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SECTOR FOCUS: SKILLS


New education experience in Kidderminster


Birmingham Metropolitan College and Kidderminster College have announced their intention to work together to open a new academy in Kidderminster to provide opportunities to young people and support local businesses. From September 2012, The


Academy at Kidderminster will deliver courses to up to 1,000 16-18 year-olds from the Piano Building, a former textile mill which is to undergo a £6.1 million refurbishment. The Academy aims to


broaden education choices for young people while addressing local skill shortages at a time when the Wyre Forest area is undergoing major plans for regeneration.


‘The facilities will provide a huge creative and cultural boost to the area’


Principal and chief executive of Birmingham Metropolitan College, Dr Christine Braddock CBE said: “The Academy will give 16-18 year-olds access to unique learning opportunities that have not before been available to them locally. This in turn will enable them to play their part in maximising the economic potential of the Wyre Forest area, particularly in the enterprise, hospitality and catering sectors.” Andy Dobson, principal and


chief executive of Kidderminster College, added: “This exciting new institution will use the shared expertise of both colleges while bringing a new creative and innovative curriculum to Kidderminster. The facilities will be truly outstanding and will provide a huge creative and cultural boost to the area, which will benefit students, the local community, new media entrepreneurs and local businesses.” The proposed curriculum will include computer games development, fashion design and retail, 3D animation and electronics.


Two groups of Italian students and their tutors in front of the new Bournville College campus in Longbridge


College impresses Italians M


ore than two hundred students from Italy chose Birmingham as their destination this autumn, contributing over half a


million pounds to the city’s economy. The study programme was delivered by Bournville


College, whose new campus in Longbridge swayed the Italians away from other UK cities such as London, Brighton and Oxford. Ten different schools from Italy participated in the


programme, funded by the European Structural Fund, designed to raise skills and experience of young people in Italian deprived regions, such as Campania, Puglia and Sicily. The programme allows students to improve their English language skills and get work experience in the UK, thereby increasing their employment prospects. Bournville College worked in collaboration with


different schools to ensure that students had a positive experience during their stay, not only from an educational but also cultural prospective. The programmes were tailored to individual schools but


included English language tuition, examinations, work experience placements, cultural trips and more. The project contributed over £0.5m to the city’s


economy between September and November. In addition to Bournville College, other organisations benefiting from this programme included Etap Hotel, Johnson Coaches, restaurants such as Red Peppers, Around the World in 80 Dishes, the Studio, Lloyds Bar, Deep Caribbean Experience as well as families throughout the city who hosted students during their stay. Carmelo Bucceri, a tutor from Karol Wojtyla School


in Catania, said: “To say that we had a fabulous time would be an understatement. For our students this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and one that will serve them well in their future careers. Andrea Sturiale, a student from Furci Siculo School in


Sicily, added: “Bournville College is amazing! I have never seen an educational establishment like it. It is so much more advanced than our schools in Italy. I feel very lucky and privileged to have come to the college.”


Support for creative talent sought


Made in the Middle, an exhibition of contemporary craft from across the Midlands, is offering businesses the opportunity to link with regional creative talent through sponsoring a prize for a maker. Organised by award-winning support organisation Craftspace,Made in the Middle is the Midland’s principal selling exhibition of contemporary craft. It opens at mac birmingham in February 2012 before touring to major galleries over a period of 18 months. The tour provides an excellent opportunity for a business to reach an estimated 50,000 visitors across the Midlands and beyond as well as a significant online audience nationally and internationally.


Made in the Middle showcases the best in ceramics, glass, textiles,


38 CHAMBERLINK DECEMBER/JANUARY 2011/12


A major focus of the exhibition will be pathways to careers within the creative sector. Through a project called Apprenticeships in the Making Craftspace will work with young people to discover their ideas about crafts and introduce them to potential career routes. Made in the Middle features makers who have accessed the industry through higher education as well as those who have adopted alternative routes into craft careers. There is also a focus on the use of digital technologies in making. Craftspace is an award winning


Kevin Grey in his studio


metalwork, jewellery, furniture and mixed media from 35 of the region’s best makers and offers an insight into the skill, creativity and innovative practice within the region.


organisation which supports contemporary craft makers and works with groups in the community to grow skills and raise confidence through crafts..


For further information, contact Linda Strain on 0121 608 6668 or email: l.strain@craftspace.co.uk


SPONSORED BY: BIRMINGHAM METROPOLITAN COLLEGE


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