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.

University Campus Aylesbury Vale to provide backdrop to Aylesbury’s first Waterside Festival


University Campus Aylesbury Vale will have front-row seats for Aylesbury’s Waterside Festival, led by Aylesbury Town Centre Partnership, taking place for the first time from 11am-6.30pm on Saturday 8 September.

Waterside Festival will be a celebration of Aylesbury’s canal heritage coming together with its new and exciting developments and will be packed with a boatload of new features and activities.

It takes place in Waterside basin, the canalside public space surrounded by Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, University Campus Aylesbury Vale, Waitrose, and Travelodge.

Ian Harper, Chief Executive of University Campus Aylesbury Vale, said: “We were the final phase of construction completing the Waterside basin and we’re now proud and excited to provide a great backdrop to this eagerly-anticipated community event.

“Students and staff enjoy our location in one of Aylesbury’s most picturesque settings and we’re looking ahead to contributing further to the area’s vibrancy, welcoming more students and providing start-up spaces for small businesses.” For its first year, the event will include an extensive continental market of more than 30 stalls, a floating market, canal trips with ‘The Little Trip Boat’, water-based activity taster sessions, historical heritage walks through the town centre, arts and crafts, face painting, a pieces-of-eight treasure hunt, food tasters, and refreshments.

Lee Duffy, General Manager Aylesbury Waterside Theatre: “We are delighted to be part of the town’s first Waterside Festival. It’s an undiscovered part of Aylesbury which is truly beautiful and deserves to be put in the spotlight. With the line-up of activities planned and goodies that are going to be available to buy at the floating market and on the continental stalls, there is no doubt this will make for a fantastic day out.”

A spokesperson for Roving Canal Traders Association added: “The RCTA is extremely happy to have been asked to organise a Floating Market to be part of Aylesbury’s canal event, Waterside Festival.

“As modern day trading boats have become more popular, the RCTA’s floating markets have continued to grow from strength to strength. Our members are varied, vibrant and immensely talented. We have artists, photographers, knitters, sewists, bag makers, cake makers, wood crafters, leather crafters, jewellery makers, vintage clothes traders, herb boats, beer boats and lots more at many of our events.”

For all the latest information, news and updates please visit www.watersidefestival.org.Waterside Festival is being brought together in partnership by Aylesbury Canal Society, Aylesbury Garden Town, Aylesbury Town Centre Partnership, Aylesbury Town Council, Aylesbury Vale District Council, Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, Buckinghamshire County Council, Canal River Trust, Geraud Market, Queens Park Arts Centre, Roving Canal Traders Association, The Little Trip Boat, Travelodge, University Campus Aylesbury Vale, Visit Buckinghamshire, and Waitrose.

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.

New year of Breakfast Briefings announced at University Campus Aylesbury Vale


University Campus Aylesbury Vale has released the 2018 dates for its Breakfast Briefing series, supported by Buckinghamshire Business First, offering topical subjects to help local businesses.

University Campus Aylesbury Vale, in Walton Street, Aylesbury, is a partnership between Bucks New University and Buckinghamshire College Group, and the Breakfast Briefings, from 8am-10am, see talks by academics and lecturers from the University or College. The Briefings also offer networking opportunities. Refreshments are served.

Greta Paa-Kerner, a senior lecturer in Bucks Business School at Buckinghamshire New University, will be speaking about ‘Digital disruption – survive or thrive’ on Friday 26 January.

Greta, who has over 20 years’ marketing experience, will be discussing key trends in the age of digital disruption and the Briefing is aimed at helping small and medium business decision makers understand key digital trends and reflect on their meaning for their businesses.

On Friday 23 February, Louisa Berry, Senior Lecturer in MSc Organisational Resilience at Bucks New University, will be speaking on ‘Business critical: harnessing the seven p’s for resilience’; and on Friday 27 April, Dr Ceri Sims, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Bucks New University, will be giving a talk called ‘Bringing positive psychology into the workplace’.

Ian Harper, Chief Executive of University Campus Aylesbury Vale, said: “After 2017’s mix of interesting and varied Breakfast Briefings, I’m looking forward to welcoming guests to our programme of Briefings in 2018.  With a topical range of subjects our events will appeal to a wide range of businesses who I’m sure will pose their customary challenging questions to our speakers.”

Register your attendance for one or all of the Breakfast Briefing series at  www.ucav.ac.uk/latest-events/ and follow developments on Twitter at @UniCampusAV.

New term at University Campus Aylesbury Vale


 

 

Ian Harper, Chief Executive of University Campus Aylesbury Vale, speaks about what’s to come at the start of a new academic year.

“Term has started at University Campus Aylesbury Vale and we have welcomed returning students and many new students on our courses.

The 2017-18 academic year promises to be a busy one as not only have we enrolled more students than last year but we also have a number of large events to host.

Visitors will also see an exciting Digital Innovation Hub take shape to support business innovation and growth in Bucks thanks to £1.3 million funding from Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership (BTVLEP).

It will transform vacant spaces into business incubation space for start-up and growing businesses in the digital sector. There is substantial internal construction work to be done to ensure the spaces are attractive and work well alongside our teaching and learning activities.

Other elements of the project will see computer-aided design (CAD) and virtual reality equipment installed to improve our engineering degree programme. The Vale’s young people will also have a chance to try the technology out for themselves so watch this space to find out how! In addition, the funding will also help us improve our cyber security provision which, in turn, will enhance the curriculum of one of our newest programmes, a degree apprenticeship in IT.

Degree apprenticeships loom large in the future of University Campus Aylesbury Vale, with Bucks New University and Aylesbury College’s Apprenticeship Hub now located at the Campus. Communications with employers and apprentices will be coordinated from here and many of the higher and degree apprenticeships offered by the College and University will have elements taught in the building.

This month, all of the College’s level three students will also visit us for workshops and presentations on the higher-level options at the campus, UCAS applications, student finance and student life. They will also visit Bucks New University’s main campus in High Wycombe for subject-specific talks and workshop tours.

It all adds up to a very busy start to 2017-18. Keep an eye on the various social media channels to keep up to date on these projects as they unfold.”

 

Campus location and facilities perfect for student Steph


Steph Smith is studying a Foundation Degree in Computing with Aylesbury College at University Campus Aylesbury Vale and has explained why the course and its location of study is proving perfect for her.

Steph, who works in IT support at Systech Instruments Ltd in Thame, Oxfordshire, said PC provision and facilities made the Campus an ideal place for her to make the most of the course.

At Systech Instruments Ltd, Steph, who lives in Aylesbury, is responsible for managing servers, hardware, and network software and resolving IT issues for three companies in the Systech Illinois group, based in the UK, America and China. Her forthcoming projects include working on a site installation in China.

She said: “The facilities at University Campus Aylesbury Vale are brilliant. There are new PCs available for Computing students to use as well as another space outside the computing areas where other students can work from. There is also a social space available which has been extremely helpful when doing group project work as discussions could take place outside the classroom.

“The benefit of having a different site is that University Campus Aylesbury Vale is a much quieter building, which helped for revision before an exam or in preparing for a presentation.

“What I found particularly good was the free use of PCs where work could be completed outside of class, especially with software which costs a lot of money to buy. I would recommend students come to University Campus Aylesbury Vale as the classes tend to be smaller and therefore the tutor can focus more on an individual. The general staff around UCAV are also very friendly and helpful.”

Speaking about her course she said: “I chose to study the Foundation Degree in Computing at Aylesbury College as the course content was ideal for me in developing the knowledge I needed to be more effective at work.

“I had just completed an apprenticeship and wanted to develop myself further. My manager and I decided that this was the best course available as it covered the key areas I needed including networking and databases.

“The course has helped me with my job role, mainly with the networking side of things as well as how to create documentation. I have found using diagrams across different aspects of the modules has helped me develop documentation and planning alongside my job. In terms of my next steps I am enjoying working at Systech and intend to continue. I aim to complete the one-year top up to a full degree qualification.”

Find out more about studying a Foundation Degree in Computing with Aylesbury College at University Campus Aylesbury Vale, here: http://www.aylesbury.ac.uk/courses/foundation-degree-fdsc-in-computing.