MidKent College https://www.midkent.ac.uk MidKent College : Blog Feed Copyright 2020, MidKent College. Wed, 05 Aug 202010:56:34 GMT Apprentice of the Month: Toby Hagon (August 2020)

Well done to Toby - he's our Apprentice of the Month for August 2020!

Here's why he was nominated by his Training Officer Roger Selling:

Toby Hagon joined Review Display Systems Ltd (RDS), Westerham in September 2017 employed as an apprentice Electrical Engineer on a level 3 programme. He attended the Medway Campus achieving a Distinction Merit grade in his BTEC Diploma. During this time he also gained a Level 2 ICT Functional Skills qualification.

As part of his apprenticeship, Toby was involved in the manufacture of printed circuit boards and the assembly and testing of digital display systems, one of the key products supplied by RDS Ltd.

During the recent Covid 19 pandemic, Toby has stepped up to the mark working longer hours than normal. RDS switched part of its production over to building 15,000 display assemblies, being part of Penlon and Maclarens’ efforts to answer the call for the much needed NHS ventilators.

At the start, he was involved in the quality control, checking the modification of 1200 backlight cables. During these critical times, Toby used his skills and love of electronics, to develop a method using a barcode scanner, an old company laptop that he rebuilt and repurposed, to improve the serial number recording process. This cut the production times by up to a third and decreasing paperwork for the workforce and RDS Ltd.

In addition to all this extra work, Toby has recently submitted the final pieces of evidence for his NVQ portfolio, meaning that he will complete this more than six months early. Well done Toby! A shining example of someone who has thoroughly enjoyed his apprenticeship and his work at RDS Ltd. Congratulations!

Here's why his employer felt he was a worthy winner this month:

Since joining Review Display Systems Ltd, Toby has always been a keen and interested apprentice, eager to learn as much as possible.

During the recent difficult months, RDS Ltd, together with other companies, took part in the Ventilator Challenge UK Consortium to produce ventilators for the Government. The scanning system Toby developed reduced the overall build time and allowed other members of staff to concentrate on other aspects of the assembly.

We asked Toby how he felt to be nominated:

How do you feel about being recognised for Apprentice of the month?
I am delightfully surprised; I’m not someone who usually gets recognised for things I do - I’m usually clapping for the ones who do. I’m just always happy with putting in the effort, or even extra effort, if it means the job is done properly and that the customer is getting a product they were promised. 

What is it like working for RDS?
It is my dream job. Ever since my first laptop, I have been fascinated with computers; what makes them tick, how to make them do things other people can’t and how to fix them to help others. It is also a pleasure to help during these difficult times building ventilator parts with Review Display Systems in conjunction with McLaren, Penlon, and the NHS. 

What is the best part about working for RDS?
In past jobs, the people who I worked with only cared about their paycheck and ‘surviving the day’. So when I joined RDS and discovered that people wanted to help others rather than help themselves all the time, it didn’t feel like a job. So the best part of working at RDS for me is the camaraderie. Even though I love what I do, it makes it so much easier when everyone gets on well together, works hard and supports one another. Even though I haven’t had many jobs, this is by far the best job I have had so far.


Thinking of becoming an apprentice, or taking on an apprentice as part of your business? Contact our apprenticeships team today to find out more information.

 

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Just received your results? Will I be offered a place on anything else if I’ve received better/lower grades than I expected?

If we have the availability, and the programme fits with your long term career aim, then we’ll do our best to ensure you have a place on a programme. If you’ve already applied, please still complete the online enrolment process through the link in the email we've sent you. Talk to the tutors to ensure that you're on the right level for you.

Can I still apply for a programme at College?

Please search and apply for a programme online. We do have places available on some programmes. If a programme is full you'll then be placed on a waiting list and contacted if a place becomes available.

I don’t want to do the programme I’ve applied for anymore, can I swap to something else?

If we have places available on the programme you’re interested in, and it’s suitable for you, then we will look to offer you a place on a different programme. Please select this option through the enrolment link we've emailed to you.

I don’t want to attend the campus I’ve applied for anymore, can I swap to the other campus?

If we offer the programme at the other campus, and there are places available, then we will be able to swap you to the other campus. We’ll do our best to ensure that you’re on the best programme for you. Please let us know as part of the enrolment process through the link we've emailed to you.

I no longer want my place at College, what do I need to do?

Please select this option on the online enrolment process through the link we've emailed to you.

Where do I get my uniform from?

The department will share information about the supplier and what you need to do as part of the online enrolment process.

Will I get any help with fees/travel/childcare?

Check out this part of our website to see if you are entitled to any financial support

I need to talk to someone about my options – who should I contact?

Please contact our course enquiries team on 01634 402020, or via email. Alternatively, please talk to us via Live Chat on our website. Please be aware that it’s a very busy time for us, but we will be in touch with you as soon as possible about your query!

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Questions about enrolment? My grades aren’t as high as I was predicted, can I still enrol on my programme?  What shall I do?

Don’t worry! Please still enrol through the online enrolment system. We’ll then be able to help you to find the right programme for you.

My son/daughter got all the grades they need except for English/Maths, will they still be able to enrol on the same level and re-sit English/Maths?

Our tutors will be able to talk you through their options as part of the enrolment process – and they’ll be able to re-sit their English and maths at College to achieve a grade 4.

All of my friends are enrolling today, but I didn’t get an email, what shall I do?

Firstly, double check your inbox and your spam folder! If you don't have the enrolment email please ring our applications team to confirm the next step for you on 01634 383140 or send them an email. Please be aware that different subject areas will be enrolling on different days in August.

My son/daughter is doing an apprenticeship, when do they enrol?

We'll email you to confirm when they are to enrol.        

I haven’t applied yet, can I come in today and enrol?

We'd advise that you apply online at home, and we'll then be in touch shortly via email about your enrolment session and interview with a tutor.

Can I pay my fees at enrolment?

If you’re aged 16-18 then your programme is free. If you’re 19+ you will be able to pay for your fees at enrolment, or start an instalment plan.

Will I get any help with fees/travel/childcare?

Yes we have a student financial support team here to help you. Check out your options here, or talk to one of our advisers at your enrolment session.

When will I find out when my first day is, and receive my timetable?

You'll find out when your first day is at the end of your enrolment session. On that day you'll be able to meet your tutors (face-to-face!), talk to your new classmates and receive your timetable.

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Prepare for your college interview.

You’ve made your application and have an interview date coming up… what can you expect and how can you prepare? 

Although our interviews are now taking place over the phone instead of in person, it’s still nerve-wracking to have to talk to someone you’ve never met! First of all, we want to reassure you that the process is quite informal – it’s a chance for the tutor to give you a run-down of what you will be covering, to get an idea of your suitability for the programme and to decide which level will be best for you to start with.  

At some point in the interview, the tutor will ask the dreaded question….” Do YOU have any questions?” Your mind goes blank but when you are off the phone, you remember all the things you wanted answers to! It’s a good idea to have a think, prior to the interview, and have a few questions prepared in advance. We have put a few common ones together for you here: 

  • What are the entry requirements? 
  • What happens if I don’t get those grades? 
  • Will I have to take maths and/or English alongside my programme? 
  • Will this programme help me to get into a specific career? 
  • Where do people go on to after they finish the programme? 
  • Will I have to do work experience – if so, how many hours? 
  • I have additional learning needs – what support can I get? 
  • What are the workshops/labs/kitchens etc like? 
  • Will I be going on any trips? 
  • Can I get any financial support while I am studying on this programme? 

The tutor will do their best to answer you but may refer you to other departments at the College if necessary. At the end of the interview, the tutor will usually confirm verbally if they can offer you a place on the programme you have applied for. This will be followed up in due course with an email confirmation and information on enrolment for this year. 

If you do forget to ask something or think of something later that you need to find out about, remember that you can check lots of information on our website. There are sections for help and advice including financial support, careers information, details about our Additional Learning Support Team (ALS) as well as details of our specialist facilities. We also have our brilliant Q&A webinars for you to watch – there is one for each subject and support area in the college. 

If you’re still considering your options for September and haven’t yet applied, we are still accepting applications. The best advice is to apply ASAP!   

Need more help? Get in touch with our Course Enquiries Team - you can call them on 01634 404040, send a live chat message via the website or email course.enquiries@midkent.ac.uk 

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Clearing 2020

Guide to University Clearing 2020

With A Level results day coming up on 13 August, it is a nerve-wracking time for those of you waiting to find out if you have bagged a place at university.  It is also a worrying time for anyone whose plans have changed and now find themselves considering university as an alternative to their original plans for Autumn 2020. 

It’s good to know that there are other options available through the Clearing system should you find yourself without the offer of a place on results day, or find yourself unable to take a planned gap year or find a suitable apprenticeship due to Covid-19. 

The clearing service runs between July and September each year and is open NOW!   

It allows students who have made a university application via UCAS to find an alternative course in any of the following situations: 

  • You didn’t get offered a place from either your first choice (firm) University or from your second choice (insurance) University on results day. 
  • You didn’t receive an offer from any of the Universities you applied to on your original UCAS application. 
  • You made a late application to UCAS after 30 June. 
  • You wish to “self-release” from your offers into the Clearing system. 
  • You haven't made an application to any universities at all, but now want to start a degree course this September.

It’s a system which matches students who want a place, to universities that have places available so is beneficial to both parties.  With university application rates down this year, you will find that even top-rated institutions will have clearing places available – last year Leeds, York, Exeter and Surrey Universities (to name a few) were offering places through Clearing. 

Things to remember if you do need to use clearing: 

  • Be available on results day – it’s best not to be away on holiday. 
  • Check UCAS Track and university websites for the official clearing lists. 
  • You can only make one clearing choice at a time. 
  • You have to find a university that will accept you – they will be more impressed if you make the telephone calls and don’t have someone calling on your behalf!
  • Plan ahead.  Research uni’s you might choose through clearing beforehand – what is their accommodation policy for students coming to them through clearing?  Do they offer the right course for you? Keep a list in order of preference. Sign up to their Twitter and Facebook accounts for more information. They may be offering virtual visits or webinars with current students this year due to Covid-19– check the websites of the universities you are interested in. 

Our 3 top tips – Start early, be flexible, don’t give up! 

A huge amount of information is available online about clearing and these websites are very useful for further reading, advice and tips:

https://www.ucas.com/clearing-launch 

https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/university/apply/clearing/introduction-to-clearing 

https://www.prospects.ac.uk/applying-for-university/getting-into-university/university-clearing 

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Is your LinkedIn profile up-to-date?

LinkedIn is becoming increasingly more popular - and with over 690 million members, we should probably give our profiles a little TLC.   
 
Other than the endless amount of eyes that could end up on your profile, here are some reasons why keeping your profile up-to-date is never a bad idea. 
 
• It's the new way of staying connected - say no more to trailing through old address books or emails to manage connections. You can create your network all in one place! 
• If you follow the right people your news feed will be filled with content that interests and helps you grow in your professional field 
• If you are looking for jobs, most companies have their own page and so it's a great way for you to check-out the company’s culture  
• If Googled, your LinkedIn profile will be ranked at the top of the page - so this is another opportunity to show people how great you really are. So if you haven't got one or it's out of date, then it's a great idea to get building a fantastic profile 
• It creates a platform to keep you engaged with the current industry news.  
 
You can create a professional reputation, stay connected, and find career opportunities - all for free!  
 
So what are you waiting for, go and perfect your profile! 

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Let's create opportunities to continuously learn!

It is always good to learn, and right now we may have a little extra time to create moments in which we can digest new information. Or you might be someone who just doesn’t have a lot of time but would still like to keep your brain ticking. Well, these ideas really work for both! 
 
Many of us continue learning once we leave education. Many businesses usually offer professional development and perhaps we specialise in an area that we want to flourish in to further our career. All great – but sometimes we may want to continue to learn with a less specific goal other than to gain more a little more knowledge in everyday life. 
 
So if you are in the position where you want to engage the brain with bite-sized tasks. Then there are a few options that you can do at home. 
 
New words. 
Ever read or hear a word you have never stumbled across before? Look it up – learn a new word and don’t stop. Become curious about understanding what they mean and then you can become the person that drops them into conversation. 
 
Learn from people. 
I am sure we have all be in the presence of someone who just seems like they hold a bank of information. Chatting to people like this can only be beneficial if you engage with what they are saying. Have you ever listened to someone and not followed or fully understood what they were saying, so nodded and smiled like you totally did – guilty! This is the time to ask questions, be curious, and try to understand. Don’t be afraid to learn from people. 
 
Watch something different.
Do you hate documentaries? Well, watch one. Go for a genre of film that never really intrigues you. Going outside of your comfort zone allows you to see things and learn something you probably wouldn’t have before. Branching out and opening your mind is always a good thing. Who knows, you may discover a new interest or like? 
 
Create. 
This could be as simple as attempting a flat-pack - I use the word simple lightly. Perhaps create something in the kitchen you haven't before, a new cake to bake. Anything that falls under the creative umbrella - try it!  
 
Podcasts. 
Possibly one of the easiest ways to absorb a little information. If time isn’t on your side, you can play them in the car, on a walk, or doing the chores. There is a whole platter of podcasts to pick at. I have even learned things when listening to my son play his history ones - so keep those ears listening. 
 
Subscribe. 
On many sites now you see ‘subscribe to our newsletter’. If you have a genuine interest in something, perhaps it is time to sign up for that regular newsletter. Plus, it doesn’t have to be work-related. You’ll know when you can expect them and it gives you a chance to read something. With so many sites out there you are sure to find something that invites your interest. 
 
You don’t need giant books and articles to learn. We live in a world where we can access various opportunities that can allow us to learn wherever we are. Take some small changes and get learning! 

 

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https://www.midkent.ac.uk/news/blog/lets-create-opportunities-to-continuously-learn!/ https://www.midkent.ac.uk/news/blog/lets-create-opportunities-to-continuously-learn!/ Tue, 23 Jun 2020 11:44:23 GMT
How can I prepare for a Virtual Open Day?

Our campuses may be closed but we wanted to make sure you still had the opportunity to get a feel for life at College, find out more about the subject areas you are interested in studying and get the support you need to make your application.
We are really excited to be holding our first “virtual open days” from week commencing 8 June where you will be able to join live webinar sessions with our tutors.

Choosing your options after year 11 is important and online open days are a new experience for most of us so we wanted to help you to make the most of these events.


What can you expect from our Virtual Open Days?
During the webinars the tutors will tell you more about their programmes and about life at College. You can sign up for as many sessions as you want – we have one available for each subject area, one from our Apprenticeships Team, as well as one from each of our support areas such as Admissions, Student Support and Careers. During the session you will also hear from College Principal Simon Cook, get more information on how to apply for a programme and about what student financial support is available. Although you will be able to see the tutor during the session, they won’t be able to see or hear you so please don’t panic about where you are or what you are wearing! There will also be a live chat facility available for you to ask any questions. If you can’t make the live sessions, please don’t worry – they will be recorded and posted on our website for you to watch any time.


How can you prepare for these events?
It’s a good idea to do some research on our website to identify the subject area(s) you want to apply for. Make a shortlist and then register for the appropriate webinar session(s) on our website here. Don’t forget we also offer apprenticeships as well as full-time study programmes!
Make sure you have a notepad and pen handy for when the webinar starts so you can make a note of anything important. It will also be useful for you to have a think about any questions you want to ask beforehand. Here are some examples to get you thinking:


What are the entry requirements for this programme?
What level could I start on with the grades I am predicted?
How much research/work will I need to do at home?


Don’t forget you can also register for sessions with all of our support areas so if you need help with making your application, or want to find out what additional learning support you may be eligible for, we are here to help!

 

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Apprentice of the Month: Joanna Sheldon (May)

We love hearing great stories about our students and Joanna's is no exception. 

Here is what her Training Officer, Mike Rolfe, had to say on why she was nominated:

Joanna has been an apprentice on the Level 3 in Construction Contracting Operations programme for the last 16 months and has developed in so many ways. She is showing an in-depth understanding of her role as an assistant site manager for Taylor Wimpey but also shown that she has grown academically. She can bring experience of working life into the College environment and can now balance her points of view with this additional knowledge and confidence to back it up further. She has not only developed as a fantastic ambassador for the programme and her company but I wish her the best in what is starting to become a very promising future.

Here is what Joanna thought about being our Apprentice of the Month: 

I’m extremely chuffed to be recognised as the apprentice of the month, especially during this tough time. It’s really boosted my spirits and given me the get-up-and-go attitude to continue to work hard and complete my Level 3 qualification. 

Taylor Wimpey is a FANTASTIC company to work for and they look after their staff, especially through this pandemic. 

The best part about working for Taylor Wimpey is the people; everyone is great and all are really committed to their jobs.

Keep up the fantastic work Joanna!

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Keeping Team Morale Up

We aren’t in our offices to interact with our team, to crack a joke, or just have a general chat with colleagues. These things can, of course, all still happen virtually but less spontaneously and consistently. Therefore, employers are probably worrying more so about how they can ensure their staff are coping with the current change to work. 

Here are some suggestions to keep morale up in this difficult time: 

Be upfront    

Have open and honest conversations to build and maintain the trust you have to ensure you are telling your employers everything to avoid shock and panic further down the line. You may not have all the answers – that’s fine, but don’t hide away from that. 

Healthy competition 

This gives people something fun to focus on and is another distraction in this current period. Perhaps there is a weekly quiz you could organise or even a fitness challenge that people can participate in? This also encourages staff to stay active in a more sedentary time. 

Daily meetups  

It’s really important to stay connected – daily if possible. As we aren’t seeing familiar faces, regular video meetups can be a little boost for the team. A moment to interact with each other can bring a strand of normality back to their working day. 

Keep it fun 

In a difficult time let humour be the helping hand for you all. We have seen a variety of things on our own Skype meetings, which usually involves a wig or hat of some sort…but does it make us smile – yes! 

People come first. Every home will have different challenges. We can all work together to ensure we can make this temporary way of working not so bad! 

 

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Meet Josh

Josh first came to the College wanting to enhance a passion of his which has led on to discovering a new career. 

I came here to learn new skills that I didn’t have and wanted to do this programme to gain life skills. 

I started here on a Level 2 in Hospitality & Catering. The biggest thing I have learnt was how to gut a fish properly and about all the different knife cuts. I really enjoyed being around the other students in my class and being creative. 

The tutors are interactive and push you in the right direction.   

Since completing my programme I now work in front of house at Oaks Restaurant [MidKent College’s Maidstone Campus restaurant]. They also want me to start my apprenticeship in Hospitality & Catering Assistant Level 3 to learn new skills which I am looking forward to. I enjoy front of house because I get to interact with the customers and make their day. 

I feel that taking my previous programme before has really helped me with my current role as I have an understanding on want goes on in the kitchen. 

I am glad I came to MidKent College and everyone has been really friendly. 

If you are considering a career in Hospitality & Catering, then click here to find out more. 

 

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Feeling Anxious?

Are you starting to feel anxious or feel your anxiety has increased recently? Firstly, don’t hide away from it – it’s ok to feel that way. We are currently living in unknown territory and all of us are coping very differently. 

So, if you are feeling anxious here are a few things that might make you feel a little lighter. 

Deep Breathing.  

It’s said that deep breathing is a helpful tool to relieve some of the tension that has built up. When we get anxious our heart rate increases, so deep breathing will aid in slowing your heart rate down, therefore reducing the amount of stress you are feeling. 

Breathe in deeply for four seconds and then out for four seconds. Repeat this process for five minutes. 

Write it. 

We can have all these feelings and thoughts building up inside. Sometimes just writing it down can make everything feel less overwhelming. It can also rationalise the thoughts you may be having. Perhaps the pen and paper is a little tool that will help when you are feeling anxious. 

Essential Oils. 

Plant-based oils are said to calm the mind and body. Sandalwood, camomile, and lavender are the soothing scents which you can buy in candle form, oils, or incense. Why not create a calming environment and see if these scents help? 

Your Health. 

Exercise and a good diet are always going to be recommended for us. However, it could just be smaller changes to start. If you have two sugars in your tea – why not try one? – Little steps. Also like you would at work, break away and try and move in some way every hour. That could just be going into the kitchen, going up the stairs, or walking around the garden. 

Lastly, always pick something that you are grateful for – however big or small to just put a smile on your face. 

If you are struggling with everything at the moment, you aren’t alone! Please have a look at the links below if you feel you need further assistance:

Mind 

Samaritans

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A Levels not for you?

Are you thinking of going to university in the future, but not sure if A Levels are the right choice for you?   

Here at MidKent College, we offer a wide range of BTEC Diplomas. Despite what you may have heard, these are well regarded by most universities and you can use them to gain UCAS points!  

As with A Levels, universities are usually looking for you to achieve grades in the higher ranges for entry onto their degree programmes. BTEC Diplomas are graded differently to A Levels and at the end of your two-year programme you will receive three grades of either Pass, Merit, Distinction, or Distinction*. For example, you may achieve MDD, which would be Merit, Distinction, Distinction.  

The UCAS website has a very handy tariff calculator which helps you to work out how many points you would get for each grade in your BTEC Diploma, which you can find here.

Remember all universities have different entry requirements and are looking for other skills and attributes as well as grades. Think about what transferable skills you can gain while you are studying on your level 3 programme either through a part-time job, work experience or volunteering. These are crucial to help make you stand out as a well-rounded candidate.  

At MidKent College you will be learning in industry-standard workshops, labs, studios, and ICT suites with state-of-the-art equipment and tutors who have worked in the field. If you prefer a more hands-on approach to learning and want to learn skills as well as theory, then BTECs may be for you.    

 Find out about what we offer here 

If you want to discuss your options further, our Careers Team are available for one to one support – please contact us to arrange a telephone appointment. 

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Apprentice of the Month: Grace Kinggett (March)

We would like to congratulate Grace on being awarded our Apprentice of the Month. Here is what our winner had to say - 
When I found out I felt really happy as I have worked hard on my work.
 
I love working for Paramount as I have the freedom to grow in my role and my team. Daily, I discover how much knowledge I have on the company for someone of my age, and I hope to learn even more in the future. 
 
The support I receive when I want to go on additional courses to help me learn is great, and Paramount are also happy for me to do so in work time, and they also fund it. 
 
It's great when you hear such positive feedback about a student. Here is why her Training Officer, Marion, nominated Grace -
Grace has just achieved her Level 2 Business Administration Apprenticeship and I am glad to nominate Grace and I believe she deserves the recognition! 
 
Grace has experienced some difficult times during her apprenticeship but this has no way impacted her performance and commitment to the course. 

At the beginning of her apprenticeship, Grace was a novice to the industry but she acceptingly took on board advice from her Director by researching the industry in her own time, to improve and expand her knowledge base of the housing industry. This has been reflected in her confidence speaking to clients over the phone and the work she has produced for her course. 
 
Since I became responsible for her assessments in December 2019, Grace has stepped up her dedication to the course by completing all her actions on time and working very proactively to produce high quality, expert work. She works extremely well within the office, supporting her colleagues and she is a vital part of her team. 
 
Grace is a great asset to her employer as well as MidKent College.
 
Grace is based at Paramount and her employer Grant De-Negri, Managing Director had this to say -
Grace, what a journey you have been on in the two years of being a vital cog at Paramount.
 
Your professionalism, confidence, and knowledge of ‘The Paramount Way’ have more than impressed me. You listen to advice and constructive criticism, and you continue to grow within yourself and your role. To say I am proud of you is an understatement. 
 
You have been through a lot in your life at such a young age and never do you play the victim. You have become a very knowledgeable young lady, who is very bright and aware of the world around you.
 
I look forward to seeing what you achieve in the next two years. I know I will not be disappointed. 
 
Paramount is very lucky to have you.
 
Well done Grace!


Thinking about choosing a Business Administration apprenticeship? Find out more here!

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A little help on working from home

If you are reading this you are probably situated somewhere in your house. In your studys (lucky you!) kitchen tops, dining room tables or some creative desk you have managed to make – well done. Regardless, most of us are working in an environment we aren’t used to. There will also be some of you who love the fact that every day is PJ day and for others, this could be a difficult time to get used to.

So, of course, we have put together a few things that might help you at home.

ROUTINE
Now let’s not expect your routine to mirror the one you have at work. That’s just very unlikely so don’t try and put unnecessary pressure to abide by the same working habits. This is a new way of working, so your routine will also be new. This routine day-to-day isn’t just about making sure your work doesn’t drop but also that your mental health doesn’t either. Plus, a lot of you won’t be working solo – you will juggling between employer, parent, and teacher! So be realistic – you will have a lot of things to think about. Break your day up into ways that will benefit the entire house.

COMMUNICATION
How lucky are we that we live in a time where technology is pretty awesome – especially when you are stuck in your house! So there are loads of ways to keep connected with your work colleagues, family and friends. Get that WhatsApp group going, video call your loved ones and just stay in contact.

Let these be the moments when we don’t dwell on situations that are out of our hands but talk about everything else. Be silly, share stories and make each other laugh.

We often connect over going for a meal or a drink – popping over for tea. Why should this stop? It’s time to get creative! There is no reason why you can’t arrange to see your friend at 5pm for that drink – but virtually! Let video calls be the way that enables you to socialise again.

GET MOVING
Ok, so there are only so many times you can walk into each area of your house. But who does that anyway? This is your opportunity to fit in something good for you physically and mentally. There are endless videos online to delve into – yoga, boxing, HITT training – anything (and there are pretty inventive ways to create your gym equipment too). I mean you can’t use the excuse that you haven’t got time anymore… And where possible get out in the fresh air to boost your mood.


TURN IT OFF
They say ‘don’t take your work home with you’. But this phrase really doesn’t work at the moment… but it’s true. Whatever schedule you are adhering to there has to come a point where your working day is done. Make sure you turn off all devices so you can switch off and get a little bit of normality back when you’re just at home.

Let’s make this unknown time into something fun. We are in this together. Keep safe and remember this isn’t forever… just for right now!

P.S I hope you continue to have a sufficient supply of toilet roll.

If you are finding it hard to cope at the moment then please visit Mind or Samaritans.

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Studied Construction? What's next?

Former Construction student Richard shared more about his career after completing his College qualification...

Why did you choose to study at the College?

Having worked in the construction industry for over 20 years, I felt it was the correct time to gain qualifications relevant to the experience I have gained.

Tell us more about your role, what does it involve?

I currently work for the Environment Agency and have done since 2015. Starting on the ground working with the field operation team conducting maintenance, being on call and reacting to various flood and pollution incidents. I now currently work as a Catchment Officer, within the Asset Performance Team. In this role my primary purpose is asset management, ensuring that maintenance is conducted on various assets for flood risk. This involves in dealing with the public answering questions on flood risk assets, conducting enforcement, ensuring funds and works are delivered on projects in various areas of my catchment, I also have a on call duty role as a Field Operations Duty Officer.

Would you recommend that others study Construction?

Yes, if you are passionate about construction and civil engineering and want to learn not only the basics of construction but the fundamentals that hold it together.

What does it mean for your career that you have now achieved ICE status? 

Having worked within construction and civil engineering for 20 years it was a crucial part of helping to obtain my technician status. Having first heard about the engineering technician at MidKent College, it become apparent to me that I could gain a EngTech MICE status with the Civil Engineering council. Having spoken to a mentor with ICE, I started the process with a colleague of mine and applied for chartership. With the application you require sponsorship from an internal person, they will help you with your application but also state they know who you are and that you are able to conduct the work that you specify in your application. Once completed and submitted you then have the interview process to undertake. You will be sat in front of two chartered engineers from ICE who will question you on your application and a presentation if you chose to present one.

Once you receive the email saying that you have been successful with your interview, there will be an award ceremony. There will be a collection of various skilled people from various backgrounds of civil engineering collecting various awards, and it’s a privilege to be able stand with them.


Find out more about Construction programmes at the College here.

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How can you stay safe online?

The online world is part of our lives with many of us using the internet for every part of our lives.

But the digital realm is forever changing so however little or a lot we venture online – we should all be taking responsibility to stay security-savvy online.

So here are some steps to help you feel a little safer surfing the net.

Ctrl. Alt. Delete. Whether we head out to lunch, grab a drink or be enticed by cake (I am sure we have all been there!) it would be so easy to walk off and leave our screen unattended. But how many of you lock your screen the moment you are out of reach of your device? Locking your screen is a great measure to ensuring your work maintains being private – this also goes for your phones too!

Be Wi-Fi Wary. If you are working in your office, at school or at home, you can pretty much guarantee that the network is secure and your interaction is as safe as it can be. However, a lot of us may work in different locations – whether we have a meeting in the local coffee shop or managing emails on the train. If you are connected to their Wi-Fi you are risking the content of your device to other people. If you are working on anything confidential or even personal then refrain from the free Wi-Fi that does not protect you!

Passwords. If you can set a tough password – do it. The more passwords you have the harder they will be to hack. Ensure your password has variety; from capital letters to using digits. It is also said that the longer the password the better. Try not to use the same password for everything and it is good practice to change them all annually.

Although they are called passwords – don’t pass this information on to people. Keep them a secret.

Don’t just click. We have all been told not to click on links or attachments that get sent to you and proceed with an air of caution. If you are sent an attachment by someone else always check they have sent you this, or type the web address into the browser yourself. Think before you click.

Keep your desk tidy. You may have files, account details or passwords scribbled down somewhere on your desk. Any of this information could be the gateway for hackers to gain company information. So, eliminate this avenue - with a spring clean.

If you see a suspicious email or your device isn’t acting as normal then always report anything out of the ordinary.

It is also important to know how we can protect friends, family and colleagues to be ready to manage their online presence. If you are worried or want more tips on how to tackle this situation then click here

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Employment after an apprenticeship

Thinking about an apprenticeship, and worried about your long-term job prospects?  

Many apprentices are employed within their current company once their apprenticeship has come to an end. Some continue with the next level of apprenticeship (such as advanced or degree level), and others are offered full-time employment in a role they are qualified in. This will also increase your salary in line with others in similar roles in the company. 

Some apprentices choose to seek promotion in other companies once their apprenticeship is finished. Your qualification will be recognised by the employer, and you’ll have plenty of industry experience to talk about in the interview too. 

Apprenticeships are acknowledged as a pathway to a successful career by employers, with many famous people and CEOs being former apprentices! (Our Principal and CEO Simon was once an apprentice chef!) Did you know that David Beckham, Jamie Oliver and Elvis were once apprentices? 

Don’t forget – as part of your apprenticeship you will be networking with a lot of different people, so consider (before your apprenticeship ends!) contacting these people for potential career opportunities. 

Top tip – ensure your LinkedIn profile is professional, relevant and up-to-date during your apprenticeship. It’s the best social network to connect with others in your industry, and look for that all-important job! 


Find out more from others at the College about life after their apprenticeship including Greg and Ellie

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Can an adult apply for an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are not just for school leavers. We see many adult apprentices around College who have decided to retrain or upskill, with the apprenticeship route being the most appropriate to them. 

There are three different levels you can choose to study at: 

  • Intermediate (equivalent to GCSE level) 
  • Advanced (equivalent to A level) 
  • Degree/higher (equivalent to Level 4/HNCs and above) 

Some adults choose to remain with their existing employer, with others choosing to leave to take an apprenticeship opportunity at a different company. Do your research, and consider the best option for yourself and your home life.  

What will you gain? 

You’ll have the opportunity to upskill or retrain, and gain industry recognised technical qualifications in your field. You may also improve your English and maths with GCSE retakes, and improve other skills too, like ICT. 

You’ll improve your confidence in your skills, and be mentored by an industry professional as well as taught by a tutor who has also worked in the industry. Your qualification is shaped by relevant employers, so you’ll be learning the skills that they’re looking for. 

You’ll be able to put the skills you learn at College, straight into practice in your workplace – maybe even in the same week! 

How long will an apprenticeship take? 

Depending on which level and type of apprenticeship you choose, it can take from one to five years to complete. 

What industries offer apprenticeships for adults? 

You can choose from a wide range of industries from construction and engineering to HR, the construction trades or science. 


Find out more about apprenticeships at the College, or university level courses for adults

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https://www.midkent.ac.uk/news/blog/can-an-adult-apply-for-an-apprenticeship/ https://www.midkent.ac.uk/news/blog/can-an-adult-apply-for-an-apprenticeship/ Thu, 06 Feb 2020 13:01:37 GMT
Apprenticeship or university?

At a crossroads in your education where you have to make a decision, and you’re just not sure? Now’s the time to do your research and consider your options… 

Apprenticeship 

You’ll gain key industry experience, and those all-important employability skills like communication, teamwork and time management. Your employer will also give you a salary, and other company benefits, including during your time at College. 

You’ll have a recognised qualification, as well as improve your skills in English, maths, and ICT. Take the opportunity to network for contacts too – you never know who could be important to your future career! 

University 

Choose from thousands of courses across the UK – and abroad! – and do your research as to entry criteria, living costs, and career opportunities. Consider the cost of living and studying and research into grants and potential scholarships to help pay towards your fees. Why not consider a part-time job too? 

You’ll gain a university degree, which is compulsory for some industry sectors. Take advantage of all the opportunities available to you – from getting involved in the social events to a year in industry.  

For some the opportunity to live away from home is the biggest draw – and you’ll learn how to be independent very quickly! 

Or why not combine both? You can study for a degree apprenticeship! 

Degree apprenticeships are still fairly new to the studying scene, but more and more people are considering them. 

You combine a typical apprenticeship style on the job training in the workplace (typically four days per week), with one day studying for your degree at university. 

Your company will gain someone highly trained, and you will gain industry experience, valuable network contacts AND a degree. You’ll still gain a salary, and there are many vocational areas to choose to study in. 


Ultimately the decision is yours based on your career goals and previous qualifications. Find out more about the university-level courses at College, as well as our apprenticeships.

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