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Langley College is once again supporting National Apprenticeship Week. The region’s largest provider of the gold-standard in work-based learning is to hold an Apprenticeship Fair on Thursday 7 March, 10am to 3pm. Over 25 employers are set to attend, all of which are actively looking to recruit students for a number of exciting apprenticeship opportunities.

Now in its 12th year, the theme for National Apprenticeship Week 2019 is ‘Blaze a trail’ with Kate Webb, Group Principal and Chief Executive Officer commenting: “We have a range of employers, across a wide variety of sectors, who have apprenticeship vacancies they are ready to fill. Our recruitment event/fair is a great opportunity for anyone keen to explore their options, talk to employers and find out about the extensive support we provide to both apprentices and employers. You can blaze your own trail by becoming an apprentice – these are real jobs with a real salary which is paid as you gain hands-on experience and while learning the technical know-how here at college.”

It’s not just apprentices who see themselves as the winners. Many employers who have an established apprenticeship programme reported that productivity in their workplace had improved by 76% while 75% reported that apprenticeships improved the quality of their product or service.

Apprentices are certainly helping Lloyd Turner fire up his business, Marlow Garage. Commenting on the value they add he said: “Apprentices are a great way to bring new talent into my business. I originally studied an apprenticeship through the Colleges years ago and now employ apprentices for my own business. The College produces a good pedigree of apprentices, who are trained on all the latest equipment.”

As well as having all the industry contacts the Apprenticeship team at the College also bring over 40 years of experience in delivering high quality training schemes. They offer a free apprentice matching service, specialist funding expertise, dedicated account managers and will tailor training to meet individual company needs.

Steve Caruso, Director Classico Marble Ltd, explains further: “Apprenticeships can be a really good way forward to recruit staff. The College has found us good keen young people who have wanted to learn and they have achieved a great level of competency with us. We would certainly recommend apprenticeships.”

There’s never been a better time to start an apprenticeship with training schemes available in 350 job roles, covering more than 170 industries. There are three levels of apprenticeship available - Intermediate – equivalent to five GCSEs, grade 9-4 (A*-C), Advanced – equivalent to two A-levels and Higher which can lead to a foundation degree.

Find out more by coming along to Langley College’s Apprenticeship Fair on Thursday 7 March, 10am to 3pm.

Further information is also available at www.windsor-forest.ac.uk, by calling 01753 443855 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 Langley Apprenticeship Fair Plasma Portrait

Former Langley College Access to Higher Education student Joe Davies has won first prize in the national Laser Learning Awards, Commitment to Study category. Joe is joined by fellow Access student Kelly Harman who also impressed the judges, coming runner up in the Academic Excellent award.

Joe and Kelly were nominated by their Langley College course tutor Lesley Classick. Joe, with a fierce determination to better himself and improve the quality of life of others, enrolled on the Access to Social Work course in 2015. With no prior qualifications and some very challenging personal circumstances it took Joe three years and an incredible amount of hard work and determination to successfully complete the course. Joe was also awarded Langley College’s Student of the Year 2018.

Commenting on why he chose the Access course to turn his life around Joe said: “I wanted to improve my life and improve the quality of life for others, as I know what it feels like to grow up in the care system. My dream is to become a social worker and thanks to the course I now have a place to study this at university. I overcame all my challenges by dedicating myself to my studies and working hard to achieve my goals, but without the high level of support from all of my tutors I don’t think I would have been able to complete the course.” Joe is now in his first year at Bucks New University studying a BA in social work.

Kelly joined Langley’s Access to Social Sciences and Social Work having previously attempted and dropped out of both A Levels and BTEC courses. Lesley explained why Kelly warranted the nomination: “It quickly became apparent that Kelly was an unusually able student regularly impressing her tutors with her ability to comprehend and analyse complex ideas. As she developed into an extremely motivated and independent learner, she widely extended her knowledge through extensive research and with a genuine enthusiasm and fascination for the subject, became instrumental in helping others.”

Having applied to study Psychology, English and Creative Writing and receiving offers for all three, Kelly opted to study English at Bournemouth University.

Access to HE courses are aimed at those want to go to university but don’t have the relevant qualification, they provide the foundation learning needed for degree level study in just one year. Langley College offers six specific Access pathways; Business, Computing, Construction and Engineering, Nursing and Healthcare Professions, Social Work and Mental Health Professions and finally Social Sciences and Education.

Lesley Classick is one of the Access tutors and a member of a close-knit team which Laser acknowledge is part of the success of these courses. Explaining why she finds Access particularly special she said: “As a tutor in further education I know how education can make a difference to people’s lives. Since we started offering Access courses in 2013, over 250 students like Kelly and Joe, have been enabled to go on to study in higher education both here at Langley and at university. Some of these students have progressed through from other courses and many of these students are now in jobs that a few years ago they could only dream about. Access courses, along with our other course provision, are instrumental in opening up a wealth of opportunities, to those who may not have previously considered they have the skills, know-how or the self-confidence to go university. As Joe and Kelly have demonstrated, Access is genuinely a life changing opportunity!”

For further information on the full range of Access courses offered at Langley College, go to www.windsor-forest.ac.uk.

How to win at Interviews

Langley College’s Higher Education HND Business and Foundation Degree Tourism and Hospitality students recently welcomed Jade Humphrey from JWH Hospitality Solutions to the College for a seminar focussing on employability skills – ‘How to win at interviews’.

Introducing Jade...

Jade has over 30 years’ experience of working within sales in the hospitality industry and now works as a specialist consultant. On top of this, he has a passion for supporting individuals to positively develop their careers and employment prospects.

His fantastic seminar was too good not to share! His advice and feedback has relevance to all industries and highlights comments that are typically made by employers following job interviews.

Here are his top tips for success!

Interpersonal and communication skills

People buy people. In the same way that we choose our friends, based on good, strong relationships, business relationships are often developed on the same basis.

We all like to be treated kindly and with mutual respect - good manners are essential, will be noticed and go a long way to securing success within the workplace.

If you are communicating with an employer ahead of an interview by email, remember to structure your emails politely and professionally. Begin your email by addressing the interviewer by name e.g. ‘Dear Matthew’ or ‘Dear Mr Smith’, or even Hi Matthew. Be sure to check your spelling and remember to take your time in responding to ensure that your response is polite, appropriate and has the right tone. We have all misread the meaning in a text or message, don’t let a rushed response ruin your potential success.

Be a quality candidate

Employers will often talk about those candidates that really stand out from the rest. Tailor your CV to the role you are applying for, focussing on why you’re the ideal candidate and arrive on time for your interview, dressed appropriately, ready to impress. Your CV must be factual and 100% accurate.

Try to remember the name of your interviewer (through the nerves!), have a firm handshake and make good eye contact.  All of these things will be noticed and demonstrate confidence.

Be prepared. Take the time to research the company, have some questions ready to ask at the end - these could be about something you have seen on their website, about the role itself or about why the company are so great to work for. LinkedIn and Google are invaluable tools.

Be sincere and show that you are keen to work for the organisation. Remember, never chew gum during an interview, avoid smoking right before as the smell will follow you into the room and linger on your breath and make sure that your phone is turned off or on silent. Ideally, keep your phone out of sight!

Practise makes perfect

Interviews are scary and nerves can get the better of all of us. Prepare some standard answers ahead of time. Interview questions will often be related to the person specification on the job description, so check these beforehand and think about examples that will help you to show that you have the relevant experience that the interviewer is looking for.

Ask if you can bring a notebook in with you. This will enable you to jot down any questions you may have during the interview, or that you would like to ask about at the end.

Don’t be disheartened if sometimes things don’t go well. Interviewing is a skill - reflect on the things you could have improved on for next time and don’t be scared to ask the company for feedback on where you could improve.

Take as many opportunities as you can to attend interviews, the more you experience, the more confident you will become.

Most importantly, interviews are a two-way process. They are checking you out; you are checking them out. Both of you are potentially making a huge investment of time and resource in each; it has to be right and feel right.

Remember that hotels offer diverse career opportunities from business functions, maintenance, through to health and fitness. You never know where an expression of interest in working for a company may lead you, so don’t be afraid to enquire about job opportunities even if they are not promoted.

If you are in Level 3 and thinking about your next step, gaining a Higher Education qualification is a great way to develop your employability so make your application now.

Join Windsor College Performing Arts students, 6-8 February at the Old Court Windsor, as they present Avenue Q, the laugh-out-loud musical that tells the timeless story of a recent college graduate named Princeton who moves into a shabby New York apartment all the way out on Avenue Q. He soon discovers that although the residents seem nice, it's clear that this is not your ordinary neighbourhood. Together, Princeton and his new-found friends struggle to find jobs, dates, and their ever-elusive purpose in life. 

Although the show addresses adult issues, it is inspired by Sesame Street; a place where puppets are friends, Monsters are good and life lessons are learned.

Parental advisory, explicit content -  age recommendation of 15 +

Tickets available at The Old Court Website

https://www.oldcourt.org/sales/events/avenue-q

Whether considering a career change or upgrade, determined to finally take up a hobby or keen that 2019 will be the year to embrace health and fitness, Windsor Forest Colleges Group’s new programme of adult learning courses ticks all the resolution boxes. Courses start this month, with day and evening options available.

Funding for adult courses has also been upgraded. Recent government funding for low paid earners means many adult courses offered at the groups three colleges – Langley, Strode’s and Windsor, are now free to anyone earning less than £20,000.

Group Principal and CEO Kate Webb continues: “A new year often signifies the opportunity to do something new, different or better. This government funding can help make these resolutions a reality. If 2019 is going to be the year of the career the funding will cover the cost of professional courses, ideal for career changes or enhancers. Unfortunately, this funding is not going to be around for ever so I would encourage anyone keen to take advantage to move quickly.”

With the multi-million-pound facilities at Langley College mirroring those of the industries it trains for, there are a number of exciting opportunities to develop advanced technical skills across a broad range of sectors. There are courses from Computing to Construction, Hairdressing to Hospitality and Early Years to Engineering. Just down the road in Slough and new for 2019, is the opportunity to enrol on an ESOL courses at Slough Aspire. Windsor’s renowned creative hub has an exciting selection of courses on offer from flower arranging to foreign languages and interior design to sewing and textiles. And in Egham, Strode’s College offers something for everyone – courses for careers, courses for creative leisure, foreign languages and health and wellbeing.

For further information please go to www.windsor-forest.ac.uk/adult-learners or email the admissions team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Our superb restaurant, Zest, provided the perfect backdrop to the Men’s Matters Christmas lunch. Langley College Hospitality and Catering students created, cooked and served up a spectacular lunch for more than 70 guests, including Mayor of Slough Councillor Paul Sohal and Mayor and Mayoress of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Councillor Paul Lion and Laura Lion.

The event marks three years since the male support group first began and guests spoke highly of the work the group does to support older men living in the Berkshire community who are socially isolated.

Trustee Paul Samuels said: “It was wonderful bringing together our members from our three centres in Windsor, Maidenhead and Langley and our partners who have supported us so well.”

Find out more about our Hospitality and Catering courses

The Windsor Forest Colleges Group and the Society for Education and Training (SET) have announced exciting plans to form a new corporate partnership.  The collaboration, which took effect from October 2018, will see a new era of professional development opportunities for the group’s academic staff.

As a corporate partner, teaching staff at the group’s three colleges – Langley College, Strode’s College and Windsor College are encouraged to become members of SET, the only professional membership body dedicated to teachers and trainers working in further education.

Announcing the partnership, the Windsor Forest Colleges Group Principal and CEO Kate Webb said: “Outstanding teaching and learning is a cornerstone to delivering exceptional outcomes for each and every one of our students. We are committed to ensuring our academic staff receive professional development opportunities which enable them to continuously develop their teaching expertise and technical know-how. We believe that no matter how good a teacher is and no matter how good our results are, we must always focus on maintaining standards and we are looking forward to working with SET to deliver this ambition.”

Education and Training Foundation Chief Executive David Russell said: “We are delighted to welcome the Windsor Forest Colleges Group as a corporate partner of the Society for Education and Training. This partnership is a positive step that signals a college’s commitment to high-quality development for its staff and teaching for its students. It will provide teaching staff with access to a host of CPD opportunities, expertise and resources, and help them strive for excellence in their professional journey.”

As SET members, teaching staff at the college will:

  • have the opportunity to study for Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) and Advanced Teacher Status (ATS). SET is the only passport to achieving both QTLS and ATS
  • gain access to resources, training and teaching tools, research and expert views in further education
  • enjoy benefits, such as the Society for Education and Training's mentoring service
  • be part of a professional community of over 17,000 teachers and trainers in the education sector, with opportunities to share expertise and experience with their peers
  • receive copies of inTuition, the most widely read journal for practitioners working across further education, vocational teaching and training

Notes to Editors

1.         To find out more information about SET Corporate Partnership, visit https://set.et-foundation.co.uk/membership/set-corporate-partners/. If you are interested in becoming a SET Corporate Partner, please speak to Martin Reid at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 020 3740 8294.

2.         About the Society for Education and Training (https://set.et-foundation.co.uk/)

The Society for Education and Training is the membership body dedicated to professionals working across further education, vocational teaching and training. It is the professional arm of the Education and Training Foundation.

With over 17,000 members it is the largest professional membership body in the education sector and growing rapidly. All its members strive for excellence in all they do.

It helps the careers of professionals working across further education, vocational teaching and training, inspires them to be even better, and, connects them with thousands of like-minded professionals and experts.

It aims to raise the status of the profession, champion the quality of professionals teaching and training across working across further education, vocational teaching and training and provide access to the best research and expert views there are.

3.         About SET Corporate Partnership

SET Corporate Partnership is a status for providers that support their staff to undertake QTLS and require it when recruiting new teachers and trainers. It is a public way of demonstrating commitment to staff development and progression.

4.         About the Education and Training Foundation

The ETF is the government-backed, sector-owned national workforce and professional development body for the Further Education (FE) and Training sector. Its role is to support the continuing transformation of the technical and vocational education system by ensuring the sector has world-class leaders, teachers and trainers. This leads to ever-improving learner outcomes, a better skilled workforce for employers and a stronger economy, country and society.

We do this by improving, driving and championing the quality of leadership, teaching and training through four key pillars:

•           Setting professional standards, running the sector’s professional membership body (Society for Education and Training) and for awarding practitioners with QTLS and ATS

•           Supporting sector change

•           Leading workforce development for leaders, governors and practitioners

•           Providing key workforce data and research.

5.         For journalists requiring further information, please contact John Hilsdon: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Education and Training Foundation is a company registered in England Registered address: 157 -197 Buckingham Palace Road, London, SW1W 9SP, t:  0203 740 8280 Company registration number: 08540597. Charity number: 1153859

We were delighted to be part of the first-ever Berkshire Apprenticeship Awards. The event, which was hosted by Slough Aspire, managed by The Windsor Forest Colleges Group, brought together businesses, apprentices and training providers from all across Berkshire for the celebration. 

 

The best in Berkshire is celebrated at first ever county-wide Apprenticeship Awards

 

Businesses, apprentices and training providers from across Berkshire came together this week to celebrate the first ever Berkshire Apprenticeship Awards. Peter Brett Associates, now part of Stantec, took title honours for Berkshire Employer of the Year and Erica Deane of Peter Brett Associates, now part of Stantec, was named as Berkshire Apprentice of the Year. The event, hosted by Legoland Windsor, showcased the invaluable contribution apprenticeships are making to learners, businesses and the local economy.

 

Berkshire Apprenticeship Service is hosted by Slough Aspire and managed by The Windsor Forest Colleges Group.Commenting on the inaugural celebration Slough Aspire’s Chief Executive Fiona Jones said: “This is a great opportunity to put apprenticeships centre stage. All our nominees are testament to the difference apprenticeships can make, with these organisations all reaping the many rewards from securing skilled employees for the future, impacting their bottom line to breathing fresh life into their business and improving staff loyalty and training.”

 

“Yet despite all these huge advantages Berkshire still tails behind the national picture with only 6% of workplaces in the county having an apprentice, versus 12% nationally. We need to shine a light on apprenticeships to encourage more organisations to step forward and embrace the apprenticeship advantage.”

 

Commenting on the awards, Paul Reilly, Managing Director of Peter Brett Associates, now part of Stantec, said: “We’re delighted to have been honoured by the Berkshire Apprenticeship Service for the work we do to support and develop apprenticeships. These awards not only recognise the performance and quality of our apprentices but they also acknowledge the hard work that our experienced teams and managers put into supporting and coaching our younger staff.”

 

The winners for the awards were all decided on by a panel of expert judges of leading figures and employers from across Berkshire. Winners announced on the evening were as follows:

 

Best Training Provider Award

awarded to West Berkshire Training Consortium

 

Most Innovative Education-Based Apprenticeship Promotion Initiative Award

awarded to Maiden Erlegh School

 

Best Apprentice Employer (non-levy payer) Award

awarded to The Forbury Group

 

Best Apprentice Employer (levy-payer) Award

awarded to PBA now part of Stantec

 

Star Apprentice Manager Award

awarded to Andrew Gadd, Arvato UK

 

Star Achiever Apprentice Award

awarded to Erica Deane, PBA now part of Stantec

 

Best Young Ambassador Apprentice Award

awarded to Vikas Khan, Arvato UK

 

Best Adult Apprentice Award

awarded to Kyle Marshall, Jacobs

 

For future information on the Berkshire Apprenticeship Service please go to www.sloughaspire.com.

 

For further information on the Berkshire Apprenticeship Service, please go to www.berkshire-apprenticeship.co.uk.

 

The Windsor Forest Colleges Group is joining forces with the Association of Colleges (AOC) to support its campaign which is calling on the government to stop the FE funding squeeze and to give colleges a fair investment. The initiative is part of Colleges Week 2018 which aims to raise awareness of the funding challenges colleges face while also highlighting the role colleges play in transforming lives, helping businesses improve productivity and driving local social and economic growth.

Group Principal and Chief Executive Kate Webb will be taking centre stage, alongside a number of speakers including Jeremy Corbyn, at the ‘Love Our Colleges’ rally in Parliament Square. Commenting on the challenge of increasing learner needs versus a decline in funding, she said: “There is little doubt that colleges play an invaluable role in the education of school leavers and adults which hugely benefits local businesses and the wider community – our contribution, impact and effectiveness is unquestionable. As part of Colleges Week 2018 we are therefore very proudly raising the profile of further education and demonstrating that now is the time for the government to start investing in this sector which trains an incredible 2.2 million people per year.”

At the heart of Colleges Week ‘Love Our Colleges’ campaign is a report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies which highlights the scale of the funding issue. Per-student spending in FE and sixth-form colleges is around 8 per cent lower than in secondary schools and has also fallen by around 12 per cent in real terms since 2010.

And it is in recognition that potential learners are also feeling the financial squeeze which prompted the Group which includes Langley College, Windsor College and Strode’s College, to raise the threshold of the government’s recent low wage initiative from £15,736.50 to £20,000. Ms Webb explains further: “This new funding is ideal for working adults to upskill or retrain in order to enhance their career as many of our courses will now be free. But being based in outer London we realised that the threshold would need to be raised in order to reach more people. Already we are seeing how this funding and the power of further education can genuinely transform lives while directly benefiting the wider economy.”

David Hughes, Chief Executive, Association of Colleges, said: “Every single day colleges like The Windsor Forest Colleges Group provide a world class education and transform the lives of millions of people.

Colleges Week is an opportunity to celebrate the brilliant things that go on and a chance to showcase the brilliant staff that make it possible. It is simple, if we want a world-class education system then we need to properly invest in it.”

Ms Webb concluded: “At our colleges we are educating and training over 5,000 young people and adults every year from A Levels to degree. We have invested £30million in our college’s infrastructure to provide the very latest technology and industry standard equipment so our students gain the advanced skills employers want. We have students progressing to prestigious universities including Oxford, Durham, Bath and Warwick. We work with industry giants for our apprenticeship programmes. Yet our work, which is vital to the economy, is under recognized and under funded by the government.”

For further information on Colleges Week 2018 please go to www.collegesweek.co.uk and for further information on the low wage initiative and eligible courses please click here

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