News

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. 

On-Campus Open Evenings are back!

The largest provider of post-16 education in the region, Cheshire College – South & West, are hosting their first on-Campus Open Evening of the upcoming academic year on Monday 11th October, 5:30 – 8:00pm, across all three Campuses in Crewe, Ellesmere Port and Chester. 

Come along and find out for yourself what sets us apart and makes us your first choice in your next step.  With a wide range of activities taking place, prospective learners will have the opportunity to talk with expert tutors about an extensive range of learning programmes, engage in taster sessions in the College’s world-class facilities and seek advice on a wide range of topics, including learning support and enrichment opportunities. Come along and visit our classrooms, learning centres and have a go with some of our amazing technologies, including virtual reality headsets.  

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: “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 11th October. 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.” 

Just come along on the evening or you can register your place here. 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 also be running another Open Evening on Tuesday 23rd November 2018, 5:30 – 8:00pm. 

Cheshire College’s Partnership With Sustainable Vehicle Company Drives Learner Experience Forward

Building long-standing relationships with regional, national and international employers, Cheshire College are extremely proud of the partnerships they make which support their 11,000 learners to reach their full potential.  

One of the 500 employers Cheshire College work with is the largest UK’s largest salvage and vehicle recycling company, SYNETIQ, who recently donated six new vehicles to their Motor Vehicle department ahead of the new academic year for learners to gain hand-on experience servicing and repairing cars and vans.  

The College’s well-established relationship with SYNETIQ has seen numerous cars donated to its Crewe Campus over the 8-year partnership. To ensure learners have access to the very latest technology in the ever-changing industry, SYNETIQ provide access to a range of makes and models, including Ford, Honda, Nissan and more. 

Daniel Hunter, Assistant Director of Motor Vehicle at Cheshire College, said: “We’re extremely fortunate to have such strong relationships with employers who recognise the value of giving learners access to real-work environments whilst they learn to prepare them for their future careers in industry.  

“SYNETIQ have been a fantastic company to work with throughout the years and all our learners have significantly benefited from working in our industry standard garages on their vehicles.” 

Rob Hampson, Operations Manager for SYNETIQs Winsford site said: “It’s really important for us as business to support learners who want to learn hands on skills in the automotive trade. The support that Cheshire College offer their learners is excellent.” 

Cheshire College offer a number of Motor Vehicle courses, all of which make it easy for young people and mature learners to progress into higher education or straight into employment. Their impressive workshops have the same equipment and facilities as commercial garages and, along with donated vehicles, they also have engines on stands for learners to gain further insight on the intricacies of the industry.  

To learn more about studying at Cheshire College visit ccsw.ac.uk and register for the College’s next Open Evening which will be taking place on Monday 11 October between 5:30pm – 8pm. Attendees will be able to experience all the College has to offer, explore their options for study and discover the support services available.  

History In The Making For Cheshire College Alumni

Cheshire College’s principle purpose is nurturing talent and empowering people to achieve their full potential and for one A Level alumni number who has just secured a sixth month placement at a local museum, it really is history in the making.  

21-year-old Emma Berger joined Cheshire College in 2016 to study A Level Archaeology, English Literature and History as well as an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) surrounding museum and archive research, and after achieving straight As went on to study History at The University of Leeds. 

Now, a fully-fledged graduate with lifelong ambitions to pursue a career in heritage, Emma is quite literally making history as an Exhibitions & Marketing Assistant at the Grosvenor Museum in Chester.  

Talking about her new role, Emma said: “I am currently assisting with an exhibition called ‘Curated Closet’ and have been installing and handling the collection, as well as overseeing the social media campaign we have create. I wanted to gain some broad experience in the sector before choosing a specific specialism and my role provides me with the perfect opportunity to gain a great range of skills. 

“I’ve always wanted a career in heritage and chose to study my A Levels at Cheshire College as they offered Archaeology as a subject and the topics taught in English Literature and History really interested me too. The opportunities I gained during my two years at College have really helped me get to where I am now and I still refer to the research I did for my EPQ on my CV and in job applications as it was such a useful experience.”  

21-year-old Emma Berger

Cheshire College has a long-standing history with Grosvenor Museum itself and is one of the corporate partners inspiring staff, learners and their friends and families. Throughout each academic year, the College works extremely closely with the museum, which is just a stone’s throw away from their Chester Campus, and regularly works with them to exhibit learner work.  

Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council said: “I am delighted that Emma is proving to be a terrific addition to the team at the Grosvenor Museum. She has joined as part of Hope Streets a project funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, which is providing career pathways for young people. We are delighted that Emma has joined us at the start of her career and hope very much that she will provide a positive role model for young people looking to work in Arts and Heritage.” 

Helen Nellist, Deputy Principal and CEO, added: “We’re passionate about ensuring our learners leave Cheshire College with the skills, experience and qualifications that will prepare them for their future career and it’s fantastic to be able to follow Emma’s successful journey as she gets one step closer to achieving her dreams.” 

There’s never been a better time to ‘Get In, Stand Out’. To attend one of Cheshire College’s on Campus enrolment sessions taking place between 9am-4pm every weekday click here

Cheshire College Support Adults To Futureproof Their Career

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 courses available across a range of departments including Business, Construction, Engineering, Catering, Fitness and Health & Beauty, learners can enrol on a course that suits them at a time that suits them with flexible delivery and start dates to ensure they’re able to achieve their goals with study that fits around their lifestyle.     

Also included in Cheshire College’s part-time study provision for this September is their nine-week ‘Stream Fast-track’ course in Digital, Maths and English for adult learners to refresh their knowledge and develop confidence in these highly desired skill areas, as well as their National Skills Fund courses. 

The National Skills Fund was launched in April after a £2.5 billion investment by the Government to help adults across the UK gain the valuable knowledge required by employers to enter key sectors. In response, the College selected National Skills Fund courses which meet the skill requirements across the region and these are fully-funded flexible study programmes adults aged 19-years or over can study for free if they’re looking to achieve their first Level 3 Qualification.  

James Eagney, Assistant Principal of Quality at Cheshire College, 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. The College can also help support adults wishing to study some of their courses with an Advanced Learner Loan.  
 
To find out more about Cheshire College’s part-time courses and apply online visit https://www.ccsw.ac.uk/part-time-courses-for-adults/.  

There’s never been a better time to ‘Get In, Stand Out’. Attend one of Cheshire College’s on Campus enrolment sessions taking place between 9am-4pm every weekday to secure your place.  

Dreams turned into reality as Cheshire College learner secures place at prestigious Royal School of Needlework

Access to HE Learner, Isabelle Langton-Davies has secured an offer to study at The Royal School of Needlework, based in Hampton Court Palace, turning her dream into a reality.  

21-year-old Isabelle, joined the College in September 2020, after instantly making a connection with tutors at one of the College’s open evenings. Isabelle, who previously studied Maths, Physics and Economics A Levels, started embroidering in her free time, but following her Mum’s advice of ‘do what you love’, decided to pursue her passion and enrolled on the College’s Access to Higher Education – Design pathway.   

Before joining the College, Isabelle had no Art & Design qualifications, but knew she wanted a fulfilling career in something that she found enjoyment from.  

Isabelle said: “The variety of experiences and opportunities available as a Cheshire College learner are phenomenal. The tutors are extremely inspiring and go above and beyond to support our ambitions.  

“I thought my dreams of studying at The Royal School of Needlework were outrageous, but over the last year I have boosted my confidence and I now have the courage to follow my dreams, however crazy they may initially seem.  

“Deciding on your next steps can be really daunting, especially at 16 when you are leaving school and your friends for the first time, however I encourage everyone to take time to find something you are passionate about.” 

Rachel Davies, Art & Design Tutor, said: “I am absolutely delighted Isabelle has secured an offer to study at The Royal School of Needlework. She has worked extremely hard, and her achievements are testament to the dedication and commitment she has put into her studies over the last year.   

“Our Access to Higher Education – Design course enables learners to experience working within different Art and Design disciplines during taught workshops from specialist staff, as well independently revisiting areas they wish to specialise in, ultimately, providing learners with the knowledge, awareness and skills they need to progress into Higher Education.” 

As the largest provider of post-16 education in Cheshire, the College offers 5 specialist Access to Higher Education routes at its 3 Campuses in Crewe, Ellesmere Port and Chester:  

  • Design
  • Health Professionals 
  • Science  
  • Social Science and Humanities  
  • Social Science with Law 

As the academic year draws to a close, success continues for Access to Higher Education – Health Professional learners, Jonathon Mackay, Rebecca Coles and Felicity Milazzo who were all named winners of the Outstanding Commitment to Study award at this year’s virtual Open College Network West Midlands Brian May ‘Access to Higher Education (HE)’ Learner Awards. 

Ruth Szolkowska, Vice Principal – Innovation, Curriculum and Quality, commented: “We have all been very impressed with the positive and mature attitudes our Access to Higher Education learners have shown towards their studies. Each and every one has shown an exceptional desire for learning and education, and we are delighted that their dedication has been recognised through a range of success.” 

To find out more about Access to HE courses at Cheshire College visit www.ccsw.ac.uk – there’s never been a better time to Get In, Stand Out.  

Cheshire College Learners Set To Study Abroad

This year, learners at Cheshire College will have the opportunity to study abroad as the region’s largest provider of post-16 education has successfully secured funding to take part in the government’s new Turing Scheme.  

The funding secured as part of the new scheme will provide learners at Cheshire College with the chance to explore other cultures and gain wider-world experience as they learn in a completely different country for free.  

The College is one of 363 universities, schools and further education and training providers to successfully secure funding for the inaugural Turing Scheme which supports the government’s Global Britain objectives.  

Cheshire College’s International & External Funding Manager, Stelios Yalarakis, commented: “Following the launch of the Turing Scheme, which has been designed to enhance international educational links, I’m delighted that Cheshire College has managed to submit a successful bid which will enable us to send both learners and staff to Brescia in Italy for free.  
 
“During their time in the Lombardy city, learners will have the opportunity spend 2-3 weeks completed on-the-job work placements at carefully selected businesses in cooperation with one of the College’s long-standing partners.” 

Cheshire College has a wealth of experience working with global partners to offer learners the opportunity to study abroad and international learners to study at one of their three Campuses. Studying abroad can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience which allows young people to develop invaluable transferable, language and employability skills.  

There’s never been a better time to ‘Get In, Stand Out’. To attend one of Cheshire College’s on Campus enrolment sessions taking place between 9am-4pm every weekday click here

Cheshire College Delivers Robot To Local High School’s Doorstep

Committed to enhancing young people’s digital skills for the future, Cheshire College has taken technology directly to them with their state-of-the-art bus which is bursting with the very latest portable equipment including a life-size 3D robot.  

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.  

As part of ‘The Digital Hub’ project the College is focused on supporting local school children to develop skills in coding and virtual reality through its ‘Digital Doorstep’ initiative, which has seen College learners design and prototype robots for local high school pupils to interact with in their brand-new ‘Digital Hub Bus’. 

Featuring streaming equipment and virtual reality technology, the Digital Hub Bus visited Queen’s Park High School in Chester, where the College’s School Partnership Team and Media & Games lecturers delivered exciting digital skills sessions to over 200 pupils across two days.  

L-R: Simonetta Pearce, School Partnership Coordinator and Iain Mccluskey, Media & Games Tutor

Jordan Swift, Director of Marketing & School Partnerships at Cheshire College, commented: “The Digital Doorstep initiative is aimed specifically for school pupils to engage with new and emerging technology and equip them with the digital skills we know employers want and need at an early age.  

“It’s been fantastic to be able to go into schools and showcase the digital technology and equipment to spark pupils’ imagination and creativity and we’re looking forward to be able to host many more events like this in the new academic year.” 

Careers Lead at Queen’s Park High School, Andrea Watts, commented: “We took part using the College’s Digital Hub Bus during our school enrichment week. It provided the perfect opportunity to work in partnership with Cheshire College and enabled our Year 9 and 10 pupils to experience a taste of the digital revolution!  
 
“The outreach activity has benefitted our pupils as they have had the opportunity to speak to industry experts from the College and use a wide range of equipment including the robot, which has enhanced their understanding of the digital world and transferrable skills for 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 also includes three other strands: 

  • 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).   

Guide Dog Joins Cheshire College’s Teaching Team

A guide dog puppy is supporting Health & Social Care and Early Years learners at Cheshire College to further their knowledge of the skills required when supporting those with visual impairments. Willow, the Golden Retriever, is currently training for her future role as a guide dog and is visiting the College’s Crewe Campus every Wednesday to meet with learners.  

The 10 month old puppy is currently living with Learner Assessor in Childcare at the College, Diane Piggott, who volunteered to become a Puppy Raiser with Guide Dogs UK and was matched with Willow to provide her with a vital foundation ready for her future role as a guide dog.  

Quickly realising how beneficial the puppy partnership would be for learners, Diane arranged for Willow to attend College once a week and she is now a firm favourite within the teaching team with staff and learners alike.  

Lynne Rowland, Assistant Director of Health & Social Care and Early Years, commented: “Willow coming into College has been fantastic for our learners to gain a greater understanding of how to assist any future visually impaired patients and children they work with. The opportunity allows learners to put into practice what they have learnt in the classroom and essentially gain work experience on site with us.  

“The importance of equality, diversity and inclusion is promoted throughout all of our study programmes here at Cheshire College and within our learning environments as a whole. Having Willow join us has been a brilliant way for learners to enhance their knowledge and understanding of this.” 

It takes approximately 14 months for puppies to be trained as guide dogs, meaning young people joining the College this academic year will also be able to meet and learn with guide dogs, which has been mutually beneficial for Willow too.   

Andrea Deller, Puppy Development Advisor for Guide Dogs, said: “Puppy Raising through Covid-19 has been a challenging time and our puppies have not had the same socialisation with people as they would have under normal circumstances. Attending the College has filled this gap in Willow’s socialisation and as a result she is calm, relaxed, and friendly with everyone she meets. This is so important for our dogs as they move on to be future life changers, giving people with sight loss the ability to live the life they choose.” 

Health & Social Care and Early Years learners have also been incorporating their support for those with visual impairments into their enterprise activities, which has seen them hold non-uniform days and raffles in aid of Guide Dogs UK.  

Health & Social Care and Early Years are rewarding and valued sectors to work in and qualifications at Cheshire College are taught by tutors with vast sector experience who provide learners with a broad understanding on the knowledge and specialist skills required to excel in their chosen industry.  

There’s never been a better time to ‘Get In, Stand Out’. To attend one of Cheshire College’s on Campus enrolment sessions taking place between 9am-4pm every weekday and 10am-2pm on Saturday 4th September, click here

Cheshire College Learner Looks Forward To Reaping The Rewards Of T Levels

As the only Further Education College in Cheshire selected by the government to offer T Levels, a new two-year qualification for learners aged 16-19 years, Cheshire College are preparing the finishing touches to their new courses which will begin next week in a range of industries including Construction, Digital, Science and Health, and Education and Childcare.  

Equivalent to three A Levels and comprising of 20% on-the-job work experience, 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. 

18-year-old Serah Sharpes, joined Cheshire College in September 2020 to study Level 2 Engineering and having successfully completed the diploma has decided to progress on to the T Level in Building Services Engineering for Construction. 

Commenting on her decision to opt for a T Level, she said: “I wanted to complete the T Level course as it’s the most subject-specific course I can study to secure a place at university to study Constructional Engineering. I’d love to become a Structural Engineer and completing a longer work placement as part of the course will definitely help me achieve this goal and set me apart from others.” 

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.  

Serah continued: “I’m really looking forward to starting my T Level course, building on my current engineering knowledge and ultimately getting one step closer to my end goal.”  

Ruth Szolkowska, Vice Principal of Innovation, Curriculum & Quality at Cheshire College, said: “We’re so excited to deliver our new T Level courses this year. Developing the study programmes has been two years in the making, which has seen our committed team of tutors dedicate hours of planning and preparation to ensure the course content is informative, engaging and ultimately equips learners with the skills and knowledge to succeed in their careers.”  

To follow in Serah’s footsteps and join her on a T Level course this September, attend one of Cheshire College’s on Campus enrolment sessions taking place on a range of dates from Tuesday 31st August. To book an appointment click here.   

Exciting Enhancements at Cheshire College Sees Learning Extended Across The Classroom

The use of digital technology at Cheshire College has been pivotal to learner success during the past academic year and to further support this, the College has made significant investments in the availability of software and equipment for learners to enhance their learning on Campus and at home.  

The way in which learners are now taught at Cheshire’s largest Further Education College is not constrained to the four walls of their classroom. It has been extended across the College’s three Campuses in Crewe, Ellesmere Port and Chester, incorporating as much technology as possible to engage learners regardless of their study programme and support them in reaching their full potential. 

The innovations introduced have seen lecturers and tutors utilising a suite of interactive programmes and applications for learners to participate in live quizzes, polls and video responses using personal or College-owned smart phones and tablets.  

To support staff and learners with the new technology introduced and ensure they are able to use it efficiently and effectively to reap the full rewards, Cheshire College have also hired Lead Digital Innovator, Shane Guildford. As a current Lecturer in Hospitality at Cheshire College, Shane has been seconded to his new role as part of the College’s Quality Team. 

Commenting on the exciting enhancements being made, Shane said: “The use of technology will have real impact within vocational areas in particular, as the industry specific innovations keep our learners engaged and increase their digital skills and literacy in a fast paced and ever evolving digital age.  

“Using this technology effectively will enable learning to take place outside of the classroom and it’s vital that we continue to keep our learners, staff and stakeholders moving forward by engaging with, and implementing, new innovative teaching, learning, assessment and feedback strategies and applications.” 

As well as the enhancements being made for staff and learners, the College is also on a mission to support the community with their new five-year project, ‘The Digital Hub’. Designed specifically to boost digital skills, enhance career pathways and develop confidence, The Digital Hub project is set to benefit further-education learners, schoolchildren, businesses and the wider community with increased access to technology.  

Over the five-years, it is expected that over 50,000 learners will benefit from the project which comprises of four main strands:  

  • Digital Doorstep: delivering skills and career pathways in additive manufacturing and Virtual and Augmented Reality through the use of portable, entry level equipment 
  • 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  

If you would like to know more about studying at Cheshire College visit www.ccsw.ac.uk. To find out more information about The Digital Hub email employers@ccsw.ac.uk

Assistant Principal at Cheshire College Completes Epic Charity Challenge

Mark Parsons, Assistant Principal of Curriculum at Cheshire College has completed the mammoth cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats and back again within just 18 days, raising over £7,000 for the Multiple Sclerosis Society (MS Society). 

After setting off from Cornwall on Friday 16th July, Mark rode just short of 1,000 miles from the southwestern tip of England to the most north-easterly point of Scotland, before embarking on the journey back which he completed earlier this month. 

Mark at the finish line on Tuesday 3rd August

Mark battled through heatwaves and heavy rain, but his spirits remained high as he patiently pedalled with stunning backdrops of the Scottish Highlands, The Shap Summit in Cumbria, Cheddar Gorge in Somerset and the Welsh hills in Monmouth.

Upon completion of the challenge, Mark commented: “The entire ride has been an amazing blend of euphoria, fatigue, camaraderie, along with an enormous sense of achievement. The highs have definitely outweighed the low moments.

“I have been training for over a year, and although the ride has tested me physically and mentally, the support from family, friends and colleagues has helped me push through at every level. I have been blown away by the number of messages of positivity and encouragement I have received daily. 

“It really has been an experience of a lifetime and I am so pleased to have raised a significant amount for such a worthy cause.” 

Mark is one of the very few individuals to complete the ride and in record time, as many that take on the gruelling Land’s End to John O’Groats challenge aim to complete one way in 14 days.

Numerous local businesses supported Mark’s immense challenge, including, Body Perfect (Wrexham), who donated a van for Mark’s support team to travel in, Gym Gear, who provided Mark with a spin bike to enable further training, LA Clothing, who sponsored all cycling clothing needed and Eniga Bikes, who designed, and custom built a brand new bike ensuring that Mark was travelling in style and many more. 

There is still time to donate quickly, safely and securely to the MS Society, click here to visit Mark’s JustGiving page. 

To catch up on Mark’s journey, click here visit his Facebook page. 

Cheshire College Computing & IT Learner’s Life Changing Experience

In the fast-moving world of today, it is essential young people have the necessary skills to keep up with the advances in modern technology and for one learner at Cheshire College, completing a computing course has changed his life.  

18 year-old Nathan Wainwright joined Cheshire College instead of staying on at sixth form after his GCSEs and despite being in new surroundings with new people has thrived during his time at the College’s Ellesmere Port Campus.  

As a Level 3 IT Computer Science learner, Nathan has spent two years studying at the College and, as well as developing a broad range of IT knowledge, has built upon his transferrable skills which has seen him successfully secure an offer to study Professional Policing at Edge Hill University in September.  

Talking about his experience at Cheshire College, Nathan said: “I was scared at first coming to College and having to get to know new people, but all the teachers have been lovely and it’s been really nice. The course is really good and it’s been a big help in terms of getting me to university, which I didn’t think would happen.  

“Coming to College has been life-changing for me! I’ve been able to attend College whilst working part-time and have completed my course to gain a place at university. In the future, I hope to finish my policing degree and become a police officer.”  

From September 2021, Cheshire College’s Computing & IT courses will be based at their Chester Campus which is home to the education provider’s innovation and entrepreneurial hub and business courses.  

Jacky Lowe, Assistant Principal of Business, Science and Computing & IT at Cheshire College said: “We pride ourselves on empowering people to achieve their full potential and it’s been fantastic to see Nathan thrive during his time at College. He has continued to work hard to ensure he has the skills and knowledge to succeed in ambitions of becoming a police officer and I, along with all of the tutors within the department wish him the very best of luck in his next steps.” 

Cheshire College’s Computing & IT department has also introduced a new Higher Education course in Computing which would see successful learners gain a Higher National Certificate (HNC). The HNC Computing course has been designed for learners to meet the demands of employers in the computing sector, which will enable them to develop a range of specialist technical skills.  

Jacky continued: “The introduction of our HNC Computing course has come at a time when digital skills are more important than ever. All modern workplaces thrive on digital skills, such as software programming, digital marketing and design, web analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), machine and manufacturing technology, along with computer and networking support systems to name but a few. It is a really exciting time for any learner looking to enter the industry and I am extremely pleased that we are able to help train the next generation.” 

To find out more about Computing & IT or Higher Education at Cheshire College visit www.ccsw.ac.uk – there’s never been a better time to Get In, Stand Out. 

Applications for Cheshire College’s NEW Engineering Scholarship Programme Open

Cheshire College has joined forces with the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) to launch a brand-new two-year scholarship programme for school leavers aspiring to pursue a career in the sector. 

The largest provider of post-16 education in Cheshire is the only College in the North West to offer the ECITB Scholarship programme, which has been designed for learners to gain nationally recognised engineering qualifications that will support their progression on to apprenticeships or into employment. 

The programme will start in September 2021 at the College’s Ellesmere Port Campus and during enrolment learners will be able to select their specialist study route, choosing from either mechanical engineering or electrical engineering.

The programme comprises of a range of qualifications combined with work experience which will develop learners’ specialist skills and allow them to gain a broader understanding within real work environments. During term time, learners will also receive a weekly allowance of £140 by the ECITB.

Mohammed Hoq, Assistant Director of Engineering, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for budding engineers to not only gain nationally recognised engineering qualifications, but also enhance their practical skills with training that has been developed in consultation with industry specialists and training providers to ensure on completion of the course learners leave with the relevant knowledge to meet the needs of future employers. We’re delighted to be working with the ECITB on this and are looking forward to getting started in September!”

Adrian Wookey, the ECITB’s Head of New Entrants, said: “We look forward to working in partnership with Cheshire College to deliver the ECITB Scholarship.  

“The Scholarship gives learners the opportunity to enter the workforce at a critical time and reflects the ECITB’s support for a new generation of engineers prepared with the skills and knowledge we need for the future of our industry.”

The full programme of study for the ECITB Scholarship includes a BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma, a Level 3 Diploma in Engineering Construction Maintenance, practical skills training and a CCNSG (Client Contractor National Safety Group) Safety Passport which is the engineering construction industry safety card that workers much have to enter many engineering and construction sites.

 To find out more and book an appointment to enrol on to the course click here.

100% Pass Rate Success for BTEC Learners at Cheshire College

Over 600 learners at Cheshire College received Level 3 BTEC Qualifications yesterday (Tuesday 10th August) with more than 50% achieving 3 x Distinction* and/or Distinction grades each. All second-year Level 3 BTEC learners at Cheshire’s largest Further Education College achieved an amazing pass rate of 100% across a variety of study programmes. 

Studying on a wide range of BTEC L3 qualifications across the College’s three campuses, all Cheshire College learners have excelled in their chosen specialisms, showing commitment and resilience to complete their studies in what has been an unusual two years of learning.

Level 3 Applied Science learners have been celebrating particular success, with 65% achieving 3 x Distinction* and/or Distinction grades each – making the study programme one of the College’s highest performing subjects of the year. 

18-year-old Eliza Evanson, who joined Cheshire College from Sandbach High School, is one of the learners who achieved fantastic success receiving triple Distinction* in Applied Science and has secured a place to study Pharmacy at Aston University in Birmingham from September. 

Eliza commented: “It felt so good to receive my results today and a huge relief has now been lifted. I’ve had a brilliant time at Cheshire College during the past two years and the entire teaching and support team have really helped me get where I am today. Overall, it’s been a really great experience.” 

Ruth Szolkowska, Vice Principal of Innovation, Curriculum & Quality at Cheshire College, said: “We’re so pleased for our learners and the successes they have achieved over the past two years – both academically and personally. The two years they have studied with us have been like nothing we have experienced before, however they have all taken it in their stride, showing exceptional dedication and we’re extremely proud of them all.” 

Someone else who is extremely proud is mum, Jenni Brock, whose son Declan Scannell achieved triple Distinction* in Level 3 Creative Media Production. Speaking about her son’s success Jenni commented: “We’re all so proud of Declan – he really couldn’t have done any better. He has thrived off the College experience, which has allowed him to grow in independence and mature into a sensible young man. Completing a BTEC qualification has been perfect for Declan as he has had the opportunity to really develop his passion and drive for media.” 

With brilliant results, Declan has secured a place at the University of York to study Interactive Media. 

It’s not too late to join #TeamCCSW and study at Cheshire College. To apply, drop-in to one of the College’s Enrolment Days taking place throughout August and early September – just click here to find out more.

There’s never been a better time to ‘Get In, Stand Out’.  

Cheshire College A Level Learners Achieve 100% Pass Rate

250 A Level learners at Cheshire College had cause for celebration today as they collected their A Level results at the College’s Crewe Campus. Having shown extreme resilience and adaptability in what has been an unusual two years, learners at Cheshire’s largest further education college achieved an astonishing pass rate of 100% across all 30 A Level subjects. 

The College was filled with excitement as learners arrived to collect their results before celebrating their next steps in the Campus’ courtyard. Over 62% of learners received A*-B grades with 33% achieving a grade profile of A, A, B or higher and have gone on to secure places at some of the country’s top universities including University of Oxford, University of Exeter, University of Bath and University of Manchester, as well as prestigious Degree Apprenticeships with the likes of Vodafone.  

Progressing on to study Maths at the University of Warwick is learner James Williamson who achieved A*, A* and A in Maths, Further Maths and Computer Science respectively. 18-year-old James, who joined Cheshire College from Malbank School & Sixth Form College in Nantwich, commented: “I always knew about Cheshire College from its great reputation, and they have so many options available. I secured a place on the College’s dedicated Scholar’s Programme which has really helped strengthen my core skills.   

“I’ve had amazing support from all staff at the College and if I had to sum it all up in three words I would have to say, valuable, high-quality and friendly.” 

Family and friends joined learners to celebrate their success including the mum of A*, A*, A grade learner Elly Jo-Ollier. 18-year-old Elly studied A Level English Language, Philosophy & Religious Studies and Sociology at Cheshire College and is going on to study English Language at the University of Chester with ambitions to become a secondary school English teacher.  

Talking about her daughter Elly’s success, mum Joann Haigh from Stoke said: “I’ve noticed so much growth in Elly since she’s been at Cheshire College. We knew as soon as we visited for an Open Evening the College was the place for her. Despite a difficult 18 months due to the pandemic, the College has been nothing but supportive and they are a credit to education.” 

Creative learners at the College are celebrating particular success, including 18-year-old Zoe Bailey who achieved an A* in Drama & Theatre Studies. Zoe who joined Cheshire College from Madeley School in Crewe has dreams of becoming an actress and has spent the summer performing in a local Shakespeare production with more shows lined-up for later in the year.  
 
Talking about her experience, Zoe commented: “As soon as I walked into Cheshire College I could see myself studying here and making great friends. College has given me the confidence to know I have the ability to do the things I want to do and my results have cemented this for me.”   

Sarah Bradley, Assistant Director of A Levels at Cheshire College, commented: “I can’t put into words how proud I am of all our A Level learners and what they have achieved during what has been another challenging year. Throughout the past year they have shown dedication and commitment to their studies, and I wish them all every success for the future.” 

Dhesi, Principal and CEO of Cheshire College, commented: “I am absolutely delighted for our learners and all they have achieved this year. Despite the challenges they have been faced with and adversities they have had to overcome, all learners have been nothing short of exceptional and this is reflected in today’s success. 

“It’s been fantastic to celebrate with our learners today, alongside their teachers who have provided them with the care and guidance to succeed. I am extremely proud that Cheshire College has been able to play a part in our learners’ success to date and a small part of who they will become in the future.”  

It’s not too late to join #TeamCCSW and study A Levels at Cheshire College. To apply, drop-in to one of the College’s Enrolment Days taking place throughout August and early September – just visit www.ccsw.ac.uk/enrolment-2021/ to find out more. There’s never been a better time to ‘Get In, Stand Out’.   

Cheshire College’s Super Six Support Services

As the region’s largest provider of post-16 education, Cheshire College is committed to ensuring learners are able to make the most out of their time studying at one of their state-of-the-art Campuses in Crewe, Ellesmere Port and Chester.

As well as helping learners during their course, the College can support with advice before learners even join and when embarking on their next steps into employment, further study or on to university.

This year, Cheshire College has introduced even more great initiatives to ensure learners have the best experience possible with them. Alongside the College’s hugely popular free transport provision for learners living over one mile away from their chosen Campus, from September 2021 all learners will be able to take advantage of a free breakfast every morning from the College’s Campus Canteens. 

The College’s Super Six Support Services comprise of:

  • Bursary and transport 
  • Careers 
  • Learner Services 
  • Learning Support 
  • Personal Development Tutors
  • School Partnerships

Before even applying to study at the College, learners will have had an opportunity to meet with our School Partnerships team, who work with schools across Cheshire and neighbouring counties, to offer a variety of activities to enable learners to find out about their options. Throughout the summer months, the College’s School Partnerships team will be offering Campus tours and personalised call backs for anyone that is interested in applying for a course starting this September.  To request an appointment for a Campus Tour click here

Before, during and after completing a College course, learners can access the College’s client-centred, confidential and impartial Careers team, for support with a range of topics, including career planning and employability skills. 

Learners travel to College from Cheshire, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Merseyside, North Wales and beyond. Taking the stress out of the College commute, transport is free* to all full-time learners aged 16-18. The College also provides information and advice on a range of bursaries and other financial support available, which could help pay for things such as equipment and trips. Making a comeback in September, all learners will be able to enjoy a free breakfast on days they have timetabled lessons.

The Colleges’ Learning Support team have a wealth of experience and knowledge in helping learners who have physical and learning difficulties and specialist staff work closely with learners, both in groups and on an individual basis to ensure the individuals needs are met. 

Personal Development Tutors, commonly known as PDTs, work with all other support services to provide a holistic approach in the development of each individual learner and are there to guide both academic and wellbeing obstacles. 

There are a variety of different study environments across all three Campuses that can support a range of preferences which includes space for quiet and group study. Each Learning Resource Centre has an expert team to help enhance learners’ skills and is equipped with a wide range of books and online resources to support particular courses. 

Chris Baggs, Director of Learning and Learner Services, commented: “Here at Cheshire College, not only do we provide learners with the academic qualifications that will prepare them for their future careers, we are committed to ensuring they are fully supported before, during and after College so they are able to confidently make informed decisions for themselves.

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

All support services are available in person, online, email or phone and are designed to help learners succeed. 

To secure your place on a course starting September 2021 at Cheshire College – South & West click here.

Industry Experts Inspire Future Generations Thanks To Cheshire College’s NEW Lecturer Development Programme

Employing over 200 academic staff across its three Campuses in Crewe, Ellesmere Port and Chester, Cheshire College has a passion for empowering individuals to thrive in the workplace and has launched a programme to provide support and training for new lecturers joining, including the opportunity to complete recognised teaching qualifications.

Industry professionals make up over half of Cheshire College’s current teaching staff and bring with them a wealth of specialist sector knowledge to enhance learners’ understanding and skills, with many still working within the business or running their own to keep up-to-date with the latest innovations. 

Cheshire College’s new Lecturer Development Programme has a dedicated range of support and development opportunities for industry experts joining their academic team with no prior teaching experience or qualifications, including the chance to complete a Level 4 Certificate in Education & Training before progressing on to a Level 5 Diploma in Education & Training.

Silke Novak, Lecturer in Construction joined the College after 11 years of experience in industry which included working as an Electrical Building Services Engineering and also studying for a Master’s in Engineering. She completed her PGCE whilst teaching learners on full-time programmes and said: “Being able to join the College as a lecturer whilst continuing to complete my qualifications on the same site was extremely convenient and meant I was able to draw on my classroom experiences when completing my qualification and vice versa. 

“I had a fantastic mentor during this time within the department who supported me with my teaching and completing my qualification, and I’m so glad I made the move from industry into education to inspire the next generation of construction workers.” 

Available to all lecturers and assessors joining from industry as well as those with prior experience, as Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) or trainee teachers, Cheshire College’s Lecturer Development Programme also includes an assigned curriculum mentor and regular 1-2-1 support from the Quality team. 

Ruth Szolkowska, Vice Principal of Innovation, Curriculum & Quality, said: “I’m delighted to announce the launch our new Lecturer Development Programme which will provide academic staff joining us with a range of help and support to ensure they feel comfortable within their role and can confidently provide learners with an outstanding experience.

“We’re committed to ensuring our staff are happy and enjoy their work, and alongside the Lecturer Development Programme we provide a structured induction, annual performance development reviews and excellent CPD opportunities all in a safe, fulfilling, team-centred working environment at one of our state-of-the-art Campuses.” 

As the largest provider of post-16 education in the region, the College’s world-class facilities are the result of a £140m investment in the latest technology and real work environments. Home to 11,000 learners and 1,000 Apprentices, Cheshire College is passionate about driving economic growth through the development of future e-focused skills and work with over 500 employers, industries and organisations to achieve this.

With a variety of lecturing vacancies currently live, ranging from health, science and engineering to education, art and design, Cheshire College welcomes applications from all sections of the community with different teaching experience. To find out more about the College’s range of vacancies, click here.  

Cheshire College Assistant Principal Sets Off On 1,900 Mile Cycle Challenge In Support of MS Society

An Assistant Principal at Cheshire’s largest Further Education college has embarked on a charity cycle challenge that will push him to the limits as he attempts to become one of the very few people to complete Land’s End to John O’Groats and back again within 18 days, whilst raising vital funds for the Multiple Sclerosis Society (MS Society).

Mark Parsons, Assistant Principal of Curriculum at Cheshire College, set off on the 1,900 mile cycle ride today (Friday 16th July) with an aim to complete the full route in 18 days and raise £6,000 for the MS Society in the process. 

Commenting on this epic challenge, Mark said: “The average time to complete one length of Land’s End to John O’Groats cycling is 14 days and I’m attempting to get there and back again in just 18 days. I know this ride will test me physically and mentally at every level, but it doesn’t compare to what individuals who live with Multiple Sclerosis and their loved ones have to endure day-in-day-out.

“I have been training for this day for over a year now, gradually increasing the length and incline each time I get out on the bike, and I can’t believe it’s now here. The backing I have received over the past 12 months from companies who have donated food, drink, clothing and equipment to help me has been overwhelming, not to mention the support from staff and learners at Cheshire College.”

Learners at Cheshire College’s three Campuses in Crewe, Ellesmere Port and Chester have all been supporting Mark’s efforts by hosting a range of fundraising events to help him reach his £6,000 target.

A former professional chef, Mark began his career in restaurant kitchens working alongside world-renowned chefs such as Gary Rhodes before making the move into education 15 years later as a Hospitality lecturer, and still has connections in industry with Michelin-Starred Celebrity Chef, Tom Kerridge, reaching out on social media to send him well wishes for the challenge.  

Every academic year Cheshire College get involved in a wide range of events to support charities they’re passionate about and that help some of the most vulnerable people in society and have fundraised for the likes of NSPCC, Cancer Research and Guide Dogs UK alongside the MS Society. The College has also recently signed up in support of the national ‘Good for ME, Good for FE’ campaign, which will create a sustainable programme of community action across the UK and generate £1m of social value with strands such as ‘Foodbank Friday’, the development of corporate and charitable partnerships, and the encouragement of staff volunteering within and outside college communities.  

Cheshire College will be keeping their social media channels up to date with the latest news on Mark’s ride throughout the 18-day challenge. To donate quickly, safely and securely to the MS Society, click here to visit Mark’s JustGiving page. 

Cheshire College’s social media:  Facebook | Twitter | Instagram  

Cheshire College Set to Upskill Local People after £100m Investment Into Vauxhall

The region’s largest provider of post-16 education, Cheshire College will be delivering the upskilling and reskilling of local people after a £100m investment was made by Stellantis into Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port plant, which will see it transform into the UK’s first manufacturing site dedicated to electric vans and cars.

The investment was announced on Tuesday 6 July at a press conference attended by UK Government, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Kwasi Kwarteng and Vauxhall Motors Managing Director, Paul Willcox.  Prime Minister Boris Johnson also recorded a video message, which was played during the conference hailing the announcement as a ‘huge vote of confidence for Ellesmere Port’. 

With an ethos set around inspiring and engaging young learners and adults with the latest innovations and technologies, Cheshire College will be delivering courses designed to upskill and reskill current and new Vauxhall employees in the future of the motor vehicle industry, which will see no new diesel and petrol cars sold in the UK from 2030. 

Dhesi, Principal and CEO of Cheshire College, said: “This is a fantastic boost for both the town and people of Ellesmere Port and here at Cheshire College we’re extremely proud to be a part of this. The automotive industry is embarking on a really exciting journey as the country begins to shift to environmentally friendly electric vehicles and I’m delighted we will be working with Vauxhall to deliver the all-important training required to support this. 

“We’re looking forward to continuing our partnership with Vauxhall and will be using the very best cutting-edge technology to deliver the high-quality training needed to ensure more and more of the job opportunities that become available go to people in the local area.”

Cheshire College currently supports apprentices working with Vauxhall and the education provider has played a vital role in safeguarding a sustainable future for the town, having consistently supported Stellantis’ plans alongside the UK Government, Cheshire West and Chester Council and the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership. 

“I particularly want to thank our highly skilled, dedicated workforce for their patience and contribution.  Thanks also to Cheshire College for their assistance in providing training for our teams.  Producing battery electric vehicles here will support clean, safe and affordable mobility for all. Since 1903 Vauxhall has manufactured vehicles in Britain and we will continue to do so”, said Mark Noble, Vauxhall Ellesmere Port Plant Director.

Cheshire College Learner Beats Off Thousands To Secure Prestigious Degree Apprenticeship

Over 1,000 young people from across the country applied to study a Degree Apprenticeship at Europe’s leading telecommunications company and with just three position available, an A Level learner at Cheshire College has fought off tough competition to secure her place.  

17-year-old Oriana Paraschiv, who studies A Level Computer Science, Mathematics and Physics at Cheshire College’s Crewe Campus, applied for Vodafone’s Software Engineering Apprenticeship at the end of 2020 and after a rigorous interview process spanning over four months she received the call to say she had been successful.   

An extremely high-achiever at the College, Oriana impressed the Vodafone team with her technical know-how and ability, so much so that she has secured an unconditional offer and will be relocating over 150 miles down south to take the next step in her career journey when the apprenticeship starts in September.  

Commenting on her success, Oriana said: “I’m really proud of myself and what I have achieved. The interview process was tough and involved written essays and video calls before a six-hour virtual interview which included group activities, individual problem solving tasks and a technical interview, but it was all worth it to secure the role. I was so happy when I was told I’d been successful and can’t wait to get started.  

“In order to get a permanent job in the software industry you need a lot of experience and whilst I did apply for university too, this degree apprenticeship will provide me with the opportunity to get hands on experience whilst studying for a degree too!” 

As Cheshire’s largest provider of post-16 education, the College offers over 30 different A Level subjects for learners to choose from, which are taught by subject-specialists in university-standard facilities. With a fantastic support team to help the transition from high school to College, learners are able to experience a more independent way of studying and learning. 

Sarah Bradley, Assistant Director of A Levels at Cheshire College, said: “We are extremely proud Oriana has secured such a prestigious Degree Apprenticeship with Vodafone. She has worked so hard both inside and outside of College to ensure she has the skills and knowledge to achieve her dreams of becoming a Software Engineer, often completing extra reading and research at home to complement her in-class learning.     

“At Cheshire College we ensure all our learners are provided with the information they need to make informed decisions about the progression routes available to them after successful completion of their course and we’re seeing a fantastic increase in the number of learners going on to study Degree Apprenticeships.” 

As part of the wide range of study programmes Cheshire College deliver for young people and adults, they provide a comprehensive Higher Education undergraduate study programme and work alongside their university partners to offer a range of Foundation Degrees, Top-Up Degrees, Full Degrees and Degree Apprenticeships across subjects such as Education, Business, Visual Arts, Construction and Engineering. 

To find out more about A Levels or Higher Education at Cheshire College visit www.ccsw.ac.uk – there’s never been a better time to Get In, Stand Out.  

Cheshire College Learner’s Artwork Goes Global

Nurturing talent and empowering people to achieve their full potential is at the heart of Cheshire College’s ethos and for one young A Level learner set a class task, it has seen her creative work selected for international exhibition.  

First-year A Level Graphic Communication learners at Cheshire College’s Crewe Campus were set a challenge by tutors to submit work to Red Collage Perú’s open call ‘The Burnout Society’, which has seen numerous learners’ work shared for 24-hours with one learner being selected to feature in the full virtual exhibition.  

Learner Rosie Payne’s art was selected to feature in Red Collage Perú’s exhibition after standing out to the panel and fulfilling the chosen brief of ‘Big Data’, which she made accessible to a global audience by cleverly incorporating binary code which is recognised and understood across the world.  

Commenting on her selection in the exhibition, 19-year-old Rosie from Northwich said: “I was so surprised when I received the email to say that my work had been selected to feature within Red Collage Perú’s exhibition on Instagram. I am really proud to have been picked as all the other art that has been chosen alongside my work is incredible and I feel very fortunate to have been selected. 

“My tutors have been absolutely great and the support they have given to us all this year has been incredible. They have gone above and beyond to create tasks and projects that are accessible and I am always learning something new. No two lessons are ever the same which has allowed me to really develop my skills and knowledge within graphic design.” 

Having never attempted collaging before, this task stretched and challenged Rosie and her fellow learner’s skills, allowing them to embrace their creativity and put other techniques they have learnt in the classroom into practice for a live brief.  

Zoe Charlesworth-Simpson, Lecturer in Visual Arts at Cheshire College, commented: “I am delighted Rosie and our other learners’ work has been recognised on such a global scale. This was the first time many of them had submitted work externally and for them to selected amongst nearly 400 other entries is brilliant.  

“Design is all about problem solving and finding design solutions and at Cheshire College we ensure the work learners complete build on their skills sets ready for them to go out into industry. Since the start of the academic year, learners have been set a series of challenges from photography and typography to print making and interior design to allow them the freedom to explore the different mediums and discover their specialism. It’s been fantastic to see their creativity blossom and Red Collage Perú’s open call has really boosted their confidence, giving them courage in their convictions.” 

Sharing and showcasing work forms a big part of learner’s journey at Cheshire College, with events and end of year shows regularly organised to celebrate the hard work of learners and this year is no different with an open call for Visual Arts learners to submit work to the end of year show currently underway. The End of Year show is live now and can be accessed on Instagram via @vpa_at_ccsw.  

Cheshire College launch Virtual Primary and Secondary College for over 3,000 local pupils

For the second year running, Cheshire College have recently launched their much-loved Virtual Primary and Secondary School programme, designed to extend learning opportunities, raise aspirations and assist in supporting with the transition for young people at these key milestone points.

For the past 26 years, Cheshire College have delivered an engaging and inclusive programme to support the transition for young people from Primary School to Secondary School and Secondary School to Further Education. Despite Coronavirus changing the way in which we learn, socialise, work and play, the College has responded to ensure its Primary and Secondary College programmes still reach and support young people. 

Across the region, the Primary College programme engages a staggering 1,600 Year 5/6 pupils, from 50 primary schools and the Secondary College programme attracts over 1,800 Year 10 pupils from more than 14 secondary schools. In addition, each year around 15 local employers and organisations are involved in supporting a varied and engaging programme of activities.

Passionate about bringing coding to life in the classroom, Barclays Code Playground have been involved with Primary College for the past four years. Kevin Garner, Head of Code Playground, said: “Here at Code Playground we’re proud to be involved with Primary College. Moving from Primary to Secondary school can be a difficult time and these events really help the young people to get to grips with the change in a positive way. As well as preparing for secondary school, the participants also have the chance learn some news skills and have a bit of fun in the process. Can’t wait for next year already!”

Although Primary and Secondary College has not taken place on Campuses as it would normally, the College is determined to support young people in the area at a critical time when they need it most. The virtual alternative will be accessible to all local feeder schools and is designed to support young people whether in the classroom, or as part of their home learning packages.

Rachel Thomas, Assistant Head Teacher at Blacon High School, commented: “We have been attending Cheshire College’s Secondary College programme since the event began and it is one of the best post-16 transition experiences of the year. It is so well planned; it is pitched perfectly to the pupils and offers a real insight into the College and the courses available. It is an extremely valued event for all of us at Blacon High School.”

Helen Nellist, Deputy Principal and Deputy CEO at Cheshire College, said: “The idea of bringing together a wide range of departments and employers, to deliver talks and activities as part of events throughout the academic year, stretches the boundaries of raising aspirations. It is vital that we encourage young people to think about their futures, as it gives purpose to their learning and enables them to develop the skills and knowledge needed to pursue a career of their choosing.

“It is a pleasure that we can work in partnership with local schools to empower young people and ensure nothing stops them from reaching their goals.”

To help monitor and improve further events, schools are also in with a chance of winning a range of prizes, including ice cream for the entire class, by telling the College about their experience. 

For more information, please contact the Schools Partnerships team by emailing schools@ccsw.ac.uk

Cheshire College has a range of study courses available, including full-time vocational courses, A Levels, T Levels, Apprenticeships and Higher Education Course. To find out more about Cheshire College, click here – there’s never been a better time to ‘Get In, Stand Out’. 

Cheshire College Become A Huawei ICT Academy

Learners at the region’s largest further education college now have access to the very latest technology advancements as Cheshire College partners with worldwide telecoms company Huawei to become an official Huawei ICT Academy.  

The global programme, now in its eighth year, allows partner education institutes to deliver training on Huawei’s state-of-the-art technology, providing learners with tangible industry recognised certifications and digital skills to support them in fulfilling their full potential and boosting their job prospects after College.  

Working with over 500 employers, Cheshire College values the importance of building strong relationships with employers in industry. The partnership with Huawei has come at a pinnacle time for Cheshire College with the launch of T Levels, the government’s new next level qualification which has seen the College selected as the only further education provider in Cheshire to offer a T Level in Digital Production, Design & Development from September 2021.  

Thanks to the new partnership, learners will be able to enhance the valuable digital knowledge required by employers as they enrol on a range of introductory and certification courses, which cover the latest developments in technology such as cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence, 5G and security.  

Neil Borg-Olivier, Assistant Principal of Curriculum at Cheshire College, said: “We’re delighted we have been able to come on board as the latest Huawei ICT Academy. It’s a fantastic opportunity, not only for our Digital and IT learners and tutors, but for all at the College to have access to the latest industry information to enrich and enhance their digital skillsets.” 

As the largest privately owned telecommunication company in the world, 53% of Huawei’s directly employed staff work on research and development and as new technology areas are established by their team, courses in these areas will be directly uploaded to the Academy’s portal providing learners and staff with access to the very latest information in real time. 

The College will also be taking part in a virtual work experience pilot project this summer with the academy to deliver blended placements for young people to get a wider understanding of working life in industry and expand their network.  

Director for Huawei ICT Academy Programme, Western Europe, Pallavi Malhotra, commented:  

“The Huawei ICT Academy partnership makes Cheshire College a first choice facility for learners who are looking to carve a career in the STEM field by offering a globally recognised Digital & IT industry sector certification. As part of this programme, students can gain access to the latest learning resources with the most up-to-date technological developments, while teachers can also enhance their professional development.” 

With an increased demand for Digital skills across the country, tutors at Cheshire College have developed their Digital T Level programme in collaboration with employers and businesses for learners to confidently meet the needs of industry and be prepared for work.  

Providing the knowledge and experience needed to open the door to highly skilled employment, an Apprenticeship or higher-level study, T Levels are equivalent to three A Levels and have been designed to help young people develop the knowledge, attitude and practical skills to thrive in the workplace.  

To find out more about studying T Levels at Cheshire College visit www.ccsw.ac.uk – there’s never been a better time to #GetInStandOut.   

To find out more about the Huawei ICT Academy visit https://e.huawei.com/en/talent/#/ict-academy/home

30 Learners Crowned Cheshire College Champions in End of Year Celebrations

With over 12,000 young people studying at Cheshire’s largest Further Education College, 30 learners have been crowned Cheshire College Champions after being carefully selected by a panel of judges for their range of academic and personal achievements over the past year. 

An opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge the exceptional commitment and resilience learners have demonstrated in what has been a challenging year, staff at Cheshire College were asked to nominate their Cheshire College Champions before a judging panel came together to carefully consider all submissions and select just 30 learners.  

The 30 learners crowned Cheshire College Champions span the College’s three Campuses in Crewe, Ellesmere Port and Chester and all study a variety of courses including full-time courses and A Levels.  

Dhesi, Principal & CEO at Cheshire College, commented: “It’s been fantastic celebrating the range of successes our learners have achieved this year through Cheshire College Champions and I’m delighted to have had the opportunity to present our winners with their awards and presents. Having sat on the panel of judges to read through all the nominations and ultimately select our final Cheshire College Champions, I can say that all 30 learners and those nominated too should be immensely proud of themselves.  

“So much positive work has taken place this year whilst we’ve been on Campus, as well as working remotely during lockdown, and I feel privileged to be the Principal of a College where we have adapted and pushed forward together during such a challenging year.” 

Throughout last week (WC 14th June), the 30 Cheshire College Champions were surprised during their lessons by members of the College’s leadership team who presented them with certificates and gift boxes which included specially branded Cheshire College Champion Cadbury’s Dairy Milk bars and Love2Shop vouchers.  

Ella Swindley, former pupil at Brine Leas School, was one of four A Level learners named as a Cheshire College Champion. Aspiring to become an Illustrator, Ella was nominated as a Champion by her tutors for outstanding work and commitment to supporting her peers. Ella said: “This doesn’t feel real! I have loved every moment of my College experience, especially getting to design my own comic book this year. All staff are really supportive and have helped me secure a Degree Apprenticeship within the creative industry.” 

Ella Swindley, A Levels, Crewe 
Josh Cilbery, Public Services, Ellesmere Port

One learner, Josh Clibery, who studied at The Whitby High School before applying to the College’s Ellesmere Port Campus, commented: “I am so proud of myself! It feels amazing to be presented with this award!”, after being presented with his award by Assistant Director, Gareth Edwards. Josh joined the Public Services course to chase his dream of securing a job with the RAF. Josh continued: “I love the range of different activities and opportunities available to me and my tutors have been really inspiring, which really motivated me to strive for success.” 

Photography learner at the College’s Chester Campus, Louis Major, joined the College in September 2020 after completing his GCSEs at Upton-by-Chester High School. Louis commented: “I honestly have no words, I am over the moon to be crowned one of the 30 Champions. My time studying at the College has been great, I have made so many new friends and the mature environment has given me the freedom to enhance my skills. I would like to be a Freelance Photographer in the future, so I am making the most of every lesson before the term ends.” 

Louis Major, Art & Design Practice (Photography), Chester 

The full list of Cheshire College Champions include:   

  • Tavonga Muviyi, Applied Science, Chester 
  • Louis Major, Art & Design Practice (Photography), Chester 
  • Annabel Clayton, Light Vehicle Maintenance & Repair, Chester 
  • Fernanda, ESOL, Chester 
  • Ella Swindley, A Levels, Crewe 
  • Jessica Palin, A Levels, Crewe 
  • Matilda Miller, A Levels, Crewe 
  • Thomas Morris, A Levels, Crewe 
  • Aubrey Tew Weaver, Art & Design (Photography), Crewe 
  • Olga Kubalewska, Business, Crewe 
  • Eleisha Perry, Business, Crewe 
  • Catalin Burlacu, Construction, Crewe 
  • Benjamin Gibbons, Creative Media Practice (Games), Crewe 
  • Catarina Sequeira Sarmento, ESOL, Crewe 
  • Michael Swales, Information & Creative Technology, Crewe 
  • Daniel Moore, Information Technology, Crewe 
  • Samuel Taylor, Performing Arts (Acting), Crewe 
  • Conan Leech, Professional Cookery, Crewe 
  • Dominik Nowak, Sports, Crewe 
  • Rebecca Corcoran, Childcare & Education, Ellesmere Port 
  • Mason Kelbrick, Electrical Installation, Ellesmere Port 
  • Folashade Stockton, Engineering, Ellesmere Port 
  • Hannah Littler, Health & Social Care, Ellesmere Port 
  • Alex Cottam, Performing Arts (Production), Ellesmere Port 
  • Harold Joy, Plumbing, Ellesmere Port 
  • Josh Cilbery, Public Services, Ellesmere Port 
  • Amy-Jayne Clarke, Skills for Living & Work, Ellesmere Port 
  • Aaron Cotter, Sport, Fitness & Personal Training, Ellesmere Port 
  • Thomas Edwards, Theatrical, Special Effects, Hair & Media Make-up, Ellesmere Port 
  • Sian Hamilton, Travel & Tourism, Ellesmere Port 

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 vocational courses, A Levels, T Levels, Apprenticeships and Higher Education Course. To find out more about Cheshire College, visit www.ccsw.ac.uk – there’s never been a better time to ‘Get In, Stand Out’.  

ITV’s This Morning Comes Calling for Cheshire College Learner

A learner at Cheshire’s largest Further Education College has featured on national television and regional radio to discuss the impact having a guide dog has made since losing his sight. Part-time learner at Cheshire College, Scott Bailey, featured on ITV’s This Morning and BBC Radio Stoke to talk about how his life has transformed since being matched with his guide dog, including going back into education to retrain. 

Scott started to lose his sight five years ago after being diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy, a complication of diabetes, and was registered blind just three years later in 2019. Scott matched with his guide dog Milo in 2020 and, despite a delay in being partnered due to COVID-19, Milo has made all the difference to Scott and his family’s life, supporting him to get his independence back. 

Previously a dairy farmer, Scott wanted to get back into work and joined Cheshire College’s Crewe Campus earlier this year to gain new skills that will help him achieve his dream of becoming a Counsellor and helping others who are experiencing sight loss due to diabetes.  

Scott, 32-years-old, from Crewe said: “I knew I wanted to get back into education to retrain and having spoken to Cheshire College’s support team, who helped me choose the right course to get started, I’m really looking forward to this next chapter in my life. I’m currently completing an ECDL IT Bridging Course which has eased me back into education and have saved a space on the Level 2 Counselling course for next September. 

“The College has gone above and beyond for me since I joined in March. I really didn’t expect them to do so much for me, they’ve been really accommodating and have gone the extra mile to make sure both me and Milo are comfortable – Milo even has his own bed in the IT suite!”

Milo in class

As part of the additional learner support offered by Cheshire College, Scott has regular contact with the College’s Inclusive Learning Advisor for Sensory who is his first port-of-call for any questions or queries and is also partnered with a Learner Mentor who provides in-class support. 

Chris Baggs, Director of Learning & Learner Services 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. Our Learner Services team are all specialist co-ordinators and have a vast amount of experience in providing personalised and tailored additional learner support.  

“Scott is a great example of how the team is able to support learners at all levels, whether school leavers or adults, to achieve their potential and succeed in their goals, and I’m delighted he is having such a positive experience with us.”

To ensure learners enjoy their time and have the best possible experience, Cheshire College has a range of support areas to offer them help, advice and guidance before, during and after successful completion of their course. From the Learning Support Team and Personal Development Tutors to the Bursary & Transport and Careers Teams, Cheshire College ensures all young people and adults are able to make the most out of learner life. 

To find out more visit www.ccsw.ac.uk – there’s never been a better time to #GetInStandOut. 

Meet the T Level Team

We’re so excited for our all-new T Level courses to start in September and can’t wait for our learners to be able to get stuck in. 

Over the past couple of months our Tutors have been busy getting everything ready for your arrival and are really looking forward to working with you to enhance your knowledge and skills, preparing you for the next step in your career whether you plan to go straight into employment, go on to further study or complete a Higher Apprenticeship.  

We caught up with them to ask those all important questions we know you’ve been eager to find out. So, without further ado, it’s time to meet some of the team!  

Construction

Meet Ashraf, a Lecturer in Electrical Installation at our Ellesmere Port and Crewe Campuses. With over 20 years’ experience working as an Electrician, Ashraf runs his own business alongside lecturing, which allows him to keep up-to-date with the latest goings on in the industry and feed this back to learners. 

What can learners expect when joining your T Level course?
“Our team of experts, many of whom still work in industry, will provide you with all the information you need to help you secure employment or go on to further education. We use different methods of teaching to make sure you have the best learning experience, so expect lots of practical learning alongside theory.” 

What state-of-the-art equipment will be used? 
“You will have access to the very latest, top-of-the-range industry-standard equipment that you would expect to find when out on jobs.” 

What would be your top tip for learners joining your T Level course in September? 
“My advice would be to take ownership of your qualification. You’re chasing your own dream, so chase it and make it work for you. Our job is to help turn your dream into reality.”  


Digital

This is Pami, a Lecturer in Computing & IT at our Ellesmere Port Campus. Specialising in digital graphics, Pami has extensive experience within the creative industry and has worked within education for over 19 years.  

What can learners expect when joining your T Level course? 
“With industry placements being the backbone of our T Level qualification, the experience you gain putting into practice what you have learned in the classroom with me will be priceless. Combining classroom theory and practical learning, you will be able to draw on your knowledge and skills.” 

What state-of-the-art equipment will be used? 
“You will have access to the most up-to-date industry-standard equipment, in terms of both hardware and software. Think virtual reality headsets, robotics and 3D printers!” 

What would be your top tip for learners joining your T Level course in September? 
“Look into online resources that give you useful hints and tips for networking and building relationships.” 


Education & Childcare

Sian joined Cheshire College as a Lecturer in Health & Social Care in April 2019, having worked in a range of industry settings, from supporting families to engaging with services and writing material on health and wellbeing.  

What can learners expect when joining your T Level course? 
“Expect to be challenged on a daily basis! You’ll meet like-minded people and through creative and dynamic teaching, in a supportive environment, you’ll have the opportunity to learn subject-specific knowledge in the specialism you have selected.”

What state-of-the-art equipment will be used? 
“You’ll have access to a range of industry-standard technology which reflects the professional requirements of the course as well as automation which will help simulate medical procedures!” 

What would be your top tip for learners joining your T Level course in September? 
“Do some research on your chosen profession so you have a clear focus on what you want to achieve and why. Then, create a goal board and get motivated!” 


Health & Science

Meet Lucy, a Chemistry Lecturer at our Crewe Campus who has worked at Cheshire College for four years teaching on our A Level and Applied Science courses.  

What can learners expect when joining your T Level course? 
“You’ll study a range of science topics as part of your T Level course, covering Chemistry, Biology and Physics and get the opportunity to develop your research and project skills.”

What state-of-the-art equipment will be used? 
“Our fantastic science labs boast amazing equipment that will enable you to improve your practical skills.” 

What would be your top tip for learners joining your T Level course in September? 
“Recap your GCSE science before joining in September and come along ready to enjoy your time at College!” 

To find out more about T Levels click here.

Frontline Carer and Full-time Learner Pushes On Through Pandemic

A learner at Cheshire’s largest Further Education College has been instrumental in the care of local people during the pandemic, working on the frontline whilst continuing to attend College full-time to secure a university offer to study Paramedic Science.  

Level 3 Health & Social Care learner Caitlin Smith

Level 3 Health & Social Care learner at Cheshire College’s Ellesmere Port Campus, Caitlin Smith, secured her role as a part-time Care Assistant at Vale Court Care Home in Whitby in March 2020 as the coronavirus outbreak was declared a pandemic. Since this time she has continued caring for the elderly whilst completing her qualifications, recently receiving an offer from the University of Hull to study Paramedic Science in September. 

Initially joining Cheshire College in 2017 to study art and design, Caitlin’s passion to care for others was ignited after talking to close friends and family working in the NHS. In 2018 she chose to change her career path and began studying Level 2 Health & Social Care, progressing through the College’s study programmes. 

Commenting on her experience, Caitlin said: “I’m really proud of what I have achieved since joining Cheshire College and the Health & Social Care Department. During my first year of study I secured a placement at Vale Court Care Home with the support of the College’s Work Experience Team and was offered a permanent job off the back of it. I began working as an Activities Coordinator and secured the role of Care Assistant once I had turned 18 last year.  

“Working for the first time as a carer during the pandemic has been hard, but it’s made me who I am today and I’m really excited to start my journey of becoming a paramedic in September.”

Cheshire College’s Health & Social Care courses are specifically designed to prepare learners for a career in care with sector-standard facilities including health science labs, simulated hospital wards and specialist independent living areas at the College’s Campuses.

Anita Egan, Assistant Director for Health & Social Care at Cheshire College, said: “I am extremely proud of Caitlin and all she has achieved since joining the College four years ago. She has worked extremely hard inside and outside of College to learn new skills and enhance her knowledge by putting what she has learnt in the classroom into practice as part of her part-time job at Vale Court Care Home.    

“As a College we strive to help learners reach their full potential, providing them with the skills, experience and qualifications that will prepare them for their future careers. Caitlin’s journey is a fantastic example of how we support learners to believe in themselves and achieve their dreams.”

With an increased demand in Health & Social Care roles across the region, tutors at Cheshire College have vast sector experience to help learners gain the skills and experience needed to fill these vacancies across a range of study programmes including full-time courses, Higher Education and new T Levels, the next level qualification set to fast-track learners’ careers. 

Equivalent to three A Levels, T Levels have been designed with employers to help young people develop the knowledge, attitude and practical skills to thrive in the workplace. At the heart of each course is an extended work placement to give learners vital experience and Cheshire College is the only Further Education College in the county to be selected by the Government to offer them.

To find out more about studying Health & Social Care at Cheshire College and T Levels – there’s never been a better time to #GetInStandOut.  

Cheshire College Engineering Learner Awarded Industry Accolade

An Engineering learner at Cheshire’s largest provider of post-16 education has been recognised by world leading professional organisation, The Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) for his high calibre of work. 

Level 3 Engineering learner at Cheshire College’s Crewe Campus, Joe Lightfoot, received the 2020 Education Award in Engineering as part of IET Merseyside and Western Cheshire Local Network’s Student Excellence Awards after being nominated by his tutors for the work he produced, as well as his conduct in class, outstanding effort, and attainment.

Currently in his second year at the College, Joe has completed a range of modules towards his Level 3 BTEC National Extended Diploma in Engineering including mathematics, thermodynamic projects, engineering drawing and electrical design. 

Joe receiving his IET Education Award from Assistant Director Daniel Hunter
and Engineering Lecturer Tim Whitefoot

Commenting on his award win, 18-year-old Joe from Wistaston said: “I was completely surprised when I was told by my tutor that I’d won the IET Education Award. I’ve always had a passion for engineering and to be recognised for my work by one of the biggest institutes in the industry is a real honour. 

“My tutors have been extremely supportive during my two years at College, especially during the most recent lockdown when we were completing assignments to go towards our final grades. I’m looking forward to continuing my journey within engineering and I’m currently in the application stages of a couple of degree apprenticeships and winning the IET Education Award has really helped with these.”

Rob McDonald, Volunteer Chair of the IET Merseyside and Western Cheshire Local Network, commented: “The IET Local Network is very keen to recognise excellent Engineering students through the IET Local Network’s Student Excellence Awards. The awards are both to encourage the awardee and as encouragement to fellow students at colleges and universities in our area.

“We are very pleased to make the award to Joe on the recommendation of his tutors at Cheshire College – he is a deserving recipient of the 2020 IET Student Excellence Award at Cheshire College.  The IET Local Network’s Education Team looks forward to hearing how Joe’s studies and career in Engineering progresses and to recognise other excellent students in future years at Cheshire College.”

Daniel Hunter, Assistant Director of Engineering at Cheshire College, commented: “I am delighted Joe was the recipient of this year’s IET Education Award. He is a diligent and conscientious learner and has shown great leadership with his peers. He truly is a brilliant example of what makes a great learner and it’s fantastic to have played a part in his career journey so far. 

“At Cheshire College we strive to stretch and challenge our learners to achieve their full potential, providing them with inspiring and innovative experiences and equipment to do so. Joe is one of our learners who will have, this year, benefitted from using the advanced state-of-the-art technology we have available across the College such as 3D printers, handheld scanners and robotic arms. This equipment has revolutionised our learners’ experience after Cheshire College was prioritised by the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnerships Local Growth Fund as one of the further education providers in the region best placed to deliver digital and STEM-related training and education as part of a £5 million programme of investment.”

Cheshire College offers a wide variety of full-time Engineering courses within their Electrical, Electronic & Mechanical Engineering department, ranging from Level 3 through to Higher National Certificates and Diplomas. With access to industry-standard equipment in real workshop environments, learners at Cheshire College develop their skills and knowledge in a range of specialisms and have the opportunity to work with local employers such as Bentley Motors, Vauxhall, Ecolab and National Grid.

To find out more about studying Engineering at Cheshire College click here – there’s never been a better time to #GetInStandOut. 

Local Colleges set to ‘Stream’ digital skills within local communities

Further Education Colleges in Cheshire and Warrington have received a grant of over £150,000 from the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to help increase digital skills within local communities. 

With technology embedded into our daily lives more than ever before, the importance of digital skills and access to technology has never been more apparent than it is today. 

Cheshire College, along with partner colleges and employers, is on a mission to provide practical, creative spaces that encourage communities to embrace these future ways of working and living through their latest project ‘Stream’. 

‘Stream’, is designed specifically to raise awareness and develop confidence in digital applications and is expected to equip local people with the skills needed to help them start new careers in the ever-growing technology sector. 

Over 500,000 Cheshire and Warrington residents are set to benefit from the range of specialist equipment, accessible in a range of local areas from libraries and community centres to ‘pop-up cafes’ which will enable wider access and participation in skills development and training programmes, including the ability to deliver and record live broadcasts, including interactive question and answer sessions. 

There has been lots of activity to date with Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester and the Department for Work and Pensions, as well as local businesses including Complete Roofing Systems in Warrington who recently completed a digital session delivered by Cheshire College. 

Elizabeth Phillipson, Office Services Lead at Complete Roofing Systems, commented: “We found the course delivered by Cheshire College to be invaluable for refreshing old skills and learning new ones. The sessions were all delivered remotely at a time and frequency which accommodated the working of several people from different departments, which was very important to us for business continuity.

“We were sent the materials for each session in advance, as well as homework to practice afterwards and the teaching was at a pace everyone could keep up with. I would highly recommend trying a digital course with Cheshire College.”

Karen Roberts, Assistant Principal – Apprenticeships and Employer Engagement, said: “This project will be life-changing for hundreds. Innovation is at the heart of our ambitions and Stream will ensure individuals within the Cheshire and Warrington region have raised aspirations, achieve accredited qualifications, improve their IT skills, develop confidence, secure further training and employment opportunities, gain specialised support and so much more.

“We look forward to working in collaboration with Warrington and Vale Royal College and UTC Warrington to improve the educational and employability outcomes of generations for years to come.”

Clare Hayward MBE, Chair of the Cheshire and Warrington LEP, said: “The LEP is delighted to support this important practical initiative which will help up-skill and build confidence among people of all ages in Cheshire and Warrington.

“As our economy bounces back from the pandemic it’s imperative that we are able to offer the right skills to businesses as they grow. Digital skills is fast becoming a ‘must have’ requirement for many, which is why Stream is such a useful and timely programme.”

If you would like to know more about Stream, click here

Cheshire College Learners Leap Into Dragons’ Den

Business learners at Cheshire’s largest Further Education College successfully stepped into the Dragons’ Den as part of the Young Enterprise Company’s initiative. Receiving special commendations from Cheshire & Warrington’s Young Enterprise Dragons, the team of learners from Cheshire College impressed with their business ideas and acumen. 

The budding entrepreneurs at the College’s Chester campus pitched their initial business concepts to the Dragons, comprising of local business leaders, and received exceptional feedback for their insight, brand identity and overall delivery of presentations. 

With climate change and sustainability at the top of many businesses’ agendas, four of the Young Enterprise learners’ came together to create the company ‘Samuel Campbell’ which centres around environmentally sustainable fashion. From the clothing items made with organic cotton to the packaging, Samuel Campbell has reduced its carbon footprint by 75%. 

Young Enterprise learners at Cheshire College’s Chester campus, Logan, Tom and Luke

Jo Williams, Business Lecturer at Cheshire College, commented: “It was fantastic to receive such positive feedback and special commendations from the Dragons about our learners’ business ideas. Within the two teams, all learners have worked extremely hard and I am delighted their dedication and commitment to the project has been recognised in this way. 

“With the products and services yet to launch fully, the feedback provided in the Den has laid a great foundation for our learners to begin thinking about the next stages of producing a successful delivery ready for competition.”

In partnership with national charity Young Enterprise, who support 400,000 learners each year to help foster their entrepreneurial spirit and provide useful employment skills, Cheshire College regularly enters their UK-wide competitions with huge success having won ‘Best Presentation’ last year as well as being awarded runner up in the ‘Company of the Year’ category.  

Level 3 Business learner and Cheshire College’s 2020-21 Student President, Thomas Roden, who pitched his team’s business idea, said: “In a world where climate change is endangering the place we live in, I’m thrilled that I’m contributing to the changes we need to make in the fashion industry to make our planet a better place. At Samuel Campbell we always stay true to who we are as a company and consider the environment in every decision we make. I’m genuinely proud of the work we are doing.”

Offering opportunities for individuals with drive and determination to succeed within the vibrant, fast-paced world of business, Cheshire College provides learners with the skills and knowledge to understand the various functional areas of business, as well as the roles finance and marketing have to play.

Putting these skills into practice during lockdown at the start of the year when teaching went remote, many of the College’s Business and Fashion Communication learners launched online companies which have continued to grow in success – from running online events and sharing tutorials to creating jewellery brands.

To learn more about Business at Cheshire College click here – there really has never been a better time to ‘Get In, Stand Out’.  

Cheshire College Technical Theatre Learners Take The Spotlight

Technical Theatre learners at Cheshire’s largest Further Education College have received rave reviews from industry experts for their work backstage on an award-winning theatre company’s latest livestreamed professional production. 

The work of three learners at Cheshire College, who are currently completing their BA (Hons) in Technical Theatre, was mentioned by highly acclaimed worldwide theatre publication, The Stage, during their review of a new production by North West based theatre company The Boaty Theatre Company. 

Learners Francesca Blythin, Matthew Plested and Alex Vickers took on the technical roles for The Boaty Theatre Company’s original debut production of ‘Home, Again’, as part of their degree module and were also named in Mobile Theatre’s review, who praised their innovation and professionalism. 

Cheshire College’s Technical Theatre Learners with The Boaty Theatre Company crew

Angie Berwick, Course Team Leader for Technical Theatre, commented: “I am extremely proud of all three learners who have worked tirelessly to hone their technical theatre talents. For their hard work and creativity to be recognised on a national scale is an incredible achievement and I am absolutely thrilled for them.

“The level of ability and creativity of all our Technical Theatre learners studying with us at Cheshire College 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, from sound and stage management to live planning and lighting.”

The lighting of ‘Home, Again’ caught the eye of both theatre publications for its kaleidoscopic design and operation by learner Alex, whilst Stage Manager and Camera Operator Francesca and Deputy Stage Manager Matthew ensured the smooth running of the show. 

Cheshire College’s Technical Theatre department work with many creative companies for learners to gain real hands-on experience and The Boaty Theatre Company is one of the College’s latest partners. Founded by award-winning Director and Cheshire College Awesome Alumna Laura J Harris, The Boaty Theatre Company provides the opportunity for learners to work on live client briefs.

Commenting on the success of the show and the learners’ work, Laura said: “Working with the learners on this project was a wonderful experience.  I was delighted that they were highlighted and named in the reviews – they worked so hard and so passionately, really taking onboard our Boaty ethos and way of working as a creative team and family. It has always been important for us to provide as much real-life, industry experience as possible for everyone working with us and we always try to promote and highlight the talents of local people. 

“We believe in an access-for-all approach to creativity, theatre, music, art and live performance.  Whether you are a participant, audience member, part of the creative team, a performer or supporting from the sidelines with passion and dedication, we feel that everyone should have access to experiencing the arts – to feeling that incredible sensation of being a part of something communal and creative; of bringing something exciting, thought provoking and emotionally engaging to life.  And that’s what Alex, Francesca and Matthew did so beautifully and so succinctly when they worked with us on Home, Again.”

Home to fully-equipped theatres with control desks, lighting and staging equipment Cheshire College provides the perfect platform for learners to improve and develop their Technical Theatre skills with dedicated study programmes ranging from Level 3 up to Level 6. 

To learn more about Technical Theatre visit ccsw.ac.uk – there has never been a better time to ‘Get In, Stand Out’. 

Secure A Guaranteed Teaching Placement as Part of Cheshire College’s NEW Graduate PGCE Programme

Applications have now opened for Cheshire College’s inaugural Teacher Graduate Programme, which offers a full-time PGCE programme and guaranteed teaching placement all under the same roof. With more financial support now available for those training to teach within the Further Education sector, graduates could gain a bursary of £26,000 whilst completing the College’s programme. 

Opening its doors to those who aspire to teach English, mathematics, science, computing or engineering within Further Education, Cheshire’s largest provider of post-16 education is providing outstanding graduates with a unique learning and teaching experience like never before.

Successful candidates for the Graduate Teaching Programme will enrol on to the College’s popular PGCE course, whilst teaching 18 hours a week at one of the College’s three Campuses in Crewe, Ellesmere Port or Chester to gain real work experience. 

James Eagney, Assistant Principal at Cheshire College, said: “Our new Teacher Graduate Programme is a brilliant opportunity for graduates who are finishing university this year and are looking to take their first step into teaching. The funding now available for those training to teach within Further Education has been a welcomed addition within the sector and, along with a guaranteed placement as part of the programme, graduates could also benefit from a bursary of up to £26,000 by completing their PGCE course with us.

“As well as being taught by an expert team for the theoretical side of the course, graduates will also to be able to train on the job in outstanding facilities with the same experienced staff to help support their academic, professional and personal growth.”

On successful completion of the programme, the College will invite the newly qualified teachers for interview for any internal vacancies that exist at the time within the relevant department they have trained in. 

In order to apply for the programme, graduates should have a good honors degree of a 2:1 or higher, a Level 3 qualification in the subject they wish to teach, GCSE grades 4/C in both English and mathematics and a true passion to teach in Further Education.

With ‘highly-effective’ education programmes, as praised by Ofsted who rated the College ‘Good’ in its most recent inspection, Cheshire College provides learners with a fulfilling and rewarding experience which empowers them to achieve their full academic potential. 

Applications for the College’s Teacher Graduate Programme close at 5pm on 29th April 2021. To find out more and apply click here.