News & Press
A student from Uxbridge College is on his way to the regional heats of a national apprentice competition. Mitchell Mangan (22), is studying an Advanced Apprenticeship in Electrical Installation and was put forward for the SPARKS UK Electrical Apprentice of the Year Competition by his lecturer Amir Karbassi.
Level 3 Apprentice Mitchell will be taking part in one of seven regional heats to be held across January, February and March this year. He will be up against apprentices and students from around the rest of the UK, including Northern Ireland, and competing for a place in the Grand Final to be held on 11th and 12th April at the 3M Customer Innovation Centre in Bracknell.
The UK competition is organised every year by SPARKS Magazine for Level 2 or 3 students.
Amir said: “We entered Mitchell into the competition because of his commitment to high technical standards, his great attitude to learning, and his drive to do his best in all his assignments and assessments. We wish him all the best and will be keeping our fingers crossed for him in the regional heat at West Herts College on Thursday 15th February 2018.”
Apart from the prestige of being crowned the SPARKS UK Electrical Apprentice of the Year, the winner is set to walk away with prizes worth over £8,000 from the competition’s sponsors and contributing manufacturers who are all major industry names, including Platinum sponsor Schneider Electric.
“Students get a lot out of the competition.” said Natacha Fielding, Managing Director. “They make new friends, gain confidence in their abilities and enjoy the challenge of the competition.”
Uxbridge College has become the only organisation in the UK to be given a Platinum Award for its performance in the Reading Agency’s national Reading Ahead scheme for 2016/17 - and student Shajnah Farook one of only three students to win an achiever’s runner up prize in the National Prize Draw via The Reading Agency.
The College achieved Platinum status in the annual challenge for having more than 500 participants - a total of 503 - complete the requirement of reading six texts and writing a review of each of them. College library staff fed back on more than 3,000 reviews submitted by Reading Ahead participants. Completer Shajnah (19), an Art & Design student, won her prize after being entered in the national prize draw. She was presented with a certificate and Kobo e-reader by Shelley Cawley, Information and Learning Resources Manager at Uxbridge College, who co-ordinates Reading Ahead at the College.
Shelley Cawley said: “Uxbridge College is very excited to be receiving this Platinum Award particularly as we are the only organisation in the country to achieve it. I would like to say a very big congratulations and well done to Shajnah and to the students who took part, and to all those staff members who worked so hard to support them. Reading Ahead is a very effective way of motivating students to improve their literacy skills and their reading confidence, and we are very grateful to The Reading Agency for making the initiative possible.”
Reading Ahead Programme Manager Genevieve Clarke said: “We’re thrilled that Uxbridge College continues to excel at Reading Ahead. It’s wonderful to see a college encouraging its students and staff to enjoy reading and to reap all the rewards that it can bring for confidence, achievement and quality of life.”
Shajnah said: “I read and wrote reviews of articles from online newspapers, I learned new skills from writing the reviews and enjoyed reading more than I usually do. I was pleased to win the prize but I didn’t do anything more than the other students!”
Student completers were also presented with books and awards at an event with fantasy author Marcus Alexander who also signed autographs for them. Reading Ahead Programme Manager Genevieve Clarke also congratulated students at the event.
Reading Ahead has been run for the last ten years by the national charity The Reading Agency through public libraries, colleges, prisons and workplaces. The organisation with the next highest number of completers after Uxbridge College was The Manchester College, which received the Double Gold award with 369 completers.
The Reading Agency is supported with funding from Arts Council England and is the leading charity inspiring people of all ages and all backgrounds to read for pleasure and empowerment. Working with partners, their aim is to make reading accessible to everyone, and Reading Ahead is one of a number of initiatives it runs to support this aim.
For more information go to www.readingagency.org.uk
Adults whose IT skills were so basic some couldn’t even switch on a computer are now confidently surfing the web and creating documents thanks to a part-time short course.
The group from the Entry 3 Basic ICT qualification at Uxbridge College, which included students who’d never used a computer before or whose skills were very outdated, enrolled to learn computing skills including word processing, spreadsheets and using the internet, as well as team and employability skills. The course is among a range of full-time and part-time courses available at the College’s campuses in Uxbridge and Hayes.
The group of 14 men and women, aged from their 30s upwards from a wide range of backgrounds, have improved their prospects in the job market, and are using their new skills to search for and apply for jobs as well as at using the internet at home. Some will be progressing on to further training at College while others are finding employment.
Tutor Annick Hooge, who teaches the course over 4 weeks, 3 days a week at the Hayes campus, off Coldharbour Lane, said: “These students had various starting points - half the class did not have a computer at home - and have all improved their computing and employability skills and self-esteem significantly. They’re also a great team - they helped each other so much I was practically redundant at times!
“Everyone had different things to learn, for instance some knew how to send an email but maybe not how cc or bcc worked or how to delete, and some had word processing skills they’d learned years ago, so as well as learning all the new computer programmes, they had to learn all the new descriptions used within the programmes as well.
“The students have not only demonstrated excellent levels of achievement, but have shown great dedication to their studies and a tremendous attitude to learning. Virtually all of them have come to College early to practice or to finish early or to get some extra help.”
Elizabeth Daura (57), from West Drayton, said: “I found the course very helpful because I have never been on a computer. I didn’t like it before but now I really love it - and my family are so happy because they have been pushing me to learn for ages. My tutor has boosted my confidence so much, I’ve achieved loads, and now I want to carry on studying.”
Niall Bracey (59), from Ruislip said: “I was fairly confident with computers and used to run my own business and was familiar with searches, emailing and business word documents but never went beyond the basics. I knew that if I wanted to be employed rather than self-employed I would need to improve my skills and the course has been very useful to me, especially using Microsoft Windows, Word and Excel.”
For more information about the whole range of full-time and part-time courses go to https://www.uxbridge.ac.uk/prospectuses.html