Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Steering their way to success

The 14-16 year old Motor Vehicle group went go-karting on 16 June at the international race track at Wilton Mill, Northamptonshire.

The group has been at College now for two years and built the go-karts themselves with the help of tutor Mick Cox.

The go-karts comprise a fixed rear wheel drive system with a single rear disc brake. They run a 5.5 horse power Honda lawn mower engine; this gives the students more than enough speed to have a good time and negates the need for a clutch, so anyone can have a drive.

The students started out slowly and gradually built up their speed, until they achieved some very good lap times. Tutor Matt Hall comments, "It was a very nice way to finish with a very pleasant group of students. Derek and I wish them all the best for their future careers."

Great British Hero Ride

Ricky Murphy, Public Service Student, reports

On 1 June three students from Dunstable College Public Services department grabbed our bikes and made our way to London Whitehall for a sponsored bike ride. Joining a further 3,000 riders, the aim was to raise money for a charity HELP for HEROES that supports injured troops across the country and helps them back onto their feet.

Chris Robinson, Joel Freeman and I arrived in London and made our way to Whitehall. We were met by 3,000 other riders, a TV crew and the press. We chatted to other riders who had just completed a 350 mile ride around Europe visiting WW1 and WW2 battle sites and laying reefs.

At 1:45 an RSM from the army gave us a final talk on the ride and then a representative from HELP for HEROES set us off and 3,000 riders entered the roads of London surrounded by the public and veterans. Every so many miles we stopped and laid a reef at different memorials on the way.

We arrived at the horse guard parade just after 3:30 where we were applauded by hundreds of bystanders and then received a final talk by the chief of the army who congratulated all the riders on the amount of money that had been raised so far. After the talk, we spoke to more of the riders and had photo opportunities with the horse guards.

We all agreed that this was an experience of a life time and were proud to have been applauded for the effort and money we had raised.

We are all signing up for next year to complete the 350 mile ride across Europe and hope to double the money we have raised this time, which is estimated at just under £400.

Student lays the foundations of success!

The Year 10 first years on the City and Guilds 6217-01 have had a go at Bricklaying on a recent taster. The students have just completed their first year with Paul Bailey on Joinery. Paul wanted to extend the course to let them have a taste of another trade. Paul comments, "This was very successful and excellently run by Tony Summers. We will include this in the curriculum next year and maybe extend it."

Success again for students at NOAH

Students based at the NOAH outreach centre in High Town, Luton, have had another successful year.

The City and Guilds Furniture Making courses Levels 1-3 have just had their yearly visit from the external verifier. A very high pass rate was achieved, with the majority of students gaining Distinctions and Credits. The EV praised the work commenting that the products were made to "industrial and marketable standards" and the Level 3 veneered jewellery boxes were "exquisite".

Course tutors Judy Eaton and Mick Thomas were delighted with the achievements and praised students for all their hard work.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Students Enter National Creative Competition

Students studying a BA in Graphic Design for Print and New Media at Dunstable College have been invited to submit entries for The Shelf – a national creative awards competition. The Shelf is opening its invitation to graduating creatives from a wide pool of universities for the very first time. Judged by a panel of leading Creative DIrectors, The Shelf helps to bridge the gap from graduation to employment.

Celeste Henney, Course Leader, comments:

“It is often the first initial contact with agencies that students most struggle with so I didn’t hesitate to encourage my students to enter The Shelf Awards. Any industry is a good one and the chance to network with graduates and leading creatives is always a valued prize to any competition.”

Founded seven years ago by Gary Sharpen, Executive Creative Director of WDMP, a leading advertising agency, The Shelf is now run with MajorPlayers – the UK’s number one creative recruiter – and offers a huge career boost for the winning graduates. It was established as a way of uncovering and supporting the best in young creative talent, by helping to channel it into some of the best creative agencies.

The closing date for submissions was the start of May. Entries will be judged by a panel of leading Creative Directors who will select six teams. These will then be invited to attend a special awards ceremony on 3 July 2008 at the unique “Under the Westway” members' bar in Westbourne Studios. Those who make the shortlist will have the opportunity to showcase a range of their work, with the opportunity to meet leading Creative Directors as well as other industry experts. Importantly, they will also have the chance to secure work placements at top agencies – a vital step towards full-time employment.

The evening will conclude with the awarding of The Shelf, which will have been decided by votes from the guests on the night. The overall winners will receive The Shelf, which is so called because upon it the young creatives will be able to place the future awards they are sure to gather throughout their careers.

Gary Sharpen comments:

“Extending the reach of The Shelf will enable us to seek out and support even more fantastic young creative talent. Through The Shelf we aim to make the leap from college to the industry a positive and well structured one. This benefits both the individual creatives and the future of our industry. Thanks to the excellent support of MajorPlayers we are aiming to support more and more bright prospects.”

Rachel Gott, Divisional Head of Creative at MajorPlayers, added:

“It’s a real privilege for MajorPlayers to work alongside Gary Sharpen – a real innovator within the creative industry whose heart for encouraging new talent resonates strongly with our own. As the UK’s number one creative recruiter, MajorPlayers constantly looks for ways to support the industries that we recruit into and The Shelf Awards are a really fantastic opportunity for graduates looking to get a leg up into their first creative role within one of the top marketing or advertising agencies.”

This event is one of a series of creative and marketing industry events to be held this year by MajorPlayers. As well as supporting the industries MajorPlayers recruits into, the programme of events reflects one of the company’s founding principles – that a candidate’s career history is a journey in which a recruiter should play a constructive ongoing part. MajorPlayers sees these networking events as an opportunity to feed the talent in the industry rather than prey on them.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Design Award for College Student

Congratulations go to Dunstable College’s Hazel Snell, from the BA (Hons) in Graphic Design for Print and New Media course, who has just won Silver in the Starpack Student Awards for Best Package Design. Her winning concept for a festival pack got outstanding marks and was said by the judges to be "both fun and practical."

The awards ceremony on 22 May will take place at Carlton House and her award will be presented by the Senior Packaging Technologist from Marks and Spencer, Mark Caul. Her design will then be on show at The Cafe Royal, where it will be viewed by the contenders for the Starpack Industry Awards. Printed in the winners’ book, Hazel’s work will go on to represent UK colleges and universities in the World Star Student Awards, an International competition open to all winners.

Hazel, aged 21, is from County Wicklow, Ireland and currently lives in Luton. After graduating, she wants to work as a designer. Hazel says, "I was delighted to win such an award, it felt like all of the hard work paid off and will be great on my C.V." Hazel's winning work will be on display at the London D&AD Show in June and also at the College's End of Year Art, Design, Media and Performing Arts Show, which is open to the public June 19–24.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Mature student attracted back in to education by Art & Design courses at Dunstable College

Art & Design courses at Dunstable College are attracting mature students who have been out of education for some time, and providing a route for them to return to study in their chosen subject. Jan Drury enrolled on the part-time Foundation Diploma in Art & Design course, and cannot believe the difference it has made to her life.

Jan comments, “In 2006 after completing several art based evening classes, I applied for a place on the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design. I have been attending the course on a part time basis and ‘love’ it. The reason for my applying for the course was that I had reached a stage in my life when I wanted to do something for myself and having always had an interest in artistic ventures I decided to take the plunge and really stretch myself. Dunstable was always my first choice of college and I have not been disappointed. The level of tuition and support is superb and I will be sorry to leave the course. I had never been to a gallery before and did not know any artists. Now I have become an ‘art bore’ constantly going on about artists and techniques. The trip to Berlin was the highlight of the course, so far.

I was apprehensive at first returning to learning as a mature student but needn’t have worried. All the students young and old learn from each other and I think enhance each other’s work”.

Course Team Leader, Lee Birkett adds, “This course has proven to be very popular and has given a real boost to the students’ confidence. Students gain a variety of skills and the opportunity to sample a wide range of art and design areas, including fine art, graphics, 3D and textiles. They go onto focus these skills in their strongest area, working towards progression onto an appropriate degree programme, or employment. It is ideal for those who have sampled art and design at some stage in their life, but for whatever reason were unable to take this interest further at the time”.

For further information on the part-time courses available at Dunstable College please call 0845 355 2525, or visit www.dunstable.ac.uk

Dunstable College provides clear progression routes for students

Dunstable College is providing students with a clear progression route within their chosen subject, enabling students to study at the College for up to five years and gain an Honours degree.

Students are able enter the College to study for a Further Education course then continue their studies on one of the College’s extensive Foundation Degree schemes, with the option to then complete a one year top Honours degree here at Dunstable College or at a University of their choice.

One of the newest subjects to be offered by the College is the National Diploma in Graphics, this forms an integral part of the strong Art & Design department within the College. Course Team Leader, Stuart Dall commented “The National Diploma in Graphics is an exciting new course that has a strong computer led focus. The aim is to encourage the students to remain at the College throughout their studying career. This provides students with the opportunity to work with actual clients within the industry, therefore gaining excellent work based experiences.”

For further information on the National Diploma in Graphics or any other courses please contact Dunstable College on 0845 355 2525, www.dunstable.ac.uk

SKF (U.K.) Limited Joins Chiltern Business Training to Provide Young People with Apprenticeship Opportunities

Local Luton based company, SKF (U.K.) Limited, recognises the benefits apprenticeship training can bring to their organisation. As a successful engineering company producing SKF Explorer spherical roller bearings and CARB toroidal roller bearings, it is becoming increasingly difficult to recruit skilled workers with the relevant industry experience. The Apprenticeship programme will support them in recruiting and training young people within the company to their own high standards and allow them to tailor the training, making it relevant to their business. With new apprentices taken on each year it will allow succession planning across the workforce.

SKF (U.K.) Limited has worked alongside Chiltern Business Training to design a programme, advertise and recruit apprentices with the first intake being this summer. Mr S. Gunston, Factory Manager, SKF (U.K.) Limited "SKF recognises the importance that Advanced Engineering apprenticeships have in filling the ever growing skill gap in UK manufacturing. They will also show young people that manufacturing, in progressive companies, can provide a rewarding and challenging career for those that choose this path.”

Chiltern Business Training is the business development department of Dunstable College. They have been working alongside employers in South Bedfordshire to provide a range of business training solutions for over 15 years. New and long established businesses alike are aware of the need for succession planning and investment of training into their workforce. Apprenticeships are a proven solution, with a wealth of benefits to the employer and employees. Apprenticeships offer employed young people the opportunity to work towards a portfolio of qualifications through on and off the job training, giving them industry relevant and nationally recognised qualifications.

For more information contact Chiltern Business Training on 01582 861607.

Sport Relief

Dunstable College students on the Pathways and Townsend Centre courses did their bit for Sport Relief, when they walked a mile together, getting people to sponsor their efforts.

To date about £70 has been raised, with more money due in.

As these students have learning difficulties and/or disabilities, this was a huge achievement for them.

The group marched through Houghton Regis, with banners held high, and in spite of the cold they all enjoyed their walk.

Dunstable College attracts international football star

On Friday 11th April Dunstable College students had the opportunity to speak to former Tottenham and Republic of Ireland international Tony Galvin. Having won two FA cup winners medals and one European Winners medal, Tony had vast experience to pass on to the students studying the sports courses based at the Kingsland Skills Institute Campus.

Now working as a Quality Manager for the LSC, Tony was able to speak to the students about some of the highlights of his career, but also the importance of gaining good qualifications. This included him achieving his degree before he became a professional footballer, which has provided him with a solid grounding for a career after football.

Some of the questions students asked included:

Best player you’ve ever played against? Rudd Gullit

Best player you’ve played with? Glenn Hoddle

Best team you’ve played against? Liverpool in the 1980’s

Head of Sport, Gary Lee commented, “being new to the College, I think it’s fantastic that we are attracting sports stars to the College. They are able to see the great facilities available to our students, and provide students with an ideal opportunity to learn from professional sport stars”.

For further information about the Sports courses available at Dunstable College please call 0845 355 2525 or visit www.dunstable.ac.uk

Dunstable College sports students delivering multi-sport activities to local schools

Students on the Football Development programme at Dunstable College are delivering multi-sport activities to local school children. Dunstable College has set up a relationship with Hawthorn Lower School, whereby the students deliver sporting activities to their students in years 1 to 6. This includes multi-sport lunchtime activities and curriculum based activities.

This scheme is attracting external trainers who are keen to develop coaching skills within the community. On Friday 4th April the students received a masterclass from Daniel Walker who runs Brazilian Soccer Schools. This masterclass enabled the students to learn from the best, and to deliver improved coaching to local children. The excellent skills shown by the students has led to one of the Higher Education students being offered a job working for Daniel; and two of the Further Education students currently completing trials to gain employment.

Football Development Manager, Colin Sharpe commented, “the relationship we’ve developed with Hawthorns Lower school provides the school children with a variety of sporting activities, and enables our students to gain practical coaching experience”.