Catering students from Northampton College teamed up with three award-winning local chefs to create a delicious three-course ‘binner’ out of ingredients destined for landfill.

The students joined forces with James Peck of Burnt Lemon Catering, Arthur Dzerins of The Hopping Hare and Natasha Caton ‘The Loving Chef’ to produce a series of stunning dishes as part of the fundraiser for Elsie’s Café in Northampton.

The chefs were handed ingredients from supermarkets that were earmarked for the rubbish dump as they were approaching their best before date. The food, which included prime cuts of rib eye steak, chicken and root vegetables, was then transformed into restaurant-standard dishes for 70 diners at The Lane – the college’s own student-led brasserie.

Phil Martin, head of catering at Northampton College, said: “This was a fantastic opportunity for our students to work in a busy service under the guidance of some exceptional chefs. They will have learnt a lot from the experience and it was very pleasing to see them come together and work for each other as part of a team to make the event a roaring success.”

Diners tucked into a starter of pressed chicken with curried onion puree, pickled carrot and burnt cauliflower before enjoying a main course of steak with root vegetable dauphinoise, sautéed greens and horseradish crème fraiche. Dessert was an all vegan trio of tofu tiramisu, cacao and bluebuerry torte and mango and ginger ice cream.

Sheena Cooper, founder of Elsie’s Café which is part of the national Real Junk Food Project, said: “We are thrilled with the event and are very grateful to Northampton College for hosting us in their state-of-the-art kitchens and beautiful restaurant. The students were a credit to the college.

“The standard of food prepared by the chefs and the students was unbelievable. It really is incredible to think this food was on its way to landfill before we intervened. We are passionate about feeding bellies, not bins and thankfully this food was given the treatment it deserved, ending up on people’s plates rather than joining the tonnes of needless waste in a landfill site.”

As well as helping out in the kitchens with prepping and plating up, catering students also worked as front-of-house, assisting volunteers from Elsie’s Café to serve dozens of diners who helped raise hundreds of pounds for charity.

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Schools from across Northamptonshire will go head-to-head to compete in a ‘low carbon challenge’ aimed at inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers.

‘The Big Rig’ will be held as part of Northampton College’s ongoing ‘Igniting The Spark’ campaign – a drive to encourage young people to consider courses in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects.

The event, to be held on April 24 and 25, will see teams of eight Year 10 and 11 pupils competing against other local secondary schools to install a solar powered water system on a large scaffolding platform at the college’s Booth Lane campus.

The challenge will consist of a mixture of practical and theoretical sessions linked to the curriculum, with a strong focus on health and safety. Teams will be judged on a range of set criteria including how well they understand and plan the project, economical use of materials, design of a rain water collection system, waste management process and how effective they are as a team

Hands-on activities will enhance pupils’ problem solving skills and improve communication team-working and leadership skills. At the end of the session, tutors will provide feedback and pupils will be encouraged to reflect on their group experiences. Daily winners will then compete in a final on Friday, April 27.

Patrick Leavey, deputy principal at Northampton College, said: “We hope ‘The Big Rig’ will mark a renewed interest in, and commitment to, the development of science, engineering and technology as a career for young people in Northamptonshire.

“There is a skills gap in these industries, representing an opportunity for young people to step in and bring their own ideas and thinking to the workplace. We want to create a future workforce capable of thinking for themselves, solving problems quickly and efficiently and using technology to create innovative new ways of doing business.”

The session follows on from two previous ‘Igniting The Spark’ workshops held in conjunction with the UK Space academy, which has seen students from seven Northamptonshire schools take a voyage of discovery to unearth the secrets of the solar system and find out more about the science of space.

Northampton College has recently revealed its proposal for a £4.75million Advanced Construction Engineering (ACE) Centre at Booth Lane, which will help train the next generation of construction industry professionals including builders, plumbers, carpenters and decorators and teach pioneering new techniques aimed at equipping future workers with the very latest skills.

Alongside courses which focus on craft skills there will also be courses at Level 3 for those looking for supervisory, technician or management careers in the sector, such as in Civil Engineering, Building Services Engineering, or Project Management.

Building work on the centre, which will include a revolutionary ‘Digital Lab’ featuring a Virtual Reality classroom, 3D printing facilities and industry-standard workshop equipment, is scheduled to get underway next summer.

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Students from four schools across Northamptonshire have taken a voyage of discovery to unearth the secrets of the solar system and find out more about the science of space.

A series of space-age workshops were held at Northampton College, with pupils from Abbeyfields School, The Ferrers School, Kettering Buccleuch Academy and Sir Christopher Hatton Academy taking part in the sessions – run by The National Space Academy.

The ‘Igniting The Spark’ sessions, which saw students learn how to build a telescope, build model comets using dry ice, launch their own compressed air rocket and discover what lifeforms need to survive in space, were held throughout the day on Friday, March 23.

Patrick Leavey, deputy principal at Northampton College, said: “Studying science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects opens up a wide variety of interesting and exciting opportunities for the future, in many different industries and working environments all over the world.

“Many of the major challenges facing society in the 21st century need solutions which can only be developed by people with STEM skills so it’s vital we encourage people to look at studying in these areas.

“These workshops offer a compelling insight into what it would be like to both study STEM subjects and work in that field in the future. It was wonderful to see the students so engaged with their learning, having fun and discovering exciting new techniques. Hopefully it will help to ignite the spark and encourage them to study STEM subjects.”

The UK space industry is looking to grow its annual turnover to £14billion by 2020 but to meet that growth it needs young people to choose science and engineering options and further their learning in this area.

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Business is once again booming in Northamptonshire, with a glittering ceremony set to reward the county’s leading lights.

The launch of the 2018 SME Northamptonshire Business Awards will take place at Northampton College on Tuesday, 24 April – giving the county’s brightest business brains the chance to network and kickstart the process of crowning our champions of commerce.

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Ambitious plans have been unveiled for a state-of-the-art facility aimed at tackling the severe skills shortages threatening to hit the construction industry in Northamptonshire.

Northampton College has revealed its proposal for a £4.75million Advanced Construction Engineering (ACE) Centre, to be built at its Booth Lane campus, which will help train the next generation of builders, plumbers and decorators and teach pioneering new techniques aimed at equipping the workforce of the future with the very latest skills.

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Northampton College has teamed up with iconic shoemakers Church’s to champion the workforce of the future and find the county’s best apprentice.

The best young talent in the county will be unearthed as part of the inaugural Northamptonshire Business Awards, with the college and Church’s joining forces to sponsor the coveted Apprentice of the Year category.

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A Northampton College student has been hailed a hero having helped save the life of a pensioner having a suspected heart attack at a bus stop.

Fred Whitworth, an 18-year-old Level 3 Public Services student at Booth Lane, stepped in after spotting the 79-year-old man in distress in St Gregory’s Road, Northampton.

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Students from schools across Northamptonshire have taken a voyage of discovery to unearth the secrets of the solar system and find out more about the science of space.

A series of space-age workshops were held at Northampton College, with pupils from Thomas Becket Catholic School, Caroline Chisholm School and Kettering Science Academy taking part in the sessions – run by The National Space Academy.

The ‘Igniting The Spark’ sessions, which saw students learn how to build a telescope, build model comets using dry ice, launch their own compressed air rocket and discover what lifeforms need to survive in space, were held throughout the day on Friday, February 23.

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A carefully crafted social media campaign to promote a classic sandwich has landed a group of Northampton College students £500 in Amazon vouchers.

Level Three business students Hannah Ferrin, Callum Buck, Verity Rust and Millicent Wincott teamed up to produce a fresh, low fat, take on the classic bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich, which saw them reach the regional finals of a competition to create a new product for High Street fast food giant Subway.

Their campaign to ‘bring back the BLT’ and see their healthy handcrafted sandwich sold in Subway stores across the region was an overall runner-up but they were named winners of the award for ‘Best Social Media Campaign’.

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Football-mad teenagers will be able to get top training tips from Premier League coaches while continuing with their classroom studies, thanks to a new academy launched by Northampton College.

Headed by former Crystal Palace, Arsenal and Manchester City star Eddie McGoldrick, the academy will bridge the gap between grassroots football and top-level youth teams – giving talented youngsters in Northamptonshire the opportunity to get a full education while pursuing their dream of becoming professional players.

The partnership will see Northampton College team up with Premier League side Crystal Palace, with the CPFC Foundation Academy playing in the national football youth league against clubs including Chelsea, Spurs, West Ham United and Liverpool.

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A group of Northampton College students are hoping to ‘bring back the BLT’ and see their healthy handcrafted sandwich sold in Subway stores across the region.

Level Three business students Hannah Ferrin, Callum Buck, Verity Rust and Millicent Wincott have teamed up to produce a fresh, low fat, take on the classic bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich, which has seen them reach the regional finals of a competition to create a new product for High Street fast food giant Subway.

The sub will go head-to-head with five other flavours created by students from across the East Anglia region. The winning sub will be sold in stores for a two-week period, with the winning students getting involved in a marketing campaign to promote the product.

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Tutors from a college in Russia flew into the UK to visit Northampton College and see first-hand how students are benefiting from vocational courses.

The group of 15 Russian tutors, from the Korolev College for Building and Construction near Moscow, travelled more than 2,000 miles to find out more about the UK college system and to see how Northampton College works with the construction sector to provide work-related courses, qualifications and apprenticeships.

Sasha Lipscombe, Managing Director of Global Vocational Skills, the company which organised the UK visit, said: “The aim of the trip was to provide visiting teaching staff with a better understanding of vocational training and education within the UK construction sector in the UK and our visit to Northampton really was a highlight.

“We hope this will be one of many visits to Northampton, as we look to forge and build strong relationships with educational establishments overseas.”

Patrick Leavey, Deputy Principal at Northampton College, added: “We were delighted to host this visit and to show tutors from Russia how we work with local businesses, the importance of our construction courses and how we put technology and digital strategy at the forefront of our teaching.”

Construction is an increasingly important sector for the UK and Northampton College is now recruiting and seeking experts from the construction engineering sector to join its teaching team. The College is holding two recruitment fairs in the New Year, both from 4pm to 7.30pm.

These are on Thursday, 4 January and Wednesday, 17 January at our Booth Lane Campus. Book your place here.

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A former Northampton College catering student will have the chance to represent the town in the Houses of Parliament having been put forward to defend Saffrons crown in the 2018 Tiffin Cup.

Mohammad Shajahan, aged 22, was taken on as an apprentice by the award-winning Castilian Street restaurant four years ago. He has gone on to work alongside executive chef Bodrul Islam and will now look to emulate his mentor’s success in the annual parliamentary search to find the nation’s best South Asian cuisine.

Saffron was named the winner of the 2016 competition, with Mr Islam’s dish of lime and ginger sea bass earning widespread acclaim from expert judges including TV chef Ainsley Harriott.

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Musical theatre students from Northampton College have ticked off the sort of gig most performers can only dream about... playing at Wembley Stadium.

A total of 28 year one and year two students took to the stage at the iconic sporting venue to perform at the national SME business awards, impressing guests at the lavish black tie event with a medley of songs from musicals Chicago and Rent.

Student Samantha O’Neill said: “It’s amazing to have performed at Wembley in just my second year. We have been rehearsing these particular pieces since October between other shows, so we were really confident and knew our stuff.”

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Each year, TruckEast continues to invest in its apprentices and build the workforce of the future. This year, they've taken it one step further with their recent donation to Northampton College - an R450 Topline Scania.

Committed to creating opportunities in the industry, the drive behind the donation is to open new doors for existing students and encourage more interest in HGV apprenticeships.

“Getting the younger generation interested in our industry today is a challenge across all business areas, so we believe opportunities like this are crucial to attracting new talent,” comments Regional Aftersales Director, Graham Broughton. “We are proud to present the college and students with a modern - day vehicle to advance their skills and see this donation as a n investment into not only the future of the college but of our own business as well . With the addition of this truck, Northampton College will continue to develop apprentices and therefore increase the number of qualified technicians with in the region,” he continues.

Donated to the Motor Vehicle and Logistics workshop, the Scania R - Cab will become part of the core equipment used within the IMI Level 2 and 3 motor vehicle maintenance and repair apprenticeship. The truck, given a new lease of life, will be used every week as a training vehicle in various formats including diagnostics and general routine maintenance. Currently enrolled on the course are 26 HGV apprentices across the three years, who will get hands - on experience on a fully functional truck, similar to those they will experience in their day - to - day work environments.

“Technology within the industry is accelerating at a rapid speed and it's important that the apprentices continue to get their hands on modern equipment with the up - to date systems they’ll experience back in their own workshops”, states Mr Broughton.

Principal of Northampton College, Pat Brennan-Barrett, said: “The College plays an important part in driving the economy and a vital role in engineering and logistics. To have an employer such as TruckEast to generously donate a truck, gives us the kudos in the further education sector to raise aspirations for all our students in enabling their careers. We are exceedingly grateful to all the staff at TruckEast and want to thank them for this donation to the Motor Vehicle and Logistics workshops."

TruckEast currently have six first year apprentice technicians enrolled at Northampton College, where the students attend once every six weeks for the theory element of their apprenticeship. As additional support to their development they are each assigned a mentor back at their respective workshops who act as a guide throughout the programme. The combination of both practical and theoretical training that the apprentices receive is a crucial part of their journey; one which allows them to make the most out of their potential – both professionally and personally.

With their own apprentices enrolled on the programme, TruckEast are going to continue to work closely with Northampton College by offering opportunities to young people in the region and building the future, together.

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A teenager with Asperger’s syndrome has won a top award having become the first Supported Learning student at Northampton College to progress directly onto a Level 3 course.

Liam Hargreaves-Playford was honoured at the college’s annual awards ceremony – which saw dozens of students celebrated for their academic achievements over the past 12 months.

The 19-year-old from Moulton was frustrated by previous experiences of education when he arrived at Booth Lane but has thrived in his new surroundings and is now studying sports development and coaching.

A stunning tile mural has been unveiled at Northampton College’s Daventry campus to mark the building’s first birthday.

daventry tile murial revealThe display was revealed as part of an Open Event held at the campus on Tuesday, November 21, designed to help prospective students find out more about college life and the courses available to them.

Principal Pat Brennan-Barrett said: “This mural is a true collaboration of creativity, made up of hundreds of individually designed tiles, and is a fitting way to celebrate the first birthday of our state-of-the-art new campus.

“It’s a brilliant piece of work – made by students, staff, local businesses and members of the community.

“We are hugely grateful to everyone who has played their part and contributed not only to the mural but have also made the last 12 months so special for all of us at Daventry.”

A commemorative mural is being launched and unveiled at Daventry Campus on Tuesday (21st November) – part of the college’s one-year birthday celebrations.

Former Northampton College student Kathryn Holmes returned to Booth Lane to give catering students an exclusive insight into what goes on during a food safety inspection.

kathryn holmesNow working as a trainee environmental health officer for Birmingham City Council during a ‘sandwich year’ as part of a degree at the University of Wolverhampton, Kathryn returned to her roots to talk to the current students about the importance of food hygiene and explaining the process of inspectors’ visits.

She said: “It was good to be back. It felt strange to be walking back up to the main entrance again after two years away but I really enjoyed it. The students were great and really got involved, asking lots of questions and taking a real interest.

“While I enjoyed learning kitchen skills during my college course I didn’t want to work in kitchens so I’ve taken a different route. I love my job now and I’m keen to explain to the students what they can expect to happen when inspectors visit their premises in the future.

“Chefs are always looking for shortcuts and ways of becoming more efficient but it’s vital they don’t compromise on safety, particularly when public health is at stake.”

Jack Hunt, from Northampton College’s Supported Learning team, has played a key role in helping England Deaf Rugby to a 3-0 series whitewash over the All Blacks.

jack hunt 1The 24-year-old, who has worked at Booth Lane for the last three years, played as a second row forward in the three-game international series, coming off the bench in the first two games and starting the final encounter on Sunday.

Jack said: “The series was a great experience with some very tough games. It was pretty intense, with three games in eight days, so to get three wins against a very strong New Zealand side was a really good effort.

“All of the games were very competitive and there was a strong rapport between both teams. There was a lot of respect from both camps and we all got on well. Seeing them perform the closing ‘haka’ was a real privilege.”

Jack has now won eight full England Deaf Rugby caps since teaming up with the squad at the age of 17.

The principal of Northampton College has called on the Government to review its funding allocation for further education and invest in the workforce of the future.

A group of Level 3 students have been working with the team at the Royal & Derngate, helping with the make-up for Northampton Musical Theatre Company’s production of Wizard of Oz.

cancer lunchFamilies of children receiving treatment for cancer at Northampton General Hospital have got together to share their stories and support each other with helpful hints and tips at a special lunch held at Northampton College.

The event, organised by Northampton General Hospital and sponsored by the Leon Barwell Trust, saw more than a dozen families affected by cancer invited to a lunch at the college’s Booth Lane campus, along with entertainment from Mr Banana Brain.

Parents were given the chance to meet others going through the same experience, talk about what they are going through and discuss the ways they deal with the situation day-in, day-out whilst children and siblings could play and enjoy an afternoon of socialising, fun and entertainment.

neil tobin and dan walker ntar visitStudents from Northampton College have been given the opportunity to earn a ‘fast-track’ progression to a leading apprenticeship programme as part of National Rail Week.

The National Training Academy for Rail (NTAR), based in Kings Heath, will offer one student from the college’s engineering course the chance to earn a place on the Siemens Rail Systems Rail Engineering apprenticeship scheme, giving them the chance to work for one of the world’s leading engineering companies.

A three day trip to an adventure centre has given Northampton College students the chance to get out of their comfort zone and boost their confidence with a host of team-building activities.

The trip, arranged as part of the National Citizen Service (NCS), saw dozens of students head to Liddington in Wiltshire where they took part in activities such as raft-building, trapeze and a giant swing.

NCS team leader Parmilla Begum said: “This is the eighth project I’ve been involved with and every time I love it, it’s amazing. The change in young people is incredible. They are all very nervous at the start but by the end they are all excited and ready to go and help out in the community.”

darren stawarz apprentice of the year

An aspiring railway engineer from Northampton College is firmly on track for future success having been named the regional winner of the National Apprenticeship Awards.

Darren Stawarz, a mature student who is currently completing an NVQ at Booth Lane while working as a project engineer at Knorr-Bremse RailServices in Wolverton, was named the East Midlands winner in the Higher or Degree Apprentice category.

Having fought off the challenge of more than 800 entrants, Darren will now progress to the national finals of the awards – which showcase the diverse range of sectors engaged with apprenticeships and celebrate outstanding apprentices and employers.

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Forward thinking students planning for life after their GCSEs are being encouraged to attend Northampton College’s Open Events.

The first of these events will take place on Wednesday, 8 November from 5pm - 7.30pm at the College’s Booth Lane and Lower Mounts campuses.

Principal Pat Brennan-Barrett said: “While our prospectus and website is packed with information and advice there really is no replacement for seeing Northampton College for yourself.

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Staff from businesses across Northamptonshire have ‘graduated’ from a series of professional courses run by Northampton College to help boost skills in the workplace.

The Chartered Institute of Professional Development (CIPD) and Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) courses have been run at the college’s Lower Mounts campus.

A graduation ceremony was held to honour all those who completed courses in subjects including HR and management & leadership.

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Three Northampton College students have secured Supported Learning Internships with Northamptonshire Highways, giving them the chance to experience the world of work while continuing their studies.

Tom Mortimer, Waqar Khalid and Derrie Underwood have all been selected to take part in the internship programme and will have the opportunity to work alongside highways teams from KierWSP.

The interns will start in October and will work two days a week, with the rest of the week spent at college as part of an Entry Level 3 Award in Employability Skills.

High-achieving students helped record a two per cent rise in top grades at Northampton College – bucking the national trend of an overall dip in results.

jasmine bealOverall, the College achieved a 97 per cent pass rate, with over 2,000 students sitting exams in science, maths and English, with a number of students achieving the highest possible grade of 9 – the first time the new grading system has been used.

Pat Brennan-Barrett, Principal said: “We are delighted that our results in maths and English continue to improve in spite of changes to the grading system and the more challenging national environment. Passing these exams in particular is vital for future progression and our teachers have high expectations of all our students to achieve the highest possible grades.”

Among the standout students were:

Jasmine Beal, 25, passed her maths GCSE on the seventh attempt after achieving six D grades on previous attempts at school, college and even while she was at university. Having graduated in history from Oxford Brookes University, Jasmine knew she needed to pass her maths exam in order to enrol on a PGCE and become a history teacher. Jasmine overcame the odds after she was unexpectedly hospitalised in the middle of the exams. She managed to successfully achieve her grade 4 despite taking the new, tougher maths paper.

The first Northampton College students to ever obtain A* grades at A Level have helped the college to secure a record-breaking set of exam results.

chris hornAround 120 students took more than 350 exams within the A Level Academy at Northampton College. A 98 per cent pass rate at A2 was achieved. Students achieved a 100 per cent pass rate for 13 subjects including English, maths, chemistry, art and geography. The percentage of high grades (A*-C) was 73% per cent. The proportion of high grades has increased by 32% since last year. More than two fifths of grades were A*s, As and Bs. These results will ensure that most students are able to secure places at their first choice of university.

Two students, Chris Horn and Abigail Harvey, achieved three A* stars between them for biology, maths and creative writing.

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Students at Northampton College have helped raise £1,500 for a county charity – with the money earmarked to help young people who look after their parents or grandparents.

Proceeds from ticket sales and programmes sold at end-of-year shows by musical theatre and arts students helped raise the huge total for Northamptonshire Carers.

The donation will be used to help fund a range of activities for young carers, such as workshops or respite sessions.
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Global engineering giant Siemens has revealed it is ‘vital’ to keep feeding its talent pipeline with the best problem solvers from Northampton College as bosses look to plug the skills gap hitting the industry.

The commitment to apprenticeship schemes comes on the back of two Northampton College students winning the chance to spend time on work experience at Siemens base at the National Training Academy for Rail (NTAR) in Kings Heath, Northampton.

Level 3 Mechanical Engineering students Lewis Henry, aged 19, and 17-year-old William Dunkley will have the opportunity to impress managers at the pioneering facility and get fast-tracked to the apprenticeship assessment centre – where they can secure a permanent role working on the latest technology being rolled out across the railways.

dancersDance students from Northampton College will be showing off their moves having secured places at some of the country’s leading stage schools.

Kane Walcott and Cassie Dorrofield will be heading to London Studios Centre to study a BA (Hons) degree in Theatre Dance, while Kymara Williams has secured a place at the prestigious Bird College to study a Diploma in Professional Musical Theatre.

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A Northampton College student has been given the chance to impress bosses at the F1 world champions having landed a week’s work experience for being crowned Student of the Year.

Mechanical engineering student James Collins will get the opportunity to work alongside some of the industry’s brightest brains at Mercedes’ Brixworth base this summer, and will also be fast-tracked onto their apprenticeship selection programme early next year.

The award vindicates the 28-year-old’s decision to leave his job as a petrol station supervisor and follow his dream of working in engineering.

musical theatre progressionMusical Theatre students from Northampton College hope to swap Booth Lane for Broadway having secured places at some of the country’s leading stage schools.

A total of nine Level Three students are now set for the big time – following in the footsteps of some of the biggest stars of stage and screen.

The group will take their places at specialist stage schools across the country and all said their time at Northampton College helped prepare them for their future career.

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The first intake of students at Northampton College’s new-look Daventry Campus have been honoured for their hard work and dedication at an awards ceremony.

More than 400 people, including students, their families and a host of VIP guests, attended the ceremony at the new multi-million pound campus in Badby Road West, Daventry On Thursday, June 22.

Best Overall Progress award went to Kurdish student Stira Haj Ibhrahim, who came to England from Syria with her husband eight years ago.

When she first came to England, Stira couldn’t speak any English and didn’t even dare to answer her front door for the first six months. Eventually she developed the courage to join the College and enrolled on a course in English for speakers of other languages. She was inspired to learn words and phrases by reading everything she could get her hands on and watching children’s TV with her young child.

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From TV adverts for chocolate biscuits and packets of crisps to thought-provoking pieces tackling subjects such as terrorism and teenage angst, Northampton College students were honoured for their creativity at a glittering awards ceremony.

BTEC Creative Media students saw their work go on show at Booth Lane as part of an exhibition attended by staff and parents ahead of the BMAs – an annual awards ceremony celebrating the students’ dedication and creativity over the past year.

Awards were handed out in categories including Best Music Video, Best Soundtrack, Best Short Film, Best Poster, Best Double Page Spread and Best TV Advert.

he manNorthampton College has been given a ‘Silver’ award for the quality of its Higher Education teaching, putting it above many leading universities in the rankings.

The Teaching Excellence Framework was introduced two years ago to measure Higher Education providers in terms of quality of experience for students.

It uses a series of metrics including success rates, student satisfaction, progression to employment and resources. Providers are given a rating of either Gold, Silver or Bronze.

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The cream of Northampton College catering students came to the top at an annual awards ceremony honouring Booth Lane’s best bakers.

A glittering gala dinner, prepared and served by the students themselves, saw 12 aspiring chefs handed trophies for their hard work over the past academic year.

Among the winners was Aimee Bush, who was named Best First Year Catering Student in a category sponsored by Silverstone– which has teamed up with the college to offer students the chance to experience life in the fast-paced world of the Grand Prix circuit’s kitchens.

A campaign by the Reading Agency to get people reading has seen more than 170 people at Northampton College discover the joy of books, with some students even becoming published authors themselves.

The Reading Ahead scheme encourages people to read a minimum of six items and share their thoughts on what they have read. It is part of a national drive to improve literacy and encourage people to use libraries.

The Northampton College library has been awarded a gold award for its completion rates as part of the scheme and more than 50 students who took part were honoured at a ceremony attended by the Mayor of Northampton, Councillor Gareth Eales and local author Sue Bentley.

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Two Northampton College musical theatre students took to the stage at a lavish awards dinner in Liverpool to help celebrate the achievements of contact lens professionals from around the world.

Adrianne Langley and Kyra Derviller-Adams, who both study Musical Theatre at the College’s Booth Lane campus, performed as part of the British Contact Lens Association’s 40th anniversary celebrations.

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Northamptonshire Summer SENDsation 2017 - Northampton College (Sunday,11 June from 12pm - 4pm)

Volunteers from the Northants Parent Forum Group (NPFG) have received over £7,000 to support their fun-day this weekend. The event, known as ‘Summer SENDsation,’ promises to be a unique blend of entertainment, information, and activities for children and young people aged 0-25 with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their families.

Held at Northampton College’s Booth Lane Campus, the event has been funded by the Northamptonshire Community Foundation, the Cooperative and the NPFG itself. Signage, printing, and entertainment is proudly sponsored by local organisations - the Kier Group, Sends4Dad, Sight & Sound Technology Ltd, Sports4Fitness CIC, the Teamwork Trust, and Unison Northamptonshire.

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Prospective students keen to have a look around Northampton College can enjoy a slice of summer with an open air barbeque taking centre stage at a special preview evening.

The open event will take place from 5pm to 7.30pm on Wednesday, 28 June and will give all those coming along the opportunity to see what it’s really like studying at Northampton College.

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A firefighter from Northampton has landed a starring role in a film being made by Northampton College to help recruit new students.

Mother of four Carla Williams, from Pitsford, who currently works as an on-call firefighter with Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service at Brixworth, donned her breathing apparatus as part of the re-enactment of a real fire in a student's house - which forms a central part of the film's storyline.

The student, whose story is due to be revealed later this summer when the film is launched, was unharmed in the fire and went on to successfully complete her course at the college in Booth Lane, Northampton.

A former catering student is on a fast track in her career after winning a worldwide competition and securing three promotions in just five years.

mary picMary Palecek, 25 secured a job as a commis chef at Sundial Group's Highgate House in Creaton as she came to the end of her Level 3 catering course at Northampton College. Five years on, and Mary has managed to work her way up through the kitchen to chef de parti, senior chef de parti and more recently sous chef, also moving to work at Sundial’s well-established Warwickshire conference venue, Woodside, during that time.

Her talent and strong work ethic sets her aside in the kitchen and her head chef was so impressed he even entered her into the junior category of a celebrated international catering challenge – Global Copper Skillet Competition – where she scooped the winning title.

Mary said, “Winning the competition has been a highlight of my career so far. I had heard about it but never felt confident enough to put myself forward. I have always been keen to learn new skills and cooking is my passion but to enter a global competition like that can be a bit daunting. I am not a nervous person but it was a scary prospect. I went in with the mind-set of getting the experience rather than winning and it paid off because I actually beat everyone to the top.”

Mary travelled to UCLA Meyer & Renee Luskin Conference Center in Los Angeles to compete. She was up against chefs from IACC Americas, Australia-Asia-Pacific and European member venues but it was her dish of sautéed courgette and aubergine, poached sea bass, pan fried sirloin, red pepper, tomato and coriander salsa, heritage carrots and caramelised shallots that wowed the judges.

northampton college students help in the kitchen

Some of the biggest chefs in Northampton are coming together to stage a one-off binquet at Northampton College – with diners treated to a slap-up meal made of food destined for the rubbish dump.

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Students from BTEC level three years one and two Creative Media Production will be showcasing the incredible work they have produced over the past year at The BMAs - the annual event to celebrate the achievements of students on the course.

Aspiring tattooists can get ‘thinking about inking’ thanks to a new course launched by Northampton College to inspire the next generation of body artists.

stuart rolls tattoo designThe Level 2 Illustration and Tattoo Design course has been designed to equip students with the skills they need to build a portfolio of eye-catching designs and prepare them for a career in an industry that has recently enjoyed a surge in popularity.

Latest research has estimated that one in five people in the UK has a tattoo and this figure rises to one in three for young adults.

Our new Daventry Campus played host to BBC Radio Northampton as Helen Blaby broadcast live from Badby Road West as part of the annual Big Health Check event.

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Members of the public were invited in to try their hand at a range of sports including kurling, Nordic walking and boccia while a variety of stands were available giving more information about subjects such as physiotherapy, diabetes and rural wellbeing.

Northampton College has been unveiled as an official sponsor of the 2017 Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards.

250The awards are aimed at celebrating all that is great about local produce and drink, recognising excellence within the county’s dining venues and rewarding those who work so hard within the culinary sector.

The college will be sponsoring the Great Service award, won last year by the Red Lion in East Haddon – owned by former college catering student Joe Buckley.

Employing an apprentice is an opportunity to invest in your workforce and grow your business – with employers in Northampton urged to reconsider their recruitment policy.

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 Businesses across the county attended a workshop staged by Northampton College to help explain the new Apprenticeship Levy, which comes into force next week.

Employers with an annual pay bill of more than £3million will be required to pay a levy of 0.5 per cent that will fund apprenticeships.

The aim of the levy is to increase the investment in training by UK employers through apprenticeships, making it a long-term solution to support growth and commitment from businesses.

James Whybrow, assistant principal of Northampton College, said: “Getting apprentices involved in your company can revolutionise the business. It gives you the opportunity to shape your workforce for the future and really ingrain people in your company’s culture.

“By investing in people and giving them the chance to progress through the ranks you are encouraging loyalty and promoting innovation.

“The new Apprenticeship Levy is there to benefit companies both large and small, it gives employers the chance to create new jobs and enjoy the long-term benefits of an engaged and enthusiastic workforce.”

A class of Level 3 Art and Design students from Northampton College have created a series of paintings and drawings which they have donated to Northampton General Hospital.

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The spring-inspired artwork will brighten up the walls of waiting rooms so families can have something visually appealing to look at during their visits.

Each painting shows a different type of spring flower in a variety of different styles using different materials such as paint, pastel, pen and ink.

Northampton College has teamed up with top businesses experts and The University of Northampton to host a free workshop for local employers to learn about the new Apprenticeship Levy.

1037 50536The levy, which comes into effect on 6 April 2017, requires all UK employers with a pay bill of over £3 million each year to invest in apprenticeships.

With first payments due to be taken through the PAYE system in May, Northamptonshire employers will have chance to find out exactly how the levy will affect their business during the College’s workshop at John Lewis’ Grange Park depot on Thursday, 30 March.

Northampton College has partnered with levy-payer John Lewis, accountancy specialists Grant Thornton, legal experts Howes Percival, and The University of Northampton to stage the event, which will include a number of keynote speakers and a question and answers session.

Oil painting artist Michael Piper is putting his own stamp on the new multi-million pound Northampton College Daventry Campus, joining students, staff and local businesses to help create a giant commemorative mural.

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The mural, which will be unveiled later this year, will be made up of hundreds of individually designed tiles, and Michael has been using his own creative talent to craft a tile of his own design.

Visiting the new campus, the local artist took the opportunity to spend time with art students, offering career and technique advice.

Young people looking for the chance to ‘earn while they learn’ can pick up tips from employers and find out more about apprenticeships available with Northampton College.

apprenticeship churches







A total of 1,136 students successfully completed an apprenticeship with Northampton College in 2015-16 and employers such as Opus Energy and Novacroft will be on hand at the National Apprenticeship Show in Milton Keynes next week to explain more about how their apprentices are working their way up the career ladder.

Northampton College is a headline sponsor of the show and will be giving all those attending the opportunity to discover the benefits of signing up for an apprenticeship, combining traditional classroom-style learning with ‘on-the-job’ workplace training.

The number of students studying business at Northampton College has more than doubled in two years, with more people than ever before interested in setting up their own company.


Latest figures have revealed a total of 296 people applied for the College’s Level 3 BTEC in Business in 2016, compared to 199 the year before and 117 in 2014.

And 2017 looks like being even more popular, with 92 people having already applied for courses starting this September, compared to just 37 at the same stage last year.

The figures reflect the growing entrepreneurial spirit in Northampton, with the town recently highlighted as one of the best towns in the country to start your own business and the 2016 Centre for Cities report ranking it as the best place outside London for start-ups.

Students looking for a career in the construction industry have been given the chance to ‘build a better future’ thanks to a pioneering new alliance.

university build 2The partnership between Northampton College, The University of Northampton and a host of companies working on the new Waterside campus project will see students given the opportunity to spend time working on the development and transferring the skills they learn in the classroom into a ‘real-world’ setting.

More than 50 electrical engineering students will be involved in the year-long scheme, each spending a week working on-site with specialist contractors such as Bowmer & Kirkland and Derry Building Services.

Prospective students and their parents will be given the chance to ‘have-a-go’ at Skills Fest 2017 – an open event showcasing the courses on offer at Northampton College.


A range of hands-on workshops, featuring everything from beauty tips and cupcake design to fixing cars and animating video games, will be available during the event on Saturday, March 11.

The workshops will give anyone interested in studying at Northampton College the opportunity to find out more about specific courses, meet the teachers and familiarize themselves with the facilities. Parents will also have the chance to come along and learn more about all aspects of college life.

Businesses, VIPs, students, staff and local artists are being invited to put their own stamp on the new multi-million pound Daventry Campus, as plans for a giant commemorative mural continue to take shape.

jasmin haines liam robertson smiling students unveil tiles resized jpegThe mural, which will be made up of hundreds of individually designed tiles, will be in development at the official launch and open day of Northampton College’s new Daventry Campus on Tuesday, February 7.

College staff and students have already been designing their own tiles and guests at the launch event will be invited to get creative and play their part in the giant mural, which will take centre stage inside the new campus’ reception.

Sam Cope, Photography tutor and Visual Arts Technician, said: “Our students are already hard at work getting creative and we would love our guests and VIPs to also get involved. You don’t need to be a skilled artist or sculptor, everyone is simply free to create something that will become part of the College for many years to come.”

As part of their project called ‘Surfaces’ art and design students have been getting ready for the launch event by creating colourful tiles that incorporate different techniques and materials such as string, clay tools and bubble-wrap to create indents into the clay with different textures and feels.
Catering students from Northampton College will be given the chance to cook at one of the biggest hospitality venues in the country as part of a new partnership with Silverstone Circuits.

northampton college students help in the kitchenA cohort of 14 students will carry out a work experience programme at the home of the Formula 1 British Grand Prix, giving them the opportunity to experience life in the fast lane with thousands of diners enjoying corporate hospitality at the venue throughout the year.

The new partnership, which could eventually see students cooking at the British Grand Prix itself, has been pioneered by Silverstone head chef Dean Hoddle, a former Northampton College student whose son, Adam, is currently studying at Booth Lane.
Two aspiring engineers from Northampton College have picked up top awards for their work during an apprenticeship with Ilmor Engineering.

james flanniganJames Trethewy and James Flannigan landed the awards for their hard work and dedication shown throughout the apprenticeship programme with Brixworth-based Ilmor which designs, manufactures, builds and tests motor racing engines.

At the college’s annual awards ceremony, James Trethewy picked up the award for most determind student, sponsored by John Lewis, while James Flannigan was named Apprentice of the Year in Ilmor’s own internal awards.

Tony Thain, quality manager at Ilmor Engineering, said: “James Flannigan has been a breath of fresh air within the quality department and has become a valuable member of the team showing great enthusiasm and a willingness to learn.

An Eritrean asylum seeker who was taken into care before embarking on a science course with the aim of studying for a degree in pharmacy was among the 84 award winners at this year’s Northampton College Awards Ceremony.

Samuel Yirgalem, who won the ‘Overcoming Challenges’ award sponsored by Briggs & Forrester, typified the stories of life-changing commitment and dedication showcased at the annual awards event staged at the college’s Booth Lane campus on Friday, December 2.

Samuel was joined on stage by Erihs Janovskis, whose enterprising solution to a problem with a sandwich-cutting machine at his employer Greencore helped saved the company £77,000 a year. Erihs was named Most Dedicated Student, sponsored by The Oakleaf Group, for his continued hard work throughout his apprenticeship programme.

Principal Pat Brennan-Barratt said: “The annual awards ceremony showcases a truly exceptional display of talent and determination. It has been a real privilege to hear so many inspiring stories and to hear about the progress our students have made, both personally and academically.”


The first students to move into a £13million new college campus have said the state-of-the-art facility could have a ‘life-changing’ impact on their futures.

daventry students on laptopsNorthampton College’s new Daventry Campus in Badby Road West, Daventry has opened its doors for the first time, with students able to make the most of a new Digital Academy, industry-standard workshops for motor vehicle engineering and hairdressing and beauty therapy salons.

Courtney Savage, aged 17, a Level 2 health and social care student, said: “I think the new building is smarter, it feels bigger and is generally a much nicer place to come to everyday. I think the new style is more appropriate for a college because it feels like a step up from school and more like a university.”

Level 3 childcare student Vicky Foulks, aged 16, said: “There are much better facilities now which has created a lot more workspace for us to use which is important in childcare as we need to learn a lot of practical aspects of child development.

“With facilities like this on our doorstep it opens up a whole new world of possibilities.”
Students at Northampton College enjoyed food from all four corners of the globe as part of a ‘Street Food’ festival celebrating the cultures of overseas students.

esol street marketSamosas, blinis, flatbreads, curries, falafel and spring rolls were all on offer as part of the event which saw students from the college’s English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) course team up with NVQ Level 1 Catering students to create a menu featuring traditional dishes from their homelands.

Students from countries including Ethiopia, Sudan, Latvia, Russia, Afghanistan, Vietnam and Eritrea took part in the festival as part of their National Citizen Service qualifications – bringing a taste of their own countries to Northampton for local students to try.
Northampton College apprentices played a pivotal role in an international skills challenge to build a scale replica of one of Europe’s most iconic buildings.

student creating paper buildingWill Smith, Akhila Attiganal, Marcus Hawksworth, James Coulston and Tom Lees from Siemens Rail - studying BTEC Level 3 in Electrical Engineering at Northampton College - took part in a project to create their version of the Atomium building in Brussels as part of European Vocational Skills Week.

The group were tasked with putting together a series of elements manufactured by fellow apprentices from across the world, with sections from Siemens bases in France, Germany, Spain, Denmark and Portugal.

The final design will be presented by Siemens executives during a European Vocational Skills Week event in Berlin next month.
body armour demoStudents at Northampton College who are keen to pursue a career in public services have been able to find out more about staying safe in uniform thanks to the donation of a bullet proof vest.

The state-of-the-art vest was handed over by specialist safety clothing manufacturer SafeGuard as part of the company’s ongoing commitment to promote awareness of the importance of safety and protecting the lives of law enforcement and military operatives.

SafeGuard has teamed up with the Public Services course at Northampton College to help educate students on the working mechanics behind the design and structure of tactical armour.

SafeGuard Clothing spokesman Thomas Bowman said: "We are pleased to assist Northampton College in the development of their Public Service course and the donation of one of our bullet proof vest that aims to enhance the learning experience of students.

marketing team northampton college 2 smallStaff and students from Northampton College are celebrating gold after scooping the top digital and social media award in this month’s national FE First Awards.

The College was awarded the top accolade for its new lifechanging film, which features local students, has been screened at Northampton cinemas and is used across social media channels to promote the College, its courses and campus life to new, existing and prospective students.

The judges, unanimously selecting Northampton College as a “standout” entry, praised the College for its creative film which they described as “a masterclass in modern storytelling.”

Pat Brennan-Barrett, Principal of Northampton College, added: “We have created the country’s best digital and social media campaign this year and now it’s official. Key to the success of our film has been featuring local students, who have secured the jobs of their dreams after studying with us – proof that dreams can come true and lives can be changed.

18th October 2016: Attracting young people into logistics was the focus of a recent business breakfast, with Northamptonshire companies urged to help address the national skills shortage in this sector.

logistics eventBrackmills Industrial Estate joined forces with the Northampton College Logistics Academy to hold a logistics and apprenticeships event at the estate’s automation business Festo Ltd.

James Whybrow, Assistant Principal of Northampton College, said: “It was great to see so many businesses passionate about inspiring our students and supporting apprenticeships. We would urge companies to do everything from mentor a student and provide a paid internship placement during the summer to deliver a masterclass at school or host of workplace tour.

l r sam butler todd wallace lawrenze denton thirasak sutha at springboard futurechef competitionA ‘perfectly-cooked’ salmon fillet and a ‘well-balanced’ apple crumble has given 14-year-old Lawrenze Denton the chance to represent Northamptonshire in the regional finals of a search to find the nation’s top young chef.

The Northampton School for Boys student triumphed in the county heat of the Springboard FutureChef competition, held in the state-of-the-art kitchens at Northampton College.

His main course of salmon with a potato and pea rosti, black pudding and a watercress sauce won rave reviews from the judges, who were also impressed with his apple and cinnamon crumble with custard.

A group of five Northampton College students are hoping to see their specially crafted new sandwich sold in Subway stores across the region.

business students and teacherFirst year business students Josh Russell, Paul Dalton, Liam Zdunczyk, Joe Watkin, and Reece Waterfield have teamed up to create the ‘CertiSub’ – a new low fat sub which has seen them reach the regional finals of a competition to create a new product for High Street fast food giant Subway.


Curry chefs from across the country battled it out in the kitchens of Northampton College for the title of the UK’s King of Spice.

chefs outside northampton college booth laneA total of 30 top chefs from 10 regions lined up for the finals of the 2016 Curry Chef Awards, organised by the Bangladesh Caterers Association.
The challenge saw the chefs showcase their skills by creating a signature dish accompanied by rice and a side dish in just 45 minutes.

Tipu Rahman, Head of the BCA Chef Awards Committee, said: “The standard of cooking in the Asian restaurant sector across the UK right now is phenomenal. Our industry is being taken to a whole new level.

“These awards are the perfect platform for curry chefs to prove they are capable of cooking of the highest order and we saw some truly stunning dishes.”

Judges including Northamptonshire Chamber chief executive Paul Griffiths rated the chefs on factors such as taste, presentation and hygiene.

The winners will be announced at a glamorous gala dinner to be held in London in November at the Park Plaza Hotel in Westminster.

James Whybrow, assistant principal of Northampton College, said: “This year is the second year we have hosted the cook-off. It was a huge honour for the college to stage this event and welcome the cream of Bangladeshi cooking to the college.

“It was a great opportunity for our catering students who were involved throughout the day, giving them a fascinating insight into the world of top class, competitive cooking.”

The event was broadcast around the world, with global satellite TV coverage from a host of stations.

Mr Rahman added: ”We were delighted to hold the event at Northampton College once again. The facilities are absolutely first-class and it’s a great opportunity to involve young people and give them a glimpse of how to create authentic Asian cuisine.”

The Bangladesh Caterers Association was set up in 1960 and represents 12,000 restaurateurs across the UK.

For more details on the competition visit

People living with motor neurone disease (MND) have been given guidance on how to make the most of meal times, during a cooking masterclass at Northampton College.

dietitian talking to audienceFor the 5,000 people with MND across the UK, problems with swallowing may make eating and drinking difficult, leading to weight loss and further health problems.

To help make eating and drinking easier, the MND Association is developing a cook book full of recipe ideas and preparation tips to use in the kitchen.

A kitchen masterclass was staged at Northampton College, with a professional dietitian and speech and language therapist on hand to discuss the ideas with three people living with MND and their partners. The experience of the workshop including photographs taken on the day will help shape and illustrate the guide.

Kaye Stevens, care information manager at the MND Association, based in Northampton, said: “We aim to create a friendly, accessible cook book that will help people with MND think about how to prepare easy-swallow meals.

“Trouble swallowing or a lack of dexterity with the disease can make eating and drinking very difficult and people may lose weight.

“We want to share valuable hints and tips on how to fortify food and simplify preparation to make it more practical for families. Northampton College has been very kind in enabling the event by offering their kitchens as a venue. This type of collaboration can make such a difference.”

Dietitian Dimple Thakrar, who has more than 20 years’ experience in nutrition for neurological conditions, shared simple techniques through a recipe that anyone can cook at home, while speech and language therapist Nina Squires suggested further ways to make food and drink easy to swallow.

James Whybrow, assistant principal at Northampton College, said: “It was a huge honour to stage this event and do our bit to help make quality of life that little bit better, for people with or affected by MND.

“The work being done in this guide to help families continue to enjoy good quality fresh food together is extremely valuable.”

The new eating and drinking guide will be available to families affected by MND early next year. To find out more about the work of the MND Association please visit

Three students from Northampton College have been shortlisted for a national apprenticeship award in recognition of their outstanding work with a major railway services company.

top apprenticesElizabeth Lothian, Darren Stawarz and Ben Long have all made it through to the finals of the Future Manufacturing awards.

All three combine their studies with working at Knorr-Bremse in Wolverton, giving them the opportunity to earn while they learn.

Elizabeth, who is studying an HNC Manufacturing Engineering Apprenticeship, said: “This award is a great opportunity to put myself forward and show how much I have embraced my Apprenticeship both academically and professionally.

“I think this award will open new doors for me and allow me to progress even further in my chosen career. I have achieved exceptionally high grades on this course and it’s great to be recognised for doing so well.

“I hope to get an MSC in Engineering allowing me to choose where I want to work in the future and in what role.”

Production engineer Darren added: “Being slightly older than the average apprentice, I think it’s good to get the opportunity to increase my qualifications and receive an award that recognises all of the hard work I put into my job every day.

“The College provided me with all the information I needed and I felt that there has been a good balance between my work and academic learning. Drawing upon the knowledge of others in the industry I feel that I have gained some really valuable experience which I hope to apply to my studies going on to both a degree and masters in Engineering.

“I love to travel, so hopefully I will be able to use these qualifications to travel around the world and work in lots of different countries doing something I really enjoy.”

Ben, a semi-skilled fitter, said: “I am really delighted that I was recommended for this award as it’s something I would never have put myself forward for. Having some positive recognition for how hard I have been working is a really good feeling.

“This Apprenticeship has given me the drive and focus to want to learn more and I now have a deeper level of understanding and knowledge that I can apply to all areas of my life. I hope to go on to become either a senior manager of a company like Knorr-Bremse or a chartered engineering firm so I can choose where I want to work anywhere the world.”

All three students were taught by engineering tutor Neil Tobin, who said: “Having three students from the same company going for this award shows a great result for the Apprenticeship scheme. It also shows how great success can be achieved through peer support and encouragement.

“These students have challenged each other and I have high hopes for each and every one of them. I think they will go on to do great things for the industry.”

The overall winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on 14 November at Epsom Downs Racecourse.

For more information about the Apprenticeships available at Northampton College visit our Apprenticeship page.

library award winnerA Northampton College student has landed a competition prize as part of a national drive to boost literacy levels and get people reading more.

Sarah Lawless, who studied at Northampton College’s Daventry campus, was named the winner of the Reading Agency’s national prize draw following this year’s Reading Ahead initiative.

The programme encourages people to read and share their experiences of reading books, magazines and blogs.

Librarian Hannah Painting said: “Reading Ahead is such an important event in our library calendar because of the immense impact it has on the students’ learning experience, their confidence and the development of their skills.

“I am proud that our Library has become a centre of excellent practice in developing literacy through the scheme, with thousands of students participating in the challenge over the last nine years.”

Sarah, who will receive an e-reader to encourage her to keep reading in the future, is an enthusiastic library user who participated in a number of activities staged by the College Library throughout the year.

She said: "I enjoyed taking part in the Reading Ahead scheme and I liked the fact that it doesn't always have to be about books, it can be things such as magazines as well. I am a real bookworm, I have always loved reading as it helps me escape in to a different world. This challenge has enabled me to improve my confidence even more and I hope that it will help others the way it has helped me."

1st September 2016: One of the UK’s leading industrial estates is joining forces with a college Logistics Academy in a bid to attract young people into logistics and address the national skills shortage in this sector.

Brackmills Industrial Estate, located off junction 15 of the M1, on the edge of Northampton, has signed up to the Northampton College Logistics Academy and is now urging resident businesses to get involved.

On Friday, 7th October Brackmills will be hosting a logistics breakfast event at automation business Festo Ltd, which is based on the estate’s Caswell Road. Neighbouring businesses on Brackmills are all being invited – to find out more about how they can get involved, benefit from and tap into the expertise of the Northampton College Logistics Academy.

Northampton College students have been given the chance to stake their claim to be crowned the national student photographer of the year.

boy with cameraStudents are being invited to get behind the lens in a bid to win a package of prizes worth £11,000 in a competition being officially launched to mark World Photo Day.

The national search for the UK’s number one student photographer has been launched by retailer Calumet Photographic in partnership with major brands, including Canon, Fujifilm and Epson, and leading industry magazine Professional Photography.

Students from Northampton College are hitting the big screen in cinemas across the town this week to promote the 'life changing' courses available to school leavers getting their GCSE results on Thursday [25th August 2016].
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The blockbuster 90 second trailer is being shown in Vue at Sol Central and Cineworld in Sixfields, starring a host of students whose lives have been transformed having studied at the College.

The students are cast in the roles of 'legends' whose dreams have become reality, embarking on their dream career after studying at the award-winning College.


Students at Northampton College were celebrating grades that reached a seven-year high when they opened their A Level results today.

christopher griffinPicture : Christopher Griffin

More than 200 students took around 600 exams of which 98 per cent were passed at A2, an improvement of three per cent on last year. Students achieved a 100 per cent pass rate for 14 subjects including English, maths, chemistry and biology. The percentage of high grades (A*-C) was 12 per cent above the national average.

The pass rate for first year AS exams showed an even greater improvement, moving up by 12 percentage points to 87 per cent. The number of high grades achieved was nine per cent higher than the national average benchmark.

An engineering expert with experience of working with major global brands is confident of producing the workforce needed to plug a major skills gap as part of a new course at Northampton College.

Roberto Pareccini is hoping the HNC Building Services Engineering course, scheduled to start this September at Booth Lane, will prove popular with both workers and employers alike.

He has appealed to companies across Northamptonshire to encourage staff to sign up for the course on a ‘day release’ basis, giving them the opportunity to pick up new skills which they can then put into practice back in the workplace.

He said: “I am looking forward to helping add to the skills of employees across the county. I started working as an apprentice myself and worked my way through the company to the point where I was managing 15 engineers. I have been on the journey and I am keen to pass on that experience to today’s workforce.

Former apprentice Ashleigh Hodges has endorsed Northampton College’s new scheme designed to inspire new Apprenticeship recruits as vacancies outstrip the number of candidates making applications.

ashleigh hodges newsstory2Since Ashleigh completed her Advanced Apprenticeship with College, her career has gone from strength to strength.

Ashleigh said, ‘I am a guest artist for Matrix which sees me working around the world teaching seminars and doing shows and photo shoots in places like New York, Rome and South Africa. I am also the project leader for the Fellowship for British Hairdressing’s Project X team after I won a place on their fame team in 2012. I was the winner of Creative Head magazine’s It Girl 2013/14, being recognised as the most up and coming female in the industry, and I'm a British Hairdressing Awards finalist. I'm just about to start a new adventure as the creative director of Paul Falltrick Creative.
matthew moore smallA Northampton College student has been given the chance to impress bosses at F1 champions Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) having secured a week’s work experience for being crowned Student of the Year.

Mechanical engineering student Matthew Moore will get the opportunity to work alongside some of the industry’s brightest brains at HPP’s Brixworth base this summer, and will also be fast-tracked to their apprenticeship selection programme early next year.

He is the latest in a long line of Northampton College students to be selected to get a taste of life in the HPP team and will now have the platform to showcase his skills and potentially win a permanent role with the F1 giants, helping to develop the Power Units driven by Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
The national authority on quality and standards in higher education has awarded Northampton College with the highest possible rating on the way it delivers higher education programmes.

he photoThe Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) protects academic standards, the quality of student learning opportunities, and the quality of information provided by universities and colleges delivering higher education.

Northampton College delivers a range Higher National Certificates and Diplomas, teaching qualifications and Higher Level Apprenticeships accredited by the University of Northampton, the University of Warwick and by Pearson Edexcel.

A team of QAA reviewers visited the College and delivered its endorsement of the way the College manages academic standards, quality and information. In addition, the College was singled out for praise for best practice in its effective relationship with the University of Northampton that helps provide a distinctive experience of higher education for students at the College’s state of the art Booth Lane campus.

QAA reviewers highlighted the College’s key strength in providing employability skills for students that are embedded throughout their experience.
The Northamptonshire economy is continuing to thrive but skills remain the hottest topic under discussion by local business, it was confirmed at the first Northampton College Skills Summit this week.

A group of companies met at the College to discuss the latest economic picture following presentations from accountants Grant Thornton, Barclays, Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership and the Chamber of Commerce.

Business heard that ‘Northamptonshire Limited’ is getting stronger with the Top 100 privately owned businesses reporting growth of nearly 9% over the last year. New job opportunities have also increased with an 11% boost to the workforces of these pivotal companies that represent the engine of the local economy.
Details about the new Northampton College campus in Daventry have been unveiled this week, with the multi million pound building set to be divided into practical, technology and learning floors.

jo davies with new build july 2016The building is due to be completed and open to students by this autumn which means students joining the college in September 2016 will have just weeks in the current building, before moving into the new build just 100 metres away.

The College has also announced that all full-time students enrolling for September 2016 will receive a free HP Chromebook, to facilitate learning and creativity.
Two former Northampton College students discussed their fledgling careers in the film industry during a talk at the Tate Modern.

tate modernAlex Motlhabane and Lewis Levi formed film company The Rest shortly after completing their HND Digital Film Production course at Booth Lane and have gone on to produce critically-acclaimed work which has seen them become one of the most in-demand creative companies around.
A Mechanical Engineering student from Northampton College has been given the chance to impress a major employer, having earned top grades in his first year at Booth Lane.

nathaniel gets chance to shine with mahle powertrainsNathaniel Bowles, aged 16, has landed a week’s work experience at MAHLE Powertrain, based in St James Mill Road, Northampton, and will have the opportunity to stake a claim to be considered for the company’s coveted apprenticeship programme.

He was rewarded for his dedication and good work, which has seen him earn seven distinctions and two merits since September, results described by lecturer Neil Tobin as ‘exceptional’.
A celebration of Northamptonshire’s top 100 companies is set to take place at Northampton College, with a high profile Skills Summit organised for July.

employersThe breakfast event, open to all businesses across the county, will include speeches from top companies and a summary of skills survey results from the Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce.
An engineering lecturer from Northampton College has today scooped a top award at the prestigious and national ‘Lecturer of the Year’ awards.

neil tobinNeil Tobin, who has been awarded the Silver Teaching Award in the FE Lecturer of the Year category of the Pearson Teaching Awards 2016, was presented with his award today (17 June) as part of the national Thank a Teacher Day.

Selected from thousands of nominations, Neil is just one of 55 winners from schools and colleges across England, Ireland and Wales. Neil will now join fellow Silver Award winners at the UK final of the teaching awards, to be held at London’s Guildhall on 23 October 2016, where 10 Silver Award winners will receive a Gold Award.
Our talented students proved they are a cut above the rest in this Steampunk Glam themed Hair Show.

hair showOver fifty Level 3 Hairdressing students showcased their unique pieces work to around 200 guests in order to raise over £700 for the charity Marie Curie.

Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction or science fantasy that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery. Steampunk designs are often set in an alternative history of the 19th century’s British Victorian era or American Wild West.
MP Andrea Leadsom outlined her reasons for Britain leaving the European Union during a question and answer session with 180 staff and students at Northampton College.

andrea leadsom smallThe Conservative MP for South Northamptonshire spoke for 40 minutes on why, in her view, it would be better for Britain if we voted to leave the EU during the forthcoming referendum on June 23.
Students at Northampton College have taken part in a national drive to get more people reading.

library awardsThe Reading Ahead scheme, organised by The Reading Agency, aims to promote literacy by getting people to read more books, articles, poems and lyrics and note down their thoughts on what they have read.

More than 220 Northampton College students have already completed the challenge.

The search is on for the best local E-Business as Northampton College adds its support as a Platinum sponsor of the inaugural SME Northamptonshire Business Awards.

The College is interested in hearing the success stories of local businesses that have used online innovation and creativity to develop their strategy.

The E Business of the Year is one of 15 categories in the SME Northamptonshire Business Awards that were launched in April designed to raise the profile of industrious, hardworking and enterprising SMEs in the County. Entries can be made online via The closing date for entries is Friday, 8 July 2016.

Students from Northampton College have helped raise enough money to build a new block of classrooms at a school in Malawi – with a competition now underway to officially name the building.
mzipa liberty newsstoryA year-long fundraising campaign saw students collect cash in aid of Mzipa Liberty, a charity set up by former college lecturer Clement Chunga and his wife Olive.

The Mzipa Liberty Institute of Technology previously had just one block, with temporary shacks housing extra students. But the funding has allowed a new block to be built and plans are now in place to create a third, boasting a staff room, headmaster’s office and fully-stocked library.

Government debates came to life for a group of Northampton College students who enjoyed a behind the scenes peak into the workings of the House of Commons and House of Lords.

michael ellis mp for northampton north visits northampton college students during their house of commons visit

Michael Ellis MP for Northampton North visits Northampton College students during their House of Commons visit

Fifteen first year students studying public services visited the public galleries to watch government in action. Live debates covered real life terrorism threats and NHS spending concerns, after which the students spent time in the House of Commons’ interactive classrooms, where they took part in law making scenarios.

Former Apprentice star James Hill said students at Northampton College have “extremely bright futures” after he held a masterclass on business during the inaugural Skills Fest.

jamie laing at skillsfestThe reality TV star, a former winner of Celebrity Big Brother, was a keynote speaker at the event, organised to give both current and prospective students a flavour of life and the courses on offer at Northampton College.

He said: “If this event can inspire just one young person to learn new skills and better themselves then it will have been worth it. I've been so impressed with the students I have met, they all have extremely bright futures.”

YouTube sensation, lifestyle blogger and former Northampton College student, Megan Gilbride, added: “I have met a host of students full of energy and enthusiasm and coming back to Booth Lane has been a real privilege. It’s a fantastic College and a really impressive campus.”

An engineering lecturer from Northampton College who has helped develop careers in the motorsport industry for several of his students has been shortlisted for a top national award.

Neil Tobin, who has worked in teaching for 10 years, is among the finalists for the coveted ‘Lecturer of the Year’ award, organised by Pearson.neil tobbin left[Neil Tobin Left]

He has played a leading role in securing work placements and apprenticeships for students at major local employers such as Mercedes AMG and Cosworth and also helped a number of students move on to full degree courses at University.

Students from Northampton College played a key role in ensuring the first-ever Northamptonshire Logistics Awards was a major success, earning praise from across the industry.

logistic awards 2016 croppedA group of 10 Hospitality and Catering students were on hand to help with the food and service at the black tie event attended by 110 logistics industry leaders at John Lewis’ Grange Park depot on Wednesday, April 20.
Three hairdressing apprentices from Northampton College proved their creativity with an awarded performance at a leading industry event.

hair club live image cropJames Bradley-Thompson, Poppy Lovell and Rachel Ward impressed the judges with their creativity on stage during the ‘open chair’ night at Hair Club Live in Birmingham.

More than 500 young people will be joining former Apprentice star and Celebrity Big Brother winner James Hill at Northampton College this week (Friday, 22 April) at the town’s first ever Skills Fest 2016.

1. tips for young entrepreneurs with james hill from the apprenticeThe TV celebrity will be leading a masterclass, one of more than 30 on offer at Skills Fest, to advise students about business and life in the spotlight. Other masterclasses, everything from fashion and blogging to electronics, 3D printing, catering and musical theatre, have been lined up and many have proved so popular the College has already had to expand capacity.
Chart-topping guitarist Newton Faulkner staged a song-writing workshop for aspiring musicians at Northampton College, giving students a glimpse of what it takes to hit the big-time.

The 31-year-old topped the album charts in 2007 with his double platinum debut release ‘Hand Built By Robots’ and has gone on to enjoy huge mainstream success.

newton faulknerThe star was invited into the college, in Booth Lane, Northampton, to talk to students about what it takes to gain success in the notoriously competitive world of music, and how they can stand out from the crowd.

He also shared song-writing advice and answered questions from the audience.
Students from Northampton College took home two gold awards at the regional heats of an engineering competition.

Taylor Grainger and Adam Walker will both now represent the college in the coveted WorldSkills competition to be held at the NEC in Birmingham later this year.

The pair were among a team of five students who travelled to Vision West Nottinghamshire College to take part in the Prepare East Midlands event, showcasing the skills they have picked up as part of their course at the college in Booth Lane, Northampton.
Young people are being urged to ‘earn while you learn’ with a range of apprenticeships now available at Northampton College.

1037 50365Apprenticeships have soared in popularity in recent years, with hundreds of employers in Northamptonshire now signing up to offer students ‘on the job’ training, combining their everyday studies with vital experience in the workplace.
Careers are being brought to life this month as hundreds of students get set for Skills Fest 2016 where they will try their hand at everything from presenting the weather and mixing a musical track to lifestyle blogging, spray painting a car, software coding and practising a perfect manicure.
try your hand at presenting the weather forecastSkills Fest 2016, taking place on Friday, 22 April, is the brainchild of Northampton College and is designed to inspire both existing and prospective students to sample a whole range of courses and potential careers.

More than 30 taster sessions have been lined up in the College’s Booth Lane campus’ workshops, studios, suites, outdoor pitches, gyms and auditoriums and young people signed up for two of these 45 minute masterclasses are then invited to the Skills Fest after show party, which features a DJ set from Made in Chelsea star Jamie Laing and a performance by Alien Uncovered, a band which got through to last year’s live shows of The X Factor.

Students will get the chance to quiz former Apprentice star and Celebrity Big Brother winner James Hill during a business master-class at a skills festival being held at Northampton College next month.

jamie laingThe session will form part of Skills Fest, a showcase of the courses on offer at the College which will also include an exclusive ‘after-party’ featuring a DJ set from Made in Chelsea star Jamie Laing and a performance by Alien Uncovered who got through to the live shows of The X Factor.

The event, which will take place from 4pm to 9pm on Friday, 22 April, will give current Northampton College students and prospective students from schools across the town the chance to sample more than 30 master classes and find out more about courses on offer for the next academic year.

Every day over the last year someone has started a new Apprenticeship in Northamptonshire thanks to a pioneering project from Northampton College.

1037 50492New figures released today, in the lead-up to next week’s high profile National Apprenticeship Week, reveal that Northampton College has secured 369 apprenticeships in the last year and also trained more than 550 local businesses to ensure the success of each placement. This is up 29 per cent up on the previous year.

To mark the start of National Apprenticeship Week a team from Northampton College will be attending next week’s National Apprenticeship Show in Milton Keynes, promoting apprenticeships and the College to primary and secondary school children across the UK.
A Digital Academy set to teach students software and coding, web development, games design and social media is being unveiled this week. The Digital Academy will welcome its first students as part of the launch of Northampton College’s state of the art Daventry Campus this Autumn.

daventry digitalThe Digital Academy will form a key part of the campus’s technical and professional curriculum providing students with cutting edge facilities and training from digital experts and local employers from the creative and digital sector.

Students signing up to a Digital Academy course will also benefit from work placements within digital companies to help them gain the skills and qualifications needed to secure jobs in this fast moving sector.
An engineering student is hoping to kick-start an attempt break the land speed record on a motorbike he has designed and built himself as part of his course at Northampton College.

dsc 0010Levi Medina is confident the bike will reach speeds of more than 240 miles per hour during testing at the former RAF Elvington site in Yorkshire as part of next year’s ‘Speed Week’ – setting a new landmark figure for the standing quarter mile, flying quarter mile and standing mile categories.

The three-stage process for building the bike will result in a two year project as part of the BTEC Level 3 course in mechanical engineering. The planning and research phase started last November and it is hoped that preliminary testing will be underway by Easter.
New images showing the state of the art building at Northampton College’s Daventry Campus will go on display next week, with prospective students the first in line to see the plans.

daventry campus news storyThe latest artists impressions reveal the proposed look for the multi-million pound building, which will revolutionise Daventry’s skyline and inspire the workforce of the future.

The plans will go on show at the college’s Open Day at the existing Badby Road West campus on Tuesday, February 9 and visitors will be able to see the work already underway to transform the site.

The steel frame that will form the foundation of the new building is due to go up within the next few weeks and preparatory work is now being carried out, with the project starting to take shape.
Staff at Northampton College have paid tribute to popular former student India Chipchase, who died at the weekend.

indiaIndia attended Northampton College between Sept 2013 and June 2014. She completed a Diploma in Health and Social Care.

Principal Pat Brennan-Barrett said: “We are devastated to hear of the death of our former student India Chipchase. India was an extremely popular, hard-working student during her time at Northampton College, where she studied Health & Social Care. Our thoughts go out to all her friends and family at this time.”

During her time at college she attended two placements, one in an elderly care setting and one in a childcare setting. India received praise from her placement supervisors for her ability to work within a team, her use of initiative and for the sensitive way she interacted with the clients and children.

India’s former lecturer, Jo Forester, added: “Within college she was a well-liked member of her group by both staff and students for her caring nature and sense of humour. She was a hardworking, intelligent young lady who possessed the maturity to complete all the targets she set herself regarding her college work and placement experiences.”

Students at Northampton College can learn the art of welding using the very latest in Virtual Reality technology – thanks to a state-of-the-art new simulator.

img 1749The college, based in Booth Lane, Northampton, has invested in a £55,000 VRTEX Virtual Reality Welding simulator to give students the opportunity to learn and hone their welding technique.

The simulator sees students practice their technique without the need for using real materials, saving time and giving them immediate feedback on their performance.

Northampton College has teamed up with the BBC to give 50 ‘digital savvy’ young people the chance to secure the job of their dreams thanks to a pioneering traineeship programme.

make it digital logoThe ‘Make It Digital’ scheme, which launches next month, will see 25 young people in Northampton and another 25 in Kettering given the opportunity to complete an eight week course, split between college and an employer.

The students will learn the skills they need to carry out a series of workplace tasks, from coding web sites and shooting viral videos to dreaming up the latest must-have smartphone app and creating 3D graphics for games.

The College, in its continued determination to work in partnership with Northamptonshire companies, has launched an online group to link alumni with students.

p9220403Former Northampton College students now working in industry are urged to sign up and help shape and guide the future workforce. The group will also enable the College to keep track of its students as they successfully work their way up the career ladder.

Picture: Leading blogger Megan Gilbride is one of many successful alumni from Northampton College.

The best young cooks in Northamptonshire will have the chance to pit their wits against some of the UK’s finest culinary talents after impressing the judges during a cook-off at Northampton College.

dsc 0117A total of 10 talented students, aged between 12 and 16, took part in the Northamptonshire finals of the Springboard FutureChef competition on Wednesday, January 6, showcasing their cooking skills and battling it out for the right to take their place in the regional finals next month.

Two of the cooks made it through after two gruelling 90 minute tests which saw them prepare a two-course meal for a panel of expert judges.

Elderly people spending Christmas in hospital have been treated to an early gift, thanks to the generosity of staff at Northampton College.

caroline waterfield l martin linnell nadine reedman with a selection of donated giftsSenior print technician Caroline Waterfield challenged colleagues to join her and help elderly patients at Northampton General Hospital. Caroline, who retires this week (16th December) after 27 years in the College reprographics department, was determined to make a difference during her last week of employment.

Vehicle maintenance students at Northampton College will be able to hone their skills on state-of-the-art equipment thanks to a donation of £12,000 worth of engines from MAHLE Powertrains.

engine donationTwo engines were handed over to the college by MAHLE, based in St James Mill Road, Northampton to help train their apprentices, giving students the chance to work on up-to-date machinery and get to know the parts and mechanics used in modern vehicles.

Chris Allen, from the college’s Vehicle Maintenance and Repair department, said: “We are delighted with the new engines and extremely grateful to MAHLE for their generous donation. This will make a big difference for our students as it gives them the opportunity to work on modern engines.
charles ruse award winner in english

A 76-year-old pensioner determined to finally gain an English qualification after years of trying was among the 69 award winners at the Northampton College Awards Ceremony 2015. 

Charles Ruse, who passed his level 1 exam and is now studying for his English GCSE, is just one example of the commitment and dedication showcased at the Northampton College annual awards event on Friday, November 27.

Other award winners included:

  • Theatre student Paris Brown, who sat one of her exams the day after giving birth to her son, who is now aged two.
  • Hairdressing student David Brown, who was already running a successful business when he joined the College but wanted formal qualifications to help him grow his business.
  • Applied science student Onni Ranni who, on one occasion, managed to get to college on the day her home caught fire – wearing borrowed clothes and brandishing singed homework.
  • Students who have used their college work experience placements to secure employment, as well as students who have impressed purely because of grades and commitment.
A local face is appearing on TV screens up and down the country this month, with Megan Gilbride’s lifestyle blog securing the 26-year-old a starring role in a leading haircare company’s nationwide social media campaign.

megan news storyThe former Northampton College student, named Company magazine’s Best Fashion Blog Newcomer in 2015, stars in Schwarzkopf’s latest campaign, showcasing her vibrant red hair and fashion know-how on everything from prime time TV adverts to shopping centre billboards.

State of the art technology and first-class facilities will be on show when Northampton College opens its doors to hundreds of prospective students this month.

dsc 0056A series of Open Events are being held by the College throughout November to give students a feel for life at campuses in Booth Lane, Lower Mounts and Daventry.

The sessions will see students given the opportunity to get advice, see the facilities and talk to tutors as well current students.

Assistant Principal James Whybrow said: “We think students will love what they see when they come to visit us at one of our open events.

Work is now officially underway on a pioneering £13million College campus in Daventry, giving up to 700 students the chance to learn the new skills they need to find a job close to home.

pat turf cutting newPrincipal of Northampton College, Pat Brennan-Barrett, was on hand to formally put the first spade in the ground during a ceremony to celebrate the start of works at the Badby Road site.

The plans were given the green light following the College’s successful bid to the South East Midlands Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) for £6.5million of funding from the Local Growth Fund for a completely new centre in the town that will offer vocational training for young people and adults.
Former Northampton College student Natalie Kassanga has vowed to use her surprise X Factor elimination as motivation to make it as a pop star, pledging to work harder than ever to fulfil her dreams.

xfactorThe Alien Uncovered singer saw her dreams dashed on Sunday night when the band were voted off the ITV show, despite earning praise from the judges for their performance the previous evening.

The shock decision to send the girls home angered fans but former Musical Theatre student Natalie, aged 18, said the disappointment will spur her on to keep working hard in her search for fame.
Students at Northampton College helped raise £650 for charity by organising a gig as part of the Oxjam music festival.

Journalism and PR students at the College in Booth Lane, Northampton embarked on a five week challenge to design, plan and promote a music event to raise money for Oxfam as part of its nationwide Oxjam festival.
The wonders of modern technology helped two former Northampton College catering students be reunited with former classmates for an annual awards ceremony, all the way from Florida.

 lsp7712Luke Zajak and Sorrel Bywater were the joint winners of the Marriott Cup in the ‘Best Achiever’ category in the 20th annual Northampton College Catering Students Awards, held last night at Booth Lane.
Businesses in Daventry have been given the opportunity to identify what they need most from their future workforce and team up with Northampton College to help bridge the skills gap.

As part of the College’s commitment to working with the local community ahead of the building of a new multi-million pound campus in Daventry, businesses have been invited to a skills consultation event to discuss what local firms are looking for in potential new recruits.

Assistant Principal James Whybrow said: “At Northampton College, we believe that we can help businesses to achieve their goals through making sure that the talent within their workforce is released to achieve its full potential.
Hospitality and Catering students from Northampton College enjoyed a stellar night at the annual Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards.

dsc 0002The glittering gala dinner, held at the Royal & Derngate, celebrated the very best of Northamptonshire producers, pubs, cafes, restaurants and chefs, with the culinary industry coming together to toast their success.

Students from Northampton College helped prepare the sumptuous three course menu enjoyed by guests, with teams working throughout the week to create dishes using a host of local ingredients including slow cooked pork belly with a pork and cabbage faggot, fondant potatoes and a local apple and honey puree.
Northamptonshire employers have been invited to sign up to become mentors to the next generation of business brains currently studying at Northampton College.

The College is keen to develop partnerships with leading local businesses as part of a drive to match students with potential employers, giving them first-hand experience in the world of work away from the classroom.

The mentor programme, launched alongside the College’s ground-breaking Logistics Academy, will give businesses the chance to work closely with students and guide them through taking their first steps onto the career ladder.

James Whybrow, Assistant Principal at Northampton College, said: “Northamptonshire is home to some fantastic businesses across a wide range of sectors, and we would love to work closely with these businesses to give our students an insight into what it takes to becomes a success in the world of work.
A group of theatre students from Northampton College have teamed up with the Royal & Derngate to lay on a First World War inspired afternoon tea.

The HND Theatre Practice and Technical Theatre students have worked alongside Royal & Derngate Creative Learning Director Trudy Bell to organise an afternoon tea party to be staged on Sunday, November 8 as part of a day-long event looking back at life in wartime Britain. L3 Dance students will also be taking part in the event.

The event will celebrate and commemorate all those local people who were involved in any way with the First World War and has been made possible thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Students at Northampton College have helped land a top award after taking part in a national drive to get more people reading.
librarian lynn goodman with library assistant tom hewitt

The Six Book Challenge, organised by The Reading Agency, aims to promote literacy by getting people to read a minimum of six books and note down their thoughts on what they have read.

More than 600 Northampton College students signed up for this year’s challenge and 238 successfully completed the task, earning the college a national Gold award to recognise its success.

Young people and their families can try their hand at a variety of free activities, challenges and workshops showcasing local schools and colleges at next month’s Daventry Festival of Education.

dsm for news storyScience experiments, English and maths challenges, craft and beauty sessions and engineering workshops are among the many activities being planned alongside information stands at the event, which takes place at the iCon Innovation Centre in Eastern Way, Daventry on Saturday, 10 October from 10am to 1pm.

The event will also include the first Daventry Young People Awards with accolades celebrating students’ academic achievements, community work and enterprising or entrepreneurial skills, as well as an award recognising teaching staff who go that extra mile to help students succeed.
All the world’s a stage for former Northampton College student Vanessa Fisher, who is returning to the town that trained her for theatrical success by performing in Hairspray at the Royal & Derngate.

243640231423-year-old Vanessa studied a two-year course in Performing Arts (Musical Theatre) at Northampton College in 2011. She’s now playing one third of girl group the Dynamites in the production, which launched two weeks ago in Leicester to standing ovations. It hits the Royal & Derngate before continuing on a national tour currently booking until May 2016 – not bad for Vanessa’s first professional role!

Northampton College’s professional approach aims to prepare performing arts students for careers on the stage, and Vanessa certainly credits its teaching with her current success.
Hotels and home builders, retailers and lawyers – just a flavour of the 130 plus Northamptonshire businesses now working with Northampton College to provide hundreds of students with work experience over the next 12 months.

student filing cabinet smallBusinesses are this month continuing to sign up with the college to offer students on the job experience. Already pledging to take part are Marks & Spencer and Hilton Hotels, with students set to try their hand at everything from retail and customer care to catering, front of house and health club experience. At Barclaycard students will be able to work in everything from businesses and engineering to facilities and catering.

X Factor sensation Natalie Kassanga has urged Northampton College students to ‘work hard, stay dedicated and keep believing’ if they want to follow in her footsteps and earn their spell in the spotlight.

The 18-year-old, who received a triple distinction for her Musical Theatre studies at Northampton College’s Booth Lane campus only last month, wowed the judges on the ITV talent show as part of girl band Alien.

The group’s high energy cover of the Black Eyed Peas hit ‘Pump It’ had all four judges up on their feet and host Olly Murs described the six-strong band as ‘out of this world’. The girls received a unanimous 'Yes' from the panel, as they rocketed through to boot camp.
Catering students from Northampton College will get the chance to work in the kitchens at one of the county’s most lavish dinners – picking up tips from top chefs and seeing their work served to hundreds of guests.

0994 41421Four groups of students will join the team behind the scenes at the annual Carlsberg UK Northampton Food and Drink Awards, taking place at Royal & Derngate on Thursday, October 15.

They will help head chef Lee Scott prepare a sumptuous menu celebrating the very best of Northamptonshire produce before plating up the gourmet meal to be enjoyed by VIP guests.
Hundreds of families are expected to flock to Northampton College this weekend for a fun day for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

The event, called Summer SENDsation, has been organised by the Northants Parent Forum Group and Northamptonshire County Council’s Local Offer department and will see families given the chance to experience a range of activities including demonstrations from assistive dogs, tai chi classes and specialist sports.
Exciting plans for Northampton College’s new building at Badby Road West have been approved by Daventry District Council, subject to government endorsement.

perspective 01 resized for news article on websiteThe College received the green light on 2 September from the planning committee to go ahead with its plans to deliver a new, state of the art educational facility.

The plans are being developed following the College’s successful bid to the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) for £6.5M of funding from the Local Growth Fund for a completely new campus in the town that will offer vocational training for young people and adults.

The government grant was awarded on condition that the College invests match funding from its own resources. The sale of some of the land at Badby Road West, approved by the planning committee in July, was critical to this plan.

Facilities will include specialist workshops for engineering and science labs, as well as state of the art library facilities and learning resources. There will be contemporary hairdressing and beauty therapy salons, well-equipped ICT suites, teaching space for healthcare and childcare plus dedicated provision for students with learning difficulties and disabilities.
A specialist academy to train and prepare the next generation of workers in the logistics industry has been unveiled by Northampton College, with students urged to ‘think laterally – think logistics’.

istock 000053169236 large 2 The Logistics Academy will give students the chance to work with local companies through a series of internships and mentoring programmes and employers have been urged to get on board to ensure they benefit too.
Businesses involved with the Logistics Academy will be able to access a pool of newly-skilled workers to help their own growth plans and benefit from the exposure gained through running a number of masterclasses, warehouse tours and a place on the Career Ready advisory board.

Assistant Principal at Northampton College, James Whybrow, said: “The UK logistics industry is facing a series of challenges which are affecting the ability of the sector to grow and develop as quickly as it might.
Northampton College has scheduled a series of drop-in sessions giving advice and guidance to students getting their GCSE results this week.

Exam results are out on Thursday and thousands of students across Northamptonshire will be facing up to some of the biggest questions of their life, such as whether to continue studying for A Levels, taking on an apprenticeship or learning a new skill to prepare them for the world of work.
The cream of the country’s curry industry is set to do battle, with top chefs going head-to-head for the title of the UK’s King of Spice.

The cook-off for the 2015 Curry Chef Awards, organised by the Bangladeshi Caterers Association, will be staged at Northampton College’s Booth Lane campus on October 29.

The challenge will see 30 chefs from 10 different regions showcase their skills by creating a dish from a ‘mystery basket’ of ingredients in just 45 minutes.
The BBC has teamed up with Northampton College to give 50 young people the chance to secure the job of their dreams thanks to a new digital traineeship programme.

0931 24642The ‘Make It Digital’ scheme, which launches next month, will see 25 young people in Northampton and another 25 in Kettering given the opportunity to complete an eight week course, split between college and an employer.

The students will learn the skills they need to carry out a series of workplace tasks, from building web pages and filming viral videos to implementing social media campaigns and creating email newsletters.
Exciting plans for Northampton College’s re-development of its site at Badby Road West have been approved by Daventry District Council, subject to government endorsement.

The College received the green light on 1 July from the planning committee to go ahead with the sale of some of its land at Badby Road West as part of its mission to raise the funds necessary to deliver a new, state of the art educational facility.
Youngsters in Northampton need to ‘work hard, believe in yourself and keep persevering’ to make their dreams come true, according to reality TV star Joey Essex.

outdoor cinemaThe celebrity, who shot to fame in The Only Way is Essex, was speaking at Northampton College’s Outdoor Cinema event on Saturday, which saw thousands of people flock to the Booth Lane campus to watch films including Grease and Guardians of the Galaxy on a giant open air screen.

He said: “I’ve always had to work for hard for everything I’ve had. I’ve always tried to stay true to myself and I’ve had this belief that all the hard work will pay off in the end.
A Northampton College student is in pole position for an exciting future having been named ‘Student of the Year’ by F1 world champions Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP).

student of the yearBTEC Level 3 Mechanical Engineering student Levi Medina was rewarded for his commitment to learning, good grades and hard work.

He won £500, a week’s work experience with HPP and a place at the motorsport giant’s Apprenticeship assessment centre – which could lead to a three year apprenticeship with the team.
Companies across the county are set to give students real life experience in the world of work following a successful Northampton College campaign.

employer picThe '100 companies in 100 days' campaign was launched in April – aimed at getting 100 local businesses to sign up to offer work experience to college students.

The target has already been smashed, with 103 companies having signed up to the scheme.
Children being looked after by the team at Northampton College Day Nursery are getting a ‘Good’ quality of care – it’s official.

0785 66811At a visit at the start of June an Ofsted inspector observed children at play in the nursery rooms and outside areas, spoke to children, parents and staff and looked at children’s the nursery’s records, policies and procedures.

The report, compiled this week after a visit from inspectors at the start of the month, praised the nursery for its professionalism.

The report concluded: “Staff understood that young children become familiar with their environment through relating and communicating with others and engaging physically in their experiences. As a result, children develop secure foundations in their learning and development in readiness for school.
Businesses from across the region pledged their support to help Northampton College students at the launch of a new scheme as the College becomes the first Career Ready academy in logistics in the East Midlands.

The scheme forges links between young people and employers to improve their understanding of the logistics sector and the appeal of a range of exciting careers. The launch event was attended by companies including Travis Perkins, Caterpillar, DHL, Alpro all keen to help plug the future skills gap by inspiring young people to think about alternative career paths in the sector.

dsc 0091Lucy Wright, President and Student Governor

Lucy Wright, 18, is studying for A Levels in business studies, psychology and English literature.

The student, last year’s Students’ Union Events Officer, is committed to making college as enjoyable as possible.

Lucy said: “I have strong views that the college owes it to each and every student to be a prosperous and enjoyable place to learn. Everyone should experience a discrimination-free, supportive and ultimately fun journey and I am committed to helping every student leave Northampton College with nothing but good friends, great grades and phenomenal memories.”

Reality TV star Joey Essex will be the special guest at Northampton College’s Outdoor Cinema event, mixing with prospective students to enjoy big screen blockbusters in the sunshine.

joey fusey t shirt high res small and croppedThe star of The Only Way Is Essex, I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here and The Jump will appear at the town’s first ever outdoor cinema event, being staged in the courtyard at Northampton College’s Booth Lane campus on Saturday, June 27.

The free event will feature intergalactic adventure Guardians of the Galaxy, along with the John Travolta classic Grease – giving film lovers a mix of viewing throughout the day.

Dance students from Northampton College will be taking centre stage at a special show taking place at the Cripps Theatre in Abington this week.

The show, called ‘A Night at the Oscars’ will be performed at 7pm on Thursday, June 11 and Friday, 12.

Students from the college’s highly regarded dance course will be involved both onstage and backstage at the production, giving them a glimpse of life in the industry. It is the culmination of a year’s work at the college’s Booth Lane campus.

A dyslexic pensioner from Northamptonshire is ready to start a new chapter in her life, after not only learning to read but winning a college library award for completing the national ‘Six Book Challenge’.
diane mould resizedDiane Mould, aged 65, landed the prize after reading a total of six books in a matter of months, and celebrated at Northampton College’s official Library Awards ceremony with family who were visiting from the USA.
Hundreds of Northamptonshire business leaders and staff are set to join Northampton College this month to take part in a dedicated Employers’ Week.
The week-long event commences on Monday 15th June and will bring businesses of all shapes and sizes together to see the College’s state-of-the-art facilities, input into the College curriculum and find out more about the benefits of apprenticeships.

Film fans in Northampton can enjoy big screen blockbusters in the sunshine thanks to the town's first ever outdoor cinema event.

outdoor cinema websiteThe free open air event will be staged in the courtyard at Northampton College's Booth Lane campus on Saturday, June 27, with two films being shown throughout the afternoon and evening.

Intergalactic adventure Guardians of the Galaxy will be shown, along with the John Travolta classic Grease – giving film lovers a great mix of viewing throughout the day.

Artwork, photography and 3D models created by students from Northampton College will go on display in a town centre shopping mall, giving members of the public the chance to purchase the designs.

art picture for showStudents will take over three vacant units in Market Walk, Northampton next month to display their work as part of an exhibition called 'Show Off'.

The artwork will go on display with an official launch on June 18 and will be available to view and purchase until June 26.

An industrial theme will take centre stage when students from Northampton College take to the catwalk in their annual fashion show.

fashion show pic resizedFirst and second year fashion students will team up for the show on June 10, with student models on hand to bring their creations to life on the Booth Lane stage.

The show will also feature an award-winning hat designed by Northampton College millinery student Melissa Mehrtens, the first time the headwear will be seen in public since landing first prize in the competition organised by the Worshipful Company of Feltmakers of London.

Companies across Northamptonshire are being asked to get involved in a new project to give students real life experience in the world of work. Northampton College launched the '100 companies in 100 days' campaign last month – aimed at getting 100 local businesses to sign up to offering work experience to its students.

100 companies in 100 daysAlready, almost 70 companies have signed up to the scheme and the target is well within sight, and employers are being urged to get involved now if they want to be part of it.

James Whybrow, assistant principal at Northampton College said: "We have had a terrific response to the campaign, with dozens of companies signing up in the first couple of weeks alone. Work placements are becoming increasingly important for our students but also for companies too, there is a real appetite out there for getting young people into the world of work."

Vehicle maintenance students at Northampton College will be able to hone their skills on state-of-the-art equipment thanks to a donation of £20,000 worth of engines from BMW.

new engine news storyTwo petrol engines and one diesel engine were handed over to the college by BMW to help train their apprentices, giving students the chance to work on up-to-date machinery and get to know the parts and mechanics used in modern vehicles.

A former Northampton College student is hoping to represent the UK at the 2017 World Skills competition in Abu Dhabi, having been selected as part of the provisional squad.

connor bing news resizedElectrical engineering graduate Connor Bing, aged 22, works as a mechatronics engineer for Brackmills-based automation company Festo, and will be using his expertise in circuit design, robotics and automated machinery to impress the judges at the UK Skills showcase at the NEC in Birmingham later this year.

He will be competing with companies such as Toyota for a place on the team of two due to jet out for the worldwide competition in two years' time.

Three Northampton College catering students will get the chance to work in some of the best kitchens in the USA when they head to Florida as part of a year-long internship.

cateringusa resized for newsLuke Zajac, Sorrel Bywater and Charlie Berrill, all Level Three students at the college's Booth Lane campus, will head out to America next month to start their 12 month placements, having been selected from dozens of candidates across Europe.

Luke and Sorrel will head to the prestigious Pinetrees Golf Club while Charlie will work at Harbour Ridge Yacht and Country Club, putting into practice everything they have learnt in three years in the acclaimed kitchens at Northampton College.

Music students from Northampton College will be hoping to hit the right note when they take to the stage at the Roadmender to put on their final gig of the academic year.

music gig pictureStudents will be occupying all three rooms at Northampton's premier music venue, with the line-up including a host of DJs, indie bands, pop acts and acoustic performers.

The gig, on Thursday, May 21, will see all music students given the opportunity to contribute to the success of this event, gaining valuable experience as a performer, technician and event crew.

Northampton College has pledged its commitment to supporting the local economy and has collaborated with the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) to produce a new 'Colleges Mean Business' prospectus.

skills celebration dinner resizedThe prospectus, launched at SEMLEP's recent Skills Celebration Dinner at Woburn Abbey's Sculpture Gallery, summarises the ability and desire of the 10 colleges in the South East Midlands to deliver skills essential for business growth across the area.

Northampton College and The University of Northampton are delighted to announce the launch of a new Higher Apprenticeship in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering. Backed by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership, the Higher Apprenticeship is designed to address the critical skills gap within the engineering industry.

hnd pic newsThe UK constantly requires skilled and highly trained engineers, technicians and managers. An ageing workforce in this sector, and a reduced training spend in recent years have led to vacancies being difficult to fill. This new Higher Apprenticeship intends to up-skill existing workers' practical and technical knowledge, while attracting new entrants to the sector.

Exciting plans for Northampton College's new building in Daventry have been launched to the local community at a public consultation event.

perspective 01 resized for news article on websiteThe new building, designed by award-winning architects Pick Everard, will be modern in style with plenty of glass allowing generous amounts of light into the learning environment.

Facilities will include specialist workshops for engineering and science labs, as well as state of the art library facilities and learning resources. There will be contemporary hairdressing and beauty therapy salons, well-equipped ICT suites, teaching space for healthcare and childcare plus dedicated provision for students with learning difficulties and disabilities.

A dance group from Northampton College has won through to the prestigious Festival of Dance, fending off competition from across the region to earn the right to perform on the national stage.

dance comp newsThe 11 Booth Lane students were selected to represent the East Midlands at the national festival after impressing judges at the regional finals in Nottingham. They will now head to Plymouth to perform alongside some of the biggest names in dance at the festival in July. It is the first time Northampton College has been represented at the festival.

Engineering student Matthew Quincey is in pole position for an exciting career in the high octane world of F1 after landing an apprenticeship with world champions Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP).

matthew news article 1The 18-year-old is currently studying a BTEC Level Three in Engineering at Northampton College and has landed the role as part of a tie-in with the Brixworth-based power unit manufacturer. He will start his apprenticeship with HPP after completing his qualifications at the college, giving him the perfect platform to pursue a career in F1.

In celebration of National Apprenticeship Week (3-7 March), Northampton College hosted a number of events across the county to celebrate the amazing achievements of apprentices and employers and to inspire more organisations and individuals to get involved. This resulted in a record number of 100 Apprenticeship applications being received throughout the week.

The event kicked off with an Apprenticeship Information Evening for local employers at the College's Booth Lane site and was attended by employers from across a variety of sectors including, Kingsthorpe Children's Centre, Oakleaf Care, Mahle and the McManus Pub Company. The aim of this event was to provide a clear overview of the Apprenticeship scheme and how easy it is for businesses to get involved. An Apprenticeship and Careers roadshow also took place throughout the week in Daventry, Wellingborough and Northampton and was supported by a wide range of organisations and individuals.

Fifty Six people had the first taste of Northampton College's very own milkshake during its launch at popular Daventry cafe, The Hideout.

The official launch of the new 'Shake NC' took place on Monday 31 March at The Hideout in Sheaf Street, Daventry with complementary milkshakes for everyone at the event. As part of the new partnership with Northampton College, every milkshake in The Hideout's selection will now be served in bright new jointly branded cups to help the College raise its profile in Daventry and highlight its forthcoming Open Event at Badby Road West on Saturday, 17 May.

Northampton College is backing a dance student and former dance student who appeared on Britain's Got Talent as part of the dance crew Cartel. Jordan Goodenough, 18 is currently studying on the Level 3 Dance programme and the crew's choreographer Steven Thompson, 19 is a former student who now teaches street dance at the College.

Their performance on Saturday, 26 April wowed all the judges apart from Simon Cowell who sparked controversy by saying said the oldest member of the group "stuck out like a sore thumb" at the age of 27.

A series of 'have-a-go' activities will be available at Northampton College's Daventry Open Event on Saturday, 17 May, 12-4pm. The free Open Event at the College's Badby Road West site is aimed at giving people the opportunity to see what it is really like to study at Northampton College, with 'have-a-go' activities including biscuit decorating for those interested in studying catering, engine diagnostics for budding mechanics, fitness testing for those sport enthusiasts and a practical demo on how to make simple computerised animations for anyone who might want to learn IT.

Almost 20 hands-on 'have-a-go' sessions will span all the course areas running from the College's Daventry site from September 2014, and anyone attending the Open Event will have chance to get involved. The event follows on from the successful launch of the College's very own branded milkshake in partnership with popular local coffee shop, The Hideout earlier this year.

On Thursday 22, May students studying Hairdressing courses at Northampton College will be putting on an eclectic and innovative Hair Show at The Deco theatre in Northampton. Every year the Hairdressing students put on an impressive show at a local venue in Northampton, which showcases the fantastic skills and techniques that they have learnt during their course.

This year features a Haute Couture theme and students have been given various top name designers including Alexander Mcqueen and Viktor and Rolf to use as inspiration for their creations. The students have been preparing for this event for several months, attending regular workshops in order to finish their designs. They've also used a wide range of materials in order to mimic the styles and techniques of the designers they are focusing on, from chicken wire and jumbo hair to spray paint and handmade accessories.

The McManus Pub Company, Oakleaf Care, Mahle and Kingsthorpe Children's Centre were among many of the local employers who attended last night's Apprenticeship Information Evening at Northampton College. The event was created in response to an increase in enquiries from employers across Northamptonshire keen to find out more about Apprenticeships and how they may benefit their business.

After a short tour of the College facilities attendees received a presentation about the Apprenticeship scheme, including funding opportunities and the free recruitment service available through Northampton College. This was followed by a question and answer session and networking opportunity with other local businesses.

Hywel Jones, the Executive Chef of a highly acclaimed Michelin Star restaurant and former Welsh champion of BBC2's Great British Menu performed a live demo for Midlands-based catering students and industry professionals on Friday, 6 June. Hywel Jones, who runs The Park Michelin-starred Restaurant and The Brasserie at Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa near Bath, performed a three-hour live catering demonstration and question and answer session for over 100 students and industry experts at Northampton College, Booth Lane.

As well as students from Northampton College, students from Leicester and Peterborough colleges and North Warwickshire and Hinkley College also attended along with representatives from Midlands Institute of Hospitality, City and Guilds, Visionary Dining and Northampton Food & Drink.

As families start to prepare for the new academic year, the law now requires young people to continue in education and training until they are 18.

The Government has increased the time that young people must spend in education and training and this can include a number of options;

  • Studying full-time in a school, college or with a training provider as part of a job

  • Working or volunteering full-time, combined with part-time education or training

  • Taking up an Apprenticeship or Traineeship

Principal at Northampton College, Pat Brennan-Barrett, explained what the change in the law means for young people and outlined some of the options available for them in Northamptonshire.

Delighted college students were celebrating after achieving 100% pass rates in ten A Level subjects including Maths, English, Chemistry, Accounting, Psychology and Sociology. In addition, the results for those taking AS exams after the first year of their studies are the best ever for the College. More than 250 students sat over 600 AS and A2 exams, making Northampton College one of the biggest A Level providers in the area.

Pat Brennan-Barrett, Principal said, 'This year saw a considerable increase in the success of our students, particularly amongst those completing the first year of their A Level programme. Their success this year will provide a solid foundation for their continuing studies and future career progression. The College continues to improve across the board and recorded its highest ever success rates for all programmes last year, an achievement that won the endorsement of Ofsted which graded the College as 'Good' in its last inspection. We have a very large number of A Level programmes at Northampton College and support more students through their A Level studies than most other providers in the county. Once again our A Level students and those on our equivalent vocational and Apprenticeship courses deserve to be proud of their achievements today.'

Northampton College has launched a search for talented and committed young people to help local businesses and get onto the career ladder by signing up for an Apprenticeship. For the first time this year, demand for apprentices has out-stripped supply and the College currently has 100 vacancies on its books.

The College has been contacted by employers from many different sectors across the County and beyond, offering employment to young people on Apprenticeship programmes in print, warehousing, childcare, accounting and many more. Apprenticeships are at the heart of the Government's drive to equip people with the skills employers need to grow and compete. Employer-led reforms will simplify Apprenticeship standards, improve quality and ensure they're more beneficial to the economy.

A new programme has been developed by Northampton College in response to the high number of young people who don't feel adequately equipped with the skills they need to present themselves in job applications or interviews and may therefore be missing out on getting selected for an Apprenticeship or other opportunities.

The 12-day programme is spread across several weeks and covers a range of topics such as identifying strengths, developing team building and communication skills and all of the practical aspects of applying for an Apprenticeship and searching for a job. Aimed specifically at 19-24 year olds the course will also help young people to develop their confidence whilst gaining a City and Guilds Level 1 qualification in Employability.

Northampton College is delighted to welcome James Whybrow who has been appointed to the new post of Assistant Principal, Employer Engagement and Enterprise from 27 October. His brief will be to make sure that the College is in touch with the training and skills needs of local businesses and is able to deliver the services that they require to develop their workforce.

James Whybrow has worked in the further education sector for 15 years and was previously responsible for workforce development and employer engagement at South Staffordshire College. As a member of the senior management team, James worked on the development and implementation of strategic initiatives to drive growth and quality whilst effectively managing risks and exposure. A key aspect of his new role will focus on ensuring that the College responds to the ever-changing requirements of funding bodies, employers and their staff.

Two current catering students and seven ex-students from Northampton College made the final of this year's Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards, beating off fierce competition from across the county.

Now in its sixth year and devised by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership, the competition aims to celebrate all that is great about local produce and drink and recognises excellence within the county's dining venues, rewarding those who work within the culinary sector. Among the titles up for grabs were those of Young Chef of the Year, Community Pub of the Year, and Restaurant of the Year.

On Monday, 10 November a group of ten students studying Foundation Studies at Northampton College took over Papa Cinos restaurant in Northampton where they served friends, family and members of the public a delicious two-course menu for just £15.

Over 30 bookings were taken on the night and the 'Papa Juniors' team ran the whole process, from preparing the food to performing front of house duties and everything else that comes with running a professional restaurant. Northampton North Labour candidate, Sally Keeble, also attended on the night and said, "Excellent food and service received by Papa Juniors, well done."

Northampton College is joining forces with local businesses to offer young people the chance to take their first step on the career ladder with an Apprenticeship. The College has been in touch with business across Northamptonshire from many different sectors who are all actively seeking apprentices to join their teams. The College is keen to fill over 40 vacancies for Apprenticeships in Business Administration and Customer Service. There are also places available in Engineering, Warehousing, Hospitality, Hairdressing and Childcare.

network rail apprentice 250James Whybrow, assistant principal at Northampton College said; 'There has never been a better time to start an Apprenticeship. Employers have never been more receptive to the concept of growing their own talent by developing a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce. We currently have more vacancies than we can fill with new opportunities coming in every day. Significant numbers of jobs are available in administration and customer services across a range of sectors. The skills that young people will acquire through an Apprenticeship in these areas are highly transferable. Every business needs organised processes and systems for fulfilling orders and good customer service can be what sets a business apart from its competitors. We also have vacancies in other popular areas and would encourage anyone who might be interested to come and see us at one of our scheduled events as part of National Apprenticeships Week'.

An aspiring hat maker from Northampton College has won an international competition which will give her the chance to work for a designer who supplies headwear to the Duchess of Cambridge.

melissa mehrtens millinery 250Melissa Mehrtens, a millinery student at the college's Booth Lane campus in Northampton, was named the overall winner of the prestigious competition, organised by the Worshipful Company of Feltmakers of London.

On Monday 2 March, Labour's Shadow Minister for Universities, Science and Skills, Liam Byrne MP visited Northampton College to meet the Principal and find out more about skills delivery in the further education sector.

mp liam news article picture newHe was given a tour of the state of the art facilities at the College’s Booth Lane campus and spoke to students in the library, and in IT, media and communication classes about Labour’s plans for helping students to fund their education, a proposed reduction in tuition fees and an increase of maintenance grants to cover students' living costs. He was accompanied by Sally Keeble, Labour’s candidate for Northampton North.

Mr Byrne talked to students about the significance of Apprenticeships and how important they were as a route into a job with training that is highly valued by employers. He also encouraged students to use their vote at the general election in May to make sure their voice was heard.

Two Northampton college students are set to benefit from the award of £5,000 to help with their studies as part of a scheme launched by Northampton Borough Council to mark International Women's Day on 8 March 2015 and National Apprenticeships Week (9-13 March 2015).

award winners 250Award recipients, Gina Hammersley and Courtney Francesca Wells, are both studying engineering and manufacturing as part of their study programmes at Northampton. The borough council is making the awards as part of a campaign to encourage women into less traditional vocations.

Northampton College is joining forces with local businesses to offer young people the chance to take their first step on the career ladder with an Apprenticeship. The College has been in touch with business across Northamptonshire from many different sectors who are all actively seeking apprentices to join their teams.

church apprentices 250The College is keen to fill over 40 vacancies for Apprenticeships in Business Administration and Customer Service. There are also places available in Engineering, Warehousing, Hospitality, Hairdressing and Childcare. James Whybrow, assistant principal at Northampton College said; ‘There has never been a better time to start an Apprenticeship. Employers have never been more receptive to the concept of growing their own talent by developing a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce.

Two Northampton college students have been presented with £5,000 each to help with their studies as part of a scheme launched by Northampton Borough Council to herald National Apprenticeships Week (9-13 March 2015).

awards 250Award recipients, Gina Hammersley and Courtenay Wells, are both studying engineering and manufacturing as part of their study programmes at Northampton. The borough council made the awards as part of a campaign to encourage women into less traditional vocations.

Companies across Northamptonshire are being asked to get involved in a new project to give students real life experience in the world of work. Northampton College has launched the '100 companies in 100 days' campaign – aimed at getting 100 local businesses to sign up to offering work experience to its students.

apprentice 250The placements can be in the form of a set number of days per week or in weekly blocks. James Whybrow, assistant principal at Northampton College said: "Work placements are becoming increasingly important for our students. Employers want to see real life experience away from the classroom and we want to work with local companies to give our students the opportunity to put the skills they have already learnt into practice in a 'real world' scenario. In return, the companies will be able to have an extra pair of hands to help them carry out their everyday tasks and can help develop the next generation of staff."

Four Northampton College students are finalists in this year's 'Fashion Photographer of the Year competition' which is run by the Clothes Show Live.

This is an annual competition that aims to give recognition to future talent within the creative industries and is split into 3 themes: Design, Craft and Communication. The Awards offer fantastic educational bursary prizes for students and schools alongside work experience placements.

Karolina Borowska, Damon Murray, John Cooper and Jordan Webb beat off strong competition from across the country to make the finals and make up four of just nine students who were selected.


On Friday, 28 November, Northampton College celebrated its annual awards ceremony which recognises the achievements of its outstanding students.

Sixty students were presented with certificates during the prestigious event, which was held in the College's Booth Lane building. Some award winners had overcome incredible difficulties during their studies and others had achieved outstanding academic success – each of these students had their story read out to the audience.

A new Graduate Recruitment Scheme has been developed by Northampton College in partnership with Northamptonshire's Job Centre Plus in response to the numbers of graduates across the county who are finding it increasing hard to secure jobs after their degrees.

The scheme, which began in September this year aims to support recent graduates with their search for employment by helping them design their own individual sales campaign that is relevant to their target marketplace. Candidates on the course benefit from job searching techniques and tips, financial advice and workshops delivered by large, well-known local and national employers. At the end of the course they also receive a Level 2 qualification in Employability.

Ambitious plans for Northampton College's new building in Daventry will be launched to the local community at public consultation events later this month.

daventry new site proposal resizedpictureThe plans are being developed following the College's successful bid to the South East Midlands Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) for £6.5M of funding from the Local Growth Fund for a completely new centre in the town that will offer vocational training for young people and adults.

Having appraised the options since its bid gained approval, the College is developing a planning application to build a completely new centre on its existing site at Badby Road West. This option has been deemed most appropriate to enable the College to retain sports facilities on site, develop an enhanced campus and provide a better learning environment for students.

Local engineering apprentice, Luke Trethewy is among the UK's most talented apprentices to be celebrated at this year's The Skills Show following his success in the WorldSkills UK Skills Competitions.

Luke is currently completing an Advanced Manufacturing Apprenticeship in Engineering Machining through Northampton College and works for local engineering firm Ilmor Engineering.

Luke was one of the top six scorers in the first stage of the WorldSkills UK CNC Turning competition and as a result he was invited to compete in the WorldSkills UK Industrial Electronics National Final at the Skills Show in November. After a tense competition final at the Birmingham NEC, Luke picked up the bronze medal in the CNC Turning category.

A team of students from Northampton College have been announced as finalists in the SUBWAY® brand's Design a Sub challenge. The competition challenged budding entrepreneurs to design and market a brand new 6-inch Sub, based on the theme of #FeelGoodSubs.

The Northampton College team consists of four students: Tom Anderson, Olly Betts, Sian Kennett and Josh Welsford. The creative students produced a unique Sub named the St. George's Sub, themed around the Rugby World Cup 2015 and designed to be both a healthy and nutritious sandwich option, created for the SUBWAY® brand's Low Fat Subs range. The pupils now face a nerve-wracking Dragon's Den style pitch to a panel of SUBWAY® brand experts at Cambridge University on Wednesday 19th November.

On Thursday 6, November the Labour leader Ed Miliband visited Northampton College to hold a question and answer session about local transport issues. Northampton College students, local community representatives and labour supporters were among those attending the hour-long session in the college's drama theatre.

After his talk, Ed Miliband was given a guided tour of the facilities at Booth Lane, which included a visit to the dance department, media rooms and award-winning library. Students from a wide range of courses at Northampton College lined the route of the tour, keen to get a glimpse of the Labour Leader and ask him questions about his visit.

Northampton College has received a Gold Award for the Reading Agency's Six Book Challenge for the third year running. The national reading competition requires students to read six books, short stories, newspaper or magazine articles, poems or web pieces and write up their personal reviews for each in a diary.

Northampton College came third out of the 110 colleges that took part in 2013-2014 and was placed fifth nationally from over 380 organisations. The College's latest Gold Award is the highest accolade for the competition in the country. Lynn Goodman, Deputy Librarian said, "To receive the Gold Award yet again is a fantastic achievement for the College. Six Book Challenge is a great national initiative for us to be continually involved with as it encourages less confident readers to develop their literacy skills. To watch students who never usually read sitting in the Library with a book or magazine is a wonderful sight and we are delighted to have had such a positive response and have seen significant results on pass rates for students who have taken part, particularly among our Supported Learning students and students whose first language is not English."

MP Michael Ellis visited Northampton College to find out about its latest Warehousing and Storage Sector Based Work Academy in partnership with Jobcentre Plus and ACS Recruitment.

The project, which is aimed at getting unemployed people back into work, has been very successful so far and is the fifth of its kind which has been run through the College. During the visit Mr Ellis spoke to project leaders, tutors and the 11 candidates on the Academy who are currently unemployed and seeking employment in the warehousing industry. Craig McKenna, Business Recruitment Executive, Northampton College said, "We were delighted to welcome Mr Ellis to show him all the work that is going on by the College and our partners to ensure that more people have opportunities to gain employment. We have had great success with our Sector Based Work Academies so far which are fundamentally designed to meet the recruitment needs of local employers by developing the skills of the individual so that they integrate straight away into their business."

Since securing the bid with SEMLEP for a new college building in Daventry, plans are well underway on the development of the project with the new college location now confirmed as the Ashby Road site which is adjacent to the University Technical College. Funding for the project will come from both central government and through the sale of the current college site at Badby Road and it is anticipated that construction will begin in May 2015.

Pat Brennan-Barrett, Principal said, 'The sale of our current Daventry campus will go towards creating a brand new centre which will provide first-class educational facilities for the town. We intend to keep the green field site situated at Badby Road and the current campus will continue to operate as normal until the new facility is completed in September 2016. The new town centre location will be better positioned to serve the community and will also allow for closer collaboration with the University Technical College."

Northampton College, Jobcentre Plus and ACS Recruitment have once again secured jobs for unemployed people through a new scheme aimed at getting unemployed people back into work. Designed to help meet the needs of local employers, a Sector Based Work Academy helps those who are ready for work and receiving benefits to secure employment, whilst also fulfilling the immediate and future recruitment needs of local businesses.

Following the success of a pilot scheme in Corby, a four-week Warehouse and Storage Sector Based Work Academy was launched at Northampton College in June with the support of ACS Recruitment and Jobcentre Plus. Nine candidates were enrolled on the course and have been given hands-on practical training in Warehousing and Storage as well as general employability advice and support. They have all achieved a Level 1 qualification in Warehousing and Storage and Employability and Personal Development and will go on to gain their Power Pallet Truck Licence (PTT) over the coming weeks.

Northampton College's bid for funding to help develop a new college building in Daventry has been approved. The College made its bid to the South East Midlands Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) in response to the Local Growth Fund to support its plans for a completely new centre in the town that will offer vocational training for young people and adults.

The funds, from central government, will enable the College to move forward with scoping its plans for the new centre. Construction will start in May 2015 and the new centre will open its doors in September 2016. The centre will provide places for 700 students, including 200 Apprenticeships, and will focus on developing the skills identified as central to the local economy. The College worked in partnership with SEMLEP on the bid with the support from Northamptonshire County Council and Daventry District Council.

On Sunday 22, June, Northampton College hosted their very own music stage at the annual Northampton Music Festival, treating music lovers to very best in young, local talent. Taking over the courtyard at the exclusive Black Bottom Club in the town centre, students studying a range of music courses at Northampton College took to the stage and performed an energetic show which featured a wide range of music, from reggae and indie rock to heavy metal.

Now in its 8th year, The Northampton Music Festival is a free event which celebrates Northampton's rich music culture at over 15 venues and the town's Market Square. Thousands of people gathered at the various stages throughout the town and the Northampton College stage alone saw over 800 people enjoying the live music on offer.

A Northampton College apprentice has re-sprayed a winning soapbox car built by Mercedes GP engineers for an annual race held in Brackley.

Ryan Devonport is employed by Mercedes GP in the Formula 1 team and is an apprentice on the Refinishing/Body Repair Level 3 Apprenticeship programme, run by Northampton College in conjunction with Semta Apprenticeship Service. Impressed with his skills and flair, Ryan was asked by Mercedes GP to re-spray the soapbox car which was used in the recent Brackley Soapbox Derby competition earlier this month.

A catering student who was given a chance to work at three of the country's top Michelin starred restaurants during a year-long work placement is about to start her final appointment at the highly acclaimed Casamia in Bristol.

Professional Catering student Viktorija Bernataviciute, 25, has just finished a three month work placement at Simon Hulstone's The Elephant in Torquay and had previously completed an appointment at Tom Kitchin's The Kitchin in Edinburgh as part of the Electrolux Chef Academy, which she won in July 2013.

A part-time Millinery student who had never before created a hat now has her work displayed at a national exhibition run by one of the country's leading museums of art and design. Sally Kilsby, 51 is studying on the Millinery course at the College's Booth Lane site one evening a week, and was chosen from 441 adult entrants nationwide in the Victoria and Albert Museum's annual Inspired by competition.

Her striking hat, which was made with felt, orange satin ribbon and stripped quills and based on a South African plant Strelitzia Reginae, will be on display at the Inspired by... event at Morley College, London until 19 June, along with other textile designs, fashion, jewellery, sculptures, ceramics, prints and paintings. All exhibits at the event are based on pieces from the Victoria and Albert Museum's collections at South Kensington or Museum of Childhood and have been created by part-time adult students nationwide.

Over fifty-nine pupils from the Arbours Primary Academy attended hands-on cooking sessions in the catering department at Northampton College as part of an ongoing project about Indian culture.

Taking place over three consecutive weeks, the year 3 pupils attended the College and took part in a series of fun and interactive activities which included making Indian breads and identifying a range of mystery Indian ingredients.

As part of the Daventry Festival of the Arts, the Art and Design Department at Northampton College's Daventry Centre is planning a series of fun and practical workshops in July for local residents. Taking place on Thursday, 10 July and Tuesday, 15 July at the Daventry Centre, Badby Road West, the free workshops will give people the opportunity to try their hand at a range of creative skills, from ceramics and surface design to print making techniques and mixed-media.

Ann Newman, aged 60 attended the same workshops last year and is now completing a BTEC Level 3 qualification in Art and Design, she said, "Never in a million years did I think I'd be here studying something I love. I just didn't think it would be flexible enough or financially possible. After coming along to the free workshop last year I was instantly hooked. I've always been interested in art, ever since I was about 11 years old but I didn't have the opportunity back then to fulfil this passion. This course has really turned my life around and I've learnt so much since I started in September. When I finish this year I'm definitely planning on progressing onto the second year and I'm even considering university after that."

Fashion students from Northampton College have won four of only seven categories in one of the most prestigious millinery competitions - 2014 Feltmakers' Design Award. Emily Mabbutt, Aleksandra Kukula, Sharon Mensah and Lewis Murphy are students on the full-time Level 3 Fashion & Clothing and part-time evening millinery courses.

They beat off immense international competition with their impressive hat designs from across Britain and Europe, and were up against students and trainees of the highest calibre, most of whom are studying millinery specific courses at university level. Emily won overall second prize with her hat which featured beautiful veiling and stripped quills inspired by ballet costumes and contour fashion.

Northampton College Business Centre, Jobcentre Plus and local care provider Delos has once again secured jobs for unemployed people through a new scheme aimed at getting unemployed people back into work. Designed to help meet the needs of local employers, a Sector Based Work Academy helps those who are ready for work and receiving benefits to secure employment, whilst also fulfilling the immediate and future recruitment needs of local businesses.

Delos Community provides support services for people with learning disabilities in Northamptonshire, and was identified by Jobcentre Plus last year as the perfect employer for this scheme. This is the second Sector Based Work Academy the College has run with Delos which has just secured jobs for six unemployed people in Northamptonshire.

In partnership with the National Apprenticeship Service and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Northampton College is delighted to be hosting a prestigious event which aims to provide an overview of the Apprenticeship scheme and how easy it is for local businesses to get involved.

Taking place on Monday, 7 April, the event entitled 'Making Apprenticeships work for Small Businesses' will invite small businesses from across the county, current and former apprentices, local MPs and school children in years 10 and 11 to join in discussions and provide valuable feedback about the importance of Apprenticeships.

On Thursday 3, April students studying a range of music courses at Northampton College will be putting on an explosive show of music performances at the town's premier music venue. Occupying all 3 rooms, the evening will include an eclectic mix of music from reggae and indie rock to DJ's and heavy metal.

Now in its 11th year, this event is considered the flagship gig of the year for the college's music department and is attended by substantial crowds including local residents and music lovers from further afield. Over 100 students will be taking part in a variety of music acts, including rock bands, acoustic sets and DJ's and so there is literally something for everyone to enjoy.

Four exchange students from Iraq have teamed up with HND Theatre students to perform a powerful play which covers themes of immigration and asylum seekers.

Studying English at Northampton College in a University exchange programme, the Iraqi students; Mohammed, Mahmood, Hussein and Hasan, were approached by the HND Theatre group as part of their research for 'Credible Witness' – an adaptation by Timberlake Wertenbaker which tells the story of a young man who flees his home country and his mother who follows him. The play covers issues faced by those who might be seeking asylum in the UK; the longing for identity, despair and loneliness.

Northampton College has won a bid to deliver a project that will support employers in the High Performance Technologies (HPT) and Logistics sectors across Northamptonshire recruit the young people they need to meet their skills needs.

The recruitment of young people into these sectors has seen a steady decline over the last ten years, partly due to the perception that they offer limited progression opportunities, but also due to a lack of awareness about the importance these industries have in securing future growth in the economy.

The highly acclaimed documentary film director, David Morris gave an inspiring talk to students about his BAFTA nominated work.

David, who is originally from Northampton, spoke to Photography and HND Film Production students on Tuesday, 11 March about his film 'McCullin' - a documentary about British photographer Don McCullin, whose work for the Observer and the Sunday Times in Vietnam, Biafra, Cyprus and Lebanon produced some very powerful images of war. He told the aspiring film-makers and photographers about what makes an award-winning director.

Major European transport, logistics and freight forwarding company, Norbert Dentressangle has joined forces with Northampton College to take on 300 apprentices throughout the UK by the end of April.

Around 40 Norbert Dentressangle sites throughout the UK will be taking part in the scheme, offering young people a range of operationally-based apprenticeships including storage and warehousing, transport and distribution and engineering, along with a number of positions in administration and supporting functions such as recruitment.

Northampton College students turned a £10 loan into £534 in just 24 hours as part of the UK's first ever enterprise relay.

Students hosted a red themed festival on Tuesday, 25 February as part of the Young Enterprise Tenner relay, which saw a £10 note travel the length of the country, challenging school children and college students to do make more money by doing something enterprising in just 24 hours.

One of the UK's Master Chocolatiers created a spectacular giant Easter Egg and flower embellishment during a demonstration at Northampton College on Monday, 3 March.

Mark Tilling, who has in the past been ranked 12th and 7th in Chocolate Master world finals, created a number of chocolate masterpieces as part of his three-hour demo for Level 2 and 3 catering students.

The McManus Pub Company, Oakleaf Care, Mahle and Kingsthorpe Children's Centre were among many of the local employers who attended last night's Apprenticeship Information Evening at Northampton College.

The event was created in response to an increase in enquiries from employers across Northamptonshire keen to find out more about Apprenticeships and how they may benefit their business.

Local primary school pupils are being treated to a special fairy tale inspired performance by Northampton College dance and theatre students this week.

Set in Fairy Tale Town, 'Fairy Tale Tell Tale', which is performed by BTEC Level 3 Dance and HND Theatre students, tells the story of a young paper boy with a vivid imagination and a love of fairy tales. The children will recognise all their favourite characters but may be surprised when they turn out to be not what they might have expected.

Rapper and producer 'Mr Flyboi' will make a guest appearance at Northampton College to perform his latest tracks to students.

Mr Flyboi (@MrFlyboi) will be at the College's Booth Lane site from around 11am on Wednesday, 12 February for a sound check before his performance at 12pm. He will perform between 3-5 tracks and host a question and answer session with the students.

An 'open' forum, to be hosted at Northampton College, will be held on Friday 7 February at 7.00pm at the college's Drama Theatre at its state of the art building on Booth Lane. The forum, which is open to anyone to attend, will provide a progress update on the development of the Northampton Kutumb Centre, a state-of-the-art community complex that will be built in Lings Way in Northampton.

The event will showcase the centre and its numerous planned facilities, as well as providing details on the fund raising strategy, construction plans and build timelines.

A Public Services student has become one of the County's youngest Special Constables at the age of 19.

Amelia-Jane Hicks from Delapre finished an intense three-month training programme with Northamptonshire Police, which she completed alongside her full-time course at Northampton College. She took up her post as a Special Constable at the beginning of January having previously been a Police Cadet, and says she is now on her way to pursuing her long-term dream to become a traffic officer or dog handler.

A catering student who was given a chance to work at three of the country's top Michelin starred restaurants during a year-long work placement is about to start her second appointment at The Elephant in Torquay.

Professional Catering student Viktorija Bernataviciute, 25 has just finished a three month work placement at The Kitchin in Edinburgh as part of the Electrolux Chef Academy which she won in July 2013. Viktorija will now go on to spend three months working with Simon Hulstone at The Elephant in Torquay before taking up her final position with the Sanchez brothers at Casamia in Bristol in May 2014.