News from 2019-2020

  • Engineering Department progresses plans for Yorkshire & Humber Institute of Technology investment

    Plans are in place at Selby College to purchase and install a state-of-the-art automated manufacturing facility and associated equipment within its Engineering department.

    The project follows the college’s green light for a £600,000 investment as part of almost £10 million of capital funding from the Department of Education to develop the Yorkshire and Humber Institute of Technology (IoT) as part of a consortium of colleges in the region – allowing them to invest in the latest industry standard equipment and provide more higher level technical training.

    Other colleges in the Yorkshire and Humber consortium include: York College, Askham Bryan College, Bishop Burton College, Craven College, East Riding College, and Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education – who are working alongside two Higher Education providers; the University of Hull and York St John University.

    Selby College’s investment in a fully operational manufacturing system will enhance local employment opportunities and ensure highly qualified employees for the region’s employers.

    Selby College already works alongside a number of major food & drink manufacturing employers providing training and Apprenticeship schemes, and the launch of the latest Industry 4.0 automation technology in the department for September 2020 aims to further develop industry partnerships. These companies are at the forefront of new automation investment in their factories and training is required for the next generation of manufacturing engineers.

    Ian Muir, Assistant Director for IoT & Client Development at Selby College

    The Engineering department will be able to enhance the range of manufacturing and automation focused qualifications currently on offer, from its Level 3 right up to Level 4 and 5 Higher National Certificates and Diplomas and Higher Apprenticeships at the Abbot’s Road campus, including fully operational computer programming and virtual reality components.

    Ian Muir, Assistant Director for IoT & Client Development at Selby College says: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to be part of this prestigious Institute of Technology, which will put the college at the forefront of the next generation of automated engineering. We are excited to work alongside our industry partners, to meet their future needs and requirements – in turn ensuring that our students have the skills and knowledge required to fulfil their potential.”


    Wednesday 12 Feb 2020

  • New Year Wellbeing launch for staff and students at Selby College

    Selby College has spent the past month embracing a new health and wellbeing strategy which has already proven popular with staff that have got involved, with the launch of regular activities incorporating fitness or encouraging colleagues to take the time to talk to open up communication.

    A number of staff have been attending a weekly ‘Five Weeks’ to Fitness’ HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) session, run by Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science Amy Hague after College each Monday evening for 45 minutes since the new year.

    Amy said: “One of the biggest advantages of HIIT is that you can get maximal health benefits in minimal time, the short bursts of intense exercise alternated with low-intensity recovery periods make it a really time-efficient way to exercise. There are circuits are designed for all ages and abilities – it has been shown to improve overall fitness, mental health, sleep habits and overall physical health so there really is nothing to lose!”

    The last session was on Monday 10th February and it has certainly been a hit with the first group of staff that have taken part!

    Courtney Sunman, Higher Education Quality Co-ordinator said: “I have really enjoyed doing the Five Weeks’ to Fitness because it fits around work and home life – it has really helped to push me physically and got me doing something I wouldn’t have normally have done. Everybody who attends has been really supportive of each other and I would 100% like to continue!”

    Sarah Abbott, E-Learning Facilitator also enjoyed the sessions, saying: "Amy organised a well-balanced exercise programme for both core strength and cardio, with different options available to suit personal fitness levels. The opportunity to attend straight after work has really helped to make the class a success."

    Amy added: “I’ve been overwhelmed by the response from everyone who has participated in the HIIT sessions. It has been more than just getting staff exercising, it has become a session where staff can have a laugh and engage with each other away from work commitments! I’m pleased to say it will be carrying on after half term – bring on another five weeks!”

    As well as the fitness sessions, Careers Officer Helen Howard has been delivering a Yoga class in College on a weekly basis for a number of months as a qualified Yoga teacher, which has a dedicated group of staff attending every Wednesday evening.

    Then on Thursday 6th February, as part of Time to Talk Day, a nation-wide initiative created by the Time to Change campaign from the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness - the College’s Counsellor Lorraine Fisher organised a number of activities to get staff and students talking. The campaign encourages everyone to ‘be more open about mental health, to talk, to listen and to change lives’.

    Speaking about the campaign’s aim, Lorraine said: “Time to talk is not just about talking it’s about actively listening to another person’s communication, not being distracted by technology but being present in the moment. The experience of being heard is crucial to our wellbeing and creates a sense of connectedness within our everyday lives.”

    Throughout the Thursday lunchtime, there were a number of sports and board games set up in the Sports Hall by second year Sports students, aimed at getting all students involved in a fun way, plus an information drop-in with topic cards, mindful colouring and quizzes in Jubilee Reception with Lorraine’s team.

    HR Manager Alison Whale also helped to organise a lunchtime Wellbeing Walk circuit to encourage staff to take time away from their desks and make the time to talk. The staff from across College that took part made the most of the beautiful weather and enjoyed walking along the town’s canal.

    Alison hopes to makes this a regular initiative in the future, saying: “I am as bad as the next person for sitting at my desk with a sandwich and not taking a break. The Wellbeing Walk encourages people to break out of that habit and walk outside, even for a short time with colleagues and talk about something other than work. The benefits are known, it is just making that change. I’m hoping that organising a regular walk will encourage people to join in and enjoy a bit of sunshine (hopefully) and a break from work, which can only help their wellbeing.” 

    To find out more about Time to Talk Day visit The Counsellor’s Office can be found on the First Floor of the Jubilee Building, alternatively email Counsellor Lorraine Fisher, for more information.

    Tuesday 11 Feb 2020

  • Meet the Apprentices - Selby College celebrates Apprenticeship Week 2020

    From the 3rd to the 9th February, Further Education colleges and employers across the UK marked National Apprenticeship Week 2020 – an annual celebration that celebrates the impact of apprenticeships on individuals, employers and the economy.

    As part of Selby College’s Apprenticeship Week focus, our Senior Management Team shadowed current apprentices both in College and in their place of work to demonstrate the wide range of opportunities and benefits open to individual learners and employers in the Selby District and beyond.

    Selby College is one of the largest providers of Apprenticeship training in the area and successfully works in partnership with a wide range of employers across Yorkshire and the Humber. We offer a vast range of Apprenticeships across a variety of sectors including Accounting, Hair and Beauty, Business, Catering, Children and Young People, Construction, Engineering, Health and Social Care, Hospitality, IT, Retail and more.

    Following publication of the Government’s latest National Achievement Rate Tables in 2019, Selby College was delighted to once again to come in the top 10% of Further Education Colleges nationally for its Apprenticeship provision. With more than 500 apprentices currently on programmes through Selby College we are proud to celebrate the achievements of our learners.

    Apprenticeships are work-based training programmes designed for current and future employees aged 16 or above. They allow an individual to develop their skills and understanding in a real working environment whilst earning, which benefits both them and their employer.

    An apprenticeship route offers a valuable and recognised alternative to A Levels, Vocational courses and even the traditional degree route, with 90% of apprentices getting a job or going onto further training after finishing an apprenticeship and 71% staying with the same employer*.

    Apprenticeships are currently offered at three levels - Intermediate (Level 2), Advanced (Level 3) and Higher (Level 4 and above) across 1500 job roles, covering over 170 industries**. They follow a framework of qualifications which includes an NVQ orDiploma (at a level relevant to the job role), Functional Skills at Level 1 or 2 (if applicable) and a technical certificate or knowledge.

    Business Administration Apprentice

    Selby College Principal Phil Sayles was the first to step into the shoes of an apprentice – he was shown the ropes on the main Jubilee Reception by Level 3 Business Administration Apprentice Beth Stephenson, who gave him an insight into signing-in visitors, using the phone system and the diary for the day.

    Beth, 19, completed her Level 2 framework last year after first studying for her BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Business at Selby College and has now progressed onto the Level 3 standard which she will complete in May next year. Speaking of her apprenticeship she said: “I’m really proud of the workplace skills I have developed and how much I have grown in confidence”.

    Chef De Partie Apprentice

    Deputy Principal Liz Ridley went to visit Level 3 Chef De Partie Apprentice Luke Royle at Loftsome Bridge Hotel.

    Luke, 21, will complete his current apprenticeship in March and is enjoying widening his knowledge of desserts, after starting on mains. As well as taking turns with the breakfast and baking shifts he also helps Head Chef Ryan Starkey put together new menu ideas.

    Luke said: “The great thing about the team here is that I’m always asked what I would like to do or what I’d like to get involved in, the flexibility is great in terms of how much I am able to learn.

    “My favourite dish that I’ve created so far has to be a twist on a classic monkfish served three ways but combined with another dish where it was marinated for two days and prepared with spices, before being served with rice and homemade onion bhajis.”

    He studied A Levels at Selby College before deciding to take a career path into Catering, first working at York Marina, and then the Black Dog Inn in Camblesforth where he progressed onto his Level 3 apprenticeship before moving to Loftsome Bridge in August 2019. His first shift was a busy Saturday with 72 covers!

    Head Chef Ryan, who has been with the hotel for 14 years, added: “As a full-time team of five, having Luke with us is great as it takes the pressure off, he enjoys the baking side of things and any opportunity to learn something different. There are things that Luke knows more than I do!”

    Apprentice Luke isn’t the only one from Selby College in the kitchen at Loftsome Bridge Hotel. He works alongside Level 2 Diploma in Professional Cookery student Tom Ferguson and Work Placement student Freya Storr. Head Chef Ryan, Sous Chef Chris Lawler and Commis Chef Jordan Branton also previously studied with us.

    Liz enjoyed learning about the preparation of a delicious goat’s cheese starter, baked cheesecakes and a mouth-watering trio of desserts!

    Construction Building Apprentice

    Our Director of Marketing & Student Services Linda Tebb shadowed Level 3 Apprentice Sam Ward, who will gain his apprenticeship in Construction Building - Trowel Occupations (Bricklaying) later this year after first gaining his Level 2. The 19-year-old works for AMB Site Services and spends one day a week at Selby College. Sam, who was working on an assessment unit, demonstrated the basics of mixing mortar, trowel techniques and laying a brick which Linda enjoyed getting the chance to do herself!

    He was inspired to get into Construction after spending time working for his grandad during the holidays and was keen to progress to Level 3 to build his skills base further.

    General Welder Apprentice

    At Relentless Engineering on the Thorp Arch Estate near Wetherby, HR Manager Alison Whale was given an introduction to welding by her daughter. Yasmin Whale, now 21, achieved her Level 2 Apprenticeship in General Welding with Selby College after initially studying A Levels elsewhere for a year. She decided on a new route after speaking to course advisors at the College and decided to study for a one-year Level 2 vocational course in Mechanical Engineering.

    After successful completion of the full-time course and particularly enjoying the welding elements, Yasmin was delighted to be taken on as an apprentice following a week’s work placement with the firm. The bespoke engineering company also work in stainless and mild steel fabrication for the Construction industry.

    Brian Manley, a fabricator welder and colleague said: “She is a joy to work with – I have enjoyed teaching her, she takes on board what you tell her and picks it up well.”

    The team also benefited from Yasmin’s apprenticeship as she was able to share the knowledge and theory she learnt from her health and safety training.

    Yasmin added: “I am enjoying it a lot. On the first day of my College course I gave welding a go and fell in love with it. I could have progressed to the next level but decided to get an apprenticeship instead. I have really enjoyed all of the different types of jobs you get to do. I am a ‘why not’ sort of person – go for it and see what happens.”

    Both Yasmin and workshop manager Dave were impressed by Alison’s efforts at welding. Speaking of the insight to the apprenticeship Alison said: “Yasmin was really good at telling me what to do! It’s been a real role reversal! I have enjoyed coming to see her in her place of work to see what she does. There is something quite creative about it.”

    Hair Professional Apprentice

    We also headed to Hair Innovation’s brand new salon in Selby. Director of Curriculum & Support Dawn Hardy shadowed Level 2 Hairdressing Apprentices Danielle Goulden, 16 and Charlotte Wraight, 17.

    Speaking of their training they said: “We get the best of both worlds as apprentices, it’s more hands-on and we have the support of our employer, assessor Bev and college tutors!”

    They both will complete their Apprenticeships in July 2021, and hope to stay on as full-time hair stylists. Danielle and Charlotte spend Mondays in College doing their coursework, and on Wednesdays they can bring in family and friends as clients to work on their portfolios. They watch and learn from Manager Tracy and the team throughout the rest of the week.

    Charlotte started her apprenticeship with the salon last September after first working there as a member of the weekend team, a role she got with the support of her tutors at Selby College. Danielle started on a vocational course at College before making the move to an apprenticeship last month, following a work placement with Hair Innovation from October 2019.  She added: “Working in the salon gives me more perspective and I’m watching and learning new things all the time”.

    To apply or register for vacancies offered through Selby College, email, alternatively call the team on 01757 211097 or visit


    *According to the Learners and Apprentices Survey 2018 report

    **Sources: Get In Go Far July 2018 National Achievement Rate Tables (GOV.UK) Education and Skills Funding Agency 2017 Apprenticeship Statistics: England, Briefing Paper, published July 2018

    Tuesday 11 Feb 2020

  • Bishop of Selby meets with College Principal and students

    Selby College students joined Principal Phil Sayles in welcoming the Rt Revd Dr John Thomson, Bishop of Selby to the campus on Thursday 6th February.

    The Bishop was delighted to be introduced to a number of students, including Student Governor Jessica Smith, who took the opportunity to discuss the work of the newly formed Student Council to amplify the voice of students in the College.

    The Bishop also spoke to Higher Education student Georgia Fernandez, 19, currently studying for her HND in Art & Design (Arts Practice), who was recently involved in an exciting project to create a film about the ‘Pilgrim’ illuminations for Selby District Council and Selby 950 as part of the 950th anniversary of Selby Abbey's foundation.

    Georgia was joined by fellow second year HND Art & Design students Mollie Robey and Beth Davenport to discuss their forthcoming exhibition based around Wellbeing which will be on display in Selby Abbey from the end of February. Their work covers a number of pathways including graphics, fine art, moving image, photography and architecture.

    Level 3 Extended Diploma in Public Services students, Luke Cheney, 19 and Ben Hodder, 18, also got the opportunity to speak to the Bishop about their preparations to head out on an Everest Base Camp trek in Nepal during the Easter holidays. They will be heading out to the Himalayas as part of a group of six, including their Lecturer Grant Gibson, on an expedition that will allow the students to complete a famous trekking route, take in the beauty of the varied landscapes and meet the local people that live on the mountains.

    Selby College’s Counsellor Lorraine Fisher was also introduced to the Bishop and discussed her aim to get students and staff talking, including the activities she organised to promote Time to Talk Day which coincided with his visit, including a lunchtime walk, sports, board games, topic cards, mindful colourful and quizzes.

    Monday 10 Feb 2020

  • A Level students delve into Global Warming on a trip to The Deep


    Last month, a group of Selby College’s A Level Biology and Geography students headed out on a trip to The Deep in Hull, most well known as one of the UK's most spectacular aquariums, with over 3500 fish - but it also operates as an education and conservation charity and more recently, an international player in marine conservation working on pioneering research schemes to protect the future of our oceans.

    The students had a very informative and though-provoking visit learning about the impact of rising carbon dioxide levels on marine life and habitats. The workshop they attended ‘Global Warming - Ocean Acidification’ looked at the effects of man's impact on the oceans over time, specifically the problems caused by increasing levels of carbon dioxide. They engaged in practical investigations to explain the science behind ocean acidification and also took a closer look at the problems for our own seas. The group also took part in interactive quizzes to assess their own knowledge.

    Lecturer in Biology, Kirsty Butterworth said: “It was a really interesting visit and opened all of our eyes to the problems of global warming.”

    She added: “We also got the opportunity to enjoy the aquarium and managed to squeeze in some hands-on (literally!) experiences with starfish and sea anemones, as well as watching the divers feed the sharks – we had a fantastic day!”

    Thursday 6 Feb 2020

  • Selby College supports Justine Greening’s Social Mobility Pledge as part of Drax Visit

    On Wednesday 22nd January, Selby College hosted Drax Group CEO Andy Koss, their Head of Sustainable Business Vicky Bullivant and former MP and Secretary of State for Education Justine Greening who founded the Social Mobility Pledge - a cross-party campaign to improve social mobility in the UK. Deputy Principal Liz Ridley and Principal Phil Sayles also welcomed representatives from Engineering UK, Selby District Council and Selby Big Local.

    Justine spoke to current Engineering students and Subject Area Manager Graeme Woodhall about their involvement in the Drax Greenpower Education Trust Electric Car Project as well as students from Barwic Parade Community Primary School who also built and raced a car last year, with the support of Selby College and Drax.

    As well as learning more about how STEM education can be improved on a local and national level, there were also discussions about raising aspirations for young people in the district, building partnerships across sectors, creating engineering workshops for local schools with the support of Graeme and his team, and the work of the Social Mobility Pledge in expanding opportunities for all.

    Thursday 23 Jan 2020

  • Selby College student produces Abbey Illuminations film for District Council

    Selby College Higher Education student Georgia Fernandez worked on an exciting project for Selby District Council last month. 

    A few weeks before the Selby 950 ‘Pilgrim’ event, Nayan Kulkarni, the artist responsible for Selby Abbey's illuminations installation in November, came in to speak to the Art & Design department’s Year 1 and Year 2 Higher Education and Level 3 Art & Design students about his project which celebrated the 950th anniversary of the Abbey's foundation. He explained his research process and also showed the students his prototype and the resulting presentation he did for the council. 

    Nayan, whose interest lies in the transformation of public spaces, was also responsible for the idea behind the giant industrial rotor Blade that Hull’s Queen Victoria Square played host to as City of Culture in 2017.

    After this initial talk, Selby College’s Art & Design Lecturer Elaine Whitehead was then approached by Event Manager Hazel Colquhoun with a film commission for a student.

    Georgia, 19, leapt at the chance to get some industry work experience and was lucky enough to speak to Nayan about his interactive art display and the research and design process and be fully immersed in the process.

    Art & Design HND students Beth Davenport and Georgia Fernandez

    Now in the second year of her Art & Design HND (Arts Practice), Georgia hopes to specialise in Commercial Fine Art and Photography after she completes her course. Prior to progressing to her Higher Education course she studied Level 3 Media Production at Selby College after leaving school.

    The former Selby High School student, who attended the opening night on the Friday evening and the final Sunday enjoyed speaking to the public in the audience and seeing the different reactions from the local community and those that had travelled from further afield.

    Georgia has been supported throughout the project by fellow Year 2 Art & Design HND student Beth Davenport, also 19. The former Snaith School student studied A Levels at Selby College prior to her Higher Education course and is aiming for a career in Graphic Design after completing her studies.

    The District Council’s brief was for a 19-minute film of the full projection as well as a separate edited piece with documentary shots of the crowd enjoying the projection, alongside interviews with the Reverend Canon John Weetman of Selby Abbey and the artist.

    Speaking of the filming experience Georgia said: “The council and everyone involved in the project were so supportive – Nayan was really friendly and even said how he was impressed with the way we were working with sound! It was interesting to find out about how he recorded sound which looks really complex but was actually simple.”

    She added: “It was a great opportunity to network which will hopefully help me in the future. I can’t wait to show the end result of my film!”

    You can watch Georgia's film here on the Selby 950 Facebook page>


    Monday 20 Jan 2020

  • Long-term sponsors Thornes present new training kit to Selby College Football Team


    Selby College’s First and Second Football team are proud to wear their new training jackets and t-shirts, thanks to a renewed sponsorship deal with Hemingbrough-based bus firm Thornes Independent Ltd.

    In a deal between the College’s club and the local bus operator, Selby’s latest training kit features the Thornes logo on the front, as well as on the Second Team playing kit.

    Pictured: Selby College Sports Development Officer and Coach Matthew Duck and Thornes Independent Ltd Private Hire Manager Zoe Thornes

    Private Hire Manager Zoe Thornes, who is also a former A Level student of the college, has been a long-term backer of the team, providing financial support and her deal this season sees that extended for the 2019-2020 season.

    Sports Development Officer and Coach at Selby College Matthew Duck said: “The college and players are delighted by the support shown by Thornes, who have supported the club for over five years now.”

    Monday 13 Jan 2020

  • Alternative rock band The Hara perform Mental Health Awareness gig at Selby College

    Selby College students were treated to a performance by alternative rock trio The Hara this afternoon as part of a drive to increase mental health awareness, an understanding of cyber bullying and online safety. 

    Lead vocalist Josh Taylor led a discussion and Q&A about the group’s own experiences growing up and the pressures of social media for young people today and how it can affect mental health, including body image, as well as the struggle to fit in and be yourself.

    They also spoke about how posts on personal social accounts can be judged in the future and gave advice about checking privacy settings and who you allow to view your accounts.

    The group from Manchester, which also features lead guitarist Zack Breen and Jack Kennedy on drums, were initially played by BBC Introducing Lancashire, with their first UK tour swiftly followed by a ten-date tour when they launched their debut EP No Regrets.

    The band are on their ‘We Are The Movement’ UK tour in April and May, with dates at The Leadmill 2 in Sheffield on the 5th April and The Fulford Arms in York on the 30th April.

    Their 4th EP We Are The Movement is currently in the top 5 of the iTunes Pre-order Bestsellers Chart and their new song Blue Tick Souvenir is out now to stream or download:

    Monday 13 Jan 2020

  • Selby College Netball Team show off their new training tops thanks to JR Classics Ltd


    Selby College Netball Team with Coach and Sport Lecturer Amy Hague and Joey Ratcliffe from JR Classics Ltd

    Many thanks to former Selby College student Joey Ratcliffe from JR Classics Ltd in Doncaster for kindly agreeing to sponsor 10 new hoodies for the Selby College Netball Team.

    The girls are delighted with their smart new training tops!

    Joey said: “I’m pleased to support my old college and it’s amazing to see how much the place has changed since I was here!”

    JR Classics Ltd offers specialist paintwork and body restoration work for all vehicles.


    Thursday 9 Jan 2020

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