Dudley Sixth Awards 2022

Staff and students of Dudley Sixth along with their family and friends came together last week to celebrate individual students achievements in an awards evening in which stand out students in an outstanding year group were celebrated.

Stephen Dutton and students from our performing arts provision were on hand to entertain guests on arrival and  subject tutors presented their commendations for hard, work, resilience and academic ability in sincere vote of thanks to their learners.  

The team spirit of the staff at Dudley Sixth was very evident  and many tutors identified the enormous sense of job satisfaction they receive when they help learners achieve their maximum potential and secure top grades. This was also something parents and carers attending the event felt set the college aside from its competitors as they praised the “enthusiasm, commitment and availability of support from all  subject Tutors”.  It was also pleasing to note that whilst many of the earners were continuing their studies at universities across the four nations, many were also choosing to pursue higher education routes with us including higher apprenticeships and the college’s and Black Country and Marches Institute of Technology HNC/D programmes. 

Transport tech college plan for Brierley Hill

A new transport technologies education centre is being planned for Brierley Hill as part of a £20million bid.

Dudley Council is working with Dudley College of Technology on the bid to the government’s Levelling Up Fund.

It also includes new cycling and pedestrian links into the town centre as well as expanding the college’s Skills Shop at the Merry Hill Centre.

As part of the bid there are also plans for a bridge to create a pedestrian and cycling link between Venture Way and High Street to Merry Hill.

If the bid is successful, the new 3,000 sqm college building will be built at the rear of the college’s Inspired building in Venture Way and will boost the town’s education quarter.

It is the latest bid to the Levelling Up Fund which includes schemes in Halesowen, Lye, and Dudley.

Councillor Simon Phipps, cabinet member for regeneration and enterprise, said: This is such an exciting development and will be a major boost to education and skills for young people. As part of our Child Friendly Dudley commitment, we are ensuring young people have the very best start in life, have access to first class education facilities and get the best training facilities for long and successful careers. Along with the improved pedestrian and cycling facilities the future looks very bright for people living, working, visiting and studying in Brierley Hill.

Councillor Phipps added: I’m pleased we have been able to submit a bid for this round rather than waiting for a future opportunity and allows us to work with Dudley College which has built so much positive momentum in recent times with its expansion in Dudley. We need to seize this opportunity now and strike while the iron is hot.

The Brierley Hill bid is supported by Dudley South MP Mike Wood, which is an essential part of the submission to the government.

If the bid is successful the new college will create hundreds of places on courses on the future of sustainable transport, while the improved pedestrian and cycling links aim to bring more people into the town.

The expansion of the Skills Shop in Merry Hill Shopping Centre which supports adults seeking to upskill or reskill, will allow an additional 200 learners to access employer-led training which fills job vacancies in sectors such as Administration, Retail, and IT.

Neil Thomas Chief Executive Officer and Principal of Dudley College of Technology who are partnering the Council on the bid added: The proposed transport technologies centre will place Brierley Hill at the heart of new and emerging technologies which are beginning to impact on us all, including electrical/hybrid vehicles, hydrogen technologies, alternate fuels, and automated control. The centre is about planes, trains, and automobiles, as it will cater for skills development across a range of industries, all of which will provide new job opportunities and allow business in the region to be at the forefront of the changes we are going to see.

The Chamber of Commerce who are supporting the proposal believe there will be an additional 35,000 technicians needed to support the transport sector by 2030 as the pace of technological change speeds up.

The outcome of the bids will be announced in the autumn and the plans will be subject to the normal planning consents being granted.

Institutes of Technology ‘The skills to succeed: Meeting the country’s evolving technical skills needs’

Sustainability skills gap must be plugged to meet the West Midland’s green home aspirations

  • 72% of people in the West Midlands would consider a home to be worth more money if it was sustainably constructed
  • The majority of people in the West Midlands currently use electricity [69%] and gas [59%] in their homes, but if cost wasn’t a factor 42% would opt for renewable, sustainable or green sources of energy
  • Black Country and Marches Institute of Technology (IoT) is part of a new national network working to solve the big issues facing society today, highlighted in a report out today.

New research shows the extent of the West Midland’s demand for sustainable living, as the majority would consider a home to be worth more money if it was sustainably constructed. A report released alongside the research highlights the technical skills that are needed if the West Midlands’ consumers’ green ambitions are to be met.

The skills to succeed: Meeting the country’s evolving technical skills needs’ report, produced on behalfi of the Institutes of Technologyii, looks at a range of challenges that communities face today, including sustainable construction and energy. Research released alongside the report shows that 72% of people in the West Midlands would consider a home to be worth more money if it was sustainably constructediii. It also shows that whilst the majority of people in the West Midlands currently use electricity [76%] and gas [59%] if cost wasn’t a factor 42% would opt for renewable sources of energy. Furthermore, people in the West Midlands would rather have good insulation [41%] in their next home than plentiful built-in storage [32%] or an entertaining space [27%].

However, despite this appetite for greener living, the ‘The skills to succeed: Meeting the country’s evolving technical skills needs’ report outlines that a workforce with the right technical skills are needed to make it a reality. For instance, waste is a major issue in the construction industry, generating around three fifths (62%) of total UK waste in 2018iv. Modern methods of construction like 8D Building Information Modelling (BIM) can make the process more efficient as a lot of the planning and preparation work can be done digitally, but more workers with the skillset to use and read the equipment are needed. Additionally, employment in the wind industry is expected to grow by 170% by 2026v, so a pipeline of talent with the skills to work with offshore wind energy technology is needed to achieve the full potential of the resource.

Black Country and Marches Institute of Technology (IoT) is part of a new national network of regional partnerships between local colleges, universities and leading employers across England, created to ensure the technical skills and knowledge needed to overcome the biggest challenges communities face are accessible to all. IoTs provide training in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) based occupations, many of which address sustainability demands facing the country, such as in energy, construction and agritech industries. Their work is increasing the accessibility of vital expertise for employers seeking to embrace innovation.

Michelle Donelan, Minister for Higher and Further Education, says:

“Institutes of Technology are not only playing a critical role in helping to close skills gaps in key sectors such as sustainable construction, but crucially, they are providing people with high quality technical training that leads to good jobs, helping to level up opportunity across our country.

“The need to support sectors such as advanced manufacturing and engineering, construction and digital looks set to only grow and with their close ties to employers, Institutes of Technology will be the driving force behind ensuring the workforce is ready for future technological change and changing working practices.”

Georgina Barnard; Managing Director Black Country & Marches Institute of Technology said:

“We’re pleased to be part of a partnership that will support the delivery of sustainable practice. Many of our programmes in Construction and the Built Environment and in Advanced Engineering are addressing the green agenda, so we can make sure the region is not left behind in terms of building a skilled workforce to tackle the challenges we face in the future.

As well as covering Energy: Powering the nation in new ways and Construction: Building a sustainable future, The skills to succeed: Meeting the country’s evolving technical skills needs’ report looks into other challenges communities are facing today, and how Institutes of Technology are helping to plug gaps. The topics include, Cyber: Tackling threats to national security, Electric Vehicles: Driving transport innovation and Agriculture: Cultivating technical skills.

Level 2 Technical Plastering students gain valuable work experience with Roseville Contracts Ltd

Our Level 2 Technical Plastering students have recently undertaken valuable work experience with local company, Roseville Contracts Ltd. 

Students have immersed themselves into the workplace and were able to take part in practical, hands-on activities. Not only have they been learning about the importance of safe working practices, they’ve also been able to develop their skills to industry standards.

Course tutor, Craig Bradley, said:

“Following the launch of our new dry lining course in October 2021, the good relationship built with Roseville Contracts Ltd has enabled students to enhance their learning. All students received a full induction from Roseville Contracts Ltd, who supplied full PPE and workwear, provided transport to the work sites and made them feel part of the team. We would like to thank them for their support and dedication in making the work experience a success.”

Mark Kelsey, Managing Director, said:

“I believe in helping young people wanting to enter the industry and give them the opportunity to further develop their skills in the plastering trade. The team at Roseville Contracts are pleased to have been involved in the dry lining and plastering course at the CAT Centre, and to be part of the students learning experience. We will continue to offer our continuous support and build on our good relationship with the plastering department.”

Here at Dudley College, we’re proud to offer work experience placements to many students as part of their study programme. This opportunity gives them an insight into their future career and helps them to gain industry knowledge from those already working in the sector. Students are able to develop their key skills in a hands-on way that can only be experienced outside of a classroom environment.

Harry Westwood, Level 2 Technical Plastering Student, said:

“I would like to thank Roseville Contracts Ltd, and my tutor Craig, for giving me the opportunity to work for three weeks. From the minute I was picked up by the plasterers, I was encouraged to use the skills I had learned on my course, try different plastering techniques and develop new ones. It has given me the confidence to know I can work as part of a team and have chosen a career I am going to enjoy. I understand now what employers are looking for and the importance of time keeping, positive attitude and working hard in college.”

Alfie Harris, Level 2 Technical Plastering Student, said:

“The work experience has really made me want to succeed in my qualifications and given me the confidence to know that I have chosen the right career as a plasterer and are ready to apply for plastering positions. I would like to thank Roseville Contracts Ltd for giving me the PPE, paying half the cost for the CSCS certificate and giving me the opportunity to work on a building site.”

All of Construction students have access to state-of-the-art facilities at our Construction Apprenticeship Training Centre (CAT), which is located on the Waterfront Business Park in Brierley Hill. Our well-equipped, specialist workshops and classrooms provide the best environment for them to develop their skills, whilst being overseen by expert tutors.

If you’d like to find out more about courses at the CAT centre, please visit dudleycol.ac.uk/Courses/Full-Time.

Staff and students gather donations to support the people of Ukraine

Members of our college community have come together to raise donations and show their support for the people of Ukraine. 

The Independent Living Group at Aspire Works, led by staff member Allison Parkes, appealed for students and staff to donate essential items such as toiletries, medical supplies and clothing. They sorted through the items and filled over 50 bags, which are in the process of being donated to local organisations and charities. Some of the essentials were given to Dudley Community Church, who recently sent them to Ukrainian refugees in Poland. 

Allison Parkes, Educational Support Assistant, said:

“We were all deeply affected by the crisis in Ukraine and felt inspired to take action and do something to help. We have been inundated with donations, thanks to the generosity of our college community.”

In addition, our students at Aspire have been learning about the Ukraine and how people have had to leave their homes and belongings behind to get to safety. They decided that they would like to help, so they donated their cooking money and went to Dudley to buy some toiletries, batteries and first aid essentials. All of their donations are being taken to a local church who will make sure they get to the people who need help.  

Well done to all of our staff and students, we couldn’t be prouder of your thoughtfulness and generosity. As a college, our thoughts are with all those who have been affected by the crisis in Ukraine. 

If you’re interested in showing your support, you can find out more about local and international appeals at the below link.

Creative Arts students and staff enjoy a four-day wellbeing trip to Derbyshire

This March our students embarked on a four-day trip to Derbyshire for a wellbeing arts extravaganza, which included flying the Dudley College flag from the top of 1000ft Thorpe Cloud!  

The trip was packed with adventure and students enjoyed a range of activities, from wild swimming and low level tight-rope walking to climbing into epic caves, fossil finding and watching paragliders. 

Not only did they soak up the sunshine climbing two 1000ft mountains, they also walked 25 miles, 13 of which were completed in just one day. Students even went above and beyond in showing their kindness by rescuing an elderly lady who had fallen whilst crossing stepping stones. 

Our fantastic Dudley College staff enabled a life-changing trip for our students. Phil Brooks, Lecturer in Performance Studies, said: “The level of challenge, confidence-building, cooperation, kindness, camaraderie and cheerfulness was something to behold! I believe the impact on self-esteem, aspiration, outlook and mental health for trips like this cannot be overstated.” 

Ellie Avison, Level 3 Photography student, said: “This trip was a great experience all round. Not only was it a chance for the creatives to find new inspiration and work together, but it was also very positive for our mental health. It brought several groups of individuals together and created this very inclusive and helpful group mentality. Despite pushing ourselves psychically, more than most had likely done before, it was a break, and a reset, that was well and truly needed for me and my fellow peers.“ 

We hope our Photography, Art, Graphic Design, Production Arts, Media, and Music students enjoyed their four-day venture to Ilam Hall YHA in Derbyshire. Thank you to Phil Brooks, Jo Davis, Luke Cowdell, and Sian Taylor who together with PGCE student teacher, Milan Callaghan, led the trip. 

We’re sure our students and staff made lifelong memories, which is no doubt an exciting learning experience in itself. 

Check out the highlights of the trip by watching our latest video, click here to watch now. 

Dudley College to host Appathon 2022 for local school pupils to raise awareness of tech industry 

Dudley College of Technology has invited 10 teams of local school pupils to take part in an exciting and inspiring two-day tech event, Appathon 2022. The aim of the event is to explore and experience the world of digital app development through a team building challenge. 

The event is being held on Thursday 31st March and Friday 1st April at the Inspired campus situated in Brierley Hill. The campus has recently been refurbished with state-of-the-art digital equipment, comprising new VR (Virtual Reality) kit, computer suites for games design and a purpose-built TV studio and motion capture suite.  

The aim of the Appathon is to raise awareness of the wide range of job roles in the tech industry, and to encourage the participants to consider these in their progression choices and career journey. 

Year nine pupils will focus on creating an app to support year seven pupils joining their school in September, to give them the information that they need to help them to settle into their new school. The competition will be judged by a panel of industry experts, with tech prizes awarded to the winning team and spot prizes presented throughout the event. 

The Appathon is being supported by experts from the tech industry, including Clare Streets from Post & Codes and Jof Walters from Million Labs, who are experts in the world of building apps using no code. During the event, pupils will also hear from successful employers in the industry.  

Funding has been provided through GBSLEP, WMCA and the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund, and additional sponsorship from local employers has enabled us to provide some fantastic prizes for the winning teams including an Oculus VR headset and a podcast streaming deck.  

Local schools taking part in the challenge include Beacon Hill Academy, Dormston School, Hagley Catholic High School, Kingswinford Academy, Pegasus Academy, St James Academy, and The Link Academy. 

Dudley College students celebrate their first interim results of the year

Dudley College students are celebrating today as they received their first interim results of the year, and for many, the first exam results since covid began.

BTEC Level 3 Animal Science second year students achieved 100% pass rate, and first year students 94%, with record numbers achieving distinctions. 

Curriculum Manager, Phil Steele, said: “As we know, covid disrupted exams for everyone so these are the first exam results that these students have received since covid began. They have worked really hard and the results prove this. They should all be very proud of their achievements.”

Employment rates in the animal care sector are set to grow by 6% by 2025 so this is a great career option for young people. Careers in animal care are wide ranging with no two days the same. It’s an exciting career path and our students will experience that when they complete their studies.

Jared Fearon aged 18 who studies Animal Science said:

“I’m really happy with my results. It was a difficult unit and I’m so proud of myself for passing it. I’m really enjoying the course and the tutors are so supportive. I know I made the best choice in coming to Dudley College.”

Skye Stock scooped a distinction level pass in her first year for a notoriously difficult unit and couldn’t hold back her excitement. She said:

“I’m just delighted with my results. It’s confirmed I’ve made the right course choice and I can’t wait to complete the course. The course is career-focussed and hands-on so it’s preparing me for work and I’ve already secured a part-time job working with animals thanks to the course.”

If you’re interested in a career in the Animal Care sector, apply now for courses starting September.

Musical Theatre Students Present ‘You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown’

Come and join us for a joyful evening of musical theatre comedy! 

Our wonderful musical theatre students are proud to present Tony-Award winning ‘You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown’, based on the famous comic strips ‘Peanuts’ by Charles M Schultz. 

Dates: Wednesday 9th and Thursday 10th March 2022, 7pm 

Location: Dudley College of Technology, Evolve Theatre, Tower Street, Dudley, DY1 1AF (parking at DY1 4AS) 

The original comic strip ran from 1950 to 2000, making Charles M Schultz over 1 billion dollars and it was transformed into a magnificent family musical by Clark Gesner. Beneath the jokes, the cartoon tackled adult level philosophical, psychological, and sociological matters from the point of view of a group of five-year-olds. Think ‘The secret life of five-year-olds’ but with song, dance and philosophical concepts!  

Don’t miss this wonderful award-winning musical comedy. 

We look forward to seeing you there! 

Employment Minister visits Dudley College’s Skills Shop to boost adults into work initiative

Minister for Employment, Mims Davies MP, paid a flying visit to Dudley College’s Black Country Skills Shop in Merry Hill Shopping Centre on Thursday, on route to opening a new Jobcentre Plus office at Crossley Retail Park, Kidderminster.

At the Skills Shop she was able to meet with young adults benefiting from training delivered through the Youth Hub, who are part of the Government’s drive to get half a million people currently out of work into jobs by the end of June as part of the new ‘Way to Work’ campaign.

At the meeting with Youth Work Coaches and customers the Minister heard about the partnership working that has been taking place throughout the pandemic with DWP and Dudley College delivering Sector-based Work Academy Programmes (SWAPs) for public sector roles within the Civil Service, NHS and hospitality sector. During the visit the Minister took a special interest in the mentoring programmes for young people with anxiety, which are delivered from the centre, that helps them overcome their challenges and helps to move them towards employment.

Following the visit to Dudley the Minister opened the new Job Centre in Kidderminster which will house a team of 22 Work Coaches, some of whom recently joined the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) as part of the successful recruitment drive to hire 13,500 new Work Coaches across the country.

Minister for Employment Mims Davies MP and Wyre Forest MP Mark Garnier during a visit to the Black Country. Commenting on the day the Minister for Employment Mims Davies MP said:

“We know that work brings so much positivity both financially but also from a wellbeing standpoint, which is why we’re boosting our DWP Jobcentre support and Youth Hub provision in every community in the UK, Including in Kidderminster and Dudley.

I was delighted to meet Work Coaches in Kidderminster and Dudley who are are already making a positive difference to the lives of so many individuals every day helping them to progress.

Our Way to Work campaign will accelerate this excellent work, connecting claimants in our jobcentres to opportunities out there right now and working even more closely with employers to fill their vacancies.”

Minister for Employment Mims Davies MP and Wyre Forest MP Mark Garnier during a visit to the Black Country.

The Youth Hub Coaches at the College’s Skills Shop are available to support all young people in the borough and individuals can approach them directly for help or ask to be referred there by Jobcentre Plus contacts.