There is a significant cluster of High Vacuum businesses in the Hastings and Rother area. In addition, there are many machining sub-contractors involved in the manufacture of components for High Vacuum companies. The requirements of the industry are often unique, and the supply chain in particular can be problematic in understanding the demands and quality standards required.

At present, there is no formal vacuum training or course content available locally. This means that employers in the Hastings and Rother area can offer ‘on-the-job’ training, but may have insufficient time to deliver any theory or background material. In addition, engineering students have little or no awareness of the vacuum industry or its specific needs, even though some of them may work in the supply-chain businesses.

In response to this demand, Sussex Coast College Hastings has developed a bespoke training course on Vacuum Technologies. This 11 week part-time course gives the opportunity for employees of local businesses to enhance their knowledge of the High Vacuum industry and its requirements; it is delivered by a lecturer with a background in High Vacuum Equipment manufacturing.

A pilot course was started at SCCH Ore Valley campus on October 1st and has attracted 19 students from 7 different local companies. The course covers a wide range of topics, from ‘what is vacuum?’ to methods of vacuum measurement, creation and application.

Feedback so far has been positive, with one student stating ‘at work we do what we do, without fully understanding the theory or reasons why. The course has already given me an excellent insight into what vacuum actually is and I am already able to relate some of the theory into what we actually do.’

Paul Nash, HE Engineering Subject Leader commented ‘some of the material is finding its way into the regular Level 3 Engineering courses at SCCH, improving awareness amongst our 16-19 year old learners too. The course will be refined, based on feedback and may become a regular feature of SCCH course offerings, which is great for the college and local business community.’

Image by Darren Buss Studio Sussex




Sussex Coast College Hastings Alumni, Caroline Detsicas, visited 13 Air Cabin Crew Level 2 students this Thursday as a guest speaker, giving them guidance and advice on a career in the travel industry.

Caroline studied at Sussex Coast College Hastings for 2 years, gaining a Level 3 qualification in Travel and a Level 2 Air Cabin Crew Qualification. She is now working as a Cabin Crew member for world renowned holiday company, Thompson.

The students asked questions on staff training, aircraft configurations, pay scales, routes flown and much more. Caroline gave examples of a typical working day, giving real examples of many subjects covered in the classroom.

Cabin Crew student Pat Tracey described the talk with Caroline as ‘eye-opening and insightful.’

Jessica Wheeler said she felt ‘reassured and inspired’ by the talk, and Mariah Smith said she was now ‘more determined to find a career in travel.’

All of the students thanked Caroline for her visit and are looking forward to another visit from Alumni Georgina Pankhurst, who is now working for British Airways.



Students, staff and visitors who are part of the college knitting circle, are working alongside the Mothers’ Union, to create small knitted teddy bears, which are distributed to young childPren when visiting their estranged parents at the Eastbourne Contact Centre.

Providing young children with a teddy gives comfort and reduces stress during difficult times. The College group sew a variety of different coloured teddies, using a standard knitting pattern which is used by organisations across the country. This gives children the chance to choose a unique teddy, name it and make it their own during difficult times, but reduces jealousy over size and style.

As well as knitting teddy bears, within the past year the group knitted sports people that were displayed in Coast Coffee shop to highlight the Olympics; a Christmas tree, an Easter egg hunt and have sold a variety of other knitted items to raise money for charity.

College Chaplain, Barbara Powell-Jones, a keen knitter, started the ball rolling but said the group would never have become the success it now is without the tireless help from the growing group of knitters.

The group meet on Thursday lunchtimes between 12:30 and 1:45pm at the Station Plaza site of SCCH and is suitable for beginners or experienced knitters. Materials are free to students and are provided by the College’s student enrichment fund, with volunteers generously providing extra materials.

If you are a member of the public and would like to join the knitting circle, please contact Barbara Powell-Jones, Chaplain, on 07891863731 or email
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.., an exciting new online jobs board promoting employment and training advice in Hastings and Rother, launched this week. has won the backing of several major employers and colleges in its bid to offer quality local jobs, volunteer opportunities and valuable advice on training and education.

Hastings Direct, Sussex Coast College Hastings, Let’s Do Business Group, Parker Building Supplies, American Express and Heart FM have all signed up as partners with

The website will showcase jobs to local people in Hastings, Battle, Newhaven, Eastbourne, Rother, Rye, Battle and Tunbridge Wells while giving an affordable alternative for local recruitment. is part of the award-winning, the leading employment website for the region, founded in 2010 by Gary Peters, and which is credited for making a positive difference to the economy of Brighton and Hove.

He said: “The strength of sits in our partnership structure, bringing together key local employers and education providers to create a highly effective and affordable jobs board and a superb resource for advice on employment, skills and training.

“Our pan-Sussex reach allows us to target tens of thousands of candidates on behalf of hundreds of businesses and organisations, not only to offer jobs but also to highlight the numerous fund-raising and volunteer opportunities that exist.

“The core aim of is to benefit the local economy by working hand in hand  with the local community and our partners. We are incredibly excited to be bringing our unique approach to the employment sector of Hastings and Rother.”

Dan Shelley, Vice Principal Enterprise, Employment and Skills at Sussex Coast College Hastings, said: “Sussex Coast College is proud to be a founding partner of as it provides a cost effective way of better linking employers seeking staff with local people looking for work.

“With so many uses, really is more than a jobs board. The College supports over 5000 local people gain skills and qualifications each year and we feel that the site will be invaluable resource to this incredible talent pool, be they young people looking for their first job, an unemployed adult seeking a new opportunity or a career changer looking for a new challenge.

“ will plug a gap locally with a cost effective solution for employers to advertise their vacancies. As a major employer in the area, with nearly 400 employees, we also see the site as a critical resource for us to recruit local, talented people. By linking these two audiences together the site will ensure that more people find out and apply for local jobs – and that can only be good for the local economy.” is different in many ways from other job boards. Employers can post job vacancies for only £99 + vat which are then advertised for 28 days, helping businesses reduce recruitment costs.

Candidates can search the job board free of charge and apply directly for the job opportunities that are advertised because posts include details of the recruiter. will also deliver the same Charity Initiative scheme that has proved so successful in Brighton and Hove. The scheme works by supporting a number of chosen local charities by offering free job posts and advertising and help with fundraising activities.

For more information visit or for any employment and training related questions, contact the team on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call on 01424 307 105.


 The Macmillan Coffee Morning at SCCH

Sussex Coast College Hastings became competitive this Friday, with a bake sale bake off in aid of Macmillan, raising over £600 for the charity.

Competitors spent the evening baking their entries, before bringing them in for the final showdown on Friday morning.

Amongst the 23 entries were cakes ranging from flourless mint chocolate brownies, apple cake, carrot cake, ginger cake, chocolate fudge cake, Guinness cupcakes and many more.

The panel of Judges included Student President Rob Tyson, Vice Principal of Enterprise, Employment and Skills, Dan Shelley and SCCH governor, Mr Vic Kempner.

Each cake was presented to the panel and scored on strict criteria including aroma, volume, general appearance, taste and texture.

Alongside the cake sale was a raffle, apple bobbing, pin the tail on the donkey, guess the sweets in the jar, face painting and biscuit decorating for the children. Coast restaurant also hosted a tea party to raise money for the charity.

The joint winners were Sheree France with her entry titled ‘Green Velvet Cheesecake cake’ and Lindsey Dore’s cake, the ‘Macmillan Coffee Cup Cake.’ Both entries received Coast Restaurant vouchers as a well-deserved prize.

Highly commended was Matthew Pitt’s entry, earl grey tea cake, which was described by Dan Shelley as “bursting with tea flavour.”

SCCH governor Mr Vic Kempner commented ‘The cakes were all very impressive; it shows the talent of staff and students around the college.’

Dan Shelley, Vice Principal of Enterprise, Employment and Skills concluded “I’m not sure I could be a cake judge every day…stuffed!”

It looks like we have a vacancy on the judging panel for next year…



thomas cook students


This Thursday (26th September) 20 Level Three Travel and Tourism students from Sussex Coast College Hastings visited various foreign exchange departments in Hastings town centre, as part of their Foreign Exchange module.

The SCCH students visited various foreign exchange outlets, such as Thompson, Royal Mail and HSBC to ask questions on currency exchange and rates.

Charlotte Hine, Foreign Exchange Manager of Thomas Cook in Hastings, invited the group of students in to the Hastings branch, to answer questions and show the students examples of security and till procedures.

The students asked questions on money laundering, popular currencies, rate of exchange and discussed anticipated demand, the amount of currency for which a branch can hold in stock. The questions provoked discussion and Charlotte was able to give the students examples of working practice.

Level 3 student Georgina Ashmore said “today we have experienced the customer service side of foreign exchange. It has been a great experience to learn outside of the classroom, thanks to Charlotte, Thomas Cook and our tutor Kim Stevens, for organising the trip.”

Thomas Cook Foreign Exchange Manager, Charlotte Hine added “It was a pleasure to discuss foreign exchange procedures with the students from Sussex Coast College. The girls asked intelligent questions, looked lovely and behaved very professionally.”



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