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Axia Solutions apprentice Lydia Smith is Steelite's apprentice of the year.

She was presented with her award by Newcastle-under-Lyme College's Principal Karen Dobson (pictured below) at Steelite's Stepping up to The Plate Awards.

Lydia Smith Steelite apprentice winner with KD web

Lydia from Sandbach is a Business Administration Apprentice who started at Steelite during 2013 and has completed her Level 2 Apprenticeship with Axia and progressed onto the Level 3 Apprenticeship. She is a former pupil of Sandbach High School where she sat her A Levels.

In the last five years Axia Solutions, a wholly owned subsidiary of Newcastle-under-Lyme College, has successfully trained 105 Steelite apprentices. Currently Steelite, a global ceramics company based in Stoke, has a range of apprentices in areas such as print, engineering, administration, and Business Improvement Techniques.

The Stepping up to The Plate Awards recognise a number of different achievements by employees at Steelite including long service, employee contribution and training. Lydia's award was based on recommendations from her supervisors, colleagues and  Axia assessor Mark Tallen.

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Daniel Ryan 1 WebNewcastle-under-Lyme College IT student Daniel Ryan has been shortlisted for this year’s National BTEC Awards from over 800 nominations.

Daniel, 23 from Stoke-on-Trent, who is studying for a BTEC Extended Diploma in IT, previously achieved an Intermediate Construction Award in Brickwork. However, due to injury, he had to reconsider his career options and with a strong passion for computing, his in-depth knowledge won him a place on his current course.

Vocational Curriculum Manager, Vicki Disley said: “Daniel is very keen to progress and wishes to build a career in computing. He shows a real interest and enthusiasm for the subject, being able to share his experience from further research or practical computing to stimulate discussion and add value to each of the lectures he attends. He opens fresh avenues of thought to other learners around him; captivating others in the enjoyment of computing.”

The National BTEC Awards, now in its fifth year, aims to recognise the exceptional achievements of individuals, along with the excellent teachers, tutors, schools, colleges, training providers and employers who deliver their learning.

Said Vicki: “Daniel has a specific talent and interest in scripting and games design, HTML 5 and web development. He has built a website for a firm of chartered accountants and also has a good knowledge of hardware. After achieving Distinction grades in all units of study he should confidently achieve D*D*D* grade overall.”

Daniel’s nomination will now be judged by an expert panel of vocational employers, journalists, tutors and educationalists. If successful Daniel will be recognised at a glittering awards ceremony on 7 July in London.


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Newcastle-under-Lyme College (NULC) has swept the boards at the Association of Colleges Sport National Championships in Bath this weekend.

The men's volleyball team and the women's cross country team are now national champions while the men's cross country team took silver as did cross country runner Lucy Holt and trampolinist Arron Lymer took bronze. The men's and women's basketball teams both came fifth and the women's volleyball team was seventh.

The College record squad of 54 competitors travelled to Bath on Friday to represent the West Midlands in the Association of Colleges Sport three day national  championships. The West Midlands team finished third overall in the competition.

The competition is an annual event, which includes over 1800 students and 200 members of staff from England and Wales and gives the students the opportunity to showcase their sporting talent.

Said NULC Academy of Sport manager Trevor Humphreys: "This competition was a new experience for many of the students so they really proved that NULC is the number one sports college in the region. They all had a great time, did the College proud and now have even greater motivation to work hard and get back there next time."

NULC Sports Academy programmes include football, basketball, netball, athletics/ endurance, rugby, volleyball and the Ian Woosnam Golf Academy which are centred at NULC's Gordon Banks Sports Centre. The college was West Midlands Sports College of the year in 2012 and 2014 and was rated by Ofsted as "outstanding" for sports, leisure and recreation.

To find out more about sport at NULC, please visit:

Pictured: Newcastle-under-Lyme men's volleyball national champions.

National Mens volleyball Champions web

Thursday, 26 March 2015 11:25

NULC wins rugby sevens county cup

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Newcastle-under-Lyme College (NULC) has won the Staffordshire Rugby Sevens cup.

Rugby 7 Staffordshire Cup winners webAt the competition held at Newcastle-under-Lyme School yesterday (25 March) the NULC team beat St Joseph's College in the semi-final and Newcastle-under-Lyme School in the final.

Coached by Robin Websdale and captained by Nathan Caucau, the team comprised of Ellis Moysey, Jarrod Clack, Seva Bulunakau, George Waganvere, Billy Wara, Alex James, Phil Watson and Joe Welsh.

Said NULC's Academy of Sport manager Trevor Humphreys: "This is an absolutely fantastic achievement. It's the first time an NULC team has won this cup in its 50 year history. Our sports teams are on course for one of the best seasons ever. Our basketball and volleyball teams have qualified for national championships and our biggest ever squad is going to the AoC Sport national championships at the weekend. We are without doubt the number one college for sport in the region."

NULC Sports Academy programmes include football, basketball, netball, athletics/ endurance, rugby, volleyball and the Ian Woosnam Golf Academy Academy which are centred at NULC's Gordon Banks Sports Centre. The College was West Midlands Sports College of the Year in 2012 and 2014 and was rated by Ofsted as "outstanding" for sports, leisure and recreation.

To find out more about sport at NULC, please visit:

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Left to right: Luke Martin, Priya Sharma, Kieran Rosenau and lecturer Becky SargeantFriday 27 March will see five political party representatives from Conservative, UKIP, Labour, Liberal Democrats and the Green Party quizzed by young people on their parties’ visions for the future.

The vocational business team have organised the event in a Question Time format which will allow them to engage with politicians and get the answers to questions surrounding local politics. This event has been organised to engage students with politics and to understand the importance of using their vote.

Student Kieran Rosenau-White said: “The event aims to highlight the importance of voting, even if some students won’t be eligible for this general election. Forming a point of view and understanding policies that will affect themselves or their families will help them to better understand in the future.”

On the 7 May NULC students are being encouraged to learn about the main political parties’ policies and plans should they win the election and form their own views on who they’d like to see in power. Around 2,900 NULC students will be eligible to vote by 7 May. During the last general election only 44 per cent of 18-24 year olds voted, meaning that over half are not helping to influence who helps to run the country.

Said Kieran: “Young people can sometimes feel like their opinion isn’t valid, but with less than half of 18-24 year olds voting in the last election, it shows that their views can really make a difference and their vote really does count.”

A follow up event has also been arranged where Labour MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme, Paul Farrelly will be talking to students about his party’s policies and how they could implement these after the next election which includes education, costs of living and many more issues which will effect students at NULC.

NULC offers vocational courses across a number of subject areas and 36 different A/AS levels including Government and Politics. If you would like to find out more about our range of courses at NULC, visit:

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Newcastle-under-Lyme College is sending a record 54-strong squad to the Association of Colleges Sport national championships this weekend.

The students will represent both Newcastle-under-Lyme College (NULC) and the West Midlands as they qualified for the championships by winning their regional competitions.

Said NULC Principal Karen Dobson: "This is the largest squad from any college to compete at the national championships so this really underscores our position as the region's top college for sport. Hats off both to our students and coaching and support staff who have worked tirelessly to ensure peak performance."

The college sport national championships attracts teams from England and Wales and is one of the largest annual sporting events in the country, involving over 1,800 college students. It will be held at Bath between 27 - 29th March.

The NULC squad comprises of the men's and women's volleyball teams, the men's and women's basketball teams, four cross country runners (who took the first four places in the regional competition) and international trampolinist Aaron Lymer.

The West Midlands team will be captained by NULC's volleyball player Zakk Hadgett.

Said NULC's Academy of Sport manager Trevor Humphreys: "This is a tremendous advert for Newcastle-under-Lyme College. Basically if you like sport, then this is the college for you whether it's just for fun or you join one of our sports academies or you compete at an elite level. We have something for everyone and the best facilities. If you are thinking of applying to NULC, then now is the time to do it."

NULC Sports Academy programmes include football, basketball, netball, athletics/ endurance, rugby, volleyball and the Ian Woosnam Golf Academy Academy which are centred at NULC's Gordon Banks Sports Centre. The College was West Midlands Sports College of the Year in 2012 and 2014 and was rated by Ofsted as "outstanding" for sports, leisure and recreation.

To find out more about sport at NULC, please visit:

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Hairdressing apprentice Clare Page has won at the Association of Hairdressers and Therapists (AHT) national college Hairdressing and Beauty Competition.

Clare Page, 33, from Tean, is a hairdressing apprentice at Newcastle-under-Lyme College (NULC). Clare works at the hair and beauty salon Shades of Tean, Staffordshire.

Clare was named National Champion - First Year Blow Dry when she won the competition at the Blackpool Winter Gardens last week.

"The AHT competition win for Clare was fantastic for someone who is only five months into their training programme." Said NULC's Transform Hair, Beauty and Floristry Centre Manager, Anthony Keates.

"Clare received great training and support from her lecturer Amy Stott which, along with the encouragement from the salon, was instrumental to Clare's success."

NULC offers a Level 2 Apprenticeship and a Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship in hairdressing. These allow students to learn from professional hairdressers on the job whilst also receiving tuition in the College which features its own Transform professional salon where students are supervised while working on customers' hair.

Said Clare: "I'm so grateful to be given the opportunity to enter the competition – and to win has made my dreams come true. I'd like to thank Lynn Plant and the girls at
Shades Hair and Beauty for all their support and Anthony and the team at NULC for their encouragement and belief in me."

NULC is currently training around 1,000 apprentices. For further information on what NULC can do for business including recruitment, training and apprenticeships, please visit:

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Ability Counts Football Team WebNewcastle-under-Lyme College’s (NULC) Ability Counts football team have claimed their place in the National Cup Final to be held at St George’s Park on Wednesday 6 May.

Following a day of success in the West Midlands Regional Qualifiers held at NULC, team of nine, coached by NULC Sports Maker Kerri Welsh and Sports Apprentice Andrew Thorley, made their way unbeaten through the group stages of the tournament.

Said Kerri: “This is the first time our Ability Counts team have been entered into the National Cup. The students have done incredibly well in the league, and to get through to the National Cup Finals in their first year is a massive achievement.”

Run by the Association of Colleges, the tournament is made up of six teams from the West Midlands and allows players, regardless of their ability to play football at a level that they can enjoy. Each team plays 7 vs 7 matches, with a flexible playing style implemented so all can get involved.

The team unfortunately lost to Henley College, 3-1 in a penalty shootout during the semi-final. However, having reached the semi-final stage in the Regional Qualifiers, the team are now eligible for the National Cup Final at St George’s Park on 6 May.

Said Kerri: “The behaviour and attitude by the students in every tournament they have been involved with this year has been exceptional they have been a real credit to the College and we wish them the best of luck on 6 May.”

NULC’s most recent Ofsted noted ‘outstanding sport and leisure facilities’ including a state-of-the-art gym and sports hall within the Gordon Banks Sports Centre as well as 3G football pitch. NULC offers a wide range of sports courses for all learners, for further information visit

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Jake Shakeshaft of BBC's The Voice is the guest star at Saturday's open event for Newcastle-under-Lyme College's new Performing Arts Centre.

Jake The VoiceThe event, which takes place on Saturday 21st March between noon and 2pm, will give Year 11 school students the opportunity to see the fantastic facilities at the brand new £5.5 million Performing Arts Centre in Knutton Lane.

These include a 200 seat theatre, air conditioned dance studios, an outdoor amphitheatre, live recording studio and a state-of-the-art rehearsal suite.

Prospective students and their families will also be able to meet Newcastle-under-Lyme College's (NULC) industry expert staff and find out about the full range of courses on offer.

NULC offers courses from entry to university level including A/AS levels in dance, music, music technology, and theatre studies and Extended Diplomas in acting, dance, music performance, music technology, musical theatre and theatre production.

Visitors will also get the chance to see a performance by former student Jake Shakeshaft who wowed audiences on BBC's The Voice, as part of TeamWill.

Jake, a former student of Clayton Hall Business and Language College, has a Diploma in Music Technology from NULC and hit the big time writing and performing his own songs and playing covers of artists such as Ed Sheeran, Oasis, and The Artic Monkeys.

The event will also feature current NULC students playing acoustic in the café, bands performing in the main theatre, students rehearsing in the dance studios and music technology students composing in the Mac Suite.

Said Tina McDonald, Performing Arts Centre Manager,:"We are really proud of what Jake and our other performing arts students have achieved and we are now looking for the next cohort of students to come here in September to develop their talent. We have industry expert staff in both the performance and technical aspects of singing, dance, theatre, and music so we offer a variety of qualifications which can help students progress to university, into careers or on to drama, dance or other specialist schools."

To register for the event please visit

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Staffordshire companies are being invited to sign up for this year's UK Corporate Games being held in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire between 25 and 28 June.

Over 3,000 athletes from over 50 top UK companies have already signed up for the Games and now organisers are keen to see Staffordshire companies getting involved.

Vodafone, Johnsons Health Tec, Environmental Essentials, and Staffordshire Police are amongst the county's organisations already signed up.

Companies interested in taking part can find out more at a special Team Leader Orientation day on Wednesday 25 March where they can meet the organisers, talk to other Team leaders and tour some of the venues. A further presentation at Newcastle-under-Lyme College on 26th March at 8am is also being organised for perspective companies.

The Games are Europe's largest multi-sport festival for business and while showcasing the regions investment potential are expected to generate over £2.5 million for the local economy.

Competitors will battle it out in 22 sports, including hockey, cricket, rugby sevens, netball, volleyball, and dragon boat racing. Venues include Keele and Staffordshire Universities, Fenton Manor Sports Complex, Newcastle College and Trentham Gardens.

Cllr Mark Winnington, Cabinet Member for Economy at Staffordshire County Council said:

"We're really looking forward to welcoming thousands of people from top UK companies, but we're also keen to see local companies getting involved too. The Games are designed to help build team spirit and boost productivity as well as giving organisations the chance to promote their business.

"Hosting the games will be great for the county and give us the perfect opportunity to show off what the area has to offer, as well as providing a welcome boost to our tourism sector."

Councillor Adrian Knapper, cabinet member for health and wellbeing at Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said: "We've got some big companies signed up from all over the country which is great to see, but we also want local businesses to get involved. There's nothing quite like home advantage when it comes to sport and this is their chance to fly the flag for Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire."

Chief Inspector Phil Fortun at Staffordshire Police and team leader for the Games said: "We are delighted to be organising a team from Staffordshire Police to take part in the 2015 UK Corporate Games. Whilst team members will be competing in their own time, this is an excellent opportunity for Staffordshire Police and the force Sports Association to engage with local businesses, host venues and organisations and showcase some of the outstanding things Staffordshire has to offer. I would encourage other local businesses and organisations to sign up for the Games as it promises to be an unforgettable weekend for all involved."

Games Director Ben Sedgemore said: "We are really looking forward to staging the Games in the wonderful facilities in the area. Large numbers of major organisations from across the Country will be coming and we now want as many local organisations as possible to join them regardless of the size of the company. Everyone is welcomed to the Games, everyone is treated equally regardless of their sporting ability and everyone will have a wonderful experience."

Companies have up to 3 June to register and can do so at or by calling 01733 380888 for more details.

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