News

Experts join forces to help people find employment

Cheshire College – South & West have launched several Sector-based Work Academies in collaboration with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to help local people find employment.  

More than 75 learners have undertaken an intensive week of training, which included a combination of qualifications, workshops and employer engagement. This innovative programme is designed for the recruitment of Job Coaches, with interviews later this month.  

The programmes have been developed by leading practitioners at the College and JobCentre Plus, based on the needs of the local market and job opportunities within the area.  

The programmes are being delivered remotely, via the College’s virtual learning platforms. This flexible approach ensures that any barriers to accessing education are removed, guaranteeing that learners have the support they need to improve their skills and find employment.  

Feedback from learners has emphasised the success so far, with several commenting on the “informative and well-presented theory”, alongside “supportive and motivating tutors”.  

One learner said: “This has been a real eye-opening experience. The course surpassed my expectations and was extremely interesting. I cannot thank the College and DWP enough for their support. I am more motivated than ever to see what the future holds.”  

Working in partnership to bring together expert services, the Sector-based Work Academies are designed to offer a personalised service, providing all the support, learning and skills needed to move into sustained employment.  

A representative at DWP, said: “The feedback we have had from learners is a testament to the College and the experts delivering high-quality training and education.  

“I am thrilled that our long-standing relationship with the College continues to thrive and that this project has had a positive impact on our local community, which is at the heart of everything we do.” 

Helen Nellist, Deputy Principal and Deputy CEO commented: “It is great to be a part of such collaborative work with DWP Job Centres, helping people from a range of backgrounds access employment opportunities.  

“Our ambition is to develop more opportunities linked to job outcomes for local residents in partnership with DWP over the coming months in order to improve employment opportunities in the local area.” 

For more information email info@ccsw.ac.uk or call 01244 656499.  

Cheshire College at the forefront of training aspiring young engineers

Cheshire College – South & West have teamed up with Scottish Power, the world leader in wind energy to offer training opportunities to aspiring young engineers.  

The Scottish Power Engineering Pre-Apprenticeship Programme is available to young people aged 16–19, providing a great foundation and valuable first step into the challenging and rewarding engineering industry, equipping them with the knowledge and relevant experience to enhance their skill set and employability. 

Ellis Skarratts-Jackson, 19, from the Wirral, is one of many learners on the Pre-Apprenticeship Programme last year. 

Ellis said: “I left school looking for something different. I wanted to gain experience alongside qualifications, so the Scottish Power Engineering Pre-Apprenticeship Programme was perfect for me. 

“Throughout the programme, I got to train with experts at the College and Scottish Power which enhanced my knowledge and practical skills – each week I learnt something new!  

“The course has helped me focus my future career goals and opened up a wide range of exciting Engineering opportunities for me to pursue.” 

As part of the course learners attend training sessions with Scottish Power at their training centre and at the end of the course may be offered a place on their apprentice programme. 

Learners will also receive a monthly allowance of £200 as a contribution towards travel and any course expenses. 

All the training provided as part of the programme will last for six months as learners work towards nationally recognised qualifications. 

Following a close and collaborative partnership with Scottish Power over the past 10 years, the College is thrilled to be helping train new budding Engineers.  

Karen Roberts, Assistant Principal – Apprenticeships and Employer Engagement, commented: “The Scottish Power Engineering Pre-Apprenticeship Programme is designed and delivered by industry professionals and our learners are provided with knowledge and skills that will enhance their careers. 

“With energy skills in high demand, we are excited to working in partnership with local employers to grow fresh talent and are delighted that we can offer opportunities through pre-apprenticeship programmes.” 

If you are highly motivated and have a willingness to learn with a positive attitude, this course could be ideal for you.  

For more information visit www.ccsw.ac.uk or email apprenticeships@ccsw.ac.uk.  

Get in, stand out at Cheshire College

Cheshire College – South & West will be hosting their first Virtual Open Evening of the upcoming academic year on Monday 5 October 2020.  

Attending an Open Day is an important part of deciding whether Cheshire College is right for you. This year, there will be more opportunities than ever before to find out everything you need to know about joining Team CCSW. 

During the Virtual Open Day you’ll be able to discover the College’s state-of-the-art facilities, excellent range of support services and even chat with expert teams.  

Staff and current learners from across the College will be leading a range of live presentations and demonstrations that aim to provide a better insight of what it would be like as a learner at the College.  

Dhesi, Principal and CEO, commented: “The majority of our current learners studying with us started their journey here at College after attending one of our Open Events.  

“This year we have developed a new and exciting applicant journey, to ensure there are multiple opportunities for learners to find out all the information they need to make informed decisions, including Experience Events and Campus Tours. 

“As one of the leading training providers for young people, adults and Apprentices across the Cheshire region, everyone can benefit from the advice and guidance available from our teams.” 

Whether you are interested in studying a Full-time Course, A Levels, T Levels, a Higher Education Course or an Apprenticeship, our Virtual Open Day is an event not to miss. 

Click here to secure your place today.

Cheshire College set to fast track learners’ careers with the next level qualification

Cheshire College – South & West is the only College in Cheshire set to fast track learners’ careers with the next level qualification.

The College was chosen by the Government to offer the following T Levels from September 2021:

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

In addition, the College will also be offering the following T Levels from September 2022:

  • Management and Administration
  • Design and Development
  • Manufacturing, Processing and Control
  • Maintenance, Installation and Repair

The College will be amongst the first to introduce the new technical qualifications, which are primarily aimed at learners aged 16 to 18 years.

T Levels are part of the Government’s flagship reforms to technical education in England. During the two-year programme, learners will spend 80% of their time learning and honing their skills within industry standard workshops and state-of-the-art classrooms. An additional 20% will be spent on an industrial placement with an employer.

Dhesi, Principal and CEO, commented: “We are delighted to be delivering T Levels from September 2021. Providing young people with the right skills and experience to succeed in their future careers is more important than ever, and T Levels will play a vital role in vocational learning.”

The two-year qualifications will become one of the main options for learners after completing their GCSEs, alongside Vocational pathways, A Levels and Apprenticeships.

If you are interested in studying at Cheshire College – South & West, or for more information, visit ccsw.ac.uk.

Cheshire College supporting employers to recruit talented individuals

Cheshire College – South & West are delighted to be helping provide individuals and employers with the skills needed over the long term and prevent skills shortages. 

The Government have officially launched its new £2 billion Kickstart Scheme, which aims to create thousands of new jobs for young people.  

The Scheme provides funding to employers, allowing them to create new 6-month job placements for young people, allowing them to build their experience and move into sustained employment.  

Businesses of all sizes looking to develop quality jobs can apply and there is no cap on the number of places.  

Amongst other local businesses, the College is working in collaboration with Brunning and Price, offering young people a chance to explore opportunities within the Hospitality industry, whilst strengthening their employability.  

Helen Nellist, Deputy Principal and Deputy CEO, commented: “There are several fantastic developments happening across the vast array of industries and I am thrilled that the College is able to support the initiatives, ensuring new opportunities are available to everyone that lives and works in Cheshire. 

“The College is extremely passionate about connecting businesses with talented individuals, allowing businesses to harness appropriate skills and support, allowing them to develop an agile workforce. 

“There are young people ready and waiting to secure employment and Cheshire College has a dedicated team to support the whole process. Together we can support the skills-led plan and help our region recover.” 

The College can also help employers secure up to £3,000 for each new apprentice hired between 1 August 2020 and 31 January 2021, following the Government’s increase in incentive payments.  

The benefits to hiring an apprentice can be huge, including: 

  • Keep or develop your competitive advantage 
  • Increase productivity and efficiency 
  • Aid employee satisfaction and retention 
  • Tackle the skills shortage 
  • Reduced recruitment costs 
  • Future proof your business 

Cheshire College – South & West works with over 500 local, national and international employers, providing a whole host of services to benefit businesses and has an extensive record of success. 

For more information, email employers@ccsw.ac.uk or call 01244 656499.  

Cheshire College launches new Part-time Courses

Cheshire College – South & West launch new part-time courses designed to meet the needs of local communities.

For adult learners looking to develop new skills or gain professional qualifications, the College have launched new part-time courses to help update your skills and knowledge.

The new additions to the 2020/21 courses, complement the current provision at the College.  Covering everything from Photography, Bakery & Patisserie to Gel nail polish – sure to be a hit for the creatives. For those who are looking to get ahead in their career, courses include, Accounting, Fitness instructing, Principles of Customer Service and much more.

The variety of course lengths and times, and the flexible and blended delivery models, makes it easier for learners to choose a course that fits around their work and lifestyle. From day classes to year-long qualifications, at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels, there is something to suit everyone.

There are lots of new options for funding too. For adult learners aged 19 or over, who wish to study a qualification at Level 3 or above, the 19+ Advanced Learner Loan could help, and the tuition fee for some courses could be waived, depending on your circumstances.

In addition, for learners earning under £17,004, some qualification courses may even be fully funded.

If you are interested in studying at Cheshire College – South & West, or for more information, visit www.ccsw.ac.uk.

How Cheshire College Apprentice continued to help friendships blossom during the Pandemic

For children, making friends is a vital part of growing up and an essential part of their social and emotional development.

Studies have found that friendships enable children to learn more about themselves and develop their own identity.

Alicia Horridge, 24, Nantwich, studying a Level 2 Children and Young People’s Workforce Apprenticeship at Smarties Smartcare Ltd and Cheshire College – South & West, is one of many learners that continued to support children over past months.

Alicia commented: “This entire experience has been overwhelming. When I first walked into the nursery, I felt all kinds of emotions. However, after catching up with colleagues and all the children, I was amazed at how quickly I had forgotten about what was happening in the world around us.

“It has been vital that children received care and education during what has been an extremely unsettling period for everyone. At Smarties we have been operating on a limited capacity, which has given us a rare and unique opportunity to provide greater support and attention, which has led to the children developing long lasting friendships – an essential part of their development.

“The resilience of key workers has been astonishing. Working in the early years sector and with young children during the pandemic has been a time of worry but ultimately it continues to remind me what a privilege it is. I really do love my job!”

Alicia plans to continue her successful journey in the Early Years sector later this year when she completes her Apprenticeship.

Karen Roberts, Assistant Principal – Apprenticeships and Employer Engagement, commented: “Alicia is an exemplary learner, she embodies exactly what you need to work in the Early Years sector.

“As a College, we get to see Apprentices rise to the top of their industries with leading organisations, thanks to the outstanding programmes we have available.

“Alicia is compassionate and hardworking and should be extremely proud of her achievements.”

To find out more about being 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.

Cheshire College’s partnership with CREATE Education elevates their Hospitality and Catering courses

Earlier this year, as part of a fantastic collaboration between the College, CREATE Education, Ultimaker and Makyu, the Hospitality and Catering Department secured the temporary provision of a 3D Printer, Structur3D Paste Extruder and Makyu FormBox. Assistant Principal of Curriculum, Mark Parsons, was instrumental in developing the partnership, ensuring learners have access to innovative technologies.

The 3D Printer was used to print out bespoke models which are then turned into plastic food preparation moulds
using the Makyu FormBox. The models are then used to develop a wide variety of modern edible creations, including an Academy ‘Snickers’ chocolate bar.

Shane Guildford, Hospitality and Catering Lecturer, commented: “The really amazing part is that some of the layers of the desserts were actually 3D printed too – fully edible food items! Our innovative collaboration with CREATE Education has elevate hospitality and food innovation to another level. We at Cheshire College were extremely grateful to CREATE for this amazing opportunity.”

This project has engaged learners and raised aspirations throughout the year.

For more information or to enrol on a Hospitality and Catering course, please call 01270 654654 (Crewe Campus) / 01244 656555 (Ellesmere Port and Chester Campuses) or email info@ccsw.ac.uk.

A Level learners journey to success

Cheshire College welcomed back their A Level learners to celebrate their success. The College was filled with excitement, as learners arrived to collect their results, despite what has been a challenging year.

Learners at the College achieved a 98.5% pass rate, with over 22 subjects receiving 100% pass rate, marking two decades of astonishing achievements.

Once again, we proudly celebrate our learners securing places at the country’s top universities including University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, University of Warwick, Durham University, University of Edinburgh and University of York.

Dylan Savage collected a set of stunning results, achieving A* A* A* A A in, English Literature, History, EPQ, Mathematics and Philosophy, Ethics and Religious Studies. Dylan, 18, from Crewe, will be progressing on to study Philosophy and Theology at the University of Oxford.

Dylan said: “I have loved every second of my time at College and today has definitely been the highlight. I can’t stop smiling.

“Staff always put learners at the heart of what they do. There is never a moment when you don’t feel supported.

“The atmosphere at the College is great, everyone is so friendly. I am not just leaving with amazing grades; I have made friends for life. 

“I cannot wait to start the next step of my journey at the University of Oxford.”

Amongst those celebrating was straight-A learner, Katie Quirk, who has secured a place to study Medicine at The University of Sheffield. Katie, 18, from Nantwich, achieved A A A in Biology, Chemistry and History.

Katie said: “I am so pleased with my results and cannot wait to start my adventure at the University of Sheffield.

“My time at the College has been unforgettable. The expert staff are dedicated to delivering engaging lessons, everyone is extremely supportive and the atmosphere is vibrant.”

Helena Curtis, A Level Teacher, commented: “I am gleaming with pride, our learners are truly inspirational.

“All learners have gone above and beyond, both academically and personally, to reach their goals and the hard work has certainly paid off.”

Dhesi, Principal and CEO commented: “I am absolutely thrilled with what our learners have achieved this year.

“Their success reflects what is unique about Cheshire College – South & West, extraordinary learners demonstrating an inspiring work ethic, drive and ambition, with the care and guidance of their incredible teachers, support staff and parents.

“Whilst there is much speculation and coverage around the results process this year, we must not let this distract us from challenges that all learners have overcome, and this cornerstone moment of their transition from education into higher level study or employment.

“It has been humbling to watch the College community rise to recent challenges and continue to raise aspirations.

“The dedication and adaptability of our team in moving to virtual learning earlier this year has been exemplary. This commitment and passion has allowed learners to move into the next stage of their journey with the skills, knowledge and confidence to succeed.

“I am proud that Cheshire College has been able to play a part in our learners success to date and also a small part in who they will become in the future.

“We look forward to following their journey and wish them every success.”

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

Extraordinary times calls for extraordinary acts of kindness

It is often the small gestures that we overlook and take for granted and more recently our resolve and resilience has been tested like never before.  

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Cheshire College – South & West have continued to support local businesses and communities surrounding their three Campuses in Crewe, Ellesmere Port and Chester.  

Over the past 100 days, staff and learners at the College have gone above and beyond, from volunteering, fundraising and even developing online events for families.  Spirits have remained high and everyone has been committed to helping others. 

Several learners have been developing their creativity skills and thinking of new ways to show thanks to keyworkers.  Amy Heinemann, Art and Design learner at the Crewe Campus, has been baking and hand delivering over 100 cupcakes per week to local NHS Hospitals.  Amy has been funding this herself and experimenting with different techniques, to challenge and showcase her artistic ability.   

Specialist equipment and PPE from various departments has been collated and donated to the NHS, alongside stock from the College’s canteens being donated to charities such as The Port Grocery and The Salvation Army. 

Learners have spent time making wonderful new friends as part of a new pen pal initiative.  Each week, learners have been sending letters and drawings to care homes across Cheshire, sharing hope and happiness, to ensure residents don’t feel lonely and amplifying the need to build connections between different generations, contexts and walks of life.  

The College’s Computing and IT team have been busy developing videos, that can be used to support learners with Visual and Hearing Impairments, ensuring they can continue with teaching, learning and assessment, successfully from home. 

In addition, expert tutors have also spent their free time building weekly resources, to support parents that have been home-schooling.  

It doesn’t stop there!  Staff and learners have also spent copious amounts of time fundraising for the NHS.  Many have set out on walks, runs, cycles and have taken part in national challenges.  Some have even created their own campaigns, to raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing.  

Dhesi, Principal and CEO, commented, “These are challenging times for everyone. The efforts of colleagues and learners have been a great source of positivity and inspiration during past months.  It is truly amazing to witness the College community come together, showing resourcefulness and commitment in unprecedented circumstances.” 

“Our College is at the heart of three thriving communities.  We continuously strive to make a positive and valued contribution to society, which is why we have and will remain ready to support where appropriate.  One small act of kindness really can release a wonderful chain of positive events.  I couldn’t be prouder of our recent accomplishments.”   

To find out more about the College’s extraordinary acts of kindness or for your daily dose of good news, follow Cheshire College – South & West on social media.  

If you are interested in studying at Cheshire College – South & West, or for more information, visit www.ccsw.ac.uk