New year, new opportunities


Ian Harper, Chief Executive of University Campus Aylesbury Vale, is excited about the opportunities offered in the year ahead. He writes:

“As we settle into our third academic year at University Campus Aylesbury Vale we are enjoying welcoming returning and new students to the campus.

This year we will have more than 400 students registered on programmes and attending the campus, on courses as wide-ranging as computing, health and social care, nursing, counselling, business and engineering.

University Campus Aylesbury Vale is a partnership between Buckinghamshire New University and The Buckinghamshire College Group and I am excited about the opportunities available as we continue to work together. Watch this space!

I was also delighted that University Campus Aylesbury Vale was able to help host Aylesbury’s first Waterside Festival in September.

The Festival was centred on the leisure basin canalside in the Waterside part of town. A continental market and floating canal traders attracted thousands of guests on the day who also enjoyed the chance to see practical demonstrations from Bucks New University’s Operating Department Practice course team, alongside other attractions laid on by our neighbours and other local businesses and groups.

The event was such a success that it will be repeated in 2019 and we are pleased with the opportunities it provides to showcase our building and facilities.

Bucks New University’s Apprenticeship Hub is also based at University Campus Aylesbury Vale and a number of programmes they have recruited to will operate from our campus this year, meaning we will have more students coming through the door throughout this academic year.

It is set to be an exciting time and as we go into 2019 I am looking forward to the opportunities we are able to provide for students, businesses and organisations in the region.”

MP David Lidington speaks about apprenticeships at Aylesbury event


MP David Lidington speaks at University Campus Aylesbury Vale.

MP David Lidington speaks at University Campus Aylesbury Vale.

Aylesbury MP David Lidington has told businesses what the government is doing to encourage more to take on apprentices at an event at University Campus Aylesbury Vale.

Around 15 companies heard from the MP at ‘Attracting new talent into your business’, at the campus in Walton Street, Aylesbury, which focused on how to best attract a high calibre of young people to work for companies as apprentices.

Organised by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Buckinghamshire College Group, Buckinghamshire New University and Buckinghamshire Business First, it looked at how to recruit, retain and make best use of apprentices.

Mr Lidington spoke about the skills agenda, the government’s Industrial Strategy and apprenticeship opportunities for small and medium sized businesses.

James Anderson, Development Manager at FSB, added: “It was great to see so many people from across Buckinghamshire willing to take the time and contribute towards a healthy debate around the barriers to more apprentices being active in the county.

“David Lidington offered examples of tangible actions Government has taken to encourage more businesses to take apprentices and we also heard from The Entertainment and Education Group (TEEG), which showcased an excellent example of how the apprenticeships programme can be beneficial to all.”

The Apprenticeship Levy, which was introduced in April last year, is paid by employers in any sector with a pay bill of more than £3 million per year. Those employers can use their apprenticeship levy funds to access degree apprenticeships to develop their workforce.

Alexander Balicki, Business Development Manager (Apprenticeships) at Bucks New University, said: “It was great to be involved with an event connecting an employer with a young person and the key was giving the employers the information of when and where to go to find the young people to bring into their organisation.

“Despite the fact the Apprenticeship Levy doesn’t affect small businesses, we are finding they are still reluctant to engage with apprenticeships more.

“Why is this? The event aimed to bust some of the myths around apprenticeships and provide information that might make employing apprentices far more accessible and achievable.

“Throughout the morning we shared information on recruiting from the education system, the funding available for small businesses to support this, and how to set up an apprenticeship culture in small businesses.”

The FSB and Buckinghamshire Business First is looking to gain an understanding of how small businesses are using apprenticeships, and if they are not, why not, as well as examining what is happening locally in the recruitment and skills market.

Jackie Campbell, Skills Development Manager at Buckinghamshire Skills Hub, which aims to promote and optimise links between employers and educators, also spoke at the event about how to showcase a business to young people and encourage them to sign up for an apprenticeship.

Roundtable discussions examined how best to recruit from the education system; gain Apprenticeship Levy funding support for small businesses; set up an apprenticeship culture in a small business; and identify barriers to attracting and recruiting young people.

Bucks New University, based in High Wycombe, is working with the public and private sector to provide a range of Higher and Degree Apprenticeships which provide a flexible route for employers to access the life-changing opportunities that higher education provides.

Event aims to make apprenticeships more appealing to small businesses


University Campus Aylesbury ValeAylesbury MP David Lidington is part of an event at University Campus Aylesbury Vale on Friday 14 September for businesses to find out how to make the most from apprenticeships.

‘Attracting new talent into your business’ takes place at the campus in Walton Street, Aylesbury, from 9.15am-12pm and focuses on how to best attract a high calibre of young people to work for companies as apprentices.

Organised by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Buckinghamshire College Group and Buckinghamshire Business First it will focus on how to recruit, retain and make best use of apprentices.

The Apprenticeship Levy, which was introduced in April last year, is paid by employers in any sector with a pay bill of more than £3 million per year.

Those employers can use their apprenticeship levy funds to access degree apprenticeships, from higher education like Bucks, to develop their workforce.

Alexander Balicki, Business Development Manager (Apprenticeships) at Bucks New University, said: “Despite the fact the Apprenticeship Levy doesn’t affect small businesses, we are finding they are still reluctant to engage with apprenticeships more.

“Why is this? This event will aim to bust some of the myths around apprenticeships and provide information that might make employing apprentices far more accessible and achievable.

“Throughout the morning we’ll be sharing information on recruiting from the education system, the funding available for small businesses to support this, and how to set up an apprenticeship culture in small businesses.”

Mr Lidington will be speaking about the skills agenda, the government’s Industrial Strategy and apprenticeship opportunities for small and medium sized businesses.

The FSB and Buckinghamshire Business First will be looking to gain an understanding of how small businesses are using apprenticeships, and if they are not, why not, as well as examining what is happening locally in the recruitment and skills market.

Jackie Campbell, Skills Development Manager at Buckinghamshire Skills Hub, which aims to promote and optimise links between employers and educators, will also speak about how to showcase a business to young people and encourage them to sign up for an apprenticeship.

Roundtable discussions will also focus on how best to recruit from the education system; gain Apprenticeship Levy funding support for small businesses; set up an apprenticeship culture in a small business; and identify barriers to attracting and recruiting young people.

Bucks New University, based in High Wycombe, is working with the public and private sector to provide a range of Higher and Degree Apprenticeships which provide a flexible route for employers to access the life-changing opportunities that higher education provides.

For more details about the event email events@bbf.uk.com or go to www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/attracting-new-talent-into-your-business-tickets-48732825192.

For more information about apprenticeships visit www.bucks.ac.uk/apprenticeships or call 01296 744202.

Sky’s no limit for fundraising Hannah


Student Hannah Briggs has taken on an adrenaline-fuelled 10,000ft skydive to raise money for Rennie Grove Hospice Care.

Hannah is a Health Care Assistant at Rennie Grove Hospice Care who is studying Foundation Degree (Science) Assistant Practitioner (Longer Term Care and Care of Older People) with Buckinghamshire New University at University Campus Aylesbury Vale.

She leapt from the skies over Hinton-in-the-Hedges Airfield near Brackley, Northamptonshire and exceeded her £450 fundraising target, so far raising almost £600.

Hannah said: “I work for Rennie Grove Hospice at Home, which is a charity providing care and support for patients in Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire diagnosed with life-limiting illnesses.

“I did the sky dive because I want to enable to charity to keep growing and be able to employ more nurses to be able to help people have the support that they need when they are at such a difficult time in their lives.

“We provide a unique 24/7 responsive hospice at home service to manage symptoms, reduce hospital admissions and to keep patients in their own homes.

“I absolutely love working with the patients and their families to be able to provide the best kind of care and support possible at such a difficult time in their lives.

“Caring for people in their own homes enables them to continue living their life as they wish with the utmost support, care and dignity.”

Hannah can be sponsored through her JustGiving page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/hannah-briggs7.

Book your place at Future Proof adult learner fair


 

Are you looking for a new job or do you want to retrain and learn new skills to get back into work?

Then don’t miss Future Proof, a free adult skills and jobs fair on Friday 8 June and Saturday 9 June at University Campus Aylesbury Vale in the heart of Aylesbury.

The event is organised by Buckinghamshire College Group and visitors will be able to explore job and training opportunities, meet employers and talk about job opportunities at the campus in Walton Street, Aylesbury.

Exhibitions and workshops will be running over both days and a number of key speakers will be delivering advice to employers and adults.

It starts with an employers conference from 10am-2pm on Friday 8 June and is followed by an exhibition from 2-4pm on Friday and 9.30am-2.30pm on Saturday, where the public will be able to explore job and training opportunities in Buckinghamshire by browsing the stands and speaking to various organisations. Funding and support information will also be available.

Visitors are also welcome to pop along to any of the workshops, which range from advice on writing a CV to interview tips and making best use of social media.

To find  out more about Future Proof visit the Buckinghamshire College Group website at www.buckscollegegroup.ac.uk or just turn up to the events at University Campus Aylesbury Vale.

The rundown of events is:

Friday 8 June

10am-2pm: Employers conference.

2pm-4pm: Exhibition open to the public, with workshops including CVs, interviews, identifying transferable skills and using social media to find jobs.

Saturday 9 June

9.30am-2.30pm. Exhibition open to the public with workshops including CVs, interviews, identifying transferable skills and using social media to find jobs.

University Campus Aylesbury Vale is a partnership between Bucks College Group and Buckinghamshire New University.

Think positive with Aylesbury Breakfast Briefing


Psychology lecturer Dr Ceri Sims of Buckinghamshire New University speaks about bringing positive psychology in to the workplace at the next free Breakfast Briefing at University Campus Aylesbury Vale from 8am-10am on Friday 27 April.

Dr Sims lectures on a Master’s degree in Applied Positive Psychology at Bucks New University, wand the Briefing at the Campus in Walton Street, Aylesbury, and said the Briefing would interest managers, team leaders, human resource professionals, coaches and learning and development professionals.

She added: “The Briefing is ideal for anyone who would like to bring a positive mindset into your workplace and who is looking to increase employees’ wellbeing and engagement.

“Positive psychology is the science of what makes life worth living and is centred around theories and research involving understanding and developing wellbeing, optimal functioning, and positive traits such as strength and resilience.”

Dr Sims owns her own coaching and training practice, is a Chartered Psychologist on the British Psychologists Society Register of Coaching Psychologists, and a member of the organisation’s Special Group in Coaching Psychology.

In July she starts her next BPS-accredited short course on ‘Positive Psychology in Coaching’ at University Campus Aylesbury Vale.

The Breakfast Briefing series at University Campus Aylesbury Vale provides an opportunity to network with local businesses and includes free bacon butties, pastries, tea, coffee and fresh orange juice.

Reserve your place .

Organisational Resilience examined


Buckinghamshire New University academic Louisa Berry will be speaking about the importance of making an organisation resilient at the next Breakfast Briefing at University Campus Aylesbury Vale on Friday 23 February.

Louisa is Course Leader for MSc Organisational Resilience at Bucks New University and the Briefing, called ‘Business critical: harnessing the seven ps for resilience’; is supported by Buckinghamshire Business First and takes place from 8am-10am.

It includes a free breakfast of bacon rolls and pastries, and tea, coffee, and orange juice. There will also be networking opportunities.

University Campus Aylesbury Vale is a partnership between Bucks New University and Buckinghamshire College Group, and the Breakfast Briefings offer topical subjects to help local businesses through talks by academics and lecturers from the University or College.

Louisa said: “My Breakfast Briefing is aimed at the novel start up to well-established companies and will particularly appeal to operational managers and executives.

“Organisational resilience is the ability of organisations and individuals to be flexible and adaptable to any changing situations.

“This could range from how prepared they are and able to respond to incidents like flooding, staff off with flu, or terrorist threats, through to being enterprising and recognising that a business needs to grow and develop.

“I believe this philosophy begins with the individual and the culture in the organisation.

“It’s a great, easy opportunity to find out the key ways you can make your organisation more robust.

“I will introduce key facets of Organisational Resilience including protection and performance. The world is changing fast and these tenets are vital to continued smooth running.”

The Breakfast Briefing series continues with Dr Ceri Sims, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Bucks New University, giving a talk called ‘Bringing positive psychology into the workplace’ from 8am-10am on Friday 27 April.

Register your attendance for one or all of the Breakfast Briefing series and follow developments on Twitter at @UniCampusAV.

Students hail range of possibilities at University Campus Aylesbury Vale


Students studying to become an assistant practitioner and taking a Foundation Degree, Assistant Practitioner at University Campus Aylesbury Vale have a range of reasons for taking up the course, including easy access, professional surroundings and outstanding facilities.

The programme is designed to enable practitioners in community health, education and social care to meet their continuing professional development needs and develop expertise in their specific professional practice.

University Campus Aylesbury Vale is a partnership between Aylesbury College and Buckinghamshire New University and the two-year course is offered in Aylesbury and at the University’s campus in Uxbridge, giving flexibility to students.

The Campus has opened its doors to its second intake of students, with more than 200 students joining over 100 returning for their second year.

Claire Dowd is a healthcare assistant at Harefield Hospital in Middlesex and said University Campus Aylesbury Vale met her needs perfectly as she lives in nearby Wendover, meaning a short journey to and from her studies.

Claire said: “The biggest adjustment for me is getting used to studying in a classroom again. I tell my children to do their homework and now I’m getting used to doing mine again!

“My aim is that my course here will lead onto a position as a nurse at Harefield Hospital and I am enjoying the professional surroundings offered here. I am excited by the opportunities the course offers.”

Perceelyn Mhere is a support worker at Mencap in High Wycombe but lives in Aylesbury and can walk to the campus in 15 minutes. “This campus suits me perfectly,” said Perceelyn. “The facilities are good and continue to improve.

“I previously completed an Access to Higher Education course with Aylesbury College and after completing this course I aim to progress to a BSc (Hons) Nursing (Adult) degree at Bucks New University.”

Another student, Marielba Pilsbury, is originally from Venezuela in South America and has a different attraction to studying at University Campus Aylesbury, undertaking a four-hour round trip from her home near Peterborough once-a-week to take the course.

She said she is ‘fascinated’ by the new building and the possibilities it offers.

Marielba said: “We are very lucky to have the opportunity to be among the first people to use this facility. It is modern, spacious and has great surroundings which are perfect to study in.”

Marielba is a maternity care assistant in Infant Feeding at Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, and added: “My aim is that this course will lead me on to a career in midwifery.”

Find out more about the range of options through studying a Foundation Degree, Assistant Practitioner and to find out about progression routes for further study email advice@bucks.ac.uk.

Picture caption: Students studying to become an assistant practitioner and taking a Foundation Degree, Assistant Practitioner.

New students praise University Campus Aylesbury Vale


(Left to right) Students Nina Fugslang, Rebecca Cusworth and Nikki Williams.

(Left to right) Students Nina Fugslang, Rebecca Cusworth and Nikki Williams.

New students have praised the professional surroundings and facilities at University Campus Aylesbury Vale as it completes its first year in operation.

The Campus has opened its doors to its second intake of students, with more than 200 students joining over 100 returning for their second year.

Nina Fugslang, Nikki Williams and Rebecca Cusworth are studying a one-year Level 3 Access to Higher Education qualification with Aylesbury College and said the campus was ideal for their needs.

Nina said: “I have lived in Aylesbury for three years so I have seen this campus take shape and grow and studying here I can say it is a good, professional environment in which to study.”

Nikki has come to her qualification as a mature student after previous roles including a teaching assistant and said she was already inspired to pursue further study.

She added: “I have enjoyed meeting the other students and this campus is a great place for us to settle in. Everyone on the course is over 18 so the business-oriented feel of this campus suits our needs.”

Rebecca said she had her sights set on going to university to study occupational therapy. She said: “The course itself is very interesting and it’s good to be among the first to use this bright, new campus.”

Access Coordinator, Rebecca Loak, added: “The setup of the building and the Access to Higher Education course is fully preparing our learners for higher education by empowering them to flourish and excel during their time with us.

“Learners have space at University Campus Aylesbury Vale to relax, engage in conversation, study and ultimately share their passion to learn.”

Ian Harper, Chief Executive of University Campus Aylesbury Vale, said welcoming the new students alongside the returning students and tutors had been very enjoyable.

He said: “It’s been good to see the breakout areas put to their intended use for group work, informal study and relaxation between sessions.

“The number of students we now have has created a lively atmosphere around the campus and I’m particularly pleased to see students using the campus outside their core lecture hours.

“The vision for the campus was always to create a modern, relaxed and professional study environment and feedback from our students and tutors suggests we have achieved that.”