Our #madeinsandwell Monday star this week is Sandwell College, preparing young people in Sandwell and the wider Black Country for a lifetime of achievements.
The £77m Central Campus is a landmark building in West Bromwich, where the majority of Sandwell College students are aged 16 to 18 and in full-time education. There they study courses designed to give them vocational skills for modern workplaces – such as in automotive engineering, customer service, beauty therapy, computing, construction and fashion.
Central Campus’ facilities include a specialist automotive centre, hairdressing salons and a theatre with 170 seats. This is an impressive place of learning where trainee dental nurses can practice in a simulated surgery, while travel, aviation and hospitality students have a real Boeing 737 aircraft cabin in which to hone their skills.
On the other side of town is the Advanced and Higher Education Centre. This houses Central Sixth, where students can choose from 24 A-levels to prepare them directly for university, and the Young Professionals Academy which offers five A-level and diploma combinations to equip students with skills for business and professional and industrial careers.
As well as teaching students who have come straight from school, Sandwell College welcomes thousands of adult learners onto full-time, part-time and short courses. These range from entry-level taster classes (such as drawing, photography or Italian) to foundation degrees and continuing professional development courses.
The next open days/evenings for September 2018 admission are taking place at Central Campus (1 Spon Lane, West Bromwich) on:
Thursday 8 March, 4 – 7pm
Saturday 10 March, 11am – 3pm
Thursday 21 June, 4 – 7pm
Saturday 23 June 11am – 3pm.
From a business aspect, you may be interested to know that the ground floor of Central Campus houses the Sandwell Business Solutions Centre, run by the University of Wolverhampton in partnership with Sandwell Council, Sandwell College and the Black Country Chamber of Commerce.
There you can talk to dedicated staff from the university and Think Sandwell, and access facilities, services and events that include:
* Advice on business development and growth
* BIM training and advice
* Start-up support workshops
* Support with apprenticeships and skills
* Information about funding opportunities
* Information about Knowledge Transfer Programmes
* Networking opportunities.
Dr Alison Knight, Executive Director for Neighbourhoods at Sandwell Council, explained that the work of the Sandwell Business Solutions Centre reflects the mutual goal of the university, college and council to nurture small businesses and help them utilise the skills of local workers.
“Sandwell and the Black County are a cradle of industry, and there are countless examples of start-up companies which have grown into larger organisations in our area, providing high-quality goods and training and job opportunities for our region. Sandwell Business Solutions Centre is one way in which we can support businesses on their way up in the world,” she said.
One forthcoming event is on Tuesday 13 February. It’s a free networking session and workshop to help you get to grips with changes to general data protection law. You can read more and find out how to sign up here.
Also of interest to local employers is Sandwell College’s expanding apprenticeship programme, with a range of training courses to meet workforce needs.
We recommend you look at the Employers section of Sandwell College’s website, where you can learn about recruiting an apprentice, sign up your staff for short courses (in health and safety, for example) or find out how your business can offer work experience and help equip a Sandwell young person with valuable skills and insight.
#madeinsandwell Monday is a celebration of the talent and diversity within our borough. If you’re interested in being considered for a #madeinsandwell Monday profile and having information about your organisation shared on Think Sandwell and through our social media networks, read this.