National recognition for our sustainability work

Our commitment to sustainability has been recognised by a major environmental awards scheme.

The Green Gown Awards celebrates examples of exceptional green projects that are being carried out by education institutions across the country.

Harrogate College reached the finals this year after being shortlisted for the Tomorrow’s Employees category. The judges were impressed by the partnership work we are doing to provide retrofit training, our delivery of green skills based on local feedback, and our efforts to embed sustainability into our courses.

The 2022 winners were announced at Loughborough University on November 8, when Professor Sir Duncan Wingham, Executive Chair of the Natural Environment Research Council, congratulated all the finalists.

He said: “Their work is helping us to meet the challenge of ensuring environmental sustainability is an inherent part of research and innovation excellence.”

Another step towards green excellence

The college, which is striving to become a recognised centre of green excellence, also now provides carbon literacy training for all of our staff and students.

We have been teaming up with local organisations such as Harrogate District Climate Change Coalition to raise awareness of, and provide courses on, retrofitting – which makes buildings more energy efficient.

And we are working closely with businesses, too – through our Employers’ Network – to provide training in other green skill areas including electrical vehicle charging technology and renewable energy installation.

Principal Danny Wild said: “As a college that is determined to play its part in tackling the climate emergency, we are pleased to see our ever-evolving sustainability work being recognised in this way.

“The Green Gown Awards celebrate best practice in environmental initiatives across the country, so we are in good company.

“This recognition will inspire us to work even harder to become a centre of green excellence and, as outlined in our Sustainability Pledge, become a net zero college by 2035.”

The college’s environmental work was previously recognised by the Green Gown Awards in 2021, when its Performance and Projects Coordinator was shortlisted in the Sustainability Champion category.

Strong support and job offers at Student Recruitment Fair

Harrogate-based employers have been meeting and interviewing our students about exciting potential opportunities.

Representatives from 10 businesses visited Harrogate College on Wednesday 2 November to take part in a Student Recruitment Fair.

The event, set up through the Harrogate College Employers’ Network (HCEN), let local companies talk directly to students – all with customer service training experience – about their work.

They were also able to hold interviews with some students about positions with part-time, study-friendly hours – resulting in at least two job offers being made on the day.

A successful day for students and businesses

Harrogate College Principal Danny Wild said: “We were delighted to have so many of our local employers coming along to support this event, which attracted a lot of interest from our students.

“To have a couple of job offers being made on the day was fantastic, and I know that most of the participating businesses also took away contact details for a number of other students that they may well be back in touch with.

“This recruitment fair emerged following Harrogate College Employers’ Network feedback, and is part of our continuing push to ensure our training helps local businesses thrive.

“It was very encouraging to see the first one go so well and we look forward to holding more fairs, supported by our local business partners, as a regular part of the college’s calendar going forward.”

The participating businesses were: Springfield Healthcare, West Park Care, Cairn Group, Disability Action Yorkshire, Vida Healthcare, Harrogate Healthcare Facilities Management Ltd (Harrogate Hospital), ATM Ltd, Arc Inspirations, Anchor Care Homes, Morrisons plc.

Harrogate Business Newsletter – October


Harrogate College prides itself on working hand in hand with local businesses and organisations to provide the skills and training they need to ensure that our economy grows and thrives. Our monthly newsletter is a handy way of keeping our partners informed of developments at the college.
To receive future Harrogate College Business Newsletters directly to your inbox click here

Business Newsletter – October 2022
Dear partners,

We are delighted to include reports in this edition of three very positive events that the college has hosted over the past few weeks.

In October, some of the district’s key businesses sent along representatives to the annual meeting of the Harrogate College Employers’ Network, to hear more about how it is helping firms thrive.

Then on 2 November we had two events on the same day. Our Student Recruitment Fair gave employers a chance to talk directly to appropriately trained students about potential vacancies that might fit around their studies.

That was followed, in the evening, by our hosting of Retrofit for Landlords, which was held in partnership with Harrogate District Climate Change Coalition. Part of our continuing drive to promote sustainability and green skills, this event shone a light on the many benefits of eco-refurbishment.

Read on to find out more!

Danny Wild
Principal
——


Harrogate College Networking meeting explores opportunities
Representatives from some of the district’s highest profile businesses took part in the 2022 annual meeting of Harrogate College Employers’ Network (HCEN).The event, held on 20 October, gave local employers an opportunity to reflect on the achievements of the last year and suggest how the college could further support the needs of their industries.Existing and prospective members also heard more about what benefits the employer network offers, and how they can get involved in shaping the skills and training of the future workforce.The meeting also offered attendees a first-look at the proposed Pathway to Employment Programme, which, among other things, would support the costs and challenges relating to recruitment and employee retention.

Read the full story here

——

.
Landlords hear about the benefits of retrofitting
The district’s landlords have been finding out about the benefits of ‘eco-refurbishment’ at an information event hosted by the college.

Retrofit for Landlords, run in partnership with Harrogate District Climate Change Coalition, took place on Wednesday 2 November. Seventeen local landlords heard from expert guest speakers about how they could go about retrofitting their properties, thereby cutting tenants’ energy bills while reducing carbon emissions.

Harrogate College’s Principal, Danny Wild, said: “Improving the efficiency of our district’s rented properties is a crucial part of the wider push towards sustainability, so it was encouraging to see such a good turnout.

“As a college, we are committed to reducing our own carbon emissions while delivering the green skills training our economy needs.”

Click here for the full story.

——


A Bustling Recruitment Fair
Harrogate-based employers have been meeting and interviewing our students about exciting potential opportunities.

Representatives from 10 businesses visited Harrogate College on Wednesday 2 November to take part in a Student Recruitment Fair.

The event, set up through the Harrogate College Employers’ Network (HCEN), let local companies talk directly to students – all with customer service training experience – about their work.

They were also able to hold interviews with some students about positions with part-time, study-friendly hours – resulting in at least two job offers being made on the day.

Read the full story here.

——

Work with us! We are a college that prides itself on collaborating wth the district’s businesses and community groups. To find out more contact Business Engagement Advisor Susan Roberts, email: Susan.Roberts@harrogate.ac.uk

——
We hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of our Business Newsletter – we’ll be back with more next month!

Retrofit for Landlords information evening

Landlords can find out about the benefits of retrofitting at an information evening at Harrogate College.

Retrofit for Landlords, which is being held in partnership with Harrogate District Climate Change Coalition, takes place from 6pm to 7.30pm on Wednesday 2 November.

Designed to explain how ‘eco-refurbishment’ of properties can improve efficiency, cut energy bills and reduce carbon emissions, the event will feature several presentations.

Guest speakers will include Sarah Stark from Harrogate Borough Council, who will be sharing details about a new council grant that can be used by landlords and answering questions about EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) regulations.

Shining a light on how to help the environment and the economy

Harrogate College Principal, Danny Wild, said: “We look forward to welcoming many landlords  to this event, where they can hear about the benefits of retrofitting.

“Working closely with local employers, to ensure our courses and training delivers the maximum possible benefit to them, is one of our key aims.

“We are also striving to become a net zero carbon college* by 2030, as set out in our sustainability pledge, and supporting green skills like retrofitting aligns perfectly with our sustainability goals.

“So we are delighted to be teaming up with the Harrogate District Climate Change Coalition to stage this event, which sets out how practical steps can be taken to help both our economy and the environment.”

Expert speakers

Other guest speakers will include Erin Wheeler and Katie Privett from York and North Yorkshire LEP, who will give presentations on the net-zero business toolkit and energy and retrofit options, respectively.

John Kerr from Zero Carbon Harrogate, meanwhile, will be discussing the work it is doing – including through teaming up with Harrogate College – to provide free retrofit training, and how landlords can access it.

Places at the event can be booked here:  www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/harrogate-college-retrofit-event-tickets-425667923217.

*The college now provides carbon literacy training for its staff and students, and has embedded sustainable practice into all of its courses as it works towards becoming a recognised centre of green excellence.

Harrogate College Business Newsletter – September 2022

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is ed119d32-fa04-b93d-b674-db0ec94c8b9e.png
Harrogate College prides itself on working hand in hand with local businesses and organisations to provide the skills and training they need to ensure that our economy grows and thrives. Our monthly newsletter is a handy way of keeping our partners informed of developments at the college.
To receive future Harrogate College Business Newsletters directly to your inbox click here

Business Newsletter – September 2022
Dear partners,

As we head into the autumn we are more focused than ever on consolidating our ties with local businesses to deliver a truly employer-led curriculum.

The Harrogate College Employers’ Network, which allows businesses to have a direct influence on our training and skills offer, is a key part of that strategy. Some 25 organisations came to the network’s launch event last autumn, and we are looking forward to welcoming many more to the 2022 annual meeting in October.

One of the new initiatives to have emerged through feedback from the network is our Student Employer Programme. This allows employers to hire students with the skills they need directly from the college, on a flexible, part time basis. Read on for more details of the programme’s Recruitment Fair, in November.

Sustainability is another of the college’s core values and we are continually looking at ways to introduce courses and host events to support the green skills agenda. We are therefore delighted to also share, this month, news of an upcoming retrofit awareness evening aimed specifically at property owners.

We hope you enjoy the read.

Danny Wild
Principal
Harrogate College
—–


Annual meeting of the Harrogate College Employers’ Network
The Harrogate College Employers’ Network (HCEN) is inviting businesses across the district to get involved – and reap the benefits.

Set up to allow employers to have a direct influence on the courses and training the college provides, the network will hold its annual meeting on Thursday 20 October. Open to prospective as well as existing members, the 10am to noon event will be a chance to hear about the progress HCEN has made over the past year, plus the rewards it offers.

Attending businesses will also be able to tell the Principal, Danny Wild, about what they would like to see from Harrogate College, its curriculum and the network going forward.

Those attending will also hear about the Student Employer Programme, which allows employers to hire students with the skills they need directly from the college, on a part-time basis that fits around their studies.

Read the full story here.
—–

Retrofit for Landlords
Landlords can find out about the benefits of retrofitting at an information evening at Harrogate College this autumn.

Retrofit for Landlords, which is being held in partnership with Harrogate District Climate Change Coalition, takes place from 6pm to 7.30pm on Wednesday 2 November. Designed to explain how ‘eco-refurbishment’ of properties can improve efficiency, cut energy bills and reduce carbon emissions, the event will feature several presentations.

Guest speakers will include Sarah Stark from Harrogate Borough Council, who will be sharing details about a new council grant that can be used by landlords and answering questions about EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) regulations.

Places can be booked here.
—–

.
Harrogate College Recruitment Fair
This event, organised through the Student Employer Programme, takes place from 10am to 2pm on Wednesday 2 November.

It will be a chance for employers to come into college to talk about work opportunities and interview students who have had customer service training.

Job offers – on a basis that ensures the students can continue to meet all of their studying requirements – can also be made on the day.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of our Business Newsletter – we’ll be back with more next month!

Discover your inner artist at Harrogate College

Our Art courses are so good that established artists have been signing up with us to hone their skills.

Three local artists, Tom Ransom, Irene Vassiliou and Douglas Thompson, recently achieved their MA Creative Practice degrees at the college.

Another respected local artist, Catt van Leijen, is currently halfway through the two-year, part-time programme and is urging others to embark on the same creative journey.

A rewarding creative journey

She said: “The MA in Creative Practice will take you on an unexpected path of discovery.

“This course at Harrogate College is a great opportunity to explore your creative self on another level.”

Catt, who is a ceramic  and paper mache  tutor at local charity, Henshaws Arts and Crafts Centre, hit the headlines recently through the ambitious collaborative project she did for her course.

Teaming up with the National Trust and Art Maker students at Henshaw’s Arts and Crafts Centre, Catt oversaw the creation of all kinds of nature-inspired artworks. Those were then installed in and around Fountains Abbey’s water garden and stream, to the delight of visitors.

Confidence-building support

Douglas, meanwhile, who also teaches at Henshaws and specialises in paper cutting, also thoroughly enjoyed his time with the college.

Speaking just after receiving his degree, he said: “I really loved the course. All of my tutors’ support has boosted my self-confidence so much, and created a rigour in my practice that wasn’t there before.”

While the MA Creative Practice degree caters for those who have already begun their artistic journey, and want to specialise, the college also offers a range of courses for others at different levels.

A liberating alternative to school

Those include short, part-time introductory courses like Arts, Crafts and Design along with full-time programmes for school leavers, such as Art and Design Level 2 and Creative Practice (Art & Design) level 3 Extended Diploma.

Level 3 course lead for FE Art & Design at Harrogate College, Jonathan Leng, said: “We offer an exciting learning experience here, in level 2 and level 3 art and design, for 16 to 18 year olds.

“We continue to have outstanding success, in fact amongst the highest in the country, on our Level 3 course – with more than 40% of our students gaining a distinction (three A*s at A level) last year. We are able to do this by offering each of our students individualised learning and the chance to work with practising artists and highly skilled technicians.

“Our students recognise that this approach gives them the freedom to explore and develop their skills and be the individual that school, perhaps, does not allow. As the new academic year begins we look forward to welcoming lots more aspiring artists!”

Enrolment for this year’s art classes is underway now and there is still time to apply. Click here to find out more.

GCSE success opens up opportunities for our students

Students of all ages have been celebrating GCSE success at Harrogate College.

For many, their time at college has been used to gain a qualification that they missed out on during their school years – and to build up their self-belief.

Jen Brownless, for example, wasn’t able to sit exams at school and had lacked confidence  before taking on her maths GCSE, which she achieved a grade 5 in.

Amazing support – and growing confidence

She said: “I loved coming to class and will really miss it! The support from my tutor was amazing, and I am coming back to do GCSE English.” 

JD Jackson came to the UK from the US a few years ago without any maths qualifications, so was delighted to achieve a grade 7.

He said: “I thought about doing maths for several years and finally decided to do it this year.

“I lacked confidence but, like many people now, I realise as long as you keep trying you will succeed.”

Happy to continue growing at Harrogate College

For Holly Parker, who was anxious about exams during her school years, it was a similar story – but this time in English, which she has just achieved a grade 5 GCSE in.

She said: “I couldn’t have done it without the support of my teacher. I am excited to come back to Harrogate College to do my maths GCSE next year.”

For others, like Maruta Cesmane, taking on a maths GCSE was a chance to prove to herself that she could do well in the subject – and the course has also helped her manage her everyday finances. Martua was pleased to have made some great progress this year, and is returning to the college to aim for a higher grade.

Libby Proctor, meanwhile, has already been on that journey and re-sat her English GCSE to improve on her grade. She is now, after achieving a grade 4, looking forward to studying level 3 Childcare at the college.

For more on courses at Harrogate College click here.

Serving up the right support for the hospitality sector

Two leading lights of the local catering industry have praised Harrogate College for helping them launch their careers.

Chef Callum Bowmer and restaurant and hotel general manager Neil Mendoza have both gone on to great things since training with the college.

Neil Mendoza, who studied management and hospitality courses from 2008 to 2010, went on to fill several senior positions for celebrity chef Marcus Wareing’s restaurants, including MARCUS at The Berkeley Hotel in London.

Neil is now back in Harrogate where he is General Manager at The Studley Hotel and Orchid Restaurant.

Callum, meanwhile, who was named Chef of the Year at the Harrogate Hospitality and Tourism Awards 2022, did an apprenticeship with the college in 2011. He is now Head Chef of the 3AA Rosette Horto Restaurant, at Rudding Park.

Both agree that their time at college provided a crucial, and rewarding, route into the industry.

A fantastic experience with great tutors

Neil said: “It was a fantastic experience as it allowed me to learn more about the sector and led me to exactly where I am today.

“I was already working part-time in a restaurant where my dad was a chef. The course made me understand the industry much better and helped me decide that this is the career I’d like to pursue.”

Callum said: “My time at college was fun, progressive and useful. I had two great tutors in Mark Wilkinson, who’s no longer with the college, and Karina Dodsworth.

“I believe I showed passion and respect so they invested their time in me. I did day-release and had a session with Mark where we covered all the skills we needed, from butchery to pastry.

“I even remember going to London with a small team to do a sushi demonstration at Excel Arena, at a WorldSkills competition, which was fantastic. A sushi chef had come to train us months beforehand, and gave us the skills we needed.”

The college’s hospitality team has been working hard over the past year to strengthen its support for local businesses. Those efforts have included reaching out, through the Harrogate College Employers’ Network, to find out exactly what skills firms need.

They were also pleased to welcome Neil earlier this year, when he came in to college to deliver an inspirational talk to students.

Targeted help for the local industry

The hospitality sector was one of the hardest hit by the pandemic, due to repeated lockdowns which shook consumer confidence and led to the loss of many skilled employees.

Harrogate College’s Cultural, Contemporary and Heritage Studies Programme Manager, Jason Parry, said: “The fantastic success of former students like Callum and Neil is an inspiration to us all, and shows what can be achieved. We are delighted to have played a part in that success.

“We have been working closely with many local hospitality businesses over the past year as part of our efforts to help the district recover from Covid-19.

“That work has included talking directly to employers about what they need from new employees and then customising our training to ensure it delivers.

“Our themed dining nights have also been part of that, and have given our students some invaluable experience of working in a fast-paced restaurant. We have also been taking them on fact-finding trips, to places like Rudding Park, to show them best-practice and to help them gain an understanding of how businesses operate.

“It is all about ensuring that they leave here with a skillset that will prove invaluable to our local hotels, restaurants, cafes and bars – and so enable them to thrive in the industry.”

The value of apprenticeships, hard work and patience

Neil and Callum, meanwhile, are happy to share some tips with aspiring hospitality professionals. Callum said: “You have to be happy in your work, so for me being a chef is great because that’s what I love to do.

“I would definitely recommend considering an apprenticeship, as you will learn so much more with the combination of a good workplace and a great college course. Also, question everything and if you don’t know something, ask – there’s no such thing as a silly question.

“It’s also vital to demonstrate a great work ethic; be on time, be eager, be passionate, be driven, be clean and work hard. Good luck!”

Neil added: “I am loving every bit of my current role, especially because I am also now back in Harrogate after living and working in London for a decade to elevate my career.

“To all the aspiring young chefs, waiters and other hospitality professionals, I would say: focus on the positives and learn from your mistakes, as this will define who you are in the industry and only make you better.

“It may be a long journey to where you want to be, but patience is key and working hard will get you there.”Click here for more details on the college’s hospitality and catering courses. More information on apprenticeships, meanwhile, can be found here.

Fencing star and BTEC student Emily hails ‘brilliant year’

Budding Paralympian, Emily Holder, is celebrating a ‘brilliant year’ that has seen her add to her medal collection while excelling in her studies.

Emily, who has just passed her Level 3 BTEC National Extended Diploma in Business at Harrogate College with flying colours (she achieved three distinction stars), is one of the country’s top para fencers.

Her ultimate sporting ambition is to represent her country at the Paralympics. Emily took another stride towards that goal in July when she competed, for the first time, with the GBR women’s team at the Warsaw Para World Cup.

Achievements and medals

That event was one of many highlights in a year that has seen her fence in several top level competitions, win three medals – including her first international medal – and achieve an offer from her favoured university.

Emily was particularly pleased with her performance at the IWAS World Cup in Pataya, Thailand, in June, where she was ranked 18th and 21st in her two respective weapons.

She said: “My biggest achievement this year is probably making the direct elimination rounds, multiple times, when I was in Thailand and Warsaw at just my second and third world cups. Many people don’t reach this stage until they’ve competed in many world cups.”

In Warsaw, Emily competed in both individual events and as part of a team with two legends of the sport – Justine Moore and Gemma Collis. Justine is a World Cup medallist and Paralympian, while Gemma is a World Cup winner, medallist and three-time Paralympian.

Her medal haul (one silver and three bronze), meanwhile, came at the British Senior Championships at EIS Sheffield, in June, and then the Commonwealth Fencing Championships, in August.

Pushing ahead in sport and education

She said: “My 2022 so far has been brilliant. In fencing I have competed well and had the best time learning from my teammates, as well as competitors.

“I have also received five university offers and achieved a distinction in my BTEC exam, plus distinctions for all of my coursework.

“My long term goal of  representing GBR at my first Paralympics is going well. I am getting stronger and improving on every element of my fencing. This is showing in training, as well as in competition.

“I still have a long way to go, but I’m looking forward to continuing my journey of improvement whilst I’m at the University of York, studying a BA in Business Management.”

Emily has credited Harrogate College and her tutors for helping her to successfully balance the demands of her sport and her studies.

The college recently nominated her for a Living Our Values award, for ‘overcoming many challenges to achieve high grades in her course’ whilst also competing.

A North Rigton resident, she started fencing with Harrogate Fencing Club but now does most of her training at Milton Keynes Touche Fencing Club.

Click here to find out more about courses at Harrogate College.