dav group2 003The second 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 150 people, including students, their families and a number of VIP guests, attended the ceremony at the multi-million pound campus in Badby Road West, Daventry On Thursday, June 20th 2018.

Best Overall Progress award went to mature student Dina Brinza, who has worked hard to juggle a young family and busy home life with her Level 2 Art and Design studies. Dina, whose youngest daughter was just 20 days old when she collected her award.

Another winner was Jamie-Lee Wareing, who scooped the Overcoming Challenges award for her sheer determination to succeed. Prior to her Level 3 course in IT, Jamie-Lee had completed two Level 2 courses – Performing Arts and Media – and before that Foundation Studies. She overcame the challenges of her disability to pass two challenging exams on her first attempt.


Northampton College has helped launch a new nationally accredited apprenticeship standard to train the next generation of shoemakers, teaming up with some of the industry’s most iconic names to ensure specialist skills are passed on to the workforce of the future.

The British Footwear Association has partnered with companies including Loake, Church’s, Dr Martens, Tricker’s and Crocket & Jones to develop the new standard, with Northampton College developing a fully-functioning ‘shoe room’ to enable students to gain off-site machine and equipment experience throughout their apprenticeship.

The new standard will come into effect this autumn and is a vital development for the British footwear manufacturing industry. It has been designed by employers to be flexible and to work for everyone from small, specialist makers to large multi-national manufacturers.

Pat Brennan-Barrett, principal of Northampton College, said: "We are delighted to be at the forefront of this innovative new programme, aimed at training the workforce of the future in Northampton's most iconic industry.

“Northampton has been synonymous with footwear for hundreds of years and we look forward to helping the next generation learn the skills they will need to ensure the industry not only survives but thrives both locally and nationally for years to come."

The new apprenticeship offers high quality entry-level training and experience to those interested in joining a highly skilled, globally respected industry.

Helen Errington, HR Manager for Church’s, said: “Church’s has always trained apprentices to ensure a succession of skilled staff able to produce the highest quality footwear. We are very pleased to be involved with colleagues in building this new scheme which will make sure the training is even more focused on the technical and skilled aspects of production.”

There are around 30 larger factories and up to 100 smaller specialist manufacturers making shoes in the UK. Collectively they manufacture around six million pairs of shoes per year, with a value of £400 million. More than half of the footwear produced in the UK is exported. The manufacturing part of the footwear industry employs 4,000 people.

BFA Chief Executive John Saunders said: “International interest in British brands is always incredibly healthy, particularly so for the premium hand-made shoes, of the type made in Northamptonshire, alongside numerous smaller businesses nationwide.

“It is economically imperative, that the skills are protected and developed. Additionally there are firms wishing to expand production, so this collective effort on training will ensure that all manufacturing businesses are able to offer the kind of nationally approved and formal training we haven’t seen for some time in the UK.”

Northampton College will work closely with the BFA to develop a ‘technical academy’ for apprentices in the next few years.

Stephen Bent from Dr Martens said: “This scheme provides a hands-on, earn while you learn option. We wanted to create a scheme which, no matter which firm you had your apprenticeship with, the skills, knowledge and understanding you gain will be of relevance to any employer so a qualified apprentice will be a very employable person.”

bca east midlands

Northampton College will host a multi-faith ‘Iftar’ dinner to mark Ramadan and bring together communities from across the county.

The dinner, which will be attended by Conservative MP for Northampton South Andrew Lewer, will see up to 100 people gather for a special meal after sunset on Thursday, May 31. Nazmul Quanine, the High Commissioner of Bangladesh, will be the guest of honour.

Northampton College principal Pat Brennan-Barrett said: “Northampton is a town with residents from all four corners of the globe, representing almost every country, every religion and every race. We are thrilled to be bringing the community together under one roof to celebrate Ramadan.”

The event is being staged by the East Midlands branch of the Bangladesh Caterers’ Association.

Guests will be served a traditional Iftar meal featuring fruits and a porridge-like dessert. Dates will be given to all those attending to emulate the Prophet Mohammad, who broke his fast this way.

BCA President Tipu Rahman said: “We are very grateful to Northampton College for hosting this event in their wonderful facilities at Booth Lane. We look forward to welcoming guests from across the region to Northampton and showcase our rich, vibrant, multi-ethnic culture. These traditions go back centuries and we are looking forward to sharing our customs with guests of every faith.”

Andrew Lewer, Conservative MP for Northampton South said: “Ramadan is clearly an important time in the Muslim calendar and this event is a wonderful way of bringing the community together to celebrate as a whole.“

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student success

Melissa Mehrtens

Melissa Mehrtens

Aspiring hat maker Melissa Mehrtens won the chance to work for a designer who supplies headwear to the Duchess of Cambridge having studied on an HE course at Northampton College.The...



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