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.