On Thursday 21 March, universities, apprenticeship providers and employers offered Richmond upon Thames College’s (RuTC) students advice for their future education and careers.
40 universities from across London, England and Wales, including University of the Arts London (UAL), St Mary’s University and the University of Portsmouth, informed students of all areas about higher education and which study options would suit their grades and career goals.
In addition to universities, 18 employers and apprenticeship providers also exhibited, representing sectors from public services to engineering, childcare, sport, media, finance and many more. Organisations included Haymarket Media Group, the RAF and Chessington World of Adventures.
Around 540 students from all areas of the college took the opportunity to engage in conversations with employers and get to know about the different specialities individual universities can offer them. Students commented that they found the Higher Education and Careers Fair helpful as they gained a lot of information, it also helped them to see different university options and what is needed to apply.
Exhibitor’s valued the engagement and interest of the students and are planning to come back next year. Many of the exhibitors have also registered their interest in coming back to the college later in the year to do workshops and talks with RuTC students.
In early March, Sharna Davison, Richmond upon Thames College (RuTC) BTEC Level 3 Sport and Exercise Science student, won a Jack Petchey Award.
The Jack Petchey Achievement Award is a peer recognition scheme which recognises the positive contributions, efforts and endeavours of young people aged 11-25 across London and Essex. These achievements include being a great role model, volunteering, overcoming personal challenges and supporting others over and above expectations.
RuTC has been involved in the Jack Petchey Achievement Award Scheme for several years. Sharna won the annual spring award in recognition of her commitment to the women’s college football team, demonstrating determination, optimism and respect. In addition, she frequently supports college events as volunteer. Her peers nominated her for “challenging herself to try new skills”, “her determination to achieve her best but also the entire team’s best” and “being respectful to others and working hard”.
Together with her football team, Sharna decided to use the £250 grant to purchase new goal posts, as the team are currently training with wrong sized goals. This investment will benefit the team to help improve the team’s performance and will also give them the opportunity to host their own matches.
Find out more about studying Sports at RuTC.
Richmond upon Thames College (RuTC) recently won one of four £500 donations from eSafe for the college’s hardship fund, presented in the form of shopping vouchers which will support vulnerable students.
The draw was held during the NAMSS Annual Conference on Monday 11 March and presented at the Gala Dinner that evening by Mark Donkersley, Managing Director of eSafe.
eSafe’s goal is to enhance children’s and young people’s welfare and wellbeing and to protect them. Their TripleLock protection system combines ‘advanced intelligent detection technology, specialist human behaviour analysis and dynamic threat libraries to identify threats that others can’t.’
Sharon Cousins, Assistant Principal Student Experience at RuTC, says: “Everyone at the conference was invited to enter the prize draw and as safeguarding vulnerable students is something I am passionate about I wanted to take part. I was delighted to be one of the winners and we will be using the vouchers to support students who find themselves financially vulnerable and in need of food or hygiene emergency packs.”
From November to February, 30 of Richmond upon Thames College’s (RuTC) Catering students completed Stride’s skills and careers course Pub Pros, sponsored by Fuller’s Brewery and their pub One Over The Ait, located in Brentford. The course is designed to increase students’ employability skills and learn about the hospitality and pub industry.
Over the course of six workshops, RuTC’s Catering students learnt from professionals how to develop a business plan and design creative ideas for marketing purposes and also completed a range of simulated business activities, including a SWOT analysis. Soft skills gained through the programme, such as leadership, team work and communication, will benefit the students in their future personal and work life. At the end of the six workshops, all students received a Stride Accreditation certificate.
Participation in the course gives the Catering students a long term advantage, as they will be invited to a Workplace Encounter at a local Fuller’s pub to learn more about possible career options, both at Fuller’s and the hospitality industry in general. Leonard Nika, RuTC Level 2 Food Preparation and Service student, received an employment offer from One Over The Ait. After a talk by the pub’s manager at the final workshop, Leonard discussed future employment opportunities, was interviewed last week and will start his part time job as a chef in the next weeks.
James Unwin, RuTC’s Catering and Hospitality Curriculum Manager, said: “The Pub Pros programme gives our students new knowledge and skills which they will be able to apply in their future career. The course offers a great mix between theory and real life tasks. The certificate and future collaboration with Fuller’s is a valuable addition to the students’ CV.”
Find out more about studying Catering at RuTC.
For this year’s Red Nose Day, Richmond upon Thames College’s (RuTC) staff and students raised £146 for Comic Relief.
On Friday 15 March, RuTC’s Supported Learning department hosted a bake sale throughout the day at the front of the college, collecting over £131 for the charity. In addition to the bake sale, the college’s Welfare and Engagement team asked students to guess the number of chick peas in a jar, which raised an additional £15.
On Wednesday 6 March, Richmond upon Thames College’s (RuTC) Level 1 Plumbing students attended Futurebuild 2019 at the ExCeL Centre. This event focused on showcasing the latest innovations, products and materials of the building industry. It shared unrivalled insights to help tackle some of the biggest challenges facing the built environment – today and in the future.
Our college’s Plumbing students had the opportunity to meet and speak with product innovators, discussing how the future of construction is currently being shaped with sustainability being the key aspect in the design of plumbing related products.
Raj Johal, RuTC Construction Crafts lecturer, said: “This event gave our students a valuable insight into the challenges that they will face in their future work life. It will help prepare them for the upcoming changes and broaden their knowledge of plumbing.”
Find out more about studying Plumbing at RuTC.
We are pleased to announce that we will be adding several new courses for students starting with us in September 2019. The courses are as follows:
Skills for Tomorrow - Level 1
This course provides students with the opportunity to try a carousel of vocational courses. On completion of this course, students can progress onto a Level 2 course in a specific subject.
GCSE Pathway – Level 2
This pathway allows students with little or no GCSEs to take 5 GCSEs to help them progress onto the next level.
A Level ProgrammesEconomics A Level – Level 3
Enterprise and Entrepreneurship BTEC - Level 3 (A Level equivalent)
Professional Construction Practice - Level 3 (A Level equivalent)
Law A Level – Level 3
Richmond upon Thames College (RuTC) is proud to have experienced industry professionals teaching our students skills they will be able to apply in their future work life.
One of our industry professionals is Tim Pond, Art and Design teacher at RuTC. After graduating from university, Tim decided against producing fine art or working for a gallery and chose a more practical use for his artwork. For over two decades, he has been working in a variety of media as an illustrator and graphic designer, including books, newspapers, magazines and films, as well as being a full time teacher at the college.
By being a teacher, Tim chose a career path of lifelong learning. He discovers new aspects of art and his own style every day in the classroom and on field trips. In addition, students benefit from his continuous learning, as he passes his newly gained knowledge on to them – such as in the form of his published book “The Field Guide to Drawing & Sketching Animals”.
About his book, Tim says: “This book is about enabling people with a genuine love of nature to sketch and capture some of the wonders of the natural world. There is an immense biodiversity on the earth, and as guardians of planet earth, this book encourages a greater sympathy and a deeper appreciation of our fellow creatures, with which we share this planet.” Regular field trips with his classes to London Zoo help practice drawing various animals and many of these sketches are now part of the book. Tim takes on an engineering approach to sketching animals in order to understand their physique, bone structure and movements.
Elizabeth Orji-Smith, Graphic Design, Maths and Computer Science A Level student at RuTC, says: “It is really beneficial to learn from a professional like Tim in the classroom and during trips. His experiences and approach to drawing animals, such as seeing geometric forms in their anatomy, helped me a lot and his book is a great guide. My career goal is to become a gaming designer. Being able to deconstruct animals into these forms and then to construct them again on paper or a computer will help me a lot to reach this goal.”
On Thursday 14 March at 7pm, Tim will be presenting at The Exchange in Twickenham with marine biologist Dr Helen Scales. Tim will talk people through the process of watching and sketching animals and Helen will give an insight into remarkable groups of animals beneath the waves of the ocean.
At the end of February, Level 3 Computing students finished the first stage of their course project with a special kind of exam - presenting their project in a talk show style hosted by their teacher Sanjay Shah.
The computing project is about creating a game which works both in the real world and on a computer. The exam was an important step before going on to transform the game ideas into reality, using industry standard software packages for the computer animation. The games will be exhibited later this year in the form of robots and drones, which will bring the designs to reality.
As presentation skills are crucial in the students’ future work life, Richmond upon Thames College (RuTC) teacher Sanjay Shah turned the exam into a talk show. As the host, he interviewed four students at a time in front of a camera. The students presented their game ideas and knowledge of the industry in a professional way, gaining confidence in themselves at the same time. To underline their arguments, students were allowed to use Microsoft Office Sway presentations.
Marlon Quizon, RuTC Level 3 Computing student, said: “This was the first time we did an exam like this and it really helped me to explain project ideas and computing knowledge to others, and to become more confident in real life situations, like job interviews.”
Find out more about studying Computing at RuTC!
From Monday 4 to Friday 8 March, Richmond upon Thames College (RuTC) celebrated the 12th annual National Apprenticeship Week with numerous internal and external events for students and employers with the highlight being a employer breakfast hosted by RuTC’s employer engagement team, Training Solutions.
Throughout the week, over 500 students received first-hand information from Training Solutions about what it is like to study and work at the same time with additional advice on the benefits of joining an apprenticeship programme offered by the employer Haymarket Media Group. Other activities during the week included exhibiting at Achieving for Children’s career fair World of Work at Harlequins, where the college organised activities including badge making and cookie decorating. RuTC’s Plumbing apprentices were given the opportunity to attend a training session at KAMCO, the original pioneers and current market leaders for power flushing and descaling pumps, giving them a competitive edge in their apprenticeship.
The employer breakfast was held on Thursday morning and attended by over 30 guests, representing regional and national companies, who were welcomed by Chief Executive and Principal, Robin Ghurbhurun and Head of Employer Engagement, Susan Pieterse. Susan said: “The staff of the college pulled together to make this year’s Apprenticeship Week a real success and have strengthened and increased links with many more students and important employers. National Apprenticeship Week 2019 gave prominence to apprenticeship programmes which are a vital career pathway for students and we are looking forward to continuously creating successful working partnerships.”
Guest speaker Gareth Pritchard, Head of Corporate Services at the Institute for Optimum Nutrition (ION), shared his personal and professional experiences of taking on apprentices, and the support he received from the college throughout the process. He said: “With the positive impact of events like this, it would be great to see a shift in opinion which helps employers see that apprenticeships should be viewed not just as an alternative solution to university but an aspirational alternative.” Gareth stressed that, although hiring an apprentice requires real commitment of resource and patience, the benefits of gaining a loyal, ambitious and well-qualified employee are immeasurable.
Guest Ruth Cronk, HR Manager at Associated Air Services, said: “I have employed apprentices in the past and know it to be a fantastic scheme for both employer and apprentices so I am always keen to learn more. Now I know there is a dedicated team at Richmond upon Thames College I know where to go!”
Find out more about doing an apprenticeship at RuTC!