and for its investment in their development. Hearing about a friend's successful transition into an apprenticeship at Lloyds Bank post-T Level further motivated Callum to pursue this opportunity.
The support from Weston College's staff has been instrumental in Callum's success so far. From academic guidance to a brilliant resource for seeking support when needed, the college has been a constant pillar of assistance. As a student with ADHD, Callum has been particularly appreciative of the support provided by the college's ADHD support teams. They have not only made him feel comfortable but also offered practical solutions to navigate challenges effectively.
Callum's journey at Weston College exemplifies the transformative power of T Level programs. His story serves as an inspiration for those considering embarking on their own educational journey. To those contemplating joining the T Level transition course, Callum offers valuable advice: it's an excellent starting point, whether you're looking to bolster your grades or overcome personal challenges. The transition course provides the flexibility and time needed to prepare oneself for the enriching T Level experience that Weston College offers. With dedication and the right support, students like Callum can thrive in the professional world, ready to make a meaningful impact on society.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.