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RetailGoldintuPictured: (Left to right) Retail Gold graduate Zahia Sahraoui, intu Uxbridge General Manager Laurie Taylor, Alexander Nicoll from intu and Angela Vieira from intu.

intu Uxbridge has teamed up with Uxbridge College, Education and Employers, and Job Centre Plus to create a bespoke training course to help unemployed adults get into retail.

Designed to set the standard in retail, ‘Retail Gold’ is helping people to develop essential employability skills, boosting their self-confidence and giving them an insight into all aspects of working in the industry. intu Uxbridge has worked with West Met Skills, the Apprenticeships & Employer Services team from Uxbridge College, to create a course that leaves trainees ‘job ready’ when they complete the course.

As well as formal qualifications in Retail Knowledge and Customer Service, Retail Gold is also giving its students a path to real job opportunities.

Students on the first Uxbridge course learnt CV-writing skills, completed mock job interviews with intu management volunteers, took part in world-class service sessions and did a tour around the Boots store.

Retail Gold courses are happening across the UK via intu shopping centres. The first Uxbridge course included four days on Retail Knowledge and four on Customer Service. It was such a success that a second course has been planned for Uxbridge in July.

A graduation ceremony for the first intake of students took place last month, at which the graduates were presented with their official qualification certificates.

Representatives from intu, including corporate responsibility director Alexander Nicoll, corporate responsibility manager Kathryn Barber, as well as intu Uxbridge’s retail liaison and corporate responsibility coordinator Angela Vieira and general manager Laurie Taylor, attended to congratulate the winners.

Angela said: “The first Retail Gold course was such a hit that we cannot wait to do it again! It is wonderful to be able to connect education with employment in this way, to pave the way for a better future for these unemployed young adults, while helping employers to recruit. We are proud to be able to deliver positive change through our ongoing partnerships.”

Giles Strachan from West Met Skills (Uxbridge College’s Apprenticeship and Employer Services Team) said: "Retail Gold is a fantastic example of how employers and colleges can work together to provide the right people with the right skills for the right jobs. Uxbridge College and West Met Skills are really excited to be part of this initiative with intu Uxbridge, Jobcentre Plus, and Education and Employers to provide targeted training, education and employment support at the heart of our community."

To find out more about intu Uxbridge, head to www.intu.co.uk/uxbridge, and discover more about Education and Employers at www.educationandemployers.org, Uxbridge College at www.uxbridgecollege.ac.uk and West Met Skills at https://www.westmetskills.co.uk

STEM 2Young people from schools around west London found out more about routes into Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) careers after GCSEs at an Uxbridge College taster day.

During the event on 27 May, run in partnership with the Engineering Development Trust (EDT), around 30 Year 9 and 10 students took part in a range of events including a gaming session and an electronics master class. The day also gave the students an opportunity to compare both university and apprenticeship pathways into STEM careers, and look at options including high level vocational study at college.

The provision of specialist technical education is due to expand at Uxbridge College from 2020 when it opens a national Institute of Technology (IoT) centre under the umbrella of the merged college group HCUC (Harrow College Uxbridge College). HCUC, which has also been selected to provide T Level qualifications - the technical equivalent to A Levels - from next year, was one of 12 education and training providers nationally to be selected by the Government earlier this year to go through IoT pre-award stage.

Uxbridge College will be providing a further opportunity for young people to see college facilities and find out more about future study and careers options at its Open Day on Wednesday 12 June, and will be running enrolment sessions during July and August.

Kiran Rami, Head of Guidance & Student Support at Uxbridge College, said: “There is now a great choice of routes into careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) depending on whether you prefer a more practical or academic approach to learning. It was great to work with EDT to provide young people with a taste of how interesting and diverse STEM subjects can be, along with information about options around following a path to university, learning on the job as an apprentice, or choosing from a wide range of relevant courses at college.”

The taster day was part of a three-day programme for the students from the area, with the second day held at University of Westminster, and the third with global engineering, construction, and project management company Bechtel.

EDT’s programme enables participants to spend three days during their half term holidays at a college, a university and an employer. The charitable trust delivers over 40,000 STEM experiences nationally each year for young people aged 9 to 21 years, to support them in enhancing their technical, personal and employability skills through industry-led projects, industrial placements and specialised taster courses. EDT also works with Industrial Cadets, an industry-led accreditation scheme under which employers run accredited experiences for young people aged 9-21, helping them to develop skills and gain an insight into industry.

More information about the 12 June Open Day at: https://www.uxbridge.ac.uk/college-information/open-days.html

For information about enrolment days: https://www.uxbridge.ac.uk/college-information/enrolment.html

Raees MalikUxbridge College students were among learners from Hillingdon who joined forces in a campaign to help combat hate crime and extremism.

The Level 2 Creative Media and Art & Design students created posters and video infomercials for the Hillingdon Voices United project - facilitated by the Stronger Communities team at the London Borough of Hillingdon - which were shared at a showcase evening at Brunel University London. Level 3 Journalism and Creative Writing students from the college also took part, producing poems challenging hate, and presentations on keeping safe on social media. Learners from Creative Writing and Music at Brunel University London, and Hillingdon Adult and Community Learning, were also involved.

Participants, friends and family, and partner organisations came along to the event to celebrate the successful project and see the final collection of work, which also includes lesson plans which can be used by other learners, as well as documentary films. The work will form part of a community learning resource to be utilised by other schools and local community organisations.

Dr Darrell DeSouza, Vice Principal of HCUC (Harrow College Uxbridge College, the merged college group for the two organisations), who attended the event, said: “It was great to see the fabulous, real-project work that was carried out with learners from Uxbridge College and local schools through the Stronger Communities partnership’s Hillingdon Voices United Project. All the work was of a really high standard and for a really good local and national cause. Congratulations to all the staff, students and partners involved in making this project such a success.”

The Uxbridge College students worked in small teams on their assignment for seven weeks to create the resources to help raise awareness of hate crimes and how to report them. Whilst working on the project, students investigated a wide range of hate crimes, including knife crime, islamophobia and homophobia.

Lyn Stevenson, Media Lecturer at Uxbridge College, said: “Whilst working through the project our students bonded as a group and applied the respect and tolerance they were learning to their own personal development. The students applied a high level of technical and creative skills for their stage of learning, and matured during the project into respectful, kind-natured young adults. I am extremely proud of the work they produced and of the increasingly thoughtful and respectful people they are developing into.”

The project aimed to strengthen community cohesion, build resilience and improve community relations, enabling the local community to work together to raise awareness of the issues around hate crime and extremism and how to tackle them. The work also encouraged participants to feel confident in challenging hate and discrimination and to promote greater understanding, respect and unity.

Hillingdon Voices United was also supported by the Stronger Communities Partnership, a group of representatives from local community partners such as the police, learning providers, charities and other local community organisations, and the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.

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