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A word from the Principal


News National Apprenticeship p3 Week success, St Patrick’s Day & more...

Events, How to... 60 seconds with & Thinking Greener


Welcome to the South & City College Birmingham Staff Newsletter

A word from

Mike Hopkins


e are approaching the end of what has been a relatively short but nonetheless very busy term and we are continuing to improve. Our attention has to be focused on our students throughout our next term as not only do we want to give them the best support we can, but we also want them to return to continue with us next year. We also want to ensure our reputation is a good and very positive one in order to attract students to enrol with us. There have been very many high points during the term, far too many for me to cover here but I will highlight the open days and National Apprenticeship Week – both of which were a great success and show how we are moving forward and improving what we do to attract students. I was particularly impressed with the many fun and engaging activities at the most recent open day – we really gave prospective students a great experience. We now have to continue that approach and give the same attention to all events and open days, especially where our prospective students are concerned. Mike

Contents 3 College News 7 FE News 8 Special report: 24+ loans 10 60 seconds with... 10 How to... 10 Doing our bit 11 Health & safety 11 Hair & beauty 11 Upcoming events 11 Jobs & training 12 IT 12 Hello & goodbye 13 What do they do? 13 Competitions 13 Staff member of the month 14 Thinking Greener 15 Puzzle time Cover photo taken by photography student Tokumbo Banjo.


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College news South and City College celebrate apprenticeship success South and City College Birmingham celebrated the success of apprenticeships and work placements with employers and young people at an awards ceremony on Monday 11 March as part of National Apprenticeship Week [11-15 March]. Michelin starred chef Glynn Purnell, who offered two young budding cooks apprenticeships in his restaurants was awarded Apprenticeship Employer of the Year, and the highly anticipated Apprentice of the Year award went to Jack Hindley, an advanced apprentice in Business Administration. Jack, who is employed at Kier Partnership Homes is now studying towards a foundation degree in Site Management, received the accolade due to his commitment and outstanding performance. Sir Doug Ellis OBE, who is a patron of the college also presented awards. Tudor Rose Refurbishments were awarded a Bursary Award for their work in offering both placements and apprenticeships to young people. Sir Doug also awarded apprentice Jordan Powell with the Sir Doug Ellis OBE Endeavour Award.

Jordan completed an intermediate apprenticeship in Painting and Decorating and is now employed by Tudor Rose Refurbishments. Other awards were given to Thomas Vale Construction as Placement Provider of the Year for offering high quality placements on the refurbishment of the Council House in Birmingham, and to Arvinder Singh as Placement Student of the Year. Level 3 media games development student Arvinder took a two week work placement Tyler Parkes Partnership, who were so impressed with his work that they have employed him part time whilst he completes his level 3 qualification. Apprenticeship Employer of the Year Glynn Purnell said: “Taking on an apprentice can be Jordan a gamble but they accepted an award from have shown me Sir Doug that there are young people out there who want to achieve their ambitions and goals. I am looking forward to the next 12 months with the apprentices to watch how they grow into their roles within the business.” Mike Hopkins, added: “These awards are to celebrate the success that our students have had in their work placements and apprenticeships, and to thank the employers that make it possible. At the college we believe

Jack Hindley receives Apprenticeship of the Year award

in helping young people get the skills and qualifications they need to get ahead, but we also understand the importance of work experience when they come to look for a job. We try to make sure every student has had the opportunity to get real hands on work experience so they have the best chance of getting a great job when they leave the college.” The event was held at the college’s Hall Green Campus. It was part of the sixth annual National Apprenticeship Week, and was amongst hundreds of events and activities that took place across England.

Glynn Purnell’s Sous Chef collected the Apprentice Employer of the Year award on behalf of Glynn

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News A week of events during National Apprenticeship Week

Student wins top award from Federation of Master Builders

During National Apprenticeship Week, 11-15 March, the Business Services Team, curriculum staff and support teams worked hard during the week on a huge number of events to encourage and attract young people and local businesses to consider apprenticeships. Events included an open evening on Thursday 14 March where young people could get a ‘Passport to Apprenticeship Success’ in five simple steps. Leading local companies such as Asda, National Express, Bloomer Heaven Accountants and Manpower gave young people considering apprenticeships help to write a winning CV, advice on interview techniques and even tips on how to

Plastering student Kristian Brown has been presented with Student of the Year award at the Federation of Master Builders Annual Dinner, Solihull branch. Kristian, who was rewarded with £100, was nominated for his attendance and punctuality – which was the best in the college’s construction craft department for the last three years. Alan Mason, his tutor said: “This award is well-deserved for his commitment and determination to gain as much knowledge as possible from his time spent at South and City. “Kristian came to the college on a carousel taster course and has worked hard to progress to a level 3 course. Kristian’s plastering skills in both solid plastering and ornate plastering are excellent and he has a real interest in the latter which takes confidence, motivation and concentration to produce. He has just completed a very ornate ceiling rose now on display in the construction campus. He is also working with other students on a sustainable building project using recycled bottles to build a wall which will be completed this year. “For the last four years including this year, Kristian has gone from strength to strength with his plastering skills and confidence.”

dress for success. There were event fashion experts from George at Asda showcasing great value interview outfits available in their stores for under £40. Other events during the week included the college working in partnership with Barnardos to match long term unemployed young people from disadvantaged backgrounds with current apprenticeship vacancies; contractors working on the New Street Station Development be finding out how they can support local apprentices and will be attending an ‘Apprenticeship Surgery’ hosted by the college and National Apprenticeship Service staff; and an awards ceremony.

College apprentice dresses mannequins with George staff

Rising stars in our community There is now a community football league taking place at the construction centre at Bordesley Green Campus on Saturdays. The ‘Rising Stars’ is a nine a side league for the under 19’s. Zaf Mohammed, Community Liaison Officer said: “We have kids from all over from Birmingham entering the league, including those who aren’t in education. “We are in week 10 in the games played and I’d like to say a big thanks to Tom Mcgeever from Sports, who from day 1, has been coming in on Saturdays and refereeing the whole day on a voluntary basis. Tom has got the kids really excited with regular updates on fixtures and tables.”


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Student Kristian and tutor Alan Mason accept the award from the Federation of Master Builders

News South and City celebrate St Patrick’s Day South and City College once again sponsored the annual St Patrick’s Day Parade which takes place along the High Street right outside the Digbeth Campus. Over 80,000 people lined the street of Digbeth to see the procession, which included the college’s bright pink double decker bus, and two of our motor vehicle race cars. Fashion tutor Klaire Ader also took part in the parade with her skating group Central City Rollergirls flat track Roller Derby League, along with a giant rollerboot that Klaire had made. The college opened its doors to the public, serving up Irish food and drink (including plenty of Guinness) and putting on entertainment in the auditorium. Niamh and Joe, two HND music students put on an excellent set of classic Irish tunes, along with their own Irish folk music. The Father Teds, who had played live on BBC WM earlier in the day, followed bringing in a huge crowd of around 600 people.

Music students Niamh and Joe

Picture taken by student Jalil Islam

Love Food Hate Waste Roadshow

East is East

A Love Food Hate Waste stand has been touring the college’s campuses this month helping everyone learn how to save food and money. Staff and student have been able to see cooking demonstrations and have a taste of delicious food that has been made out of ingredients that might have otherwise gone in to the bin. They were also given recipe cards, tips and ideas of how to save food as well as handy freebies such as a rice measurer to ensure you don’t cook more than you will eat. Monica Price cooks up a curry from The Love Food Hate Waste veg that might have been thrown away campaign is a Government initiative which seeks to encourage people to throw away less food. If you missed the roadshow but would like to learn more, turn to our Thinking Greener page, or take a look at

Around 150 young people attended an event at the college to receive certificates for their participation in the Youth Service. East is East is an event to celebrate and showcase the achievements and learning of young people through their involvement in their local youth centre or project in the East quadrant of Birmingham. There were performances of the skills the young people learned during their time at youth centres, including singing, street dance and rap. The event was attended by city Councillors, including Jerry Evans, Martin Straker Welds and Habib Rehman.

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News South and City College HE students graduate 147 South and City College higher education students have graduated. The students who have been studying at the college on higher education courses run in partnership with Birmingham City University received their qualifications at a graduation ceremony at Symphony Hall this month. The students have been studying towards HNC and HND in Business and Management, Foundation Degree in Early Years, Foundation Degree in ICT, HND in Media, HND in Music, HNC in Construction and HNC in Building Services Engineering received their awards along with students from previous years who received their full degrees.

HE students graduate

College suports healthy eating app The college has supported the launch of a new phone app that helps people understand food labels. FoodLab is a brand new android phone App that helps consumers translate food labels, particularly the amount of fat, sugar and salt in food products. The app is the brainchild of local nutritionist Monica Price and Ambinet Software who worked together to develop it for the benefit of people, especially young people, around the world. Terry Abbas from Ambinet, Mike Hopkins and Nutritionist Monica Price


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Monica said: “FoodLab is really going to help people of all ages to understand any food product that has a nutritional panel. Students and their families will really benefit by seeing just how much fat, sugar and salt is in the food that they are buying. The FoodLab App can be used in any supermarket and it allows you to make an informed choice quickly and easily.” The app is available to download free on android phones now, and will soon be available on iPhones.

Jobseekers attend apprenticeships event A group of young job seekers from Birmingham and the Black Country celebrated National Apprenticeship Week by attending a special event at the college. Barnardo’s joined forces with us to provide the special coaching session to help local young people pursue apprenticeship opportunities. CV-writing, interview skills and information about applying for apprenticeships were included in the one-off event held at the Fusion Centre. Samuel Cash, aged 23, a young jobseeker from Bloxwich who attended the session said: “I’d like to work in business administration and I feel like an apprenticeship is my best way forward just now as I don’t have any real work experience in admin. “I have GCSE’s and A Levels but I haven’t been able to get my career kickstarted at all. I am hoping that today’s session will help me find an apprenticeship so I can start working and start my career.”


FE news College’s criticised for jobs failure Ofsted has criticised colleges for missing skills targets and failing to prepare learners for local job opportunities. The education watchdog conducted a survey to find out how the sector was responding to the government’s New Challenges, New Chances document, introduced just over a year ago to give colleges more freedom to tailor their curriculum to local needs. However, the survey found that out of 17 colleges visited only three were offering a curriculum tailored to their areas. Ofsted have also criticised local enterprise partnerships for not being “fully effective in working with the colleges to ensure highquality, coherent local planning for further education and skills in their respective areas.” Matthew Coffey director of learning and skills at Ofsted said: “Many colleges were able to clearly identify common priorities within their local region, such as poverty and deprivation, rising unemployment and a mismatch of skills. However, there was insufficient evidence to demonstrate how successful they were in supporting progression to further training or employment.” Joy Mercer, the Association of Colleges director of policy, said: “This report indicates there is much to be done. These efforts are to be made across the board — in partnerships by including colleges at the highest levels, in colleges to learn from the best, in government to support the challenges of raising the participation age.”

Vocational courses could be dropped from league tables Thousands of vocational courses could be dropped from college and school sixth-form performance tables as part of government reforms to raise education standards. Only around 10 per cent of nearly 4,000 Level 3 vocational courses would be counted in the tables. The Skills Minister Matthew Hancock made the announcement following a review of vocational education by Prof Alison Wolf, of King’s College London, published in 2011. She complained that many vocational courses did not retain a core of academic maths and English skills along with proper workplace experience. Matthew Hancock said: “For vocational education to be valued and held in high esteem we must be uncompromising about its quality. Vocational qualifications must be stretching and strong. The proposals would ensure that

only large qualifications which meet a quality bar will count in the performance tables. The changes would also mean that qualifications which lead into skilled occupations – either directly or through higher education – would be reported separately from those which are more general in nature. But Joy Mercer, director of education policy at the Association of Colleges, said that an increasing emphasis on external tests at the end of the course could undermine a style of learning under which many students thrive. “The government is perhaps misunderstanding why we do regular internal assessments. Girls do much better under continuous assessment. Employers want to know if someone will apply themselves over a continued period of time, not just on the morning of a test.” The consultation is open until 10 May 2013. You can find it at: www.

Skills Minister Matthew Hancock

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Special report



From 1 April, learners aged 24 and over will be able to apply for a loan to help cover the cost of a college course.

The lowdown on

24+ Advanced Learning Loans What are these loans and why are they coming in? Grant funding is being prioritised by the Government for those with the greatest need. From August 2013 there will be no grant funding for individuals aged 24 and above, studying at Level 3 and above. 24+ Advanced Learning Loans will help individuals wanting to study at Level 3 and above access to financial support for tuition costs similar to that which is available in higher education. This means that rather than an individual having to pay for their course upfront, they have the option of accessing a loan from the Student Loans Company (SLC), which they will only start to repay once they have left the course and are earning over £21,000 each year.

Who’s eligible for a loan? To be eligible for a loan, a learner must be: l Aged

24 or over on the first day of the course (there’s no upper age-limit) and starting the course on or after 1 August 2013. l Living in the UK on the first day of the course and have lived in the UK for three years immediately before. There are some exceptions – see l Studying with a college or training organisation in England approved for public funding. l Enrolling on an eligible course at Level 3 and Level 4 which includes: l A number of A-Levels/AS/A2 l A Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) Access to HE Diploma l A Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) Level 3 Certificate l A QCF Level 3 Diploma l A QCF Level 4 Certificate l A QCF Level 4 Diploma l An Advanced Apprenticeship Framework l A Higher Apprenticeship Framework


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Special report These loans do not cover Degrees or other forms of HE. For information on funding for HE go to

How much can a learner get? The amount of loan depends on the course, the course fees and maximum amounts set by the government. The minimum loan amount is £300. Students can take out a loan for the maximum amount to cover the course fees or can pay part of the fee and use a loan for the rest.

How’s the loan paid back? Student Finance England pay the agreed loan directly to the college once we have confirmed the students attendance on the course. l Loan

repayments are based on a student’s income, not what was borrowed. l Students will only start making repayments when their income is more than £404 per week, £1,750 per month or £21,000 per year. l Students will only pay back 9% of any income above £21,000 a year. l Students don’t need to worry about making repayments. Their employer will take repayments directly off their salary as they do with tax and national insurance contributions. l If the student becomes self-employed they’ll be responsible for making loan repayments as part of their annual self-assessment tax return. l If they stop working, the repayments will stop and only start again when the income is more than £21,000 a year.

The application process l Individuals

can apply for a Loan from April 2013 for courses starting between 1 August 2013 and 31 July 2014. l Before making an application individuals need to receive an offer of a place on their chosen course from the college.

l Individuals

will be able to apply for a loan online or by a paper-based application form. l For an application to be processed, an individual needs to provide details of the: l Course they wish to study. l College where they wish to study. l The tuition fees the college is charging them. l The amount of Loan they wish to take out. l As a college we must provide the individual with these details in the The college has form of a course/programme offer. created an information l In addition, individuals need to leaflet for students provide personal details (name, – this is available at address, etc) and evidence to Students Services confirm their identity. For UK across the college passport holders this will just be campuses. their valid UK passport details (not a physical passport). l If the individual is a UK national but does not hold a passport they will be asked to provide another form of evidence such as a UK birth certificate, which will be returned to them. If an individual is not a UK national they will need to provide physical identity evidence, as well as evidence that they are a permanent resident in the UK. l An individual also needs to provide a valid National Insurance number in order for the fee to be paid to the college on their behalf. If they do not have a National Insurance number they can still apply for a Loan, Student Finance England (part of the SLC) will contact them if they need to do anything to obtain one.

For more information BIS 24+ Advanced Learning Loans Briefings and Research: Skills Funding Agency 24+ Advanced Learning Loans webpage: 24+ Advanced Learning Loans Learner Communications:

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How to... Jel


60 seconds with...

o ani Br

Name: Jelani Brown Job title: Student Pastoral Mentor Campus: Digbeth What are some key responsibilities of your role? My key responsibilities are to give support, advice and guidance with learners experiencing in care/leaving care difficulties, family problems, lack of motivation, low self esteem, behavioural concerns and punctuality/attendance issues. Tell us something interesting about you? In my spare time I enjoy DJing at live events and marketing club nights/concerts in venues such as Gatecrasher, NIA, 02 Academy Birmingham and Wembley Arena. I also presented on Galaxy Radio for 6 years. How long have you been working in the college? I’ve been working for just over 1 year. Why do you think you have been so successful in serving the college and students? I think it’s because I am part of a very supportive mentoring team and that I’m able to draw upon the skills learnt whilst studying here as a student. Learners also value this firsthand experience and therefore can relate to me as I provide guidance and support during their studies. I’m also polite, approachable, easy to talk to and sensitive to the delicate information disclosed by these students. What do you believe your greatest accomplishment whilst at the college? Thinking back there’s been so many, one of which was being able to support a learner on the verge of dropping out whilst experiencing a lack of motivation, family bereavement, financial and housing difficulties. This learner has since gone on to study a degree course at Coventry University. What has been your greatest challenge? A few of my day to day challenges are getting learners to understand the world does not owe them anything! Respect is earned not given and that money does not buy happiness. If your life turned in to a movie what actor would you be? I can’t think if a film that fits my life, but if I was to choose an actor/film I would like to act as Jim Carrey – The Mask.


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Take part in this year’s Reading and Writing Festival The annual Reading and Writing Festival is taking place across all campuses again this year from 17-23 April 2013. The aim of the festival is to promote student literacy; mostly reading for pleasure but also writing creatively and exploring potential careers within the writing industry. This year’s festival includes a number of events open to staff and students, including: l A

half day workshop on performance poetry with current Birmingham Poet Laureate Stephen Morrison Burke. l An evening workshop on writing with scriptwriter for Dr Who, William Gallagher. l A creative writing competition, open to staff and students. Winners of the competition not only win a Kindle, but will also be invited to a special lunch where they will be treated to a workshop on storytelling with local author Andrew Killeen. For further information, please email the reading and writing team no later than 15 April 2013. Contact: to book a place at an event or for competition information or Philippa.Grimes@ if you have any ideas or ways you would like to contribute to the event.

Doing our bit Students in Group A on the Adult Health and Social Care Level 1 course organised a Red Nose Day raffle, which raised £18. Thanks to Jayne Carrie and those who supplied prizes, purchased and sold raffle tickets. Group B organised a cake sale which raised £23. Thanks to students Janet Shahriveri, who made a chocolate cake and a lemon drizzle cake and to Matthew Glover who supplied a carrot cake. Congratulations to the Level 2 Hospitality and Catering students who raised £62 for Red Nose Day.

Regulars Health & safety Policies and Procedures Policies and procedures are extremely important in an organisation. But there are so many similarities that many people get confused between the two. Here’s an easy guide to avoid confusion:

Policy It is actually a guiding principle that is put in place to give direction to employees. A policy is always within the framework of the missions and objectives of any business and it’s senior management. In any business policies can also be understood as written or unwritten codes of conduct and rules under which the operations are to be carried out regarding specific systems. For example, employees, work culture, and health and safety, to allow the business to keep functioning smoothly with a shared understanding.

Procedure Procedure is the practical application of a policy. When you are in a chemistry class, the teacher tells you everything about a topic, but it is when you apply

the knowledge gained in a lab practically that you realise what needs to be done at what time. This is the procedure.

If you are working in a factory, there are policies about operating a machine, but procedures are the set of actions that you need to perform while operating the machine in reality. In fact, procedures are step by step instructions that tell the employees what to do and when to do it in real life. Policies translated into action are procedures. l Policies

guide top management in decision making, while procedures guide employees into action. l Policies can be modified by the management, but procedures remain in force and are to be followed. l Policies reflect the mission statements and objectives of a company, while procedures are practical applications of these policies. l Policies are made at the top, while procedures are made in consultation with employees.

Skin test for all colours needed!! 24/48 hours before treatment!!

Learner Voice Conferences Monday 25 March, Auditorium, Digbeth Tuesday 26 March Sports Hall, Fordrough Wednesday 27 March Hall, Hall Green Thursday 28 March Sports Hall, Handsworth

Reading and Writing Festival 17-23 April

Jobs & training Internal and external Cook Supervisor Permanent | £15,704 – £16,421 pa

Now taking appointments for

Appointments taken Mondays & Tuesdays at 10.00am


Difference between Policy and Procedure


Upcoming events

IT Administrator Permanent | £16,625 – £17,686 pro rata T-SECTION OF HIGHLIGHTS £15n BLOWDRYS £2.50n HAIR UP £2.50n SETS £2.50n TRIM & BLOWDRYS £5n FULL HEAD COLOUR £15n

Please contact 0121 675 8381 We will look forward to seeing you.

Internal only Deputy Purchase Ledger Controller Secondment until 31 July 2013 £22,986 – £24,496pa Please see Elvis for more information and how to apply. FYi MARCH 2013


Regulars IT Need help from IT or Estates? There is now just one icon on Elvis for all your IT and Estates needs. If you have an IT job request, please log it on the new SCCB Job System on Elvis: SCCB Job System

IT Helpdesk If you have an IT issue, you can call the IT Helpdesk on 6309 or #7 6309. Please don’t call or email IT staff directly as this takes them away from tasks or jobs already assigned and stops us from monitoring call patterns and problems across the college.

A single log on We are working to ensure that all staff log on to computers in the same way – with e-numbers. All former City accounts using first initial and surname will soon be switched to using e-numbers. Keep an eye here for more information when.

New servers, films, music and games Work has been undertaken to move all user data to the new combined servers. You will all now have an X: and Y: drive. During this process certain file types including music, films and games have been detected. Please remember the college does not permit the storage of files that may have been downloaded, copied or distributed without the owner’s consent as we may incur financial penalties. Please check your files and delete anything of this nature and please remind students.

Netbooks for HE We are currently giving out netbooks to HE students that meet the criteria, and the draw for our remaining students that meet the criteria will take place soon.

Windows 7 Update Former City sites completed an update from Windows XP to Windows 7 over the summer. Running Windows 7 means that the latest software and hardware required by the curriculum can be supported. Some of the new software required by curriculum is no longer compatible with Windows XP. The former South sites have begun the update and we hope to have the majority updated over Easter. Please note: We are not changing the MS Office platform, this is remaining at Office 2007 for now so that any learning materials with Office screenshots will still be relevant.

Coming Soon Wireless, VDI in a box.


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Hello & goodbye New staff Sadaf Abbas Skills for Life & Work Adeel Aijaz Skills for Life & Work Helen Catcliffe Skills for Life & Work Moushumi Chakravarti Skills for Life & Work Jill Dagnan Retail, Commercial, Ent & Sports Elizabeth Farebrother Retail, Commercial, Ent & Sports Michael Gretton Skills for Life & Work Michael Groom Skills for Life & Work Robert Monk Skills for Life & Work Agnieszka Orlowska Skills for Life & Work Afhseen Osman Skills for Life & Work Dean Richardson Construction – Craft Amie Smith Retail, Commercial, Ent & Sports Andrew Speers Skills for Life & Work Pawel Walusko Skills for Life & Work Natalie Weston Skills for Life & Work Michael Bartlett Finance Larysa Dubova Student Services Nysha Givans Student Services Pitchou Ilunga Corporate Services Lucinder Inman Corporate Services Phil King Construction – Craft Charlotte Malbon Student Services Maria Ryan Student Services June Underwood Student Services Adnan Younas Automotive & Engineering

Leavers Rajni Taheem Retail, Commercial, Ent & Sports Timothy Moore Finance Saliha Yasin Business Services Lorraine Hester Student Services

Got something to go in the staff newsletter?

Email it to

Regulars Competitions

Our roles are to provide a reprographic service to all staff and students across all nine campuses within the college. We print everything from business cards to class handouts and everything in-between. We also keep all of the photocopiers copying and printing and ensure that the college has enough paper. We work within the marketing department, and are responsible for printing all the colourful and informative posters you see adorning our walls, as well as leaflets and materials that get distributed all over the city and further. Derek Osborne is the print room manager – he has been here for 14 years so he knows what he’s doing! Chris Shorthouse and Chris Austin, along with new recruit Nick Parker make up the busy team. We are always happy to help and we never shut... well not until 6pm anyway. If you have anything you would like printing, contact us at, call 0121 694 6287 or pop in to see us at Hall Green campus room HB 033. Reprographics fact: Last month we completed 451 separate orders!

Writing competition – for staff too! The reading and writing team know it’s not just our students who have talent when it comes to writing creatively. So for the first time ever entries for the annual anthology competition our open to ALL staff too. The top prize is a Kindle and a guaranteed place in the workshop with Andrew Killeen as he returns to celebrate creative writing.



Matt Johnson H

An anthology of the best pieces will be exhibited online across all sites as part of our Reading and Writing Week 17-23 April 2013.

embe m f r af

the month of

Write an original short story, poem, rap, performance, news piece, script or song with the title ‘The Gift That No One Wanted’. Enter it before Tuesday 26 March and as well as the chance to win a Kindle you’ll be offered a place at a workshop with author, Andrew Killeen.


To enter:


John Smyth wowed at the regional competition



Level 1 plumbing student John Smyth has come second place in a regional heat for National Apprentice Plumber of the Year, only narrowly missing out on a place in the final. The young student who joined the plumbing course at the college after doing a carousel taster through his school, was up against ten others who were all level 2 students and above and already working in industry. John’s tutor, Paul Fletcher spoke to the competition organisers to see if they would accept John into the competition after seeing John’s potential and thinking he had a shot against more experienced students. Paul said: “John has exceptional skills in plumbing and has really developed in the short time he has

been with us. He is a model student and is very dedicated – he comes in on his days off and helps around the workshop. I entered him in to the competition as I thought it would be good for his CV and that he would do well, and he really did.” John added: “I was made up to be entered into the competition. I can’t believe that I was a runner up against others who are working full time in plumbing and who are on higher courses. I am looking forward to entering more competitions. I am hopefully going to enter this one again next year – and I’d like to win the regional heat and then go on to the final!” John is part of the college’s WorldSkills competition squad and has also been taken on by the college as an apprentice.


Plumbing student wows at regional competition

What do they do?

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Thinking Greener is our sustainability awareness campaign to help us achieve our carbon reduction goals and we need everyone to get involved. You will see and hear more about Thinking Greener in the coming months.

Do you have a

green idea? March saw the launch of the electronic Thinking Greener suggestions boxes for both students and staff who are interested in contributing and communicating green initiatives that have a real impact on the carbon footprint, sustainability and costs of our organisation. Reducing our energy consumption and our use of resources not only reduces our carbon footprint but also can deliver significant and tangible cost savings. If you or your students have some great ideas, big or small, then please use the new electronic suggestion boxes to submit them. The link into the boxes can be found on Moodle and Elvis and the college website. All ideas will be reviewed and entered into a competition each term with some great prizes on offer for those ideas that are implemented and used to deliver real carbon and cost saving projects. We will give you more information on the competition in next month’s FYI. Two students at Bordesley Green Campus have submitted a detailed and costed project for reducing water usage at the campus through the use of waterless urinals. John and Justin are both level 2 plumbing students and have been working with Bordesley Green’s Green Champion Mark Bond-Hines. They


FYi MARCH 2013

have developed the project together including the design, specification, parts list, detailed costings, with a business case for the installation as well as arranging meetings with potential suppliers. The two students have submitted the idea to the estates team who will be including the suggestion in their capital projects plan. Watch this space for an update!

Glass bottle project Plastering students are producing a glass bottled wall made from recycled bottles. The students have constructed a timber framed wall to accommodate the bottles which have been washed, cut to size, dried and taped together. They are then bedded into sand and lime. Constructing this wall has given the students the opportunity to experiment with materials that are usually thrown out as a waste product, and create a piece of art which the third year students are very enthusiastic about.

Love Food Hate Waste? Did you know... l In

the UK we throw away around 7.2m tonnes of food every year! That’s £12billion a year on food which we buy and then just throw away. Much of the food we waste ends up in landfill where it rots and releases methane, a damaging greenhouse gas. l Did you know that the amount of water used to grow, feed and make the food we throw away each year is more than all of the water used in UK homes? l And if we all stopped throwing away food that could be eaten it would save as much carbon as taking one in every five cars off UK roads. For lots more hints and tips on how to reduce food waste at home as well as lots of recipe ideas, visit

Get involved, be a Green Champion We are currently looking for Green Champions – staff and students who would be interested in contributing and communicating real green initiatives that have a real impact on the carbon footprint and sustainability of our organisation. If you are interested in being a Green Champion, please email


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a p










g f e r f c o n m u o i w f g h h c s e y i r i v s e o z s v e i v m e h t t n e n n u k j x t e c y r m c u g c k z i v d n v l c r a m a n e x q l q















p o r t f o l i o l a p t g e n v p t n e m s s e s s a y d c q p e g e l l o c w w b k s q u a l i f i c a t i o n c l

Words to find: Apprenticeships Knowledge


Career Paid

College Portfolio

Employment Practical

Experience Qualification



Training Skilled

FYi MARCH 2013


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FYI - March 2013  

South & City College Birmingham - Staff Newsletter

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