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From futuristic technology to the latest hairstyles, the Spring Open Day at East Berkshire College in Langley had something for everyone on Tuesday (26th January). Over 600 prospective students and their families were able to take a tour of the College's state-of-the-art learning facilities and receive advice on courses, careers and funding.

With everything from catering to engineering, there was a wide range of demonstrations running throughout the event to entertain and inform visitors. Highlights of the evening included various sporting displays, interactive construction activities and hairdressing students demonstrating some of the latest hairstyling techniques. Meanwhile, IT and engineering students showcased the latest technology, from a music robot with ultrasonic virtual keyboard to Raspberry Pi programming and a drone flying school.

In the College's new STEM Project & Research Centre, students from different construction trades were working together to build a bungalow complete with SMART technology. Bricklaying students Ryan Butcher (19, from Langley) and Sohail Boston (17, from Slough) impressed visitors with their trowel skills by working on the next level of the bungalow build.

Sohail Boston, who is studying a bricklaying level two course at Langley College, explains:

"The new construction facilities are just like being on a real building site. I'm learning so much and gaining real work experience on a real full-size project. I want to be a qualified bricklayer and eventually progress on to a higher level management course, so this is great preparation for the future."

Prospective student Ben Felstead (aged 15) attended the event to find out about courses in motor vehicle and electrical engineering.

"Everyone was really helpful and friendly at the Open Day. I was given lots of useful advice about course options from staff and got to talk to students, who gave us a guided tour of the building. I was very impressed with the College, particularly the workshops and main entrance."

East Berkshire College continues to go from strength to strength in terms of raising standards and has recently completed a £30m refurbishment of its Langley College to provide state-of-the-art learning facilities for current and future students. These improvements included new commercial hair and beauty salons, a sports centre and a Hospitality & Catering Academy.

Each year, the College helps thousands of individuals to fulfil their ambitions through education and training. The College offers an extensive range of part-time, full-time and workplace training courses, from introductory right through to degree level.

For further information on East Berkshire College and its extensive range of courses, please call 01753 793000 or click here.

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East Berkshire College's new STEM Project & Research Centre for construction, engineering and technology at Langley College was officially unveiled on Tuesday (10th November 2015).

The Mayor of Slough, Councillor Mohammed Rasib, officially opened the facilities to gathered guests, which included local dignitaries, students, staff and local businesses such as AkzoNobel and Paradigm Housing Group.

The auspicious event marked the completion of the third and final phase of a £30m improvement project at the Station Road campus, which features new dedicated workshops for bricklaying, plumbing, carpentry, plastering, welding, painting and decorating, fitted interiors, electrical and engineering. Designed to enable students to develop higher level skills in a realistic work environment, the new centre also includes a fantastic project space, where construction, IT and engineering students are working together to build a bungalow complete with SMART technology.

Talking at the event, Principal Kate Webb explains: "The new £5.1m STEM Centre is a fantastic asset to our Langley College, which will enhance the learning experience for our students and enable them to develop the specialist technical skills employers require.

"As well as providing modern workshops for construction and engineering disciplines, the centre will allow students to use their skills in a realistic work environment by working together to build a full-scale bungalow each year."

Special guest, renowned designer and entrepreneur, Wayne Hemingway MBE, who has designed everything from houses to sofas and is the founder of the brand Red or Dead, treated the assembled guests and students to an inspiring talk as part of the event.

Highlights of the event included a range of interactive demonstrations by construction, engineering and motor vehicle students from the College. These included bricklaying and plastering techniques, carpentry, plumbing, decorative painting techniques, 3D printing and laser cutting. Visitors, including the Mayor of Slough, even had the chance to learn a new skill by having a go at plastering, bricklaying and tiling!

The impressive new facilities are part of East Berkshire College's £30million makeover of its Langley College in Station Road. The stunning new centre will mean students receive up-to-date training on the very latest technology and techniques, while addressing a skills shortage identified in the UK in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

For further information on East Berkshire College and its extensive range of over 800 courses including apprenticeships, click here or call 01753 793000.

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Christopher Horsburgh, a carpentry student at East Berkshire College, is celebrating after triumphing in the regional heat of SkillBuild – the UK’s largest multi-trade competition.

Christopher (17, from Windsor) beat candidates from colleges across the region to take third place in the junior carpentry category at the regional heat of the competition, which took place at Oxford & Cherwell Valley College on 23rd May. The highest scoring competitors from the heats will be given the opportunity to compete at the three day SkillBuild UK final, which will take place later this year.

Christopher, who is studying a carpentry level one course at Langley College, was overwhelmed to achieve third place in his very first competition.

“It is an honour just to be nominated to compete at SkillBuild, so to have achieved third place is fantastic – especially against such tough competition. The biggest challenge was to maintain the high standards required in the tight timescale, but it has been great experience. I’d like the chance to go back and do even better next time.”

In the regional heat, students had to build a complex structure from test plans in five hours. The test pieces were designed to challenge the ability of entrants to follow detailed instructions, produce accurate and neat work outputs, to be economical with materials while working to strict timescales.

Other candidates from the College also competed in the regional heats. Tyrone Dunne (24, from Langley) showcased his exceptional trowel skills in the senior bricklaying category, while Caleb Beldom (16, from Datchet) narrowly missed out on one of the top spots in the junior bricklaying competition. Meanwhile, Billy Long also competed in the senior carpentry section.

Bricklaying student Tyrone Dunne, who had to produce a complicated piece of brickwork using a variety of different decorative techniques as part of the competition, said: “Taking part in SkillBuild has been a really good experience. It has given me a lot more confidence in my skills and a better understanding of the industry. I really enjoy the complicated decorative side of brickwork and would like to work as an improver on site after I finish college. Eventually, I hope to start my own business.”

The SkillBuild event is the largest multi-trade competition in the country for construction trainees and apprentices. It recognises the skills of young tradesmen and women in various crafts including carpentry, bricklaying, plastering, painting and decorating, and cabinet making.

SkillBuild is an annual event which is managed by CITB, the Sector Skills Council and Industry Training Board for the construction industry, and supported by local employers as well as national sponsors.

For further information on East Berkshire College and its construction courses, including brickwork, click here or call 0845 373 2500.

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Work is now well underway on the £16 million improvements to East Berkshire College's Langley Campus in Station Road, which will provide state-of-the-art facilities to meet the community's current and future learning needs. And last week, bricklaying students were given a unique opportunity to see the progress of the building work first-hand.

The twelve students, who are all studying a bricklaying level two or three course at the College, were given a tour of the construction site by Principal Contractor, Kier Construction. Kitted out in protective clothing, the students were able see the building techniques being employed and learn about Health & Safety procedures on site.

Third year student Harry Bolton (22, from Iver), who is a bricklaying apprentice looking to advance on to a Construction Foundation Degree, was keen to see the progress of the works:

"It was great to see the work for ourselves as we have been following the plans week by week from the window. The site is a lot bigger than others I've been on and there's lots of different work going on at once. Kier took us through an induction and talked us through the drainage and block work their bricklayers are doing. I'm looking forward to seeing how much the site has changed on our next visit." Keir tour_0522_web_710px

The improvements at the Langley Campus are providing a valuable learning opportunity for construction students. As part of the project, Kier is committed to arranging regular student tours to give them an insight into a real working site.

The steel frameworks for the new multi-purpose Sports Centre have now been erected and the centre is on schedule to open in May 2013. The facility will not only meet the needs of the College's successful Sports Academy, but also provide the local community with public use of new sports amenities.

Once the Sports Centre is completed, work will begin on transforming the former sports hall into an exciting new Hospitality & Catering Academy. Due for completion in August 2013, this will feature professional training kitchens, a working restaurant and simulated hotel environment.

The Langley Campus building has been at the heart of the community since 1976 and currently serves over 2,400 students from the Langley and Slough area. After over 35 years, the plan to upgrade the campus has received very positive feedback from students, staff, neighbours and local businesses.

The improvement project for the Langley Campus will cost approximately £16m and is being funded mainly by the College, and part funded by a Government grant.

Over the years, the College has continued to go from strength to strength in terms of raising standards and enhancing its range of courses. Today, the Langley Campus is the centre for most of the College's main vocational courses, which all have specialist facilities. These include Motor Vehicle & Engineering, Construction, Hairdressing & Beauty Therapy and Health Care & Education Pathways along with Creative Studies and ESOL & Languages.

The refurbishment of the Langley Campus follows the recent expansion of the College's Windsor Campus, which saw the addition of new science laboratories and improved student social facilities.

For further information on East Berkshire College and its extensive range of over 800 courses, including hospitality and catering, click here or call 0845 373 2500.

For more information on the improvements to the College's Langley Campus and how it will look once the work is complete, click here.

rehau newsLooking to a greener future, East Berkshire College and polymer solutions company REHAU Limited have joined forces to provide a specialist training facility for students to learn about the latest renewable energy technologies in the construction industry.

Fiona Mactaggart, MP for Slough, officially opened the new East Berkshire College and REHAU Renewable Energy Training Centre at the College's Langley Campus on Wednesday (22nd September 2010).

During her visit, Fiona was given a guided tour of the facility and watched students demonstrate how to install underfloor heating systems. The students themselves were involved in fitting out the new training centre along with College lecturers and experts from REHAU.

The new facility is an exciting first for both the College and REHAU. The centre will be used to train over 300 students each year, who are taking various construction courses including Heating & Ventilation, the part-time Renewable Technologies & Sustainability course and the Construction Foundation Degree.

Meanwhile, REHAU will use the facility as part of its own training Academy and will offer a range of seminars and Academy courses at the College, which is very close to REHAU's southern regional sales office in Langley.

Richard Kirkham, Head of School for Construction at the College, explains: "This exciting new facility will position the College and our students at the forefront of industry. The centre will further enhance the learning experience for current and future students, allowing them to develop their skills on the very latest technology and increase awareness of green opportunities in new builds.

"We are proud to be working with such a renowned company as REHAU on this important project. We believe this partnership will benefit not only our students, but employers and their customers, as well as the industry as a whole."

To tie in with the project, the College has also collaborated with London South Bank University to introduce a new module on renewable energy technologies for the current Construction Foundation Degree.

Commenting on the new centre, Fiona Mactaggart said: "This is a great innovation; it's good for a locally based company which can show how its products work and make sure they are well installed. It's good for students who can learn the skills involved in installing state-of-the-art systems, it's good for the planet as more customers use these environmentally friendly systems to heat homes and offices and it's good for our local college to offer learning on the most modern systems in advance of industry standards."

rehau newsThe new training centre features a comprehensive range of products from REHAU focused on generating, distributing and managing energy efficiently. It includes working demonstrations of REHAU's solar panel technology and rainwater harvesting system and practical areas where students can learn how to install underfloor heating systems and flexible pipework.

Among those attending the prestigious launch were Kate Webb, Principal of East Berkshire College and Martin Hitchin, CEO of REHAU.

East Berkshire College has opportunities available for people to train in renewable energy technologies on either a part-time or full-time basis, with courses starting in October and November. For more information on these and a variety of other construction courses call 0845 373 2500.

dewalt newsA team of talented apprentices from East Berkshire College have won the DeWALT Apprentice Challenge 2011. Beating colleges from across the UK, the four carpentry and joinery students put their skills to the test in a series of tasks, which included building a pitched roof, to win £5,000 worth of power tools for the College's Construction Department.

bb news_01_350pxAs part of National Apprenticeship Week (7th-11th February 2011), East Berkshire College held a special big breakfast event for local businesses on Thursday (10th February) at its Langley Campus.

Attended by over 40 visitors, the 'Big Breakfast for Business' event provided local organisations with the chance to find out more about the College's new apprenticeship programmes and the benefits of taking on an apprentice. A wide range of companies from across the region attended the event including Mars, Royal Berkshire Ramada Plaza, Clean, Mitie and Babcocks Ltd.

The event included a number of short presentations by key speakers such as Fiona Mactaggart, MP for Slough, as well as a discussion forum and tour of the College's extensive facilities.

During her visit, Fiona met a class of apprentices in the College's Construction Department to talk with them about their experiences. She was even given a lesson in bricklaying and shown the art of carpentry and joinery by students.

"Companies which employ apprentices find that they can build a loyal skilled workforce which contributes to their business success," explains Fiona. "And the apprentices I spoke to enjoy this very practical form of on the job training. Improving skills is essential if we are to compete and apprenticeships are the most important way of doing that. Full Marks to East Berkshire College for promoting these excellent apprenticeship programmes."

In addition to the breakfast event, the College also invited a number of key figures from local councils and industry to become an apprentice. Martin Mahoney, 14-19 Consultant for the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, was one individual who took up the challenge.

As an apprentice, Martin joined a class of students in the College's hair and beauty training salons to try his hand at doing woven highlights (known as foiling).

"A number of my colleagues did laugh when I told them I was going to be a hairdressing apprentice for an afternoon. It has, however, given me a much better insight into apprenticeships. Part of my work involves strengthening links between schools and colleges, so I felt it was important to understand how and what apprentices learn.

"I was particularly interested in talking to students about how and why they came to choose this vocational career path. It was great to see how dedicated and enthusiastic they are about what they do."

Meanwhile Jo Wright, Head of Local Business at Kinnarps and President of Slough Chamber of Commerce, took up the offer of becoming a motor vehicle apprentice: "I believe it is very important to grow the skills of our young people in the area, so I was keen to support National Apprenticeship Week. Going back to College for first-hand experience was a great way to do that."

bb news_02_350pxHenry Clarke (19, from Wokingham), who is now in the final year of his motor vehicle apprenticeship at the College, believes an apprenticeship makes you more employable.

"Apprenticeships help you get experience while learning," says Henry. "It is hard at first because you start on a low wage, but it pays off in the long term as companies want skilled staff. I want to work my way up to manager level and this is the first step."

East Berkshire College trains hundreds of apprentices every year, in various subjects from engineering to hairdressing, and even helps businesses recruit apprentices.

As well as the more traditional trade-based apprenticeships, the College now offers a range of new apprenticeships in areas such as IT, Business Administration, Accounting, Customer Service and Public Services.

Local businesses interested in taking on an apprentice, please contact East Berkshire College on 01753 443855.

For further information on East Berkshire College and its extensive range of over 700 courses including apprenticeships call 0845 373 2500.

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