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Apprentice skills showcased at SERC <p> </p><p>Recently apprentices from across South Eastern Regional College (SERC) participated in a day-long Inter Campus Skillbuild competition. The event is designed to test and challenge the ability of its apprentices working in the construction trades including bricklaying, electrical, joinery, plastering and refrigeration and air conditioning.</p><p>The apprentices were set a test project which took a day to complete.  At the end of the day their projects were judged and scored. The winners, who qualify from the Inter Campus Competitions, will represent the College and compete at the annual Skillbuild NI Regional finals later in the year.</p><p>David Copper from CITB presented the prizes and congratulated the apprentices on their achievements. Prizes were kindly sponsored by JP Corry, Murdock Builders Merchants, DE Services, Kens Hardware Store and Jims DIY. </p><p>When the results were announced at the Lisburn campus, local students Curtis Johnston, Jordan Hamill and Graham Smith were celebrating after finishing first, second and third place respectively in the plastering category.</p><p>In the carpentry category Dylan George was also celebrating after winning the category, while in second place came George Strong and Timmy Ryan who was third. Ryan Laverty, Ryan Fitzsimmons and Matthew Patterson finished first, second and third respectively in the joinery category. Meanwhile in the refrigeration and Air Conditioning category Michael Martin, Gary McGaughey and Jake Greer finished first, second and third. </p><p>John Nixon SERC Head of School for Construction and Engineering commented on how Skillbuild benefits the students: "Skillbuild provides a unique stage for trainees to showcase their skills and expertise and motivates them to reach the highest standards in trade careers. It was a very successful competition with around fifty of our students participating. I was impressed with the high standard of workmanship displayed and this was commented on by the various judges. </p><p>"The success and hard work by both the students and staff was very evident throughout the competition and we look forward to the forthcoming Regional Skillbuild events. </p><p>SERC students are encouraged to get involved in competitions as it demonstrates to future employers the level, skill and commitment they have within their industry.  Past winners have successfully progressed into employment, because they have an edge over other students, having been involved in these types of competitions.  </p><p>SERC provides a range of full and part-time courses designed to give students<strong>' the edge'</strong>. To find out how SERC can help you 'get the edge' call 0845 600 7555, visit <a href="/"><strong>www.serc.ac.uk</strong></a> or find us on Facebook, search: South Eastern Regional College. </p>
Invitation to Dynamic Range Exhibition – Art and Photography works<p> </p><p>You are welcome to attend the Dynamic Range Art and Design and Photography exhibition at the Curve Gallery, Carnegie Library, Bangor. </p><p> </p><p>The opening is from 6 - 7pm on Thursday 9th February and the exhibition continues until the 27th February.</p><p> </p><p>SERC are delighted to present examples of work from our incredibly talented Art and Design and Photography students.</p><p> </p><p>Works included are from: </p><ul style="list-style-type:disc;"><li><strong>Level 2 in Art & Design</strong></li><li><strong>Level 3 in Art & Design</strong></li><li><strong>Foundation Studies in Art & Design</strong></li><li><strong>Level 3 Photography </strong></li><li><strong>HND Photography</strong></li><li><strong>Foundation Studies in Photography.</strong></li></ul><p> </p><p>Included in the exhibition is <strong>Rachel Murphy's</strong> prize winning painting 'Self'. Rachel's piece took first prize at the <strong>Inter College Drawing and Painting Competition</strong>, Northern Ireland 2016/17.</p><p> </p><p>For further information on the Dynamic Range exhibit, please contact The Curve Gallery.</p><p>The Curve Gallery </p><p>Bangor Carnegie Library</p><p>Hamilton Road</p><p>BT20 4LH</p><p>T: 028 912 70591</p><p>E: <a>bangorcarnegie.library@librariesni.org.uk</a></p><p> </p>
Celebration at the SERC Excellence Awards<p>​</p><p>On Monday 6 February, South Eastern Regional College (SERC) held its annual Student Excellence Awards ceremony to celebrate the achievements of the best performing students of 2016.</p><p> </p><p>The ceremony, which was held at the Lisburn campus, is an opportunity for SERC to honour and reward those students whose commitment to learning and training has set them apart from their peers. It is also a chance for the students to celebrate their achievements with family and friends and the lecturers that helped them succeed.</p><p> </p><p>The awards not only recognise those who achieve academic excellence but also students who have shown commitment and dedication to education and personal development and who have overcome difficulties in order to succeed.</p><p>Awards were presented to outstanding students from across the College's study areas, in addition to prizes for Apprentice of the Year, Trainee of the Year and Student of the Year.</p><p> </p><p>SERC Principal and Chief Executive Ken Webb presented the Excellence Awards and was full of praise for the students and their achievements.</p><p>"It never ceases to amaze me the talents of our students and the challenges some of them overcome in order to achieve an education – nights like these are a fitting tribute to all.</p><p> </p><p>"I would like to congratulate all of those that have won awards tonight, you have shown in your own way that each of you are taking full advantage of the opportunity of education and training and I have every confidence that the attitude and determination which has made you a winner tonight will serve you well as you move on throughout your lives."</p><p> </p><p>As well as awarding a Student of the Year within the College, there was also a selection of special awards presented to students who have positively contributed to student life.</p><p> </p><p>The awards ceremony was kindly sponsored by Mount Charles Group, Montupet UK Ltd, Lisburn Enterprise Organisation, Lisburn Education Partnership and City and Guilds. </p><p> </p><p>The full-time prospectus for courses starting in September 2017 is now available on the SERC website and students can apply online at apply.serc.ac.uk. The Colleges open day is on 1 March from 2pm-8pm.  </p><p> </p><p>SERC provides a range of full and part-time courses designed to give students<strong> 'the edge'</strong>. To find out how SERC can help you 'get the edge' call 0345 600 7555, visit <a href="/"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">www.serc.ac.uk</span></a> or find us on Facebook, search: SERC. </p><p style="text-align:left;"> </p>
SERC plays its Part in Community Planning<p>​Recent publicity from the Councils and the holding of various public meetings may have drawn your attention to the term Community Planning. This refers to a responsibility that the local councils have been given to facilitate the development and co-ordination of the delivery of the public services in their local area to improve the quality and efficiency of those services. </p><p>Hence Community Planning Partnerships have been established which include organisations such as PSNI, Fire Service, Libraries NI, Housing Executive, Public Health Agency, Health Trusts, Education Authority, SERC and others who have a statutory responsibility for the delivery of such services  </p><p>The purpose of these Partnerships is to work with the community to produce a Community Plan that will provide the framework for collaborative working to deliver positive social, economic and environmental change within the council area.  This includes setting long terms goals (or outcomes) to be achieved in the period 2017 -2030 with details of the actions that each of the partner organisations will take to support the achievement of those goals. The development and delivery of the community planning process is a shared task, which comes at a time when diminishing funding across the public sector requires collaboration to secure optimum effectiveness and efficiency when delivering services.</p><p> </p><p>To date each of the Partnerships, led by the Councils have developed their plans around the themes of Health, Safety and Wellbeing, Economic Development & Regeneration, Education and the Environment. To help set the goals, considerable work has been done across the council areas to identify the priorities of the local populations, through a wide range of meetings and other consultation events. </p><p> </p><p>Community planning is also going to be the local delivery mechanism for the Programme for Government and this provides a clearly defined role for SERC to work more closely with other partners and the community, to achieve positive outcomes for everyone involved.</p><p> </p><p>SERC has contributed to the preparation of a Community Plan for each of Newry, Mourne and Down, Ards and North Down and Lisburn and Castlereagh Council areas. </p><p>The Community Plans are currently out for consultation and you can give your views on these by following links below.</p><p><a href="http://www.newrymournedown.org/community_planning"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Newry, Mourne and Down Community Plan</span></a></p><p><a href="http://www.ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk/resident/community-planning"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Ards and North Down Community Plan</span></a></p><p><a href="https://www.lisburncastlereagh.gov.uk/resident/community-planning"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Lisburn and Castlereagh Community Plan</span></a> </p>
Engineering students ‘Get the Edge’ at SERC<p> </p><p>This week South eastern Regional College (SERC) held its second intercampus engineering skills competition which took place at the Lisburn Campus. The one day competition which was organised by the mechanical engineering team was designed to test and challenge the ability of its students in in turning, fabrication and welding.  </p><p>Apprentices from across the main campuses of the College tested their skills against each other. The aim of the competition was to challenge the students to manufacture components using industry based skills. </p><p>Apprentices Aodhan Quinn and Jamie Donaldson were celebrating when they beat off stiff competition from fellow apprentices to claim the welding and turning categories respectively. Apprentices John Lavelle and Niall Trainor took home top prize in fabrication and milling. </p><p>SERC Engineering lecturer Ivan Kelly said, "The students found the competition challenging but surprised themselves at how well they could do. Running this event takes hard work and the support of a lot of engineering staff to make the event run smoothly and credit must go to the team for making this a reality."</p><p>Speaking at the presentation ceremony Ivan stated that he was 'very impressed' by the standard of work produced and 'how well the students handled the pressure'.</p><p>Ivan said: "We encourage the students to participate in all competitions, which will enhance their skills and knowledge. The Inter Campus competition contributes to the learning experience and improves the student's confidence, while providing them the opportunity to test their skills against their college peers."</p><p>The students were set a test project which took a day to complete.  At the end of the competition their projects were judged and scored by SERC tutors. Marks were awarded for accurate measurements, overall quality of work produced, and ability to work within the timeframes, efficient use of resources and health and safety. </p><p>In announcing the winners, Ivan added his congratulations to all the students across the College who participated in the competition and thanked the dedicated staff for their hard work.</p><p>SERC provides a range of full and part-time courses designed to give students<strong> 'the edge'</strong>. To find out how SERC can help you 'get the edge' call 0345 600 7555, visit <a href="/"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">www.serc.ac.uk</span></a> or find us on Facebook, search: SERC. </p><p>​</p>
Girl power! Who says engineering is only for boys <p>​A local college has seen a dramatic increase in the number of young women signing up for engineering courses </p><p>And for any young women considering engineering, 16-year-old South Eastern Regional College (SERC) student Chloe Pollock is a great example of how young woman are embracing the subject and pushing boundaries. Chloe is just one of a handful of young women across the province pursuing a career in the male dominated engineering industry and is one of only two females in her class.</p><p>Ballynahinch girl Chloe is in year one of the Level 3 diploma in engineering course at the college, which on completion is the equivalent to three A levels. She that it was the 'encouragement and support' from her parents and friends that gave her the confidence to go for what she wanted to do.</p><p>After completing her GCSE's Chloe decided to enol at SERC, as she wanted something 'hands-on'. But it wasn't until her friend suggested studying engineering that Chloe realised it was what she wanted to do as a career. </p><p>Chloe said: "I decided to study engineering because I love hands-on, practical learning - I find it much easier to remember. My mum and dad were shocked when I told them I wanted to study engineering, as they were not expecting it at all. However, they are very proud of my career choice and are supportive and encouraging. My mum does worry about me being around the machines but she knows I'm in good hands.</p><p>"This year I've been learning skills such as welding and materials science and I'm really enjoying it. On completion of the course I want to progress to university to specialise in aeronautical or design engineering and studying this course will help me get there."</p><p>Chloe said women should not be dismayed by an all-male workplace and encouraged them to embrace the opportunity to push the boundaries and encouraged other school leavers to follow their dreams. She says "If you are interested in engineering, give it a go. Visit the college open day, speak to the tutors and tour the workshops. It was the best decision I ever made."</p><p>Chloe's tutor Joe Neeson said: "I think it's fantastic to see so many women signing up for what have traditionally been seen as male dominated industries. Young women have the skills and talent to excel in the industry and I would encourage them not to be put off by the male-dominated educational environment. Females have a good eye for the finer details and are very organised. We welcome female enrolments on our engineering courses and would encourage more females to enrol."</p><p>Chloe's mum said, "For many years, I believed traditional education was the correct way to go for a higher standard education. It was a belief that was in my family for generations. Now, having gained first-hand knowledge of the inner workings of what further education offers I would definitely encourage other parents to consider SERC as a first choice for their children. I had heard good things about the staff at SERC, and when Chloe started studying, I could see why. It was an extremely helpful and friendly environment. As a parent I wanted the assurance that the education Chloe received would prepare her to survive in the 'real world' and give her an opportunity to improve her employability skills in an increasingly competitive job market."</p><p>College principal Ken Webb said "It's encouraging to see an increase in the number of women applying to typically male dominated courses. With men outnumbering women by three to one in STEM careers, it is vital to ensure more girls are attracted into the industry. I would encourage more females to study engineering subjects and pursue a career in this exciting industry.</p><p>"Parents play a vital role in influencing their children's career choice – and they are a vital target audience if we want to inspire more young people to take up engineering-related subjects. I would encourage prospective students and their parents to visit our information day on 1st March from 2pm-8pm to see for themselves what the College has to offer."</p>
Willis Insurance collaborate with SERC to provide a career pathway <p>​Willis Insurance & Risk Management has partnered with South Eastern Regional College (SERC) to deliver a worked-based learning programme in a bid to build the management skills of students and open a pathway to employment within the insurance sector.</p><p>The firm, which delivers insurance services across all sectors, in addition to a range of wealth management, accident investigation, health and safety, and employment law services, has employed two students at its Belfast headquarters with a third to start later this year.</p><p>Owen Finnegan, a law graduate from Camlough, and Belfast modern languages graduate Maeve McKavanagh are working at the company as Business Support Executives.</p><p>They are taking part in SERC's Entry to Management graduate programme, funded by the Department  for the Economy, which allows students to continue their studies while developing business leadership skills in a workplace setting along the way.</p><p>Richard Willis, Managing Director, Willis Insurance & Risk Management said the initiative provides an important route into a growing industry.</p><p>"There is no degree qualification or set route into the insurance industry at present.</p><p>"That means people can incorrectly assume they are not qualified or believe it is a difficult industry to get into.</p><p>"That is not the case. It is a growing sector which offers significant opportunities to ambitious graduates.</p><p>"Our relationship with SERC helps us to recruit students who share the drive and ambition of Willis IRM to deliver the best advice and highest levels of service to our clients."</p><p>The placements at Willis IRM last 24 weeks and follow similar initiatives that have resulted in students moving into full-time employment with the business.</p><p>Throughout the period, the students attend SERC on a weekly basis to continue their studies.</p><p>Richard added:</p><p>"We are delighted to collaborate with SERC on the Entry to Management graduate programme.</p><p>"Owen and Maeve have proved to be extremely capable and an asset to the company, not to mention a credit to SERC."</p><p>SERC Leadership and Management Consultant Jenny McConnell, who leads the programme said:</p><p>"We are delighted to have formed a partnership with Willis Insurance & Risk Management.</p><p>"By taking part in the programme, the company is leading the way in improving workplace opportunities across the sectors and especially in insurance and risk management. </p><p>"Other business that have signed up to the programme are already seeing real tangible outcomes.</p><p>"It allows them to target the right talent to suit their company and raises up a new generation of leaders to contribute to their future growth."</p><p>Maeve said the experience had encouraged her to take up a career within human resources.</p><p>She added:</p><p>"I had initially planned to have a career in written translation. However, during my retail management training, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience gained in human resources and recruitment, which inspired me to pursue a career in this area and led me to Willis Insurance and Risk Management. </p><p>"The team at Willis IRM is highly skilled and professional, so shadowing and learning from industry leaders is invaluable experience and I am very grateful for the opportunity."</p><p>Owen added:</p><p>"I couldn't have asked for a better start at Willis Insurance. Everyone has been very welcoming.</p><p>"Through the programme, I hope to learn a broad range of new skills and tune those I already have in order to ready me for the workplace.</p><p>"The insurance and risk management industry is not always first on people's minds when thinking about their career but through this experience, I have found it is a sector which should be more broadly considered by those ready to enter the world of work."</p>
Willis Insurance collaborate with SERC to provide career pathway<p>​Willis Insurance & Risk Management has partnered with South Eastern Regional College (SERC) to deliver a worked-based learning programme in a bid to build the management skills of students and open a pathway to employment within the insurance sector.</p><p> </p><p>The firm, which delivers insurance services across all sectors, in addition to a range of wealth management, accident investigation, health and safety, and employment law services, has employed two students at its Belfast headquarters with a third to start later this year.</p><p> </p><p>Owen Finnegan, a law graduate from Camlough, and Belfast modern languages graduate Maeve McKavanagh are working at the company as Business Support Executives.</p><p> </p><p>They are taking part in SERC's Entry to Management graduate programme, funded by the Department  for the Economy, which allows students to continue their studies while developing business leadership skills in a workplace setting along the way.</p><p> </p><p>Richard Willis, Managing Director, Willis Insurance & Risk Management said the initiative provides an important route into a growing industry.</p><p> </p><p>"There is no degree qualification or set route into the insurance industry at present.</p><p> </p><p>"That means people can incorrectly assume they are not qualified or believe it is a difficult industry to get into.</p><p> </p><p>"That is not the case. It is a growing sector which offers significant opportunities to ambitious graduates.</p><p> </p><p>"Our relationship with SERC helps us to recruit students who share the drive and ambition of Willis IRM to deliver the best advice and highest levels of service to our clients."</p><p> </p><p>The placements at Willis IRM last 24 weeks and follow similar initiatives that have resulted in students moving into full-time employment with the business.</p><p> </p><p>Throughout the period, the students attend SERC on a weekly basis to continue their studies.</p><p> </p><p>Richard added:</p><p> </p><p>"We are delighted to collaborate with SERC on the Entry to Management graduate programme.</p><p> </p><p>"Owen and Maeve have proved to be extremely capable and an asset to the company, not to mention a credit to SERC."</p><p> </p><p>SERC Leadership and Management Consultant Jenny McConnell, who leads the programme said:</p><p> </p><p>"We are delighted to have formed a partnership with Willis Insurance & Risk Management.</p><p> </p><p>"By taking part in the programme, the company is leading the way in improving workplace opportunities across the sectors and especially in insurance and risk management. </p><p> </p><p>"Other business that have signed up to the programme are already seeing real tangible outcomes.</p><p> </p><p>"It allows them to target the right talent to suit their company and raises up a new generation of leaders to contribute to their future growth."</p><p> </p><p>Maeve said the experience had encouraged her to take up a career within human resources.</p><p> </p><p>She added:</p><p> </p><p>"I had initially planned to have a career in written translation. However, during my retail management training, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience gained in human resources and recruitment, which inspired me to pursue a career in this area and led me to Willis Insurance and Risk Management. </p><p> </p><p>"The team at Willis IRM is highly skilled and professional, so shadowing and learning from industry leaders is invaluable experience and I am very grateful for the opportunity."</p><p> </p><p>Owen added:</p><p> </p><p>"I couldn't have asked for a better start at Willis Insurance. Everyone has been very welcoming.</p><p> </p><p>"Through the programme, I hope to learn a broad range of new skills and tune those I already have in order to ready me for the workplace.</p><p> </p><p>"The insurance and risk management industry is not always first on people's minds when thinking about their career but through this experience, I have found it is a sector which should be more broadly considered by those ready to enter the world of work."</p><p> </p>
Sparks fly as SERC receive coded welding accreditation <p>​Renowned for working closely with industry to generate real business benefits, South Eastern Regional College (SERC) is delighted to announce that they have received accreditation from the world-acclaimed Welding Institute (TWI) to offer specialist coded welding training. </p><p>The accreditation was achieved following investment in staff training and an inspection from TWI. </p><p>The accreditation ensures competence to UK legislation and as such, industry will benefit from having a well-established local training provider able to deliver essential coded welding training.</p><p>SERC head of school for computing and engineering Trevor Breadon explains what this means for the college;</p><p>"Our collaboration with TWI illustrates our commitment to deliver world-class training and our dedication to supporting the engineering industry. This partnership creates a significant opportunity for engineers within Northern Ireland and the Republic to develop the latest and highest quality technical skills that are so in demand. </p><p>"As former employees within the industry, our tutors understand the concerns of engineers who need to fulfil the national legislative requirements in accordance with CE marking and worldwide quality standards."</p><p>Participants on the course can train at the Colleges Bangor or Lisburn campus, equipped with state of the art welding technology, which together with experienced and qualified staff, enables learners to undertake practical hands-on experience in purpose built workshops. </p><p>The accreditation will allow SERC to deliver ISO9606, BS472 welder training and certification, in addition to welding procedures and inspector training. </p><p> </p><p>Businesses can avail of this training at a discounted price thanks to funding from the Department for the Economy's Skills Focus training initiative, criteria applies. </p><p>Registration for the course which starts in April is now open. If you would like to register your interest, or for more information please call Andrew Megarry on 028 9262 6777or email amegarry@serc.ac.uk.</p>
Beauty student shortlisted for British Education Awards<p>​</p><p>SERC beauty student Rachel McMichael has been shortlisted for the inaugural British Education Awards which will be held at Grand Connaught Rooms, London, on 30 January.</p><p> </p><p>Rachel is one of only three students from Northern Ireland to be shortlisted in the Vocational Qualifications category.</p><p> </p><p>Students from across the UK are set to gather at the unique awards ceremony that will celebrate exemplary academic and extracurricular achievement. The event will be the first of its kind. Nominees are travelling from Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England to attend the special occasion, which will honour them individually for their hard work and success.</p><p> </p><p>19 year-old Rachel from Lisburn was nominated by her tutor Eunice Kerr for her exceptional marks, gaining straight distinctions in all modules to date. Outside of college Rachel is a Girl Guide leader, is involved with charity work and holds a Duke of Edinburgh's Gold award. </p><p> </p><p>Eunice explains: "Rachel has a very positive attitude to life and from a young age has had to deal with her father's illness which has had challenging and demanding effects on her family.  Through this difficult situation Rachel has been a tremendous support to her mother in both a physical and emotional capacity, taking on the responsibility of helping with her younger brother.  She is an inspirational role model to the younger students."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Candidates have been nominated in four categories: GCSE or Scottish National, A-Level or Scottish Higher, Vocational and Degree – with the winners in each category and region to be announced at the ceremony. Awards for Special Achievement will also be presented on the night.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Rachel said she was 'surprised and delighted to have been shortlisted' and that she is 'looking forward to the event, especially getting dressed up for the special occasion' which she will attend with her tutor.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Organisers have been delighted by the diversity and calibre of applicants, with nominees entered for studies ranging from STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), to music and the arts and hospitality and catering. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Talented sportsmen and women feature on the final shortlist of 67 candidates, along with those dedicated to the uniformed services, health care and agriculture. Scientists, musicians, entrepreneurs and philanthropists are also included in an extraordinary list of talent, with candidates born in the UK and abroad, and of all ages and physical ability – showing that British education is open, inclusive and accessible to everyone.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Awards organiser, Amin Babor Chowdhury said: "Education has the power to change lives and in Britain there are so many ways to access it, if we choose to. This is reflected in our nominees, some of whom have overcome real adversity and personal hardship to gain their hard earned academic rewards."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">"All of our finalists have shown an exceptional level of commitment and focus to advance through learning and ensure they have the best opportunities in life. They are an example of what can be achieved, not just in terms of academic success, but as talented individuals and caring, responsible citizens. We are fortunate to have such remarkable people, as these BEA finalists are, to contribute to and help shape our society."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">"We are proud to have launched this first British Education Awards to honour these individuals – they are an inspiration to us all and we hope that as BEA Ambassadors their example will encourage others to seek growth through education and learning, and to be the best that they can be."<strong> </strong></p>

​Upcoming Events​​​​​​

 

SERC Full-time Information Day

  • Wednesday 1 March 2017
  • 2-8pm
  • Bangor, Downpatrick, Lisburn and Newtownards 

 

 


 
  
  
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