News

Cheshire College hosts Gourmet Evening Collaboration Dinner with the England National Culinary Team

Cheshire College – South & West collaborated with the English National Culinary Team, in association with the British Culinary Foundation, for a spectacular Gourmet Evening recently held at Cheshire College’s award-winning Academy Restaurant.  

Inspired by Manchester’s famous Northern Quarter, The Academy has restaurants in Cheshire College’s Crewe and Ellesmere Port Campuses, and hosts Gourmet Evenings once a month. The evenings are often booked up 12 months in advance and consist of a 5-course set menu meal alongside pairing wines. 

The Academy holds several prestigious industry accreditation accolades, including Gold Accreditation & Centre of Excellence for Food & Beverage Service from People First, and AA ‘Restaurant of the Year’, 2012 & 2019, showing a commitment to excellence and customer service.  

The expertise and guidance the England National Team provided staff and learners at Cheshire College’s Academy Restaurant is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression and diners enjoyed the culinary experience and high standards set by the team at Cheshire College.  

Shane Guildford, Lecturer in Hospitality and Catering at Cheshire College, commented: “It’s a real coup to gain this collaboration with the England National Culinary Team; to not only inspire our learners with dream career aspirations but to raise the profile of the restaurant and the College. It’s absolutely fantastic and we’re so grateful to Adam and the Team.” 

Tutors and learners alike were eagerly anticipating the event, which was led by Team Coach Paul Dickinson, and delivered a culinary experience for paying customers. The team also included Adam Thomason (Captain), Ed Marsh, Jamie Gibbs, David Davey Smith, Tomas Krasnan, Ian Mark and Stacey Harris.  

Cheshire College’s Assistant Director of Faculty – Hair, Beauty & Hospitality, Victoria Mulqueen added: “As a team we are so thankful to have had the opportunity to welcome such fantastic industry experts to site who inspired our learners and wowed our guests. Our learners are the future of the hospitality industry, and we are privileged to be the ones helping them grow and develop into talented young adults who will thrive in our industry. We can’t wait to welcome the English National Culinary Team back soon and we wish them the very best of luck for the Culinary World Cup!” 

The England National Team made an impression on the Hospitality and Catering learners including Danny Cookson and Abbie Manning with feedback such as: 

“I can’t believe I had the chance to work with the National team. My knowledge was broadened throughout the whole day and they took their time to teach me how to develop a dish from start to finish. 

“Service during the Gourmet Evening was fantastic! The standard of food we served to our guests was so high and the team were so professional and encouraging. It’s been a great experience for us all having them work with us.” 

The Academy Restaurant has previously worked with renowned chefs such as Paul Askew, Adam Smith and Luke Thomas during their Gourmet Evenings. The last one to take place saw James Sherwin, an experimental chef and owner of Wild Shropshire restaurant, join Cheshire College’s Hospitality Team and learners to provide an evening of culinary delight, celebrating what grows and what can be farmed in Shropshire.  

The College’s Hospitality and Catering courses enable learners to gain experience and industry skills in the Academy Restaurant, and the opportunity to provide catering and gain experience at corporate events and Gourmet Evenings. 

To find more information on the upcoming Gourmet Evenings held at the award-winning Academy Restaurant, visit the College’s website https://www.ccsw.ac.uk/academy-restaurants/ To make a reservation email academy@ccsw.ac.uk or call 01270 654678. 

Cheshire College hosts Pathway to Sustainability breakfast event

Cheshire College – South & West hosted a business breakfast event at their Ellesmere Port Campus to discuss Cheshire’s pathway to Net Zero with businesses based across the Cheshire region.  

The College welcomed businesses such as Equans, ESSAR Oil, Greif UK Ltd, Redrow and Genfit to their award-winning Academy West Restaurant to enjoy breakfast, hear from key speakers about their approach to Net Zero and learn more about what the College is doing to support the community in its Pathway to Sustainability through offerings such as green skills and higher technical qualifications for business’ workforce. 

Whilst on campus, guests explored Cheshire College’s Mobile Digital Hub and found out more about Project 4.0; a five-year project that will support businesses and learners by providing specialist technical equipment and alternative digital platforms and software – all of which will develop the future of digital and upskill existing workforces.  

Assistant Principal, Mark Parsons, spoke about the sustainable journey Cheshire College has embarked on, commenting: It’s important to us that we create a sustainable curriculum for our learners and the community they’ll progress onto in their career. It was really valuable to share more about this during our breakfast event, highlight the exciting projects we’re working on and all that’s to come; including our Passive House Build project set to begin in September 2022, which will not only reduce energy bills but also carbon footprint.” 

The event saw guest speaker, Lee Wright, from ENCIRC, discuss the importance of being socially and environmentally conscious in the current climate and what ENCIRC are doing on their pathway to Net Zero. He said: “The event was a great way to discuss the Pathway to Sustainability, network with other employers, and learn about what Cheshire College are offering in terms of qualifications, skills and seeing young people entering the industry from T Levels, work experience and Apprenticeships.” 

Pat Jackson from Cheshire & Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership attended the event and was impressed with the support available, adding: “It’s been a really fantastic event. It’s great to take the time to reflect on the steps we should be taking on the Pathway to Sustainability. I’ve certainly come away more informed and with ideas for further action.”  

Cheshire College looks forward to hosting further employer events in the future and championing the Pathway to Sustainability. If you’d like to attend in the future, please express your interest by emailing marketing@ccsw.ac.uk.

Cheshire College Higher Education learners celebrated at Graduation Ceremony

The accomplishments of Higher Education learners from across the region were celebrated yesterday at Cheshire College’s Graduation Ceremony.  

Held at The Chester Cathedral, the ceremony welcomed graduates from across the region, their friends and family, along with the College’s staff and stakeholders to celebrate this academic milestone. 

The graduates in attendance all studied a Higher Education course at one of the College’s three Campuses in Crewe, Ellesmere Port and Chester, achieving a range of qualifications from full Degrees, Foundation Degrees and PGCEs to Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) and Higher National Certificates (HNCs).  

Held on the fifth anniversary of Cheshire College’s inception, the ceremony included an inspirational introduction from the Dean of Higher Education, Claire Barton, and empowering speeches from Principal and CEO of Cheshire College, Dhesi, and Guest Speaker, and former Higher Education Governor at Cheshire College, Ewen MacRury. A former Cheshire College Higher Education graduate himself, Ewen is currently Principal Visualisation Specialist at McLaren Automotive and has previously held positions at Bentley. 

Claire Barton, Dean of Higher Education at Cheshire College, said: “Attending a graduation ceremony is a huge milestone in any learners’ academic career but after the last couple of years, it’s been fantastic to all come together in person and celebrate the achievements of our graduates.  

“Completing a Higher Education course takes hard work, determination and commitment. I am proud to say that every single one of our graduates have demonstrated this. I wish them all the best as they move forward into their chosen careers and truly make a difference in their communities.”  

Principal and CEO of Cheshire College, Dhesi, says: “Over the last five years, we’ve seen over 3,000 of our Higher Education learners progress onto further studies with ourselves or at University, enhancing their career opportunities and continuing to inspire us.  

“I couldn’t think of a better way to kick off our five-year anniversary celebrations than to shine a light on the incredible learners we have at the College, and everything they’ve achieved during their time with us.”  

Guest speaker, Ewen MacRury, focused on the topic of resilience during his speech and said: “The students have fought through tremendously difficult times over the past three years and to show the fortitude to continue and finish their studies is an amazing achievement. I wish them all the best for the future in whatever path they decide to pursue.” 

Higher Education at Cheshire College offers high-quality teaching from industry and academic professionals at a lower tuition fee with smaller class sizes to ensure learners are able to get the most out of their studies and achieve the qualification they have always dreamed of.  

With a range of courses available across subjects such as Digital, Engineering, Construction, Education and Business, there’s never been a better time to Stay Near, Go Far. To find out more about Higher Education at Cheshire College visit https://www.ccsw.ac.uk.   

Cheshire College – South & West celebrates five-year anniversary

Cheshire College – South & West is celebrating its five-year anniversary following the successful merger of South Cheshire College and West Cheshire College. 

The milestone lands on another important day for the College as it coincides with the Higher Education Graduation Ceremony at Chester Cathedral. 

Cheshire College – South & West was formed in 2017 when West Cheshire College and South Cheshire College merged to provide Further Education and skills across Cheshire at its Campuses in Crewe, Ellesmere Port and Chester. 

Over the last five years, Cheshire College has provided access to high quality teaching and training to over 32,000 learners across Cheshire, with over 470 courses available including A-Levels, Part-time adult courses, T-Levels and Apprenticeships. 

Partnering with over 500 employers, the College has also helped to create around 3,000 tailored Apprenticeship opportunities within the local community across a range of sectors.  

With a total investment of £165m to date, Cheshire College has invested in the latest technology and bespoke training facilities that provide learners with real work environments and aspirational goals. 

Including the introduction of two brand new facilities due to open this September, which will feature a new state-of-the-art Digital Centre at the Chester Campus and new Engineering facilities at the Ellesmere Port Campus as part of the investment programme aligned with the expansion of T Level programmes across the College.  

Looking to the future, the College has recently been named the lead organisation for Cheshire and Warrington, as part of the £120m Institute of Technology (IoT) competition and investment into their facilities across all three campuses.  

Reflecting on the College’s first five years, Principal and CEO, Dhesi, says: “I’m so proud of everything we have achieved so far at Cheshire College. Being given the opportunity to provide inspirational teaching and learning environments to over 30,000 learners has been a true highlight. Looking at the relationships we’ve developed across the region with families, businesses and employers, and the plans we have to continue to push forward, I’m excited to say that this is just the beginning.” 

Deputy Principal and Deputy CEO, Helen Nellist, added “Our Campuses provide learners with exceptional teaching and learning environments, our continued investment demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that our learners can develop their skills, knowledge and confidence to reach their full potential and make a positive contribution to local community and economy”. 

Say hello to Claire Barton, Dean of Higher Education

As part of this year’s International Women’s Day celebrations, we are shining a light on just some of the wonderful women at Cheshire College as they share a bit more about their role and what they hope people take from International Women’s Day this year.

Today, we’re saying hello to Claire Barton, Dean of Higher Education at Cheshire College.

Hi Claire,what should people take from International Women’s Day?

The key message from International Women’s Day is that together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all break the bias, celebrate women’s achievement, and raise awareness of bias; conscious or unconscious. The message is about the difference we make in so many ways.

Why is this important to talk about in education?

It is important that we are providing women with the skills and behaviours to develop the confidence and resilience they need to succeed in their chosen pathway. This looks very different for each of us, and the pathway may change as we grow and learn, but being open to learning, and having the opportunity to explore ideas and possibilities, in a supportive environment, is key to ensuring the bias is broken.

Describe a typical day in your life at Cheshire College?

There is no typical day! My planned day is also not always my actual day. My role is such that I must be reactive as well as proactive. I respond to the needs of the business, the staff and learners. For example, I may be in a strategic meeting with a University partner in the morning, then I’m updating my team on priorities and tasks, and then I’ll be in a class of learners in the afternoon talking about their progression opportunities. it’s never dull!

For you, what does Cheshire College – South & West provide in terms of equality, inclusion, and empowerment? 

These values at Cheshire College don’t need to necessarily be discussed every day as they are embedded in everything we do and speak. The way we treat each other, the way we conduct business, they opportunities we provide; it’s all equal.

The most important thing is that we respect each other and all those we meet.

Name a woman who has inspired you, any why?

If I had to pick a public figure, it would be Rosa Parks; a brave individual who refused to conform and fought bias when she refused to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery bus in 1955. Her actions have inspired millions over the years and The United States Congress honoured her as “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement”. A brave individual who refused to conform and fought bias.

On a day-to-day basis, I am inspired most by my two daughters. They have grown into confident and inspiring young women who will argue their views but listen to, and consider, those of others. They possess a confidence and belief that they are equal, and work to positively impact on the lives of future generations of women and men.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

We can always find a solution if things go wrong!

I returned to education as a mature student and, as a trainee teacher, I felt so overwhelmed at times and just wanted to give up. However, I had an excellent line manager who was also my mentor. She believed in me and gave me the confidence and support to grow. 

What does ‘breaking the bias’ mean to you?

Ensuring all young women and men can fulfil their potential and providing all the support, advice, and guidance I can offer. We all have a responsibility to raise each other’s aspirations and help reach our goals.

What one piece of advice would you give to learners and your colleagues on International Women’s Day?

Never give up or be afraid to try.

Interested in joining the Cheshire College team? Take a look at our amazing career opportunities at www.ccsw.ac.uk/work-for-us.

Say hello to Jacky Lowe, Assistant Director of Science, Business and IT

As part of this year’s International Women’s Day celebrations, we are shining a light on just some of the wonderful women at Cheshire College as they share a bit more about their role and what they hope people take from International Women’s Day this year.

Today, we’re saying hello to Jacky Lowe, Assistant Director of Science, Business and IT…

Hi Jacky, what should people take from International Women’s Day? 

International Women’s Day is about celebrating the amazing women who are working hard to make the world a kinder, fairer and more inclusive place. We should all pay attention to the gender stereotypes and discrimination that still exist in 2022 and learn how we can do better.

Why is this important to talk about in education?

I manage three subjects (Business, Science and Computing) which are not only male dominated at study level, but also at career level. These industries also carry the largest disparity in regards to pay equality and women holding senior management positions.

I recently discovered that out of the FTSE 500 Chief Executive Officers, there are more men named ‘John’ than there are female CEOs.

All this to say that representation matters and it’s important we show what’s possible for everyone during their studies, rather than just the few.

Describe a typical day in your life at Cheshire College?

I’m not entirely sure that a typical day exists in my role! I am always taking on something new at least a few times a week.

One thing I always make sure is a constant is how I start my day; by greeting our learners at the door. This really allows myself and my colleagues the time to get to know our learners – not only those studying in my area but across the campuses.

From there, it can be anything from timetable planning, chasing attendance, safeguarding or whatever else the day brings to us!

For you, what does Cheshire College – South & West provide in terms of equality, inclusion and empowerment? 

The College provides an inclusive and supportive environment, which removes barriers, encourages participation and respects diversity.

Name a woman who has inspired you, and why?

In my early 20s, I probably would have said someone like Anita Roddick (The Body Shop founder) or Karen Brady (Vice-Chairman of West Ham United F.C.) as they both flourished in what were stereotypically male environments.

As I’ve grown, I’ve realised that my mum is probably my biggest inspiration.  I didn’t fully appreciate at the time the sacrifices she made in order to enable my brother and I to achieve the successes we have – both in our personal and professional lives.  She’s the strongest person I know.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

I’ve thought of a few things that have really struck home with me over the years, and when I started writing them down, I realised that they can pretty much be summed up in three words:

‘Be kind, always’. 

There’s a perception that to be successful as a woman, you have to be aggressive and loud but I don’t believe that has to be the case.

What does ‘breaking the bias’ mean to you?

Being free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. Celebrating diversity and encouraging inclusivity and equality.

What one piece of advice would you give to learners and your colleagues on International Women’s Day? Be yourself and be confident in who you are, in all areas of your life. Don’t be concerned about others’ opinions of you and don’t try to change to fit an ideal. 

Interested in joining the Cheshire College team? Take a look at our amazing career opportunities at www.ccsw.ac.uk/work-for-us.

Cheshire College learner and guide dog reach the finals at Crufts

Part-time learner Scott Bailey from Cheshire College – South & West and his trusted companion, Milo the guide dog, made the finals of the Best Friends category in the 2022 Kennel Club Hero Dog Award, which takes place at Crufts each year. 

The annual Kennel Club Hero Dog Award celebrates the unique relationship people have with their dogs, and the important role they play throughout people’s lives and the support they give people in the face of adversity. 

The ‘Best Friends’ category celebrates a pet dog who has seen its owner through the hardest times, as well as the happiest. 

At the age of 27, Scott started to lose his sight after being diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy and was registered blind just three years later. A dairy farmer by trade, Scott was unable to continue working in the industry.   

Things began to look up for Scott when he was partnered with guide dog Milo in November 2020 and joined Cheshire College’s Crewe Campus to gain new skills that would help him achieve his dream of becoming a Counsellor. He’s committed to raising awareness and helping others who are experiencing sight loss due to diabetes and hopes to study further at Keele University to achieve his dream.  

Deputy Principal and Deputy CEO of Cheshire College, Helen Nellist, says: “The team here at Cheshire College are extremely proud of Scott’s accomplishments so far and the uplifting message he and Milo both spread across the College Campus and within the community. The pair’s journey together demonstrates the power of what can be achieved with the right attitude, support, drive and ambition.”  

When discussing being part of this year’s Crufts competition, Scott says: “Milo is already a hero; not just to me, but to my whole family.  I think of him as an extension of myself now, he has saved my life in more ways than one physically and mentally. He has enabled me to do things I thought I would never be able to do like go to college and progress onto university. To stand next to Milo at Crufts makes me the proudest person on this earth. Just to get to the finals of Crufts and for Milo to be recognised as the amazing talent he is, is a reward itself!” 

You can take a look back at all updates from the duration of the competition on Milo’s Facebook page at:  www.facebook.com/GuidedogteamMilo.     

As the largest provider of post-16 education in the region with Campuses in Crewe, Ellesmere Port and Chester, Cheshire College has over 11,000 learners and 1,000 Apprentices and works with more than 500 local, national and international employers to offer a range of courses from Entry Level to Level 7. To find out more, visit www.ccsw.ac.uk. 

Cheshire College Hospitality learners show flair at Welsh National Culinary Awards

Hospitality learners at Cheshire College – South & West brought home the gold along with many other accolades following their participation in the Welsh National Culinary Awards in February. 

The Welsh National Culinary Awards stem from a partnership of Professional Chefs and Caterers.  They provide people with the opportunity to demonstrate their passion, flair and culinary skills across the UK and within Wales. 

Learners based across the College’s Crewe and Ellesmere Port Campuses were tasked with creating a starter, main and dessert dish whilst being judged on the quality of food, their restaurant skills and food hygiene. 

The College was named the ‘Best College’ at the event, collectively learner skillset and talent were recognised within an astounding 29 awards, including 3 gold, 9 silver and 10 bronze awards as well as 5 merits and 2 Best in Class recognitions. 

Cheshire College learner and the recipient of three awards, Leah Castleton, said: “It was amazing to win the awards and prove myself against my peers.”  

Andrea Huby, Assistant Director for Hair, Beauty and Hospitality, said: “It’s been fantastic to see our Hospitality learners gain recognition at such a highly esteemed competition. This will do wonders for their confidence and I’m looking forward to seeing how they use their skillset and newfound achievements when planning ahead for their future.”  

The full list of awards won at this year’s Welsh National Culinary Awards by Cheshire College – South & West learners are as follows: 

Cameron Yearn

  • Silver for chicken cut sauté 
  • Merit for Welsh lamb
  • Silver for main course flambé
  • Bronze for Welsh beef
  • Awarded excellent in hygiene

Leah Castleton

  • Silver for main course flambé
  • Silver for Restaurant Skills
  • Bronze for dessert flambé

Ivan Barzev

  • Silver in chicken cut sauté butchery
  • Merit for Welsh lamb
  • Silver Welsh beef

Molly Warburton

  • Gold for cupcakes
  • Awarded Best in Class

Ashleigh Sproston

  • Merit for cupcakes

James Antrobus

  • Bronze in Restaurant Skills

Lani Cohen

  • Bronze in Restaurant Skills

Arthur Penny

  • Bronze in Restaurant Skills

Daisy Poole

  • Gold in modern cold dessert
  • Awarded Best in Class

Olivia James

  • Bronze for fruit cuts
  • Gold for vegetable cuts, mash potato piping and soup making

Freja Dobson

  • Bronze for fruit cuts
  • Silver for vegetable cuts, mash potato piping and soup making

Ozan Kosemur

  • Bronze for fruit cuts
  • Bronze for vegetable cuts, mash potato piping and soup making

Amanda Salters

  • Bronze, Young Risotto Chef
  • Bronze for fruit cuts

Honey Hawkins

  • Merit for fruit cuts

Nathan Price

  • Merit for Spanish inspired dish

Joseph Pocock

  • Bronze for Welsh lamb

Aimee Maguire

  • Silver for Restaurant Skills

Paige Williams-McKay

  • Silver for Restaurant Skills

If you are interested in Hospitality and Catering courses available at Cheshire College – South & West, or would like more information on the courses available, visit ccsw.ac.uk or call 01270 654654. 

Cheshire College named Educate North Awards finalist

Cheshire College – South & West has been chosen as a finalist within Educate North’s Community Engagement Award (HE/FE) Category.  

The Educate North Awards celebrate and recognise excellence in the education sector in the North. The awards attract over 300 education professionals from Further and Higher Education institutions offering a diverse range of courses in sectors such as IT, Digital, Engineering and Construction.  

The Community Engagement Award recognises the Higher and/or Further Education institutions that are leading the way in playing an integral role in the development of their individual’s by understanding the importance of community engagement and trends in society.  

Cheshire College has been running Primary and Secondary College for over 25 years, with many generations now having experienced the impact of such a unique event. Originally set up to support the career aspirations and inspire local young people to explore all their options, the programme is now being delivered to over 50 local schools, helping to raise aspirations whilst assisting those who are transitioning into Further Education.  

The programme has benefitted the local area in numerous ways, in particular, it has enhanced the learning opportunities for young people and the wider community. More recently, providing an opportunity to inform and raise awareness of the introduction of T Levels; brand-new technical qualifications. 

The College has also recently been named the lead organisation for Cheshire and Warrington, as part of the £120m Institute of Technology (IoT) competition and investment into world-class inspirational facilities and real work environments. 

Principal and CEO of Cheshire College, Dhesi, says: “I’m incredibly proud of the Cheshire College team and our learners who have developed strong ties with the community and the businesses and opportunities that sit within it. We’ll always continue to push forward and develop new and innovative ways we can build a great future alongside our community so receiving recognition like this is really special.” 

Jordan Swift, Director of Marketing & School Partnerships at Cheshire College says: “The partnerships we hold with schools and the local community is something we are very proud of. Colleges, Schools and local organisations working together to inspire and educate young people about the options available to them is so important. 

“Primary and Secondary College has such a long standing, valued history, giving young people in the area access to a broad range of experiences and providing them with the opportunity to explore future career pathways and the outstanding opportunities available within Cheshire and Warrington. It’s great to see that the College, and our partners who are involved in Primary and Secondary College, have been recognised for all the wonderful work they do in this area.” 

The winners will be announced at the long-awaited awards on Thursday 7th April 2022 in Manchester. 

Cheshire College student is shortlisted for prestigious High Sheriff’s Awards for Enterprise

One remarkable learner from Cheshire College – South & West has been acknowledged for his accomplishments after being shortlisted for the High Sheriff’s Award for Enterprise ‘Apprentice of the Year’. 

Aiden Melbourne, aged 20, a final year AAT apprentice at leading accountancy practice, Shaw Austin Ltd, has been shortlisted for this year’s prestigious award.  

Founded in 2006, this year marks the 15th anniversary of the High Sheriff’s Awards which were introduced to recognise the outstanding achievements in the Cheshire, Halton and Warrington areas. The Awards celebrate the innovative minds working in enterprise and the impact they are making in the local community.  

Michael Robinson, Portfolio Manager at Shaw Austin Ltd, commented: “At Shaw Austin we are proud of our training scheme which has started off many accounting apprentices in their chosen career. I am really pleased that Aiden’s hard work has been recognised by reaching the short list for this prestigious award. It is an outstanding achievement!” 

In his second year at the company, Aiden was made aware of the announcement during 2022 National Apprenticeship Week and said: “I am very honoured to have not only been put forward for this award but also to be shortlisted, I feel it shows the hard work and commitment I have put into work and my studies over the last few years. As I am only at the start of my career, I believe that this puts me on good stead for the future as I have so much more to learn and develop professionally.” 

Karen Roberts, Assistant Director of Apprenticeships & Employer Engagement said: “We’re incredibly proud of Aiden’s achievements. It’s been so rewarding to see Aiden’s growth and I have no doubt that this is just the beginning of his successful career, and the recognition and accolades that will follow. All of us at Cheshire College are wishing him the best of luck ahead of the awards ceremony.” 

Cheshire College has over 1,000 Apprentices, works with over 500 local, national and international employers and delivers Apprenticeships across 14 sector subjects including, Health, Publish Services & Care, Engineering & Manufacturing, Construction & Building Services, Information & Communications Technology, Retail & Commercial Enterprise, Leisure, Travel & Tourism Arts, Media & Publishing, Education & Training and Business, Administration & Law.  

If you are interested in studying at Cheshire College – South & West, or for more information, call 01270 654654 (Crewe Campus), 01244 656555 (Ellesmere Port & Chester Campuses), or visit www.ccsw.ac.uk - Your Career Starts Here.   

Level 3 Hairdressing learners wow judges in fierce competition!

Cheshire College’s Level 3 Hairdressing learners have recently taken part in a Fantasy Hair competition, judged by local employers including College alumni Threza Peake and Leah Knapman from Fresh Hair Salon, and Chax from Chax Barbers! 

The competition was part of the Hairdressing course’s avant-garde hairstyling unit ‘Creating an Image’, which saw the Hairdressing learners collaborate with Media Makeup and Photography learners to bring together their designs with the hopes of wowing the judges.  

Each detail of the hairstyles created by the Level 3 learners were constructed from scratch using dyed hair to create a wide range of designs including umbrellas, thatched head pieces, and flowers. 

Learners shortlisted by the judges included: 

  • Lisa Brookes – 1st place 
  • Lois Carrick – 1st place 
  • Justina Stuckute  
  • Georgia Edwards  
  • Olivia Bailey  
  • Lauren Wilson
  • Katie Molyneux 

The first-place prize winners Lisa Brookes and Lois Carrick each received a travel size beauty set which included a hair dryer, diffuser and straighteners all donated by Schwarzkopf Professional. 

Lisa Brookes, first-place winner for her Rainforest design, said: “I really enjoyed the whole experience, it has definitely given me a new sense of self belief and helped to boost my confidence. My tutor Anne Pickering helped to push me out of my comfort zone, and I couldn’t believe that I won first place out of such an amazing selection of creations.” 

Anne Pickering, Lecturer in Hairdressing, said: “It was absolutely fantastic to see all of the learners create such inspiring and creative looks. It was a privilege to have welcomed past learners back to the College to judge our current learners, and especially welcome our employer partner Chax from Chax Barbers. 

“The judges were all extremely impressed with the work that our learners created and I’m very proud of the effort they have made. I absolutely loved the fun, laughter and atmosphere in lesson today.” 

The learners who have been shortlisted by the judges can now progress to the regional Association of Hairdressers and Therapists Competition in March, with the hopes to reach the national finals which are held in Blackpool. 

Applications are now open for courses starting in September 2022. To find out more about studying Hairdressing courses at Cheshire College, or to register for the College’s next Open Evening which will be taking place on Wednesday 20th March between 5:30pm – 7pm, visit ccsw.ac.uk   

Cheshire College host International Women’s Day roundtable series with leaders across the Cheshire

Cheshire College – South & West are celebrating International Women’s Day throughout the month of March with a series of roundtables led by influential female leaders across Cheshire. 

Focused on this year’s theme ‘Break the Bias’, each roundtable will provide a safe and thought-provoking environment for staff, learners and inspirational speakers to share their experiences and advice on how to challenge themselves and those around them within their personal and professional lives. 

With close links across the community in Crewe, Ellesmere Port and Chester, and partnerships with over 1,400 employers, the College have partnered with a number of female leaders to make the celebration as impactful as possible. 

On the 8th March 2022, Lady Alexis Redmond MBE, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Cheshire, and Dame Pat Bacon, Chair of the Corporation at Cheshire College, kicked off the first two sets of roundtables at the College’s Crewe campus. Joined by current staff and learners, the discussions provided an opportunity to learn more about each guest’s journey, challenges they’ve faced and their advice for the future. 

Dame Pat Bacon striking the IWD pose alongside Deputy Principal and CEO, Helen Nellist,  Director of Marketing and School Partnerships, Jordan Swift and Cheshire Cheshire College – South & West A Level Learners
Lady Redmond MBE, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Cheshire and Sue Sellers, Deputy Lieutenant of Cheshire striking the IWD pose alongside Deputy Principal and CEO, Helen Nellist,  Director of Marketing and School Partnerships, Jordan Swift and Cheshire Cheshire College – South & West A Level Learners

Lady Redmond said: “Living in Cheshire for over 30 years and working in many different roles has meant that I’ve developed many close ties with local charities, businesses and education providers in the community. It’s great to see Cheshire College embracing their similar ties with the community to provide impactful examples of how recognising International Women’s Day can make a true difference across sectors and age groups.”  

Dame Pat Bacon said: “Throughout my career, I’ve been hugely committed to ensuring that opportunities are available for all, and Cheshire College does this so well; the latest IWD activities being just one example. This series of roundtables provides our learners with opportunities to speak with inspirational leaders from across the region, learning about their experiences, and engaging in such an important conversation. Celebrating women today, and every day is something that we are committed to at the College, and I know this is only the start of exciting activities planned this month”.  

Helen Nellist, Deputy Principal at Cheshire College, said: “With 56% of the leadership team at Cheshire College being female, we have a variety of different leadership styles and career journeys that inspire our staff and learners every day. The roundtable series is a great way of recognising this and bringing together different generations of females with an array of teachable experiences so that we can work together.” 

Upcoming roundtables for the remainder of the month will feature leaders such as Diane Wright, Chair of the Board of Directors at South Cheshire Chamber of Commerce, Sally Hepton, Director of Government Relations and Corporate Social Responsibility and Clare Haywood MBE, Chair, Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership. 

Cheshire College brings digital skills to the community with New Leaf

Cheshire College has recently collaborated with the charitable outreach organisation New Leaf to teach digital skills to learners, strengthening the College’s commitment to upskilling the wider community. 

New Leaf and Cheshire College’s collaboration enables disadvantaged learners, who would otherwise be unable to access learning, to receive top-quality teaching content. The aim of the collaboration is to build upon community education and provide high-quality teaching to those who have no prior experience within a busy college environment. 

The 6-week part-time course, ‘New Leaf – Introduction to Computers’, enabled learners, who had no prior experience of information technology, to gain valuable digital skills and confidence which will benefit their employability and personal capabilities, particularly important after the digital skills gaps became more prevalent because of Covid19.  

Taking place at the Unity Centre in Chester, the small group of 8 learners were provided with an intimate space to learn useful computer skills in a comfortable and supportive environment. 

 
The course was a huge success and resulted in the learners choosing to continue their studies and expand their skills with another part-time course at Cheshire College, starting this month at the Chester Campus with expert tutor Tricia Kosuth-Phillips.  

The partnership with New Leaf has enabled Cheshire College to break down the barriers of learning new skills and has extended teaching and funding to those who are a part of New Leaf’s mentor programme, which aims to support people back into employment. 

One learner, Jill Millington, said: “Before I started this course I had very low esteem, but I’m now realising that I can do it, and I will. My ultimate goal is to gain employment and this course allows me to learn essential skills. In all types of work there are now computer or technical elements that you need to know, which is why this digital course has been so valuable to me.” 

Another learner, Kerry Woods said: “I never thought I’d go back to studying again, but I love learning in the College and I really like having a learner badge, I am really proud to show it off and tell others about my experience. I currently work part-time in a care centre as a support worker for people with cerebral palsy, which is something I didn’t think was possible, the course has created lots of new opportunities for me.” 

Employer Engagement and Relationship Manager, Helen Meakin, said: “The success of the course speaks for itself. I am so pleased that so many of the learners have decided to continue their studies and made the leap to join the College on-Campus. 

“The College’s collaboration with New Leaf is a fantastic opportunity to extend our teaching to the wider community and break down the barriers of learning for all.” 

If you are interested in a part-time course, visit ccsw.ac.uk, email info@ccsw.ac.uk or call 01270 654654 (Crewe Campus) / 01244 656555 (Ellesmere Port and Chester Campuses) to enrol. Courses could be FREE* if you earn less than £17,374.50 per year. 

Your career starts here – visit Cheshire College’s next Open Evening!

The largest provider of post-16 education in the region, Cheshire College – South and West, are opening their doors for their Open Evening event on Tuesday 1st March from 5:30-7:00pm across their three Campuses in Crewe, Ellesmere Port and Chester. 

With a wide range of activities taking place throughout the evening, attendees can engage with subject-specific taster sessions, gain an insight into learner life, and find out more about the College’s excellent support from the Bursary and Transport team. 

The College offers a range of courses from Entry Level to Level 7 and provides learners with the skills, experience and qualifications that will prepare them for their future career or higher-level study and encourage them to become confident individuals who will make valuable contributions to businesses and the economy. 

Dhesi, Principal and CEO, commented: “Our Open Evenings are often the start of a learner’s journey after they attend our Campus events and explore our fantastic facilities. I am very much looking forward to meeting all of our prospective learners on 1st March.  

“This is not only an opportunity to show them how incredible our College truly is, but also to talk to them about all of the brilliant things that we have planned for the future, including our mission to enhance digital skills.” 

To attend the Open Evening, you can register your place here or just come along on the evening. By registering your place, you can keep up-to-date with the latest news and what’s happening on the evening.  

Need more information? Get in touch:   

  • Email: info@ccsw.ac.uk   
  • Call 01270 654654 for the Crewe Campus or 01244 656555 for the Ellesmere Port and Chester Campuses   
  • Or message us on social media!  

If you are unable to attend this particular event, don’t worry – the College will be hosting another Open Evening event on Wednesday 20th April from 5:30-7:00pm.

Cheshire College learner reaches the final of the Young Risotto Chef of the Year Competition!

Talented young Level 1 Introduction to Professional Cookery learners Amanda Salters, 17, and Nathan Price, 17, have wowed judges during the semi-finals of the Young Risotto Chef of the Year 2022 Competition.  

Sponsored by Riso Gallo, the competition is open to young chefs aged 17-23 in all stages of cookery, whether it be a young person currently in education, or an individual that has gained employment within a professional catering environment.  

Joining Cheshire College four months ago after studying at South Wirral High School, Amanda enrolled on to a Level 1 Cookery course and aspires to progress to Levels 2 and 3. At the semi-finals she created a mushroom risotto and received great praise from the judges, who commented upon her excellent work and provided her with development points for improvement. 

Amanda said: “I found the whole experience really fun. I was surprised that I managed to reach the semi-finals as it is the first competition that I have ever competed in. It was great to get such amazing feedback from the judges, it was a really good experience and I hope to take part in another competition in the future. “ 

Learner Nathan found success in his beetroot risotto, defeating 50 other regional finalists in his first-ever attempt in the competition, making it through to the Grand Final which will see 12 regional winners compete for first prize.  

Nathan, who joined the College in September 2021 after completing his GCSEs at Ellesmere Port Catholic High School, said: “I have only been on my cookery course for four months and I’m really enjoying it. It’s very exciting to learn new skills and dishes. The facilities we get to learn in are amazing and my tutors are incredibly supportive. It was them that recommended to apply for a competition, and I decided on the Young Risotto Chef of the Year as it is such a fun dish to make. I have been practising a beetroot risotto up until now and I’m really excited to compete in the next round!”  

The Grand Final will take place at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in April, with the first-place prize winner of the competition securing an opportunity to travel to Italy for three-day’s work in the two Michelin starred Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia with Fabio Pisani, working with Allessandro Negrini and their team, as well as a tour of the Riso Gallo Rice Mill and a selection of food.  

Andrea Huby, Assistant Director for Hair, Beauty and Hospitality, said: “It’s such a great achievement that Nathan and Amanda reached the regional semi-finals after such a short period of time on Cheshire College’s Cookery course. They were up against professional chefs with significant experience, yet their talent has led to success thus far. It’s fantastic that Nathan is now progressing to the Grand Final in April, he should be very proud of himself.”  

Applications are now open for courses starting in September 2022. To find out more about studying Hospitality and Catering courses at Cheshire College, visit ccsw.ac.uk or register for the College’s next Open Evening which will be taking place on Tuesday 1st March between 5:30pm – 7pm.  

Find out more about the competition here.  

Scott Bailey is named champion at AoC Student of the Year Awards!

Part-time learner Scott Bailey from Cheshire College – South and West has beaten off competition from other finalists to be named as the Association of Colleges’ Adult Student of the Year 2021/22.  

At the age of 27, Scott started to lose his sight after being diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy and was registered blind just three years later. A dairy farmer by trade, Scott was unable to continue working in the industry.   

Scott joined Cheshire College’s Crewe Campus in 2020 to gain new skills that would help him achieve his dream of becoming a Counsellor with his guide dog Milo. He’s committed to raising awareness and helping others who are experiencing sight loss due to diabetes and hopes to study further at Keele University to achieve his dream.  

Adult Student of the Year winner Scott Bailey said: “I looked at the email and found out that I was a winner whilst I was at the top of the Eiffel Tower which really did top it off!”   

“As soon as I stepped into the College building with Milo, I felt an instant sense of relief. My disability kind of faded. After I finished my IT Bridging Course which gave me the skills and ability to use technology, I chose to do a Counselling course so I could help other people that are in my position. The College itself and education has given me so much confidence – it’s given me a sense of purpose and it’s enriched my life. I’ve got somewhere to go.”  

Dhesi, Principal and CEO, said: “It is an honour for our learner Scott to be considered for such a prestigious award, and another thing altogether for him to win. Scott’s exceptional journey demonstrates the power of education and what can be achieved with the right attitude, drive and ambition. We are extremely proud of him at Cheshire College for setting such an excellent example to both staff and learners.”  

Sally Dicketts, 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. 

“It is particularly amazing to see the achievements of students and positive impact that colleges have on the students and community. Scott Bailey has done amazingly well to finish first and should be extremely proud.”  

As the largest provider of post-16 education in the region with Campuses in Crewe, Ellesmere Port and Chester, Cheshire College has over 11,000 learners and 1,000 Apprentices and works with more than 500 local, national and international employers to offer offers a range of courses from Entry Level to Level 7. To find out more, visit www.ccsw.ac.uk. 

‘Where Are They Now?’ – Pamela Crehan | Apprenticeship Awards

Pamela Crehan was one of our 2021 Apprenticeship Award winners, having taken home the Award for Exceptional Contribution for her outstanding work during her time at St Helens and Knowsley Hospital NHS Trust. After completing her Apprenticeship, Pamela started her studies at Liverpool John Moores University and is currently working towards gaining a Nursing degree which she hopes to use to return to the hospital in a new role. 

We got in touch with her to find out how she’s getting on a year after her award win…  

Q. Hi Pamela, lovely to catch up with you! Do you mind telling us a bit more about your Apprenticeship at Cheshire College?  

A. My Apprenticeship was a Level 3 Healthcare Support Diploma, which I studied at the hospital I had previously worked in – St Helens and Knowsley Hospital NHS Trust. My employer funded my Apprenticeship, so I decided to take the opportunity to better my knowledge and increase my job prospects. I have now completed the Apprenticeship and I’m in my second year at Liverpool John Moores University studying a Nursing degree. 

Q. What made you pursue this Apprenticeship in particular?  

A. I worked as a Health Care Assistant before I started the Apprenticeship and I was accustomed and enjoyed working in the sector, so I knew that this was the area I wanted to work in. The course taught me how much extra knowledge there is to understand and has enabled me to study at university to become a nurse, which I didn’t think was possible beforehand. 

Q. What new skills and knowledge did you learn during your Apprenticeship?  

A. I knew a lot about healthcare in the hospital before I started the programme from my years working on site, however I learnt so much academically through the Apprenticeship. It taught me how to research and use articles as well as study modules, which has been invaluable preparation for the university study I am now doing. I may return to the hospital to work after I have gained my nursing qualification, as I loved learning on the job as an Apprentice there. 

Q. How did Cheshire College – South & West support your journey? 

A. My assessor was great; she was always available and offered me support regularly. It was comforting to know that she was only a phone call away and there to help me out if I ever needed it. 

Q. How did it feel winning an Apprenticeship Award last year?  

A. It completely took me by surprise, I didn’t know that there was an award for Apprentices. I was so happy to be nominated and I’m really glad that I had the opportunity to do the programme at my workplace where I had the support of my colleagues. 

Q. Why should other learners consider an Apprenticeship? 

A. It’s a good way to take your career in the direction of your choosing and it opens doors to you. The knowledge you gain from working practically through an Apprenticeship teaches you things that aren’t teachable in a classroom. You learn things that you didn’t know you needed! 

Q. Do you have any wise words or advice for the winners of this year’s Awards?  

A. My advice would be to always pursue your dreams. You’ve got to make things work for you and open the door to all opportunities that are presented to you. It’s never too late to follow your dreams. 

You can find out more about Apprenticeships at Cheshire College – South & West here.

Throughout this week Cheshire College has been shining a spotlight on Apprenticeships as part of National Apprenticeship Week! To see what we’ve been up to, and this year’s Apprenticeship Award winners, head over to the College’s social media accounts. 

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn | YouTube
#NAW2022 #CCSWAppAwards22 

Outstanding Apprentices celebrated at Annual Awards Ceremony

Several deserving apprentices and employers from across the region were celebrated this week at Cheshire College – South and West’s annual Apprenticeship Awards Ceremony. The Award winners had exceeded expectations, made significant contributions to their workplaces, and were recognised for their outstanding performance. 

More than 80 guests gathered at the College’s Ellesmere Port Campus, where more than 12 awards were presented to winners. 

The event was sponsored by local employers who have seen their own apprentices grow and develop within their organisations: Bentley, West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce, South Cheshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Encirc and Survitec. 

The Awards, which is this year marking its 16th year, took place during National Apprenticeship Week 2022. The National theme for Apprenticeship Week 2022 is ‘Build the Future’ which aims to promote the value of Apprenticeships and the opportunities that they provide. 

Winner of Cheshire College – South and West’s Apprentice of the Year, Molly Humphreys, said: “I was really surprised that I was nominated to win an award and I’m pleased to have been acknowledged by my employer.  

“My favourite thing about my Apprenticeship is the people that I work with so it’s so nice to be awarded for something which I enjoy. The apprenticeship has been a great stepping stone between education and work and I’m lucky to love my work.” 

Employer Tom Russell, from Bentley Motors, said: “To see the diverse range of apprentices recognised at the awards was a credit to them all and to the College – there are so many amazing stories that really demonstrate the value of apprenticeships to the individual, businesses, and the community.  

“Bentley Motors was proud to sponsor the New Employer Award – we are always excited to see more companies getting into the apprenticeship space and adding value to their business.” 

Karen Roberts, Assistant Principal – Apprenticeships and Employer Engagement, commented: “It’s fantastic to be able to celebrate once again our amazing learners who work incredibly hard with such determination and commitment. The Annual Apprenticeship Awards is such an important event to really reflect upon the benefits of apprenticeships and the brilliant work of our learners.” 

Dhesi, Principal and CEO of Cheshire College, said: “All of last night’s award winners demonstrated outstanding levels of achievement and their family, friends and colleagues should be immensely proud of their accomplishments. 

“Our Apprenticeship Award nominees demonstrate the varied opportunities that our high-quality apprenticeship programmes provide our learners with. The College currently has over 1,000 apprentices, works with over 500 local, national and international employers, and delivers apprenticeships across 14 sector subject areas, something that we as a College are very proud of.” 

Full list of the evening’s winners: 

Award for Exceptional Contribution 

  • Jake Hamoudi 

Award for Outstanding Progress 

  • Kadie-Lea Roe 

Business, Administration and Law Apprentice of the Year 

  • Rebecca Nock 

Cheshire College – South & West Apprentice of the Year 

  • Molly Humphreys 

Education and Training Apprentice of the Year 

  • Hayley John 

Engineering and Manufacturing Apprentice of the Year 

  • Jamie Morrow-Jones 

Health, Public Services and Care Apprentice of the Year 

  • Carl Thelwell (Winner) 
  • Nicola McKimmie (Highly Commended) 

Retail and Commercial Enterprise Apprentice of the Year 

  • Sam Lacey 

New Apprentice Employer of the Year 

  • Greif UK  

Employer of the Year 

  • Lane End 

To find out more about becoming an Apprentice, visit ccsw.ac.uk, email apprenticeships@ccsw.ac.uk or call 01270 654654 / 01244 656555. If you are an employer interested in benefitting from an Apprentice, email employers@ccsw.ac.uk or call the employer hotline on 01244 656499.   

‘Where Are They Now?’ – Stephen Whitmore | Apprenticeship Awards

Apprenticeship levels range from Level 2 (equivalent to GCSE) right the way up to Level 6 and 7 (equivalent to a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree), and it’s not uncommon for Apprentices to progress on to the next Level as they continually look to expand their knowledge in their chosen field.  

At last year’s Apprenticeship Awards Stephen Whitmore, who works for a local aerospace manufacturer, won the Apprenticeship Award for Exceptional Contribution for his amazing work and positive can-do attitude. Stephen is currently studying for a HNC qualification in Electrical Engineering after completing his Engineering (Mechanical Manufacturing) Level 3 programme, a subject which he had no prior experience in.  

We caught up with him to find out how he’s been getting on… 

Q. Hi Stephen, do you mind telling us a bit more about your current Apprenticeship?    

A. I’m currently a third year Electrical Maintenance Engineer Apprentice working for a local aerospace manufacturer. I’m studying for my HNC in Electrical Engineering, and I hope to move on to complete my HND next year. My time at work is spent working alongside other maintenance engineers who help to further my practical skills and apply the knowledge I have gained from completing my BTEC and HNC to real life situations. 

Q. What made you pursue this Apprenticeship in particular?    

A. I worked full-time for several years in a local petrol station and was becoming dissatisfied with the job, so I decided to look for a new challenge. My girlfriend had begun a degree in Forensic Psychology, and I witnessed how much she enjoyed it, so I thought: ‘why can’t that be me’?   

Q. What new skills and knowledge have you learnt during your Apprenticeship?      

A. Transitioning from a customer service background and into engineering has provided me with an entirely new skill set and a different way of thinking and tackling challenges. I feel great pride knowing that I help to fix million-pound pieces of equipment which are used for precision engineering. 

Q. How does Cheshire College – South & West support your journey?      

A. My teachers have been excellent and very supportive over the past few years, especially during difficult periods due to Covid lockdowns and restrictions, as well as during challenging moments in my personal life.  

Q. How did it feel winning an Apprenticeship Award last year?    

A. It was a great feeling and made me believe that I was moving in the right direction, not only in my career path but also my personal life. 

Q. Why should other learners consider an Apprenticeship?    

A. It’s a great way to give yourself a second chance at a new career at any age. I felt like I was stuck in a dead-end job but starting my Apprenticeship has given me a chance to better myself with the help of staff at Cheshire College and my employer who provides me with great support. 

Q. Do you have any wise words or advice for the winners of this year’s Awards?   

A. Just keep swimming… whilst you should always take a step back and give yourself credit for everything that you have accomplished so far, there is always more to achieve. With the help and support of colleagues and college staff, you can. Never be afraid to speak up if things get difficult – you’re not alone and the College has a great support network.  

You can find out more about Apprenticeship opportunities at Cheshire College – South & West here.

As we continue to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, keep an eye on our social media channels for invaluable information and advice from our Apprentices and Employers. 

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn | YouTube
#NAW2022 CCSWAppAwards22 

Crewe and Nantwich MP hires new Apprentice!

With support from Cheshire College – South and West, the region’s largest provider of post-16 education, Dr Kieran Mullan MP has recently hired an Apprentice to work as an Administration Officer in his Constituency Office.  

The College currently hosts over 1,000 Apprentices across 14 subject areas and has strong links with local businesses of all sizes and works with over 500 local, national, and international employers which offer a variety of Apprenticeship opportunities. 

Dara Spencer, 21, began her 18-month Level 3 Business Admin Apprenticeship with the MP for Crewe and Nantwich in September and has been exceeding expectations since then. 

Dara’s duties include managing MP Dr Kieran Mullan’s diary, generating social media content, organising the team’s schedules, and on occasion assisting with reported cases within the local community.  

After initially moving to University, Dara decided that the structure and format didn’t suit her and decided to instead undertake an Apprenticeship to progress her career whilst learning and gaining real work experience.  

Dara said: “I’ve really enjoyed coming to work and doing something different every day. I am glad I chose to seek an Apprenticeship as I enjoy having a job whilst learning and I think that it is a really productive route to become qualified with experience within the sector.” 

“Despite the office Covid restrictions which were recently put in place in December 2021, the combination of working in the office and at home has remained a great experience, and I like the unpredictability of daily office life and the variety of tasks I am given.” 

MP for Crewe and Nantwich, Dr Kieran Mullen, said: “Apprenticeships have such an important role as they are a fantastic way to tackle the skills shortage and learn whilst on the job. I’m delighted to have an Apprentice in my own office who supports my role as an MP and the general day-to-day running of the office. 

“As well as helping the team and making great contributions, Dara is also gaining valuable skills in Business Administration which will create new opportunities and experiences for her in the future.” 

Karen Roberts, Assistant Principal – Apprenticeships & Employer Engagement at Cheshire College, said: “At Cheshire College we are extremely proud of our employer partnerships, and we are pleased that we are able to work with the local council to deliver such an amazing opportunity for our learner Dara.” 

“Dara has been doing extremely well in her role as Business Administrator and should be very proud of her achievements. It’s a fantastic opportunity to be able to work so closely with an MP and council – I am sure she will achieve great things in the future.” 

To find out more about becoming an Apprentice, join us at our Apprenticeship Open Evening, on Tuesday 8th February 2022, 5:30pm – 6:30pm, where you will be able meet with our staff, current apprentices and employer partners to gain an insight into what life is like at Cheshire College! 

If you are an employer interested in benefitting from an Apprentice, email employers@ccsw.ac.uk or call the employer hotline on 01244 656499. 

Cheshire College learner illustrates his third best-selling book!

Nurturing talent and empowering people to achieve their full potential is at the heart of Cheshire College’s ethos and one young Art & Design learner has recently seen his creative work published for a third time.  

Second Year, Level 3 Art & Design learner, Will Hawkes, teamed up with writer and editor Lorna McCann to illustrate the children’s book, ‘I Wish I Could Fly’, which hit the shelves earlier this year.  

Using pen and water colours, Will spent his summer holidays reading the script and searching for hallmarks within Lorna’s story for pointers to illustrate.  

The book, which recently climbed to #3 on Amazon’s Best Seller Chart for Children’s Books About Dogs, follows Molly and her best friend Milo as they embark on a new adventure to see if their wish of being able to fly like a bird finally comes true.  

Commenting on his College experience, Will said: “The College provides me with opportunities to explore my creative ideas and develop advanced skills in a broad range of artistic practices, as well as teaching me about how to have a successful career in the creative industries.  

“I originally joined the College in 2018 and have studied a range of courses at the Chester Campus. Over the years my confidence has improved massively, which is why I love networking and actively looking for commissions to help build as many skills as possible. 

“I am really happy that I have been able to illustrate my third book and the support I have had from tutors has been great!” 

Paul Browne, Assistant Director – Visual and Performing Arts, said: “The level of ability and creativity of all our Art & Design learners studying with us is second-to-none. It’s a real privilege to see their skills progress as they gain practical experience and explore the areas they’d like to specialise in and everyone at Cheshire College is extremely proud of Will and his achievements.” 

Starting the course with no prior experience in illustration, Will chose to study Art & Design as it was something he found interesting. Upon completion of his course, Will hopes to progress to university before starting his own freelance business.  

Home to outstanding facilities and the latest technology, including a photography studio and darkroom, TV and radio suites, 3D workshop, alongside traditional studio spaces and facilities, Cheshire College provides the perfect blend of academic and employability skills with dedicated study programmes ranging from Level 1 up to Level 6.  

Applications are now open for courses starting in September 2022. To find out more about studying Art & Design at Cheshire College, visit www.ccsw.ac.uk or register for the College’s next Open Evening which will be taking place on Monday 24th January between 5:30pm – 7pm.  – Your Career Starts Here.  

Your Career Starts Here! Visit Cheshire College’s next Open Evening!

The largest provider of post-16 education in the region, Cheshire College – South and West is opening its doors for their second Open Evening of the academic year on Monday 24th January from 5:30-7:00pm at their three Campuses in Crewe, Ellesmere Port and Chester.  

The evening will give prospective learners, and their friends and family, an opportunity to explore the College’s world-class inspirational facilities and learn about the courses on offer, from Entry Level – Level 6, including Full-time Programmes, A Levels, T Levels, Apprenticeships, Higher Education and Part-time courses.  

With a wide range of activities taking place throughout the evening, attendees can engage with subject-specific taster sessions, gain an insight into learner life and find out more about the College’s excellent support.  

Dhesi, Principal and CEO, commented: “The majority of current learners studying at the College started their journey after attending one of our Open Evenings, and I am very much looking forward to meeting all of our prospective learners on 24th January. This is not only an opportunity to show them how incredible our College truly is, but also to tell them all of the brilliant things that we have planned for the future, including our mission to enhance digital skills and our newly-designed Honours Programme.” 

The College is committed to providing learners with the skills, experience and qualifications that will prepare them for their future career or higher-level study, encouraging them to become confident individuals who will make valuable contributions to businesses and the local economy in their future careers. 

To attend the Open Evening, you can register your place here or just come along on the evening. By registering your place, you can keep up-to-date with the latest news and what’s happening on the evening.  

Need more information? Get in touch:  

  • Email: info@ccsw.ac.uk  
  • Call 01270 654654 for the Crewe Campus or 01244 656555 for the Ellesmere Port and Chester Campuses  
  • Or message us on social media! 

If you are unable to attend this particular event, the College will be hosting another Open Evening event on Tuesday 1st March from 5:30-7:00pm.  

Cheshire College working in partnership to meet a surge in demand for electric and hybrid trained mechanics

The current Government agenda and commitment to alternative fuel technology is at the forefront of vehicle design and production and Cheshire’s largest provider of post-16 education is accelerating at high-speed with their brand-new Level 3 Electric & Hybrid Vehicle – Theory and Isolation course.  

The increasing demand for electric and hybrid cars, as businesses make the switch to low emission vehicles, has created a shortage of trained, qualified and accredited technicians to carry out maintenance, servicing or repair work on these vehicles.  

Delivered in partnership with Body Perfect, a rapidly-growing car body repair company, the College’s 5-day intensive, Electric & Hybrid Vehicle course provides learners with the skills and knowledge needed to safely carry out diagnosis, maintenance and repair activities on modern vehicles, including demonstrating the practical skills needed to isolate dangerous high-voltage systems and change components using specialist equipment.   

Mark Parsons, Assistant Principal – Curriculum, commented: “It is imperative that we support local businesses in upskilling their workforce to ensure they can safely and effectively keep up with the rapid pace of change in the industry.  

“Technicians are going to require skills that are closer to a computing professional or software engineer than a traditional mechanic, including coding and reprogramming vehicle software and diagnosing and repairing high voltage rechargeable energy storage systems. 

“This brand-new course will be delivered by our expert tutors, in a purpose-built workshop, combining the latest technology and equipment with interactive learning. With Cheshire at the forefront of the UK’s drive to be net zero, it is really exciting that Cheshire College is at the forefront of such advancements.”  

With the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars being brought forward to 2030, the rate of consumer demand for zero-emissions vehicles is increasing each year. At the end of November 2021 there were more than 705,000 plug-in vehicles with nearly 365,000 Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) and 340,000 Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) registered in the UK. Last year saw the biggest annual increase in number of registrations, with more than 175,000 electric vehicles registered showing a growth of 66% on 2019. Last year, despite the coronavirus pandemic, 2020 was a huge growth year for plug-in vehicles. 
 
Enrolment onto one of the College’s part-time programmes has never been simpler with the introduction of online applications to make it as easy as possible for learners to get started.  

To find out more: 

Press fast-forward on your digital skills with a part-time course at Cheshire College

The importance of digital skills and access to technology has never been more apparent than it is today and Cheshire’s largest provider of post-16 education, Cheshire College – South and West have launched a range of part-time digital courses, designed to boost digital skills, enhance career pathways, and develop confidence within the local community.  

The demand for digital occupations has continued to rise over the past year across nearly every region in England, highlighting the importance of digital skills. It is very clearly becoming necessary to keep updated with the latest advances in modern technology, regardless of whether you are currently in an IT-based career.  

Courses on offer at Cheshire College include: 

  • Cyber Security 
  • Digital Marketing  
  • Understanding Coding/Coding Practices  

With the help of expert teaching staff and small and friendly class sizes, learners can excel and achieve widely recognised qualifications which can either support them back into employment, progress in their current role or advance to higher-level study. 

The digital courses run on various days and times throughout the week at the College’s state-of-the-art digital campuses and can also be part-funded or even free* depending on individual circumstances and household income. 

Neil Borg-Olivier, Assistant Principal – Curriculum at Cheshire College, commented: “In the fast-paced, ever-changing world we live in, possessing digital skills and expanding your knowledge is key to continued success. 

“Here at Cheshire College, we want to support adults within the local community to achieve their goals. With the top-quality tuition and learning environment that we provide, I am confident any learner on our digital courses will enhance their skills and have the knowledge to keep up to date with the modern advances in technology.”  

In addition, The College is one of a few Further Education providers chosen to deliver digital and STEM-related training and education to as many residents as possible across the region, thanks to funding from the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).  

Over the five-year project, it is expected that over 7,500 learners, from more than 60 local schools, will benefit from access to the equipment, inspiring more young people than ever to progress onto higher-level courses and skilled employment within digital sectors. 

Enrolment onto one of the College’s part-time course programmes has never been simpler with the introduction of online applications to make it as easy as possible for learners to get started and dedicated enrolment events taking place on:   

  • Crewe and Chester Campuses – Tuesday 11th January 2022  
  • Ellesmere Port Campus – Thursday 13th January 2022   

Visit www.ccsw.ac.uk/part-time-courses/ to explore the full range of courses available.   

Cheshire College secures grant under £18m Higher Technical Education Growth Fund

Passionate about driving economic growth, the largest provider of post-16 education in the region, Cheshire College, have secured over £500,000 under the £18m Higher Technical Education Growth Fund to extend and enhance their Higher Education offer, including developing facilities and buying new industry-leading equipment to support and enrich the curriculum.  

Announced by the Department for Education, the College is one of 100 educational providers who received funding from the Growth Fund to support higher-level training.  

Level 4 and 5 qualifications are central to growing the quantity and quality of higher technical education and this initiative will provide local people with greater access to high-quality alternatives to university degrees.  

Boosting the uptake and quality of Higher Technical Education – technical qualifications that sit between A Levels and degrees – and supporting individuals to study more flexibly throughout their lives is a key part of the Government’s landmark reforms to post-16 education and training. 

The funding will allow the College to purchase equipment such as Drones, Trimble Laser Scanners and Mixed Reality Headsets to support the development of higher-level curriculum.  

The Department for Education said the funding will also “help them to boost links with local businesses in key sectors such as digital, construction and healthcare”. 

Helen Nellist, Deputy Principal and Deputy CEO, said: “Cheshire College are extremely proud to offer exciting opportunities to over 11,000 learners and 1,000 Apprentices, providing them with the skills and experiences needed to excel in their future and make valuable contributions to the local economy.  

“We hear a lot about the growing demand for digital and construction skills, so we have placed great importance on developing clear pathways into these industries and continue to work closely with employers to ensure we understand and can react to their specific needs.”  

Higher Education at Cheshire College offers high-quality teaching from industry and academic professionals at a lower tuition fee with smaller class sizes to ensure learners are able to get the most out of their studies and achieve the qualification they’ve always dreamed of. With a range of courses available across subjects such as, Education, Business, Visual Arts, Construction and Engineering there’s never been a better time to Stay Near, Go Far. To find out more about Higher Education at Cheshire College click here

Upskill, retrain and future-proof your career with a part-time course at Cheshire College

Cheshire’s largest provider of post-16 education has launched a range of new part-time courses for adults to upskill, retrain and futureproof their career in a range of industries. Designed specifically to be relevant in the workplace, Cheshire College’s part-time courses aim to update learners’ knowledge and skills to ensure they reach their full career potential.   

With a focus on trying to make it as easy as possible for people to reach their goals with study that fits around their lifestyle, the College has introduced blended delivery models for adult learners to choose a study style that suits them, including face-to-face learning, remote learning or a mixture of both.   
 
Learners can choose to enrol on an array of courses as part of Cheshire College’s part-time study provision which spans across a range of departments including Business, Construction, Engineering, IT, Fitness, Health and Beauty. 

Bethany Scott, GCSE Maths learner commented: “I got my English and other grades that I needed when I left school and struggled with maths but didn’t think I would need it in the future. I have previously studied a hospitality and catering course at the College but didn’t complete the course and am now a full-time mum. I’m now doing my  Maths GCSE again as I need a higher grade than I have already to get onto an Access course to study midwifery.  

“I chose the College because it’s local, everyone is really friendly and welcoming, and I’d enjoyed being a learner here in the past. 

“The Maths GCSE is a full-year course and now I’m really enjoying studying it for the second time it. The course was a bit daunting at first and I didn’t know what it would be like being back in the classroom again. The tutor was really welcoming and I’ve made some great friends. I understand maths much more now than I did when I was at school as the tutor explains everything clearly and takes time to help everyone in the class. 

“I feel that doing a part-time course suits me better and anybody that is not academically inclined would be able to do the course due to way it is taught. 

“I feel positive about the future and I didn’t think I would enjoy it much as much as I have. Each week I get excited and motivated about coming to the course as I know this will give my son and me a better future.” 

James Eagney, Assistant Principal – Quality, Foundation English & Maths, commented: “We’re really excited about the part-time courses we’re delivering at Cheshire College this year. The courses running provide a real opportunity for adult learners to upskill and meet their educational and career goals.   
 
“Whether you’re looking to upskill or change career and retrain, we have a range of courses that have been purposefully selected to meet the demands across Cheshire and give adults within our local communities the very best possible chance of career success.” 

All of Cheshire College’s part-time courses are taught by industry professionals in real work environments and many of the qualifications could also be part-funded or even free, depending on individuals’ circumstances. 
 
Enrolment onto one of the College’s part-time course programmes has never been simpler with the introduction of online applications to make it as easy as possible for learners to get started and dedicated enrolment events taking place on:  

  • Crewe and Chester Campuses – Tuesday 11th January 2022 
  • Ellesmere Port Campus – Thursday 13th January 2022 

Visit www.ccsw.ac.uk/part-time-courses/ to explore the full range of courses available.  

Cheshire College learners inspired to achieve their goals

Learners at Cheshire College, the largest provider of post-16 education in the region, are educating and inspiring learners with initiatives designed to showcase industry careers and opportunities available through masterclasses, keynote speakers and demonstrations with leading industry partners. 

Numerous employers including Brunning & Price, Doll Beauty, ENGIE, Amplo Commercial Finance, IG Creative, Mid Chester Hospitals, Chester Zoo and many more, deliver interactive presentations and workshops to help learners develop those important transferrable skills and traits required to thrive in real work environments. 

Universities from across the UK, including Staffordshire University, The University of Manchester, University of Huddersfield, Sheffield Hallam University and Glyndwr University visit the Colleges three Campuses in Crewe, Ellesmere Port and Chester to offer personal statement, CV and interview skills drop-ins, allowing learners to gain further information, advice and guidance from admissions representatives.  

In addition, learners have recently been joined by Crewe and Nantwich MP, Dr Kieran Mullan and A Level alumni, Director of Financial Services in HM Treasury, Gwyneth Nurse who both gave motivational career talks.  

Carys Williams, A Level Politics, Criminology and Sociology learner, commented: “It was inspiring to have Kieran come into the College to learn about what he does as a politician and in his role as an MP. He was really engaging, and we were able to ask lots of questions about current issues in politics and what his view were on these. It’s also inspiring for us as A Level Politics learners to know that he has progressed to be an MP in his political career and to give us the belief that we could aspire to do the same in our future careers.” 

Ruth Szolkowska, Vice Principal of Innovation, Curriculum & Quality at Cheshire College, said: “The idea of bringing together a number of leading organisations to deliver cross-College activities really stretches the boundaries of raising aspirations.” 

“It’s vital we encourage learners to think about their futures to enable them to start developing potential career paths and we’re committed to providing them with the highest levels of support.” 

“‘It is important for us to recognise that not every career is linear and that the journey can be empowering. Change can sometimes be unsettling, but with hard-work and determination, there is nothing stopping us reaching our goals.  

“Watching our learners take regular leaps of faith into the unknown and step outside of their comfort zone is inspiring, as with uncertainty comes new experiences, opportunities and confidence.” 

With an understanding that everyone has different ways of learning Cheshire College has a range of study courses available to suit individuals’ learning styles, including Full-time Programmes, A Levels, T Levels, Apprenticeships and Higher Education courses. To find out more about Cheshire College, visit www.ccsw.ac.uk – Your Career Starts Here. 

Cheshire College launches festive Christmas card in aid of Guide Dogs UK

In aid of Guide Dog’s UK, Cheshire College have launched their 2021 Christmas card featuring part-time learner, Scott Bailey and his guide dog Milo, walking past the College’s three state-of-the-art Campuses in Crewe, Ellesmere Port and Chester, on a snowy winter night.  

Christmas cards are a great way to spread cheer and let people know you are thinking of them over the festive period, especially when it comes to loved ones that live far away and, despite living in an age of digital communication, handwritten cards remain one of the most delightful and popular traditions of the festive season.  

At the age of 27, Scott started to lose his sight after being diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy and was registered blind just three years later. As a dairy farmer by trade, Scott was unable to continue working in the industry. Scott joined Cheshire College’s Crewe Campus in 2020 to gain new skills that would help him achieve his dream of becoming a Counsellor.    

Scott and Milo are committed to raising awareness and helping others who are experiencing sight loss due to diabetes. This resulted in Scott recently being named a finalist of the Association of Colleges’ Student of the Year Awards, which celebrate learners who stand out from the crowd, have gone above and beyond, whether in college or their local community.   

The College’s Christmas card follows the release of the Guide Dog UKs heart-warming festive advert, which follows Scott and Milo as they pick and decorate their Christmas tree with family.  

Dhesi, Principal and CEO at Cheshire College commented: “Inclusivity and making education accessible to all is hugely important to us here at Cheshire College and I’m extremely proud of the high-quality support we have in place to help learners succeed, develop and progress. 

“When you speak to Scott’s tutors, the words they use to describe him are ‘kind’, ‘giving’, ‘supportive’, ‘inclusive’ and what makes him stand out from the crowd is his dedication to succeeding, not only improving himself but also empowering others to do the same.  

“I am delighted that we are able to work in collaboration with Guide Dogs UK to help raise awareness and vital funds for such an incredible cause.” 

To support Guide Dog UKs ambition of creating ‘a future where every person with sight loss has the confidence and support, they need to live their lives to the full’, all proceeds raised from the sale of Christmas cards will be donated towards their life-changing services.  

You can download a digital version of the College’s Christmas here and make an online donation can quickly and easily via the Guide Dogs UK website.  

If you are interested in studying at Cheshire College – South & West, or for more information, call 01270 654654 (Crewe Campus), 01244 656555 (Ellesmere Port & Chester Campuses), or visit www.ccsw.ac.uk - Your Career Starts Here.   

Cheshire and Warrington are winners in the £120m Institute of Technology Competition

Cheshire College, the largest provider of post-16 education in the region, have been named the lead organisation for the Cheshire and Warrington, as part of the £120m Institute of Technology (IoT) competition.  In collaboration with Warrington and Vale Royal College, Macclesfield College, Reaseheath College, University of Chester, Priestley College and employers, the region will benefit from over £13m investment.  

This partnership, involving a range of leading names from the world of business, such as Encirc, Warrington and Halton NHS Trust, Alderly Park Ltd and Case IH, will offer world-class training and education and provide the skills that employers need to keep the region at the forefront of industry developments and addressing local skills gaps.  

Dr Kieran Mullan, Member of Parliament for Crewe and Nantwich, said: “The is great news not just for young people in our area, but anyone who wants to get new skills, create new opportunities for themselves and get on in life.  

“We know we have vacancies and skills shortages and that means opportunities for people and this investment will mean our local residents are well placed to take advantage of them. This will build on the already excellent work the college is doing to support T Levels and the Lifetime Skills Guarantee which all together are pushing forward further education as a key way to level up our country.” 

Institutes of Technology are unique collaborations between employers, colleges and universities that specialise in offering high-quality Higher Technical Education and training in subjects such as advanced manufacturing, digital and cyber security, aerospace and healthcare, which will support businesses in gaining skilled workforces. 

Across the region all industries have existing employees that will require ongoing re-skilling and up-skilling because of the rising impact of automation and digitisation. The Institute will deliver world-class higher technical skills in:  Computing, Engineering, Health and Life Sciences, Agri-Tech, Construction and The Built Environment, Science and Maths.  

Those studying at the Institute will benefit from state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, providing them an ideal environment for their learning.  

Dhesi, Principal and CEO at Cheshire College commented: “We are incredibly excited to be the lead College for this project.  We aim to provide learners with the skills, experience and qualifications needed to succeed, and we are committed to working with businesses and our local communities to help ensure we are supporting our learners to take up the high-quality, high-skilled jobs needed today and in the future. 

“This is just one initiative that will enable the local economy to recover from the impact of the pandemic and get back on track to achieve ambitious development within the Cheshire and Warrington region.  I am delighted that Cheshire College is able to play a vital role in creating vibrant opportunities for the community.” 

“The IoT has been secured following a comprehensive and competitive process.  This announcement means investment in prestigious new facilities and resources across all the colleges across Cheshire and Warrington, including almost £6m for Cheshire College’s Crewe Campus.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the MPs across the region for their support and in particular Kieran Mullen MP, who has been a strong advocate for the IoT from the very beginning.” 

The Institute in Cheshire and Warrington, was one of nine Institutes of Technology announced by the Department for Education this month (December 2021), bringing the total to 21 across the country and delivering on the Government’s manifesto commitment.  

Crewe Campus

Clare Hayward MBE, Chair of Cheshire and Warrington LEP said: “I am absolutely delighted that this investment has been announced. This investment enables us to support our colleges to provide skills for the future in an inspiring environment.   

“This is a fabulous opportunity to develop and inspire young people across the region and respond to the skills gaps. I know many businesses here will also be very pleased to hear this news as our plans are as a direct result of what they have been telling us.  

“This investment enables us to support businesses across our region to build their future workforce and access the people and the skills they need to grow. This also demonstrates confidence in our region, enables us to deliver the vision and provides opportunities across the region.  We are thrilled we have been selected and this is evidence of the excellent collaboration between the colleges, businesses and the LEP.    

“This is a great endorsement for Cheshire and Warrington and something that we can really build on.” 

If you would like to know more about studying at Cheshire College – South & West visit ccsw.ac.uk – Your Career Starts Here.  

Cheshire College learner illustrates his third best-selling book!

Nurturing talent and empowering people to achieve their full potential is at the heart of Cheshire College’s ethos and one young Art & Design learner has recently seen his creative work published for a third time.  

Second Year, Level 3 Art & Design learner, Will Hawkes, teamed up with writer and editor Lorna McCann to illustrate the children’s book, ‘I Wish I Could Fly’, which hit the shelves earlier this year.  

Using pen and water colours, Will spent his summer holidays reading the script and searching for hallmarks within Lorna’s story for pointers to illustrate.  

The book, which recently climbed to #3 on Amazon’s Best Seller Chart for Children’s Books About Dogs, follows Molly and her best friend Milo as they embark on a new adventure to see if their wish of being able to fly like a bird finally comes true.  

Commenting on his College experience, Will said: “The College provides me with opportunities to explore my creative ideas and develop advanced skills in a broad range of artistic practices, as well as teaching me about how to have a successful career in the creative industries.  

“I originally joined the College in 2018 and have studied a range of courses at the Chester Campus. Over the years my confidence has improved massively, which is why I love networking and actively looking for commissions to help build as many skills as possible. 

“I am really happy that I have been able to illustrate my third book and the support I have had from tutors has been great!” 

Paul Browne, Assistant Director – Visual and Performing Arts, said: “The level of ability and creativity of all our Art & Design learners studying with us is second-to-none. It’s a real privilege to see their skills progress as they gain practical experience and explore the areas they’d like to specialise in and everyone at Cheshire College is extremely proud of Will and his achievements.” 

Starting the course with no prior experience in illustration, Will chose to study Art & Design as it was something he found interesting. Upon completion of his course, Will hopes to progress to university before starting his own freelance business.  

Home to outstanding facilities and the latest technology, including a photography studio and darkroom, TV and radio suites, 3D workshop, alongside traditional studio spaces and facilities, Cheshire College provides the perfect blend of academic and employability skills with dedicated study programmes ranging from Level 1 up to Level 6.  

Applications are now open for courses starting in September 2022. To find out more about studying Art & Design at Cheshire College, visit www.ccsw.ac.uk or register for the College’s next Open Evening which will be taking place on Monday 24th January between 5:30pm – 7pm.  – Your Career Starts Here.  

Cheshire College Construction learners gain real-world experience

Empowering business and communities to build a greener, more efficient and connected world, last week EQUANS UK and Ireland delivered 210 hours of work experience to six Cheshire College Construction learners at their new build sites in Wharton Green and Verdin.  

This real-world experience provides learners with the opportunity to learn from professionals and take part in various activities including, substructure bricklaying and slab pours, which involves insulating the brick cavities and the perimeter of the build before laying the membrane. Throughout the week, learners also gained a greater understanding of the preparation and sequence of a new build and how the materials should be applied, dependant on weather conditions. 

Working in partnership with the College since November 2020, EQUANS – the new branded for ENGIE’s regeneration and services led activities, has the mission to connect, power & protect – empowering businesses and communities to not only fully embrace the energy transition, but also the digital & industrial transitions that are also redesigning the way we move, work and live. 

Nicola Sorton, Social Value Officer at EQUANS UK & Ireland, commented: “All learners have been great. They arrived with a positive attitude and have showed commitment, adaptability and excellent practical skills. They would all make fantastic additions to the team in the future.  

“Work experience at EQUANS UK & Ireland provides learners with broader knowledge and understanding of the construction industry and showcases the range of roles available and we hope to really inspire future talent through meaningful hands-on experiences.” 

Connor Waterfield, aged 16, currently studying Level 1 Construction Skills at the College Crewe Campus, said: “I thoroughly enjoyed my work experience and I gained several new skills that I can use back in the classroom and in the future.  The work that I carried out was mainly labouring for a bricklayer and the company made me feel really welcome. I even left at the end of the week with a new set of tools!”  

Mark Parsons, Assistant Principal – Curriculum, commented: “The College views work experience as an integral part of education and we’re really pleased that our learners are able to access enjoyable and high-quality opportunities with leading employers. These real-world experiences allow learners to expand their knowledge, gain advanced knowledge in their chosen careers and make those all-important industry contacts.  

“We continue to develop our courses in partnership with employers to ensure we are always adapting to the skills industry need and I am delighted that so many of our partners continue to support the College.” 

Each year, all full-time learners must complete a minimum of 36 hours work experience, however in some instances this can be considerably more.  

To learn more about studying Construction at Cheshire College – South & West register for the College’s Open Evening which will be taking place on Monday 24th January. Attendees will be able to chat to subject specialists, find out more about courses and facilities, get guidance on applications, funding and travel, as well as take part in exciting activities designed to give a flavour of College life… Your Career Starts Here. 

Light up your future with Cheshire College

With a reputation as one of the best teaching and training facilities in the country, Cheshire College offers learners the best possible career prospects during their studies. In 2020, it is well-known that Covid19 impacted the Creative Industries massively. The initial closure and subsequent unpredictability of lockdowns has created a significantly greater skills gap than had been experienced prior to the pandemic. 

This change to the theatre industry’s workforce has consequently caused an unusually high demand for skilled workers, creating an enormous opportunity for current and future Cheshire College learners studying on Technical Theatre courses. 

The College’s Technical Theatre courses, ranging from Level 3 up to Level 6, provide learners with the practical experience they need to become fully-qualified and skilled workers, ready for a market which is currently desperate for experienced staff.  

The course, which runs at the College’s state-of-the-art Ellesmere Port Campus, teaches learners the key vocational skills which are in demand from employers and necessary to succeed within the industry. Technical Theatre courses cover a range of industry-standard skills, such as lighting and sound management, stage management, electrics, crewing and general maintenance, and our Ellesmere Port Campus is home to a fully-equipped theatre with control desks, lighting, and staging equipment.   

Former learners have achieved great success both during and after completing their courses, such as the three BA (Hons) Technical Theatre learners Francesca Blythin, Matthew Plested and Alex Vickers who recently received high praise in the Mobile Theatre review for innovation in their technical roles of ‘Home, Again’. 

Angie Berwick, Technical Theatre Tutor, commented: “As a course we have been supporting our industry partners through our network of graduates which goes back 20 years, helping them link together to fill skills gaps and employment vacancies. Learners also undertake numerous work experience placements by providing helpful support in theatres, including the Storyhouse in Chester. This is a real opportunity for learners to demonstrate their skills and understanding of industry requirements and in many cases has secured them paid employment immediately after they leave College.” 

The opportunities provided by the course’s latest partnership with the Storyhouse theatre have already proved successful. HNC learner David Jones’ impressive skill set led to the theatre providing him with an opportunity for paid employment. 

There are so many exciting career opportunities available within the Visual & Performing Arts sector, as creative careers set to soar across advanced and developing economies worldwide during the next decade thanks to the provision of emerging new technologies. 

There has never been a better time to study Technical Theatre. Applications are now open for courses starting in September 2022. To find out more, visit www.ccsw.ac.uk or register for the College’s next Open Evening which will be taking place on Monday 24th January 2022 between 5:30pm – 7pm.  - Your Career Starts Here.   

Cheshire College celebrates five medallists at the WorldSkills UK National Finals!

Last week, Cheshire College celebrated the success of five learners at this year’s WorldSkills UK National finals, which was hosted virtually by TV presenter Steph McGovern from her Channel 4 Packed Lunch studio. 

The medal ceremony concluded the 64 competitions which took place between the 9th-19th November, where the event saw more than 470 learners compete across the UK over the two-week period. 

Five Cheshire College learners each won a bronze medal in their respective categories, including 3D Digital Game Art, Graphic Design, Nail Technician and Restaurant Service. 

Medallists included: 

  • Keanu Dowsett – 3D Digital Game Art 
  • Ella Banks – Graphic Design 
  • Samantha Reid-Masters – Nail Technician 
  • Lauren Robertson – Nail Technician 
  • Lauren Jones – Restaurant Service 

Jenni Waddington also gained highly commended status in the Fitness Trainer category.  

Learners underwent a seven-month process of regional heats and intensive training before stepping up their skills to compete against the best of the best earlier this month, placing the College 10th on the organisational league table.  

Ella Banks, former Shavington Academy learner joined the College in 2020 to study A Level Art, Graphic Design and Photography. Reflecting on her WorldSkills UK journey, Ella said: “It was such a good experience! I made so many friends while I was there and gained a greater understanding of working to a real brief. I loved every single minute of the competition and can’t thank my tutors enough for all of the support.”  

Dhesi, Principal and CEO, commented: ‘’We’re extremely proud of our learners and their achievements. They have all shown their determination and hard work in both their preparation and success in this event. Massive congratulations to the learners and the many colleagues who have provided endless support and guidance over so many months.” 

WorldSkills UK competitions are designed by experts to be highly competitive, assessing numerous abilities, including practical skills, knowledge and employability against a set of strict criteria. The competition is designed to encourage, inspire ambition, push for excellence and equip entrants with world-class skills. 

If you are interested in studying at Cheshire College – South & West, or for more information, call 01270 654654 (Crewe Campus), 01244 656555 (Ellesmere Port & Chester Campuses), or visit www.ccsw.ac.uk – Your Career Starts Here.

Cheshire College learner named an Adult Student of the Year finalist in prestigious AoC Awards

Part-time Cheshire College learner, Scott Bailey, has been named a finalist of the Association of Colleges’ Student of the Year Awards – Adult Student of the Year category. The annual awards celebrate learners who stand out from the crowd, have gone above and beyond, whether in college or their local community.  

At the age of 27, Scott started to lose his sight after being diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy and was registered blind just three years later. As a dairy farmer by trade, Scott was unable to continue working in the industry. Scott joined Cheshire College’s Crewe Campus in 2020 to gain new skills that would help him achieve his dream of becoming a Counsellor.   

Scott and his guide dog, Milo, are committed to raising awareness and helping others who are experiencing sight loss due to diabetes. Sharing his experience of how his life has been transformed since being matched with Milo and returning to education, Scott recently featured on ITV’s This Morning and earlier this month hit the screens as part of Guide Dog UK’s new festive advert. 

Scott commented: “When I found out I was shortlisted I was taken aback and felt a little overwhelmed, but most of all I felt extremely proud of all my achievements. This is just a small milestone in my journey of inspiring other people with a disability to follow their dreams.”  

Dhesi, Principal and CEO at Cheshire College, said: “Scott is a remarkable learner with an inspiring story. Scott’s exceptional journey demonstrates the power of education and what can be achieved with the right attitude, drive and ambition. When you speak to Scott’s tutors, the words they use to describe him are ‘kind’, ‘giving’, ‘supportive’, ‘inclusive’ and what makes him stand out from the crowd is his dedication to succeeding, not only improving himself but also empowering others to do the same. We are incredibly proud of his achievements!”  

Sally Dicketts, President of the Association of Colleges, said: “The Student of the Year Awards rightly shine a light on individuals who have made a significant impact in their college and/or community. It is incredible to hear the inspirational stories of the adult finalists and the fantastic work they are doing in their college and they should be extremely proud of their achievements.”  

The finalists were announced at the Association of Colleges’ Annual Conference in Birmingham, which showcases the ways that colleges are transforming the lives of more than two million people across England and how vital colleges are to the future of the British economy in the 21st Century.  

The judging panel was made up of members of the AoC Charitable Trust Board and AoC President. All the judges were very impressed by the variety of inspirational stories and the success achieved by the learners. 

As the largest provider of post-16 education in the region with Campuses in Crewe, Ellesmere Port and Chester, Cheshire College has over 11,000 learners and 1,000 Apprentices and works with more than 500 local, national and international employers to offer offers a range of courses from Entry Level to Level 7. To find out more visit www.ccsw.ac.uk – Your Career Starts Here. 

Cheshire College celebrates the success of 17 learners at historic annual Freemen and Guilds Awards

Last night (Wednesday 24th November 2021), Cheshire College – South and West celebrated the academic and personal achievements of 17 remarkable learners from across the region at the annual Freemen and Guild Awards. 

The Freemen and Guilds Awards began 50 years ago in 1968, however the Guilds have been associated with the recruitment and training of Apprentices for centuries. The prizes are seen as a renewal of a historic bond between the Guilds and Education, as well as a symbol of encouragement and esteem for young people.  

The Freemen and Guilds of Chester are made up of 23 companies, including the Joiners and Carvers, the Saddlers and Curriers, the Cappers, Pinners, Wiredrawers and Linen Drapers, and the Barber Surgeons, Wax and Tallow Chandlers Company. 

The awards mark the learners’ accomplishments, many of whom have exceeded expectations or made significant impacts on their course. Winners included Apprentices, day, part-time and full-time learners, reflecting the diverse nature of the College.  

Alren Moulton, Level 3 Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair learner, who received the Saddlers and Curriers Awards, commented: “I really appreciate being considered for this award. Sometimes when you go to larger award ceremonies at school, you don’t always win something, so it was a complete surprise to me to be chosen for this, and considering that not many learners receive these awards, it feels extra-special. I really enjoyed being at the event and the award has made me feel that all the hard work has been worth it.” 

Award winners and their guests arrived at the ceremony to be greeted by Hospitality and Catering learners serving a selection of delicious drinks and canapes, made by learners.  

Dhesi, Principal and CEO at Cheshire College, added: “Our relationship with the Freemen and Guilds of Chester is more important than ever as our nation’s economy is in need of more and more vocationally skilled people.  

“All winners have been selected to receive an award because they have exceeded expectation, shown commitment and passion to their programme of study and their chosen industry, as well as demonstrated outstanding levels of achievement. So, huge congratulations to the 17 award winners!” 

Full list of the evening’s winners: 

14-16 Pre-Apprentice Award for Outstanding Achievement 

  • Aaron Williams, Engineering Technology Foundation Certificate – Level 1 – EAL (14-16) 

Ancient and Worshipful Company of Bricklayers Award 

  • Luke Bennett, Bricklaying Diploma – Level 2 – C&G 

Bakers Award 

  • Martin Herridge, Professional Cookery (Cookery and Patisserie) NVQ Diploma – Level 3 – C&G 

Barber Surgeons, Wax and Tallow Chandlers Co Award 

  • Hadassah Sidwell, Diploma Women’s Hairdressing – Level 3 - C&G 

Butchers Award 

  • Joseph Pickstock, Professional Cookery (Cooking and Patisserie) NVQ Diploma – Level 3 – C&G 

Cappers, Pinners, Wierdrawers and Linendrapers Award 

  • Tess Roxburgh, Fashion Business and Retail Extended Diploma – Level 3 - UAL 

Clothworkers, Walkers and Masons Company Award 

  • Charlotte Ireland, Art and Design Practice (Photography) BTEC National Diploma - Level 3 – EDEXCEL 

Coopers Company Award 

  • Ryan Shaw, Engineering Technologies Extended Diploma – Level 3 – EAL 

Innholders, Cooks and Victuallers Company Award  

  • Finn Kinsella, Professional Cookery Diploma – Level 2 – C&G 

Joiners and Carvers Company Award 

  • Kenan Paso, Site Carpentry Diploma – Level 2 – C&G 

Ladies’ Section of the Freeman and Guilds Awards 

  • Stephanie Evans, Childcare and Education (Early Years) Technical Diploma – Level 3 – CACHE/NCFE 

Mercers, Ironmongers, Grocers and Apothecaries - Pharmacy Award 

  • Sebastian Riley, Applied Science (Forensic) BTEC National Extended Diploma – Level 3 – EDEXCEL 

Mercers, Ironmongers, Grocers and Apothecaries Award – Ironmongers Award 

  • Owen Brookes, Engineering Technologies Extended Diploma – Level 3 – EAL 

Painters, Glaziers, Embroiderers and Stationers Award 

  • Tabitha Smallthwaite, Art and Design Practice BTEC National Extended Diploma – Level 3 – EDEXCEL 

Saddlers and Curriers Award 

  • Arlen Moulton, Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Principles Diploma – Level 3 – IMI 

Smiths, Cutlers and Plumbers Award 

  • Laura Chilton, Plumbing Diploma – Level 2 – C&G 

Weavers Award 

  • Cagla Dogan, Art and Design Practice BTEC National Diploma – Level 3 – EDEXCEL 

If you are interested in studying at Cheshire College – South & West, or for more information, call 01270 654654 (Crewe Campus), 01244 656555 (Ellesmere Port & Chester Campuses), or visit www.ccsw.ac.uk  

Re-shaping and nurturing our future workforce – What role do Apprenticeships play?

As part of Colleges Week 2021 – a chance to celebrate and shout about all of the brilliant things that colleges do, day in and day out, to build communities, boost businesses and support individuals, we caught up with Karen Roberts to find out more about how Cheshire College are addressing skills and employment gaps and inspiring people of all ages. Here’s what she had to say…

At Cheshire College we find ourselves working collaboratively with over 500 employer partners to assist them with their recruitment processes, how they design and deliver apprenticeships and upskills their workforce.  

As we navigate into a post-pandemic world, addressing skills and employment gaps and inspiring people of all ages is my teams’ top priority and I truly believe Apprenticeships play a vital role in how re-shape and nurture our future workforce.  

Apprenticeships have always been a passion of mine. Apprentices can bring new perspectives to a business, help increase productivity, bring fresh ideas… I could go on and on! And this year, employers taking on a new apprentice could receive an incentive payment of up to £4,000 per apprentice with full control over how this is spent.  

Funktion Events, event management specialist based in Chester have grown their entire workforce through Apprenticeships over the last six years and even their Managing Director started out as an apprentice. With year-on-year sustainable growth and excellent staff recruitment, they now operate across the whole of the UK and in 37 overseas cities. Earlier this week I caught up with Holly Clapshaw, Marketing Manager, who started her career as an Apprentice. Here’s what she had to say about her experience… 

“Our entire business is filled with successful Apprentices! For the company, having an Apprentice means you’re hiring someone willing to learn and develop professionally and personally. This creates a thriving working environment and keeps the business fresh, which is really important in the events industry when everything is ever-changing. 

“For the individual, it’s a great opportunity to learn whilst also gaining a lot of responsibility at such a young age. By having everyone go through the Apprenticeship first, there’s plenty of help and reinforcement for new Apprentices through mentors. Also, it’s encouraging to see other staff members who’ve achieved their goals through the same Apprenticeship course and college as yourself.” 

Taking advantage of the Government’s incentive is a fantastic opportunity for businesses and employees to become more resilient and competitive after a challenging two years. Funktion Events are just one example of the impact an Apprentice, or several Apprentices, can have within a business and I’m delighted we’ve been able to support them in growing their business through our Apprenticeship provision.  

At Cheshire College we are extremely proud of our employer partnerships and value our relationships with employers. I would encourage all businesses to spend time researching Apprenticeships, the benefits of them and to take advantage of the incentives available.  

I would love to chat with any business currently exploring apprenticeships and those that have climbed the ladder following an apprenticeship!”

Cheshire College learners showcase skills at T Level Launch Events

This week Cheshire College, the largest provider of post-16 education in the region, celebrated the launch of new T Level programmes at their three Campuses in Crewe, Ellesmere Port and Chester.  

The event, which spanned 3 evenings, provided an opportunity for learners, tutors, employer partners and stakeholders to take part in demonstrations, find out more about the opportunities available to T Level learners on successful completion of their course, enjoy refreshments prepared by the College’s award-winning Academy Restaurant and more.  

Dhesi, Principal and CEO at Cheshire College, commented: “It has been a fantastic week celebrating our new T Level programmes and welcoming so many friends, families and partners in to showcase our world-class teaching and learning facilities.  

“Studying a T Level at Cheshire College provides young people with a fantastic opportunity to thrive in their chosen subject whilst learning what a real career in the industry they’re hoping to join is truly like.”

Richard Caufield, Area Director (North West) and National Mental Health Lead at the Association of Colleges, said: “It was a pleasure to be a part of Cheshire College’s T Level launch event and to meet the learners who are currently following the new T Levels the College has recently introduced. It was enlightening to talk to learners who spoke so enthusiastically about their courses and what they are learning, and how they are planning for their future careers as skilled professionals. I truly believe that, with the support of employers, T Levels are essential to take the national skills agenda forward in training the UK’s future workforce.” 

L-R: Ruth Szolkowska, Vice Principal (Innovation, Curriculum & Quality), Dhesi, Princpial and CEO, Richard Caufield, Area Director (North West) and National Mental Health Lead at the Association of Colleges and Helen Nellist, Deputy Principal and Deputy CEO

Equivalent to three A Levels and comprising of 20% on-the-job work placement, T Levels have been designed with employers to help young people develop the knowledge, attitude and practical skills to thrive in the workplace and for one learner at Cheshire College, starting on the new course will take them one step closer to achieving their dream job. 

At the heart of each T Level programme is an extended work placement of at least 45 days which will provide learners with the important industry experience they need to further develop their skills and progress on to a higher-level apprenticeship, degree course or into employment.   

A range of employers including, Virtalis, Leighton Hospital, Input Squared, Balfour Beatty, TJM Projects, Kids Planet Day Nursery, Baywater Healthcare, Russell IPM and Changing Education, attended the launch event to provide learners and their parents with an opportunity to find out more about work placements and the core, knowledge and skills that underpin many jobs within industry.  

Cheshire College is one of a limited selection of colleges chosen by the government to offer the following T Levels from September 2021:  

  • Construction 
  • Digital 
  • Science and Health 
  • Education and Childcare 

And the following T Levels from September 2022: 

  • Business and Administration 
  • Engineering and Manufacturing 

Applications are now open for courses starting September 2022. To learn more about T Levels at Cheshire College visit ccsw.ac.uk or register for the College’s next Open Evening which will be taking place on Tuesday 23rd November between 5:30pm – 8pm.  

Cheshire College delivers digital careers workshops at local high school

Committed to enhancing young people’s digital skills for the future, this week, Cheshire College has visited The Bishops’ Blue Coat Church of England High School to deliver exciting workshops and showcase state-of-the-art technology, including handheld scanners, iPads with the latest software and a life-size 3D robot.

Left-right: Simonetta Pearce, School Partnerships Co-ordinator, Iain McCluskey, Media & Games Tutor and Gemma Kirk, Media Make-Up Tutor

As the largest provider of post-16 education in the region, Cheshire College is on a mission to support the community with their five-year project, ‘The Digital Hub’, which has been designed specifically to boost digital skills, enhance career pathways and develop confidence across communities with increased access to technology.   

The College’s School Partnership Team and expert lecturers delivered interactive and exciting digital skill workshops to 180 Year 10 pupils throughout the day, which demonstrated the versatile use of technology and extensive range of career pathways in a number of industries, including, Construction, Engineering, Media & Games, Science, Sport and Media Make-Up.  

Jordan Swift, Director of Marketing and School Partnerships at Cheshire College, commented: “The College is extremely passionate about providing young people with access to engaging educational experiences. It is inspiring watching pupils’ imagination and creativity when we visit schools to showcase a range of digital technologies and I am delighted that Cheshire College gets to play such a crucial role in empowering future generations.”  

Andrew Hardman, Careers Lead at The Bishops’ Blue Coat Church of England High School, said: “The Digital Hub was an opportunity to provide our pupils with up-to-date information about a wide variety of careers in the digital world. Pupils have developed an understanding of the exciting opportunities that are available and can now use this knowledge to inform their choices in the future.” 

‘The Digital Hub’ project has been formed as part of a £5 million programme of investment that has prioritised Cheshire College as one of the further education providers in the region best placed to deliver digital and STEM-related training and education.   

The project comprises four main strands:  

  • Digital Doorstep: delivering skills and career pathways through the use of portable,  entry-level equipment in local schools, colleges and businesses 
  • Project 4.0: focusing on digital skills in the workplace with an emphasis on improving Advanced Manufacturing Skills  
  • Stream: facilitating access to technology within community organisations to raise awareness and develop confidence in digital applications  
  • ACT: driving collaboration between colleges and employers to develop, commercialise and promote digital technologies and skills training for construction, nuclear and allied industries  

To find out more about’ The Digital Hub’ and how your school, business or local community can get involved, email employers@ccsw.ac.uk or call 01270 654638 (Crewe Campus) / 01244 656455 (Ellesmere Port and Chester Campuses).  

2 Years, 2 Conclusions, 2 Initiatives! Why is Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) more important than ever?

As part of Colleges Week 2021 – a chance to celebrate and shout about all of the brilliant things that colleges do, day in and day out, to build communities, boost businesses and support individuals, we caught up with Jordan Swift, Director of Marketing and School Partnerships to find out more about why and what Cheshire College is doing to help young people navigate and enrich their career planning. Here’s what she had to say…

“Like many colleges across the country, last week marked the much anticipated first on-Campus Open Evening in nearly 2 years.  

As much as we have embraced the benefits of digital recruitment and know that we could not have navigated the last 18-months without it, I do need to confess that I was relieved to finally be in a position to meet with prospective learners face-to-face. 

Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) now has digital streams running through its core. It was clear to see at our Open Evening the impact the Covid19 pandemic has had on current Year 11s in their access to experiences that support and enrich their career planning.  

Like many careers teams across the country, our approach and innovation has been fast-tracked and all colleagues worked tirelessly to support young people in navigating their careers decisions at a time when the job market, university offers and Apprenticeship provision were changing at the speed of light.  

Don’t get me wrong, for all of my working life in education, young people have walked through our doors at an Open Evening and looked petrified to say, “I have no idea what I want to do next!” This is always the most common response from 15-year-olds. What was concerning, when delving deeper into conversations, is they had no toolkit to help them navigate their way and no experiences to draw upon to start to fine tune their career options.  

Within my team, I am fortunate to have some very experienced, and skilled Careers Advisors and between us we have over 80 years of experience. Despite this, collectively we agree that we’ve never been busier at an event!  

During our de-brief the next day, our focus shifted to why and what can we do to help.  

We came to 2 conclusions. Whilst we know locally, across the Cheshire region, many people have switched to Zoom video calls with employers, online Q&As and virtual work placements, all of which are a valued part of any careers programme… they don’t always work in coordination with access to experience, time to explore, reflect and review skills and strengths, the opportunity to, on occasion, put yourself out of your comfort zone, to feel the experience of walking into a workplace, greet a stranger and have access to one-to-one careers advice. One quite simply doesn’t work without the other.  

So, what next? Similar to other teams, resource and time are precious commodities, so we have to think smart, whilst still ensuring we have an impact. After much discussion, we landed on 2 new initiatives:  

  • Develop bitesize videos aimed at parents supporting their young person to explore jobs. Many parents come to us, wanting to help but just not knowing where to start and what resources to use. 
  • Introduce twilight, group careers guidance sessions for Year 11 pupils, aimed at 3-6 young people each evening exploring careers resources, asking questions, identifying skills and likes.”

10 Cheshire College learners successfully qualify for WorldSkills UK finals

10 Cheshire College learners have successfully qualified for the WorldSkills UK finals after taking part in rigorous competitive qualifying rounds against learners from training providers across the country.   

WorldSkills UK competitions are designed by experts to be highly competitive, assessing numerous abilities, including practical skills, knowledge and employability against a set of strict criteria. The competition is designed to encourage, inspire ambition, push for excellence and equip entrants with world-class skills. 

18-year-old, Keanu Dowsett, joined Cheshire College instead of staying on at sixth form after his GCSEs and this September, progressed onto a HNC Creative Media Production course at the College’s Chester Campus. Keanu said: “I first heard about the WorldSkills competition when I joined the College back in 2019. I am truly grateful for the tutors that encouraged me to get involved. It is a great opportunity for me to develop my skills and a unique experience to add to my CV. I will be spending the new few weeks preparing to compete in the National Finals. Hopefully I do well, I am certainly going to give it my best shot!” 

Keanu Dowsett, HNC Creative Media Production

Jennifer Waddington, from Ellesmere Port, recently completed her Level 3 Gym Instructing and Personal Training course. Talking about her WorldSkills experience to date, Jennifer said: “The entire experience has been so refreshing! It is really important to me that I inspire others pursuing a career in the fitness industry and WorldSkills has given me a platform to build my confidence and showcase my skills.  

“My tutors have been there every step of the way, they are amazing and the opportunity to compete has allowed me to grow my network with other like-minded individuals. I can’t wait to see what the finals bring!  

Ruth Szolkowska, Vice Principal – Innovation, Curriculum and Quality, commented: “We’re extremely proud of our learners and their achievements. Competing in the finals is an opportunity for our learners to showcase their specialist skills on a national stage and benchmark themselves against the very best in the country. What they have achieved so far reflects their commitment and dedication to their respective career paths and I, on behalf of everyone at the College, wish them every success.” 

Each year WorldSkills has a real impact on those taking part, with 90% of previous entrants saying their career progression improved after competing and 86% stating their personal and employability skills had improved. 

The College’s team of 10 will be joining over 400 other finalists to compete for gold, silver and bronze medals, which will be taking place at 25 venues across the UK from 9-19 November 2021.  The winners will be crowned at a ceremony hosted by TV Presenter Steph McGovern from her Channel 4 ‘Packed Lunch’ Studio on Friday 26 November 2021.  

Full list of finalists: 

  • Keanu Dowsett, 3D Digital Game Art 
  • Lily Burt, Commercial Make-Up 
  • Ivan Barzev, Culinary Arts 
  • ️Jenni Waddington, Fitness Trainer – Personal Training  
  • Gabriela Pawlicka, Graphic Design 
  • Ella Banks, Graphic Design 
  • Samantha Reid Masters, Nail Technician  
  • Lauren Robertson, Nail Technician 
  • Leah Castleton, Restaurant Service  
  • Lauren Jones, Restaurant Service  

As the largest provider of post-16 education in the region with Campuses in Crewe, Ellesmere Port and Chester, Cheshire College has over 11,000 learners and 1,000 Apprentices and works with more than 500 local, national and international employers to offer offers a range of courses from Entry Level to Level 7. To find out more visit www.ccsw.ac.uk – Your Career Starts Here.