Colors: Green Color

The Manchester College and UCEN Manchester today named its new £95 million, four storey campus ‘City Campus Manchester’, which will provide industry standard training and education facilities to the people of Manchester from its location opposite the AO Arena. Chosen by colleagues and students the name reflects what they considered to be its unique selling point, being the only College having such a prominent location right in the heart of Manchester.

City Campus Manchester will play a central role in providing one million Mancunians with access to a high-quality technical education over the building’s lifetime; and the importance of education, training and skills in improving economic outcomes for the citizens of Greater Manchester. On schedule to open its door to students in September 2022, the build has now reached a crucial milestone after contractors, Willmott Dixon, recently completed the installation of the roof to make the campus watertight.

During the summer months work will commence on the internal fit out of the campus which will be home to the College’s Industry Excellence Academies for Computing & Digital, Creative and Digital Media, while also providing new facilities for the Industry Excellence Academy for Hospitality & Catering and its Centre of Excellence for Performing Arts. It will also provide a dedicated space for sister organisation and higher education provider UCEN Manchester, providing a base for The Arden School of Theatre and Manchester Film School.

Unveiling the name, John Thornhill, CEO of the LTE Group said “I am delighted that, despite Covid restrictions, the construction of this major new facility for the residents of Greater Manchester started on time and continues apace, now being watertight. As Greater Manchester recovers from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, high quality technical education delivered in these amazing and exciting new facilities, will equip people with the skills that employers require to power the recovery that will be vital to the future economic success of the region and the life opportunities of its citizens.”

Principal Lisa O’Loughlin said: “The importance of a technical education and its place in the city is reflected in the name chosen by our colleagues and students, which also recognises how vital training and skills will be in ensuring that Manchester continues to go from strength to strength in the years ahead.”

“We strongly believe that if we are to properly prepare our students for successful and rewarding careers, it is essential that they learn and train in an environment that closely matches that which they will experience when they enter the world of work in their chosen sector or field. Coupled with a curriculum offer that is co-developed and co-delivered with leading employers and industry partners, City Campus Manchester will provide the perfect place for students to call home as they develop the skills that will set them on the path to becoming the next generation of industry excellence.”

On the day Leader of the Council – Sir Richard Leese – met students who are helping to build the campus, as part of their Construction Scholarship programme.

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: "City Campus Manchester is just the kind of game-changer we need as we build back better from the pandemic. As a centre of excellence in the heart of the city for technical and vocational training in some of the country's fastest growing industries, its positive impact will be felt not just by students lucky enough to study there but by the city itself as its students leave college fully trained to industry standards and enter the workforce."

The new city centre campus forms part of a £140m investment The Manchester College and UCEN Manchester’s parent company, the LTE Group, is making in the education provider’s campuses, representing one of the largest co-created and co-funded projects the post-16 education sector has ever seen.

Anthony Dillon, managing director for Willmott Dixon in the north, said: “The city centre campus will educate and create exciting opportunities for generations of Mancunians and we’re proud to say it is being built by the people of Greater Manchester for the people of Greater Manchester. To date we have invested more than £47m of the project spend with businesses in the local area.

“It is thanks to the strength of the relationships and collaboration between our team, The Manchester College, UCEN Manchester and all our local design and supply chain partners that we have overcome the challenges of the past year to drive the project forward, and, most importantly, kept everyone safe on site.

“As part of our partnership with The Manchester College we are also sponsoring 12 local students on the Architectural & Construction Engineering (ACE) Scholarship programme, co-developing and co-delivering their course, and they are playing a key role in building the new campus. This is an outstanding example of how industry and educators can work together to inspire and create opportunities for the construction workers of the future.”

Yorkshire-based home furnishing brand Blinds Direct has launched a nationwide competition that gives aspiring student designers the chance to have their work printed on a range of interior decor products that will be sold on the company’s website, with the artist credited in each product listing.

The BD Design Challenge 2021 invites undergraduate students to create a design that celebrates both their individuality and identity. The winning entry will be printed by Blinds Direct and made available on the website as Roman blinds, roller blinds, cushions, lampshades and curtains. 

Design students from local universities are encouraged to create a unique pattern inspired by their heritage and history and are given free reign over their technique or chosen subject - whether they opt for florals, geometric or abstract design elements. The top three entrants will be decided by an expert panel of judges drafted from the Blinds Direct design team plus guest judge Karen Walker, editor of Good Homes. 

With more than 25 years' experience in the home interest sector, Karen has a huge passion for all things interiors. Working across both digital and print magazines, including Real Homes, Grand Designs, Homes & Gardens and Ultimate Christmas Magazine, she has developed a keen eye for upcoming talent.

The winner and two runners-up will also receive a complimentary lampshade and cushion from Blinds Direct that features their design. To provide the winning student with additional exposure and recognition for their creativity, their design will also be featured in an exclusive article in Good Homes magazine. 

Lukasz Marat, Head of Brand & Creative comments: “As a Yorkshire-based company, we are delighted to be giving aspiring designers the opportunity to have their work come to life on the website and in production. We’re excited to see the levels of creativity and designs from students all across the UK, and wish them every success in the competition.”

How to enter

Entrants need to submit a digital version of their design using a template available on the website, along with a 200-word explanation of their creative process and factors featured in the pattern. A copy of the entrant’s student or NUS card with valid start and expiration dates is also required alongside the final design and 200-word bio to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The competition runs now, to 11.59pm on 31st August 2021. The winner will be contacted via email on September 30th 2021.

To see the full details of the new design competition, please visit: https://www.blindsdirect.co.uk/design-challenge-2021

A comedian and broadcaster who was praised for quitting his presenter job at BBC Radio 1Xtra in protest at the use of a racial slur on the network, is to give a free talk about how to deal with adversity and voicing opinions as part of Birmingham’s City University’s Get ready for uni: live programme on Friday 30 July.

Sideman, real name David Whitely and who was born in Jamaica before moving to Birmingham aged 12, has built up a following of hundreds of thousands of fans on Instagram with his observations around cultural identity, society, entertainment, music, sport and politics, making him a household name amongst young people across the UK. Sideman will bring the University’s two-week long programme of masterclasses aimed at helping new students prepare and settle at university to a close with a discussion around dealing with setbacks, becoming more resilient, and actively sharing values in a positive and professional manner.

Speaking ahead of the session, Sideman said, “I think in this time, more than ever before we must measure our words as well as the words of others, measure how much you stand by what you are going to say before you say it, especially in the face of potential backlash, and how much that affects you, measure how much importance you actually place on outside influences.

 “Words can go very far and be very impactful, and that can be a good and a bad thing.” Get ready for uni: live follows new survey results which highlight young people’s concerns around their move to higher education post-Covid.

Making friends at university is the top worry for Birmingham college leavers, according to research undertaken by Birmingham City University, with 61% of respondents in a recent poll suggesting meeting new people was more of a concern for prospective students than managing money or finding motivation to study. In August 2020, Sideman resigned from his role as DJ and presenter at BBC 1Xtra, following the use of a racial slur in a BBC New report, which resulted in 18,600 complaints to Ofcom.

In a video to his 330,000 Instagram followers at the time, the star said, “I've thought long and hard about what I'm about to say and what it means. And on this occasion I just don't think that I can look the other way”, adding, "I just don't feel comfortable being aligned with the organisation".

Since leaving the BBC he has taken up new roles, and is currently is currently the co-host of the first Amazon Original podcast in the UK, Amazon Music's +44 Podcast, where alongside Zeze Millz he talks about the biggest stories and trends in UK Black music and culture. The comedian and broadcaster previously appeared with Birmingham City University Centre for Brexit Studies Director Professor Alex de Ruyter in a video in which the two explained Instagram and Brexit to one another.

Get Ready for Uni: Live, running between Monday 19 July and Friday 30 July, features sessions on managing finances, how to look after your wellbeing, how to adapt to university study, and making the most of your summer. Sessions are open to anyone preparing to enter higher education regardless of where they plan to study. Watch back facilities will be made available as a free resource to be accessed by all interested in university study.

The two-week series of hour-long online sessions at 11am also includes a Q&A with Birmingham City University Media, English and Drama, and Interior Design graduates Scott Campbell, Ella Cockerton, and Claire Watts – now working for ITV, Birmingham Royal Ballet and IKEA respectively - on kickstarting your career in media and TV, volunteering whilst at university, and making a home for the first time. The University’s survey, which polled 94 young people aged 17 to 18 from across the West Midlands, also revealed that 56% were nervous about starting university, and that 47% felt partly prepared for the transition.

Chatting with friends online, watching streaming services, and learning a new skill ranked top of the activities respondents enjoyed most to stay motivated during lockdowns and home schooling. 49% of those surveyed expressed an interest in taking part in sessions to be productive and manage time ahead of starting university, and 48% were keen to learn more about self-care and mindfulness.

Anne Hodgetts, a Head Teacher at Moorcroft Wood Primary School has won the Clinell Cleaning Heroes competition after going the extra mile in her role to ensure the school was kept clean for her pupils

The competition, launched by GAMA Healthcare, manufacturer of Clinell Universal Wipes and infection prevention leaders in the NHS, invited local people to nominate friends, family or colleagues who have been on the frontline over the past year, helping to suppress the spread of the virus through cleaning.

Entries were submitted from across the country, and Anne’s winning nomination was chosen by a panel of expert judges including Karen Wares, who specialises in infection prevention at GAMA.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Anne has made infection control a priority, ensuring the safety of everyone in the school community. She went the extra mile to ensure that everyone had the correct PPE and also put a one-way system in place. All of this was done whilst trying to make a very difficult time fun for vulnerable pupils and children of key workers. 

Anne said: “As a school, we have faced many challenges and changes throughout the pandemic but every member of the team has pulled together to maintain a safe learning environment and to provide high quality learning opportunities for our children. Each of us has carried out duties that had not previously formed part of our day to day responsibilities, as well as becoming well acquainted with masks, spray bottles and cleaning cloths. I can certainly say I have added new skills to the CV.”

The judges were really impressed by the extra work Anne put in to ensuring the safety of all her pupils

Karen Wares Associate Clinical Director at GAMA Healthcare said: “Anne was a well-deserved winner. The dedication she showed to her pupils at school was extraordinary, particularly in light of the many challenges faced by education institutions. We were delighted to hear that she was so passionate about implementing strict infection prevention control practices to help keep everyone safe. Infection Prevention and Control encompassing good hand hygiene and surface hygiene are the most effective ways to help stop the spread of infection and protect those around us. We are proud to recognise those who have become Cleaning Heroes in the fight against COVID-19.”

Evelyn Humphrey nominated her daughter after seeing the Clinell Cleaning Heroes competition on social media. She said: “Anne has gone over and above to ensure the safety of children and staff at her school, following all of the correct safety procedures to keep everyone safe. She went out and purchased goods such as cleaning products and spray bottles. Anne also spent her own time marking out arrows for a one way system around the school, as well as painting 2 metre ‘waiting spots’ on the playground to encourage social distancing when parents were dropping children off to maintain safety on site. Having shortages of staff due to isolation and shielding, she stepped up and filled the gaps; even making toast for each child. She has made a very difficult time fun for all. She carried on through the holidays to take care of key workers’ children and vulnerable pupils.  She really deserves recognition for all she has done.”

With 63% of people across the West Midlands more concerned about cleaning practices than before the pandemic, businesses such as care homes are relying on staff to take on cleaning duties more than ever. Many employees across sectors like education have had to learn new skills in infection prevention cleaning, and with other viruses in circulation such as the flu and norovirus, keeping cleaning standards high is essential to keep us safe.

The search by GAMA Healthcare looked for the best workers who have taken on cleaning responsibilities to keep us safe over the past year, from sectors including travel and transport, delivery drivers, schools, community healthcare, supermarkets and hospitality. Those people who are helping to provide and maintain clean, sanitised and safe environments for the rest of the country.

The team behind Clinell Universal Wipes, an award-winning product invented by two NHS doctors, who are passionate about reducing infection, have also developed an infection control cleaning methodology, widely used across the NHS, which could be of vital use to businesses as part of their cleaning practice.

Extending the Kickstart Scheme is vital to addressing youth unemployment is key, according to the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB), in response to new ONS data released this morning.

Dr Joe Marshall, Chief Executive of NCUB said: “Whilst it is positive that the numbers of vacancies are now above pre-pandemic levels, now is no time for complacency. There are still 206,000 fewer workers on the payroll than before the pandemic. What’s more, young people are still bearing the brunt of the impact. Without assistance, young people will continue to face unemployment, and employers will lose out on the innovative, talented workforce they critically need to recover post Covid-19.

“According to recent ONS statistics, 321,000 young people have been out of work for up to 6 months, and 112,000 have been unemployed for up to 12 months. Indeed 92,000 18 to 24 year olds have been unemployed for over 12 months now. On top of this, the furlough scheme is nearing its end and we will undoubtedly see hundreds of thousands more young people out of the labour market.”

Marshall concluded: “However, it is not all doom and gloom. We are making positive steps towards recovery. And in order to maintain this momentum, we are calling on the Government to continue initiatives such as the Kickstart scheme, that was announced as part of their Plan for Jobs.

“The scheme is due to end at the end of 2021. The Kickstart scheme is a lifeline for many of the nation’s unemployed young people.

“This commitment will help continue to create jobs and help get young people back in to work. This will be vital for the country’s long-term recovery.”