Month: October 2015

City College’s Famous 5

Over the years, we’ve had quite a few celebs and VIPs who’ve come to visit the College – here are five of our favourites!

Fatboy Slim at City College

  1. Fatboy Slim

Back in 2012, Brighton’s legendary DJ and dance music pioneer Fatboy Slim (aka Norman Cook) hosted an exclusive ‘Ask Norman’ Q & A session at the College. Norman was really friendly and happily obliged with our students’ endless requests for selfies and autographs… legend!

  1. Deborah MeadenDeborah Meaden at City College

Dragon’s Den star Deborah Meaden is one of our most famous ex-students – she studied business here in the late 70s and came back to visit us in 2008. Deborah was very lovely and friendly (unlike her TV persona!) and had lots of positive things to say about her time at the College.

  1. Andy BurnhamAndy Burnham at City College

Shadow Secretary of State for Health Andy Burnham visited us in 2011 and said “’City College is a brilliant place which is full of activity and you get a great feeling from being here.” We’re not going to argue with that! 🙂

  1. Nick MilesNick Miles with City College Acting students

A face that will be very familiar to Soap fans among you, Nick Miles (aka Emmerdale’s Jimmy King) gave a masterclass to our Acting students in 2009. They gave me some of the most intelligent questions I’ve had to answer in years!” said Nick.

  1. Caroline LucasCaroline Lucas visits City College East

Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas, who made history by becoming the Green Party’s first ever Member of Parliament, has been at the College many times but we love this photo from when she visited our City College East campus in 2011.

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5 City College Superchefs

Our Catering department is renowned in Brighton and beyond for producing top chefs – here are 5 maestros of the kitchen who’ve made their mark in the restaurant world since learning their culinary skills at the College…

  1. Ben McKellar

Ben – the College’s ‘Golden Alumni’ award winner in 2012 – opened The Gingerman Ben McKellarRestaurant in Norfolk Square in 1998. It remains the highest rated restaurant in Brighton. The Gingerman Group has since expanded to include acclaimed pub venues The Ginger Pig, The Ginger Fox and The Ginger Dog which have featured in the Michelin Guide and gained rave reviews in the national press.

  1. Isaac Bartlett-Copeland

Isaac April 15 cropAt just 22, former Catering student Isaac has teamed up with two fellow ex-students (George Thomas and Nima Karam) to launch a highly successful new pop-up restaurant ‘Isaac at Gloucester Street’ with an emphasis on locally-sourced, organic and free-range produce.

  1. Simon Duncan

Simon Duncan Preston Park Tavern Aug 14Last year, Simon became Franchisee/Head Chef of the Preston Park Tavern’s kitchen at the age of just 24, having been head-hunted by the pub’s general manager.  Simon was also a Sussex Young Chef of the Year finalist in 2010.

  1. Armand Sablon

Armand Sablon - Roux ScholarIn 2007, Armand won the Roux Scholarship, widely respected as the most prestigious competition in the UK for young chefs aged 22 to 30. The judging panel who chose Armand as the winner included Gary Rhodes, Brian Turner and Heston Blumenthal. He is now Chef de Cuisine at London’s ultra-chic Hotel Café Royal.

         5.  Dan Cotton

This year, former Catering student Dan was made Head Chef at popular Sussex pubDan Cotton at The Crabtree The Crabtree Inn at the age of just 23. The pub, in the pretty village of Lower Beeding near Horsham, has been building up an excellent local reputation in recent times with rave reviews on Trip Advisor and an ever-growing customer-base. Dan was also one of three grand finalists in the Sussex Young Chef of the Year competition earlier this year.

For more information on Catering courses at City College, contact course information on 01273 667759, email or see

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Former student features in National Open Art exhibition


There has been notable success recently for former HE Art student Lauren Alderslade whose painting Plenty Of Fish not only features in the Royal College of Art National Open Art exhibition but has also been chosen as the featured artwork for the exhibition’s promotional poster. Lauren is one of just 130 artists who were selected from more than 4,000 competition entries to feature in this prestigious show.

“Lauren was consistently inquisitive as a student and positively questioned her own art practice through painting, collage, photography and sculpture, but always returning to drawing as the catalyst for her work,” says Chris Hill, her former tutor and the College’s Head of HE. “She’s able to present her view of the world around us with an infectious energy.”

The National Open Art Exhibition is on display until 1st November.

For further information about Higher Education courses at City College please contact 01273 667719, email see

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Course opens doors into employment for Laura

Former jobseeker Laura Stockwell, who spent seven frustrating months looking for work, has now secured a job as a Marketing Executive with insurance brokers Risk Alliance Direct Limited thanks to a free course at City College Brighton and Hove.

The College’s flexible Opening Doors programme, which is aimed at  providing Laura Stockwell and Matt Bennett webjobseekers with the skills that employers are looking for, runs throughout the year and is open to everyone aged 19+ who is unemployed, claiming benefits and currently seeking work. Risk Alliance Direct Limited has been working in partnership with the College since the beginning of the year, running a call centre at the College which provides employment and work experience opportunities for students, including those on Opening Doors courses.

“I’d worked in Customer Service before but my skills needed updating and broadened so I could feel more confident in dealing with a wide range of customers,” says Laura

(27). “What was great about the Opening Doors ‘Service Industry Pathways’ course was that it was so straightforward and easy to understand. By the time I’d finished, I felt in a much stronger position to get back into employment.”

Matthew Hyams, Risk Alliance Direct Limited’s Marketing Director, says:

“The primary reasons for setting up a joint venture with City College were firstly, the incredible resource of talented students and, secondly, the ability of the College’s Commercial team to deliver outstanding training. The students’ performance has certainly exceeded our expectations.”

“During the course, Laura really showed a high level of engagement and interest in all the group tasks and activities,” says her tutor Matt Bennett. “This helped her to identify areas that needed developing and to finely tune her personal skill set. I’m delighted that she’s successfully made the transition from Opening Doors into employment in a very short space of time.”

Opening Doors courses, which range in duration from four days to four weeks, provide training in areas such as Microsoft Office IT, self-development, employability, CV-writing and interview techniques. Students can also gain industry-specific training in areas such as Health & Social Care, Service Industries, Team-leading, IT and Business, Administration & Accounting. The courses provide the chance to achieve accredited qualifications and some also guarantee interviews on successful completion.

For more details, contact 01273 667712 or email

For City College media enquiries, please call Brian Bell, Marketing Communications Officer, on 01273 667788 Ext. 488 or email website

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College confirms details of new Construction Centre to train future workforce

City College Brighton and Hove has confirmed details of a new Construction & CCE Construction Centre - for web PRTrades Centre at the College’s City College East Campus on Wilson Avenue, designed to be a leading educational and training hub for Brighton & Hove’s next generation of construction workers.

The £9m centre, which has been funded by the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), will enable students in the different trades to work together and follow each other through the construction process, mirroring real site conditions. Sussex-based HNW Architects have designed the centre, leading construction firm Osborne will be building it and the works will be project-managed by Sussex construction and property consultancy practice, NorthGates. Demolition of old structures on the site commences in November and construction work will begin in January 2016. The centre is scheduled to be completed by March 2017.

Nick Juba, City College’s CEO, said:

“We’re delighted to be able to build such a vital new educational facility, something which the city can be proud of. We’re very grateful for the support we’ve received from the Coast to Capital LEP and Brighton & Hove City Council to take this project forward. It will provide facilities in which the carpenters, builders, electricians and plumbers of the future can learn their skills in realistic working environments. It’s crucial that the College caters for the needs of the young people and adults of our dynamic city, enabling them to gain the vocational skills that employers expect. The new centre is central to delivering that ambition.

“There is no doubt that there are challenges facing the FE sector right now and so it is even more important that we work closely with our local community, employers and other organisations to ensure there is strong and sustained partnership working, demonstrating the value and impact that our students can make to the local economy and beyond. The College has a vital and positive contribution to make to the economic development of the City, building on its success as one of the country’s top five cities for private sector job creation. We work very closely with industry and the new centre will enable us to create even stronger industry links in the future.”

Construction is a booming sector in Brighton & Hove with major projects including Royal Sussex Hospital (£500m), Brighton Marina (£250m), Circus Street (£100m) and Brighton i360 (£46m). In the South East region generally, construction sector growth over the next five years is estimated to deliver over 2,500 new jobs a year, according to the industry’s most reputable forecast from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). The annual Construction Skills Network (CSN) report suggests the region could see growth of 2.5% over the period 2015-2019, and 2,590 new jobs each year. There is also a housing and construction skills shortage across the UK. The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) is calling for at least 200,000 homes a year to be built by 2020, with the proportion of members struggling to recruit bricklayers up from 27% to 42% in a year and the figures for carpenters and joiners nearly doubling with 23% of firms reporting recruitment issues.* Figures from the Federation of Master Builders January 2015

For more information on courses at City College, contact course information on 01273 667759, email or see

For City College media enquiries, please call Brian Bell, Marketing Communications Officer, on 01273 667788 Ext. 488 or email website

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Stewart-Graham-HydeWhen Stewart Graham-Hyde was made redundant after some 25 years in the engineering industry, he knew he had a chance to follow his passion.

“I have always hankered to work in a creative industry but had always been too scared to make such a major change,” Stewart told us.

He added: “My time at City College was fundamental to my progression and my career choice.”

Turning crisis into opportunity

Stewart studied an Art and Design Foundation course with us in 2013-14, and is now following his dream as a book-binder and artist.

It’s quite a change from his engineering career, but Stewart’s redundancy in 2012 was the wake-up call he needed

“I had the opportunity to train as a bookbinder with my friend and neighbour Hannah More, and attend college to complete a foundation course in art and design,” he said.

“I was studying bookbinding alongside my college course, and since leaving college I have formed a business partnership with my bookbinding mentor in the form of Highdown Bindery.”

Establishing a business

Specialising in bookbinding and boxes, Highdown Binary is the result of several years retraining and honing new skills for Stewart.

It’s taken three years and lots of hard work to get to this stage, but Stewart says he has loved every minute.

“Changing my core skills to move from 25 years in engineering and photography into a completely different creative industry has been the greatest challenge, but there’s nothing I would change,” he said.

Looking to the future

It’s still early days for Highdown Binary but with the business going from strength to strength, Stewart is already thinking about the future.

“I am developing the business with my business partner and we hope to evolve the business into something beyond traditional bookbinding and work with artists and photographers in collaborative projects” he said.

With plans to pursue his art further and get involved with exhibitions, it’s clear that Stewart has plenty to keep him busy. We’re delighted that City College could play a part in his new-found career and passions, but what does he remember most from his time with us?

“The people mostly, I met some fantastic friends and had the opportunity to work with some really inspiring tutors, for which I am very grateful,” he says.

“My advice for others would be to not give up, stay focused and believe in yourself. Work with the people around you to help develop ideas and pathways, you will get there.”

Well said, Stewart!

For more information on Art & Design courses at City College, call 01273 667759, email or see

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City College students meet world-renowned photographer Brian Griffin

Photography Foundation Degree students from City College recently had a career-Brian Griffin - compositespanning illustrated talk from one of the most influential photographers of the last 40 years, Brian Griffin, whose diverse career has encompassed both commercial and fine art photography, film, audio-visual performance and fashion photography.

Brian established himself as an in-demand freelance photographer in the early 1970s and by the 1980s he was being described by The Guardian as ‘The Photographer of the Decade’. His subsequent move into the world of TV commercials and music videos included a film documentary for Sir Paul McCartney in 2004 and for the 2007 State Opening of St Pancras Station, he produced the exhibition and book Team, creating powerful images of workers involved with the project. He has also produced advertising images for many international companies, including British Airways, Sony, and Smirnoff Vodka and his many music industry clients have included Elvis Costello, Iggy Pop, Peter Gabriel, Depeche Mode and REM. For the London Olympics in 2009, he launched the photography project Road To 2012 at the National Portrait Gallery alongside Lord Coe and Dame Kelly Holmes. In 2013, he received the Centenary Medal from the Royal Photographic Society, in recognition of a lifetime achievement in photography.

Graham Hulme, City College’s Foundation Degree Photography Course Leader, says: “It was inspirational for the students to get such an in-depth insight into the career of a photographer of Brian’s calibre. He was very generous with his time and I think they came away with so many ideas about how they can approach their work with the kind of originality and fearlessness that Brian displays in his.”

Brian Griffin adds: “I got a really positive energy from the students which made giving the talk a very enjoyable experience. I got the impression that there’s a great creative atmosphere in the College’s photography department with exactly the kind of resources that will help them to learn their craft.”

For more information on Photography and Higher Education courses at City College, contact course information on 01273 667759, email or see

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City College students lend their skills to Brighton Fashion Week

From the 15th to 17th October, Brighton Fashion Week will be transforming the cityBrighton Fashion Week - City College Oct 15 into a fashion mecca for designers and artists with events that include competitions, industry networking, workshops, installations and catwalks shows.  During this 3-day fashion extravaganza, a dozen Art Foundation Fashion & Textiles students from City College will be applying their skills to showcase festival event, Fashion Salvage which has been organised for Brighton Fashion Week by the Love Your Clothes campaign in partnership with Cancer Research UK. With the help of skilled upcyclers led by resource efficiency experts WRAP and a range of haberdashery, the students will be rummaging through a tonne of charity shop clothing at Brighton’s Open Market to create new items and outfits. Fashion Salvage aims to raise awareness of the opportunities second hand clothing present and engage fashionistas in the reality of what happens to clothing when it reaches the end of its life. The skills of City College film-making and photography students will also be utilised on the day to capture the event.

Tutor Helen Perry says: “This is a fantastic event for our students to get involved in as we’re always keen to give them opportunities to push their creativity to the limit and take on new challenges to refine their skills. This is a highly talented group of students and I’ve no doubt they’ll create some stunning new fashion-wear out of these old clothes. I also think the event itself will help raise awareness amongst the students about the wastefulness of the throwaway culture.”

Further to the College’s involvement in the event, City College students and staff are being offered free tickets to all Sallis Benney Workshops and a 20% discount on all other events when they quote ‘Studentdiscount’ on Brighton Fashion Week’s Eventbrite page

For more information on Art & Design courses at City College, contact course information on 01273 667759, email or see

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