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News and events

We aim to keep you up-to-date with the very latest Weston College news and events. Take a look below at what's going on at the College!

Got news you want to share with us? Email marketing@weston.ac.uk

Latest events at Weston College

Latest news and developments at Weston College

There is always so much going on across our various campuses and courses. Stay up to date on our latest news
John Penrose, Andrew Leighton-Price and others stand by a sign saying UCW 'TEF Gold'

As part of ‘Love our Colleges Week’, Weston College as the lead partner for the West of England Institute of Technology, showcased its state-of-the-art ‘Networking and Cyber’ Lab on Friday, allowing learners to practice networking, and to finesse their skills within cloud computing and virtualisation. The impressive hands-on digital facility, is based within the College’s University Centre Weston campus, (which was awarded TEF Gold status in 2023, placing it within the top 20% of degree provision in the UK - one of only six colleges nationally to achieve the status).

In line with industry, the Lab is Cyber Essentials Plus accredited, with its own independent line which has created an isolated network environment. Twenty four learners work within the Lab at any one time, and the development of this industry led space has enabled a highly immersive Networking and Cyber pathway for the College’s hugely successful Digital and Technology Solutions (DaTS) degree apprenticeship programme.

Employer partners who utilise the DaTS apprenticeship to boost their workforce pipelines include Airbus, the Ministry of Defence, MBDA, Babcock, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, EDF Energy, Synoptix, L3Harris, National Grid, and QinetiQ. The WEIoT will also be partnering with Boeing to deliver their future DaTS programmes - a solution to their workforce development requirements, ultimately boosting the pipeline of people working in science and technology jobs.

Seeing the Networking and Cyber’ Lab for the first time was Weston’s MP John Penrose, who added "It’s great to see how Weston College and its University Centre have developed such an impressive technology and digital facility, using Government funding from the West of England Institute of Technology. It’s the latest example of Weston College improving local skills so employers want to set up shop here, and students have a great choice of high-skill, high-paying careers too". 

Celebration of Success Winners group photo

On Thursday 29th February, Weston College celebrated the incredible achievements of over 40 students at its annual Celebration of Success event. The event hosted at the Winter Gardens Pavilion, recognised the dedication and outstanding achievements of students from all ages and disciplines. 

The students were nominated by college staff and winners were selected by the College's Principal and Assistant Principals.  

Weston College teaches over 30,000 students a year across all levels from school leavers and a diverse range of courses for adults to re-train and upskill. 

As part of the evening, guests were treated to a delicious 3 course meal, made by the College’s Hospitality and Catering students as well as performances from University Centre Weston’s (UCW) BA (Hons) Musical Theatre students. 

With the prestigious ceremony underway, one-by-one, the winning students were announced and took to the stage with a resounding applause from family, friends, and special guests. They were presented with their award by Chair of Governors, Andrew Leighton-Price. 

With thanks to our sponsors Honeyfield Property Services, DPL Partnership, CJ Hole, Mindful Education, Pace Agency, Image Sign, Skylight Property and Uncle Paul’s Chilli Farm. 

As the main event sponsor Honeyfield Property Services’ Director, Jon Patch presented certificates to our Principal Gold Award Winners for Under 19 and Adult Student of the Year, to Baylee Burrows and Bosang Humphrey. 

Access to HE Student of the Year and Adult Student of the Year, Bosang Humphrey commented: 

"Winning this award is like a motivation, life is full of challenges and when you put in that effort and your effort is recognised, that's like a stepping stone and you realise yes I can do this. Just think about if somebody else can do it, then I can also do it. When you change one life, many lives are changed as a result, so I really appreciate this award” 

The evening continued with several awards to recognise the teams of Business learners that took part in the Weston Hospicecare Business Enterprise Challenge.  

This challenge saw local business mentors advising and investing in the young entrepreneurs to set up their own business ventures and to generate profits that were donated to Weston Hospicecare. The College presented Weston Hospicecare with a cheque for an amazing £ 6771.75, all of which was raised by the learners during this incredible challenge. 

As well as recognising students, six members of staff also picked up an award for their exceptional service through the Tony Suner and Heather Wood Memorial Awards. The recipients of these awards have collectively dedicated over 180 years of service to the College, embodying the spirit of commitment and making a lasting difference to the students and their colleagues that they have helped along the way. 

Weston College’s Interim Principal, Jacqui Ford commented:  

“Tonight, we gather to celebrate the remarkable achievements of our learners and the invaluable support they have received along their journey. Out of a cohort of 30,000 learners, reaching this stage is truly an impressive accomplishment.  

“The exceptional talent of our governors and staff, combined with the outstanding abilities of our learners, collectively radiates brilliance. Personally, witnessing the remarkable skills of both learners and staff fills me with immense pride, not only for their individual successes but also for the dynamic spirit of entrepreneurship embodied by every member across our organisation." 

 

A massive congratulations to all our winners! 

Learner smiling at the camera

Weston College and North Somerset Council are proud to announce the arrival of Empower an innovative initiative dedicated to supporting individuals with learning difficulties, learning disabilities, or autism on their journey to meaningful employment. The scheme is being funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. As one of four national Centres for Excellence SEND, Weston College seeks to support employers to create inclusive work environments, supporting diverse recruitment practices to enable people with learning differences to enter the workforce. This new initiative is part of the college's Supported Employment Excellence Hub, a network built to support individuals from 16 – 60 into paid employment.

Both the College and the Council are proud to lead this essential initiative, driving positive change and fostering inclusivity in the workforce. Empower aims to make a significant impact on the lives of individuals facing unique challenges in the workforce. With only 5.7% of people with Learning Difficulties and disabilities in full-time employment, there is a need to support individuals to break down the barriers into work. The funding from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund will play a crucial role in delivering a comprehensive program designed to empower participants and facilitate their successful integration into the job market.

The initiative encompasses an initial assessment and support planning phase, where specific needs, skills, and aspirations are identified. A 'career passport' is created to guide participants on their pathway to paid work, and personalised vocational support plans are developed with achievable outcomes in mind.

Nicola Lace, SEND Operations Manager at the College commented: "We are very pleased to be able to extend our support to adults in the community through the Empower programme, which aims to make a significant impact on the lives of individuals facing unique challenges in the workforce. This initiative will play a crucial role in empowering participants and facilitating their successful integration into the job market."

As part of the programme, participants will undergo skill enhancement and training, which includes guided training, specialised interventions, work experience opportunities, and job coaching tailored to individual support plans. Specialised training will focus on enhancing employability skills, covering interpersonal, vocational, and industry-specific aspects.

Upon securing suitable employment, participants will receive extended support, including job coaching, to ensure a smooth transition into the workplace over 12 months.

The initiative concludes with a comprehensive programme review after 12 months, followed by ongoing follow-ups to track participants' progress and provide additional support if needed.

Individuals interested in joining the Empower initiative can either self-refer or be supported by external organisations, and/or partner agencies. For more information or to express interest, please contact empower@weston.ac.uk

Further details on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and places, supporting local business, and people and skills. For more information, visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-shared-prosperity-fund-prospectus

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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.