2016 has been a busy year for NCG and our divisions; we take a look back at some of the highlights.
Parsons Building; an £18m redevelopment to transform post-16 learning
Back in March, Newcastle College unveiled the new Parsons Building on campus; a ten-storey facility boasting a range of real working environments to help train students for careers in a number of different sectors.
This includes a dedicated floor for healthcare training with a number of hospital wards that replicate the workings of a modern hospital; childcare facilities including a nursery, wet zone and reception class teaching area; and fully-equipped science laboratories dedicated to the delivery of biology, chemistry and physics. In addition, a domiciliary care flat that replicates a supported living environment with bath hoists, kitchen, and bedroom.
The Newcastle College Parsons Building enables employers to access a much needed training facility that will help them to train, recruit and retain highly skilled workers.
West Lancashire College Students Win Community Impact Award
In April, a group of eight West Lancashire College students came together for the Prince’s Trust team programme, winning the Community Impact Award at the Charity’s national ceremony at the London Palladium.
The Prince’s Trust team programme is designed to help young people develop the skills and confidence to find work in the future. The team set about transforming a garden at the Yewdale Counselling Centre into a tranquil haven, with different areas within the garden, individual seating and even repainted walls within the centre to help create a more relaxed environment for those undertaking counselling.
The team’s commitment to the cause was palpable; working late into the night and on weekends to get the job done, with their desire to go the extra mile to help pushing them over the edge to secure the national prize. Well done Team 42!
Rathbone’s Legal Highs Destroy Lives Campaign a Success
A campaign led by young people at Rathbone Training has played its part in a change in legislation on legal highs.
At a Question Time event, in Manchester, on 27th March 2015, attended by 50 young people and 20 staff, young people raised the issue of legal highs with the panel of local decision makers which included Kate Green, MP for Stretford and Urmston.
A major talking point in the impassioned debate was the damage ‘legal highs’ do to young people’s lives, with several young people giving accounts of how they have affected them and their family and friends.
The Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 came into force in May, just over a year after learners at Rathbone Training began highlighting the dangers of previously ‘legal highs’ and the impact they can have on people’s lives.
Intraining rated Grade 2 ‘Good’ by Ofsted
In June, Intraining achieved a Grade Two “Good” status from Ofsted, with the report praising its high quality of work with apprentices and partnering companies.
Inspectors looked at the quality of teaching, learning and outcomes for learners at Intraining, and awarded a ‘good’ status across all areas.
The OFSTED results clearly recognise Intraining’s strong work with employers and partners, as well as the investment they make to ensure that learners are safe, supported and are given the chance to fully unlock their potential by developing their skills.
In June, NCG became the first Further Education Institution in the UK to be awarded Taught Degree Awarding Powers.
This landmark development followed an intensive scrutiny process by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, who recognised that Higher Education provision at their Colleges – Newcastle College, West Lancashire College and Kidderminster College – provide a high quality offer to students, equivalent to that of a university.
NCG validated their first BA Hons Degree in November, marking the first full degree award to be validated by a college group in the UK. The online degree in Leadership and Business Management was developed by NCG Direct as part of Newcastle College, and is expected to have its first cohort in January 2017.
NSFC best year on record for results
2016 has been a record breaking year for Newcastle Sixth Form College, with students achieving the best results the college has ever seen.
24 of the subjects the college offers achieved a 100% pass rate, with 85% of students choosing to progress to university (25% of which gained places at Russell Group universities).
Training Provider of the Year Award
In November, Kidderminster College was named Training Provider of the Year at the Worcester Apprenticeship Awards due to their excelled contribution to apprenticeships – both through increasing numbers and quality – and their role as apprenticeship ambassadors promoting apprenticeships in Worcestershire to young people, schools and employers.
Statistically, Kidderminster College’s success rates are well above the national average with an outstanding 99% of apprentices remaining in employment on completion of their apprenticeship programmes.
A Year of Student Successes
- Newcastle Sixth Form College Student, Jennifer Olsen, was announced as the winner of the Talent 2030 National Engineering Competition for Girls for her project where she sought to develop cost effective ways of producing 3D printed prosthetic limbs.
- Kidderminster College Administration Apprentice, Kathleen Sandford, from The Community Housing Group (TCHG) in Kidderminster, won the top award at the National Apprenticeship Service Awards, becoming the National Intermediate Apprentice of the Year.
- West Lancashire College apprentice, Jack Baybutt, was also voted Intermediate Apprentice of the Year due to his infectious enthusiasm and business drive with his employer, The Cashroom Ltd.
- Enthusiastic apprentices at leading energy provider npower had their successes celebrated with special awards presented by Intraining.
- Learners from Rathbone Training received a National Volunteer Award from the Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) for their work with Neath Foodbank where they regularly help weigh, sort, pack and deliver food hampers.
- Kidderminster College Dance Student, Joel Cooper, landed a role in the award winning musical, Wicked, at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
- Newcastle College student, Kieran Nelson, won the title of ‘Apprentice of the Year’ at this year’s prestigious Newcastle Business Awards.