Silke web

Each week, students from all over the world visit the college to study and explore Hastings and the South East.

We recently had a chat with Silke, a student from Belgium, who studied at SCCH for one term during our English Plus course.

“Hi, I’m Silke and I’m from Beerzel, which is just south of Antwerp in Belgium.

I am 17 years old and have joined SCCH for one term on the English Plus programme, studying the A-Level option. In a typical week I study English for 16 hours along with Media Studies, Philosophy, Religious Studies and French.

When I was planning my study trip, I had a few other colleges to choose from, but Sussex Coast College was by far the most interesting. The building is unbelievably modern and I love the natural light. The facilities are excellent too; Dine servers really tasty food, there is a Subway if you are in a rush, and the coffee shop servers great coffee. It's something I could only dream about in my school in Belgium.

The lessons are fun, and I am getting a great feel for what it is like to study in England. My tutors are very friendly and always happy to help me when I don't understand something.

My host family lives quite close to the college, which is really handy. My host mother is a great cook and makes me feel very welcome. There is also a Turkish student who lives in the same house and we get along very well.

When I go back to Belgium, I will finish my current year and then next year I am hoping to study applied linguistics. My dream is to become a translator one day. I already speak Flemish, and I guess my English isn’t too bad, but I would like to speak and write English, French, German and Spanish fluently.”

 Samantha McIver web

As another National Apprenticeship Week comes to an end, Sussex Coast College Hastings is hailing the 10th anniversary as a success for Apprenticeships.

(3 minute read)

National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) has this year focused on getting more people into apprenticeships, by providing them with a ladder of opportunity.

Since NAW started in 2007, the college has been a passionate supporter of apprenticeships. The college was instrumental in helping 1,066 people get back into education and training in 2014, and last summer, challenged the so-called negative image problem, with a number of positive student stories.

Samantha McIver, who has almost finished her advanced apprenticeship at Sussex Coast College, has a very positive view about apprenticeships and says that they are perfect for helping you to start your career and get that all important foot in the door.

Samantha said: “I think apprenticeships are brilliant. They give you much more opportunity to find a career that you want to do. Some people go to university and study for 3 years, and when they graduate they find it so difficult to get the job they want.”

Samantha was 1 of almost 3,000 people who started an apprenticeship with the college and its partner organisations last year. Samantha now helps to make up 5% of the college’s full-time workforce.

Samantha continued: “I think that apprenticeships will continue to grow in popularity, especially when the changes are introduced later this year. It will give people even more reason to start an apprenticeship.

Changes to apprenticeships will see funding being made more available to businesses and individuals, and the range and level of qualifications that an apprentice can study, increasing too, taking away past limitations.

“I feel that the government are really starting to see the worth in apprenticeships by opening up the range and level of qualifications you can study. I think this is a great starting point and hopefully we’ll start to see lots of new opportunities opening up in businesses and sectors that you may not expect.”

The college, through Sussex Skills Solutions, its partnership with Sussex Downs College, currently offers apprenticeships in over 30 different frameworks, and is able to offer businesses information, advice and guidance on employing an apprentice and develop qualifications aligned to their needs.

Please get in touch if you would like to find out more about Sussex Skills Solutions. 030 300 39777, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit

Group1 web

College students from Sussex and Kent will be embarking on the work experience opportunity of a life-time in Spain later this month, thanks to a new project funded by the European Union.

(2 minute read)

Sussex Coast College Hastings, West Kent College, and Mid Kent College, have teamed up to secure funding from the European Union Erasmus Plus programme to enable their students to undertake a four week work placement abroad.

30 students, who study Hospitality and Catering, Travel and Tourism and Business, will be part of the first of 8 groups to travel to Seville, in Spain over the next two years.

Over 200 students will benefit from the funding that has been secured by the colleges, allowing them to gain valuable work experience in hotels, bars, restaurants and in some of Seville’s top tourism attractions.

The students got to know each other during a tapas evening held at Sussex Coast College Hastings earlier this week before they fly out to Spain on Monday 13th March.

Clive Cooke, Principal of Sussex Coast College Hastings said: “We are delighted that we were able to secure this European Union funding to offer such a unique opportunity to the students. It will be a wonderful chance for them to gain valuable work experience, boosting their employability, all while getting a taste of the Spanish culture in such a beautiful city.”

 Stephen Burkes Left Sussex Skills and Dan Shelley Right Sussex Coast College

As one of the biggest providers of apprenticeships in East Sussex, Sussex Coast College Hastings will be celebrating the 10th National Apprenticeship Week next week by offering their services to help businesses get ready for the Apprenticeship reforms.

(4 minute read)

It’s been a decade since the launch of National Apprenticeship Week, and during that time, Sussex Coast College Hastings has been championing apprenticeships in Hastings, Rother and Bexhill. In the past, they have helped 1066 people start an apprenticeship, and last summer, they challenged the so-called negative image of apprenticeships.

This year, the college, through Sussex Skills Solutions, its partnership with Sussex Downs College, will be offering advice and guidance to businesses to explain the new reforms to apprenticeships and training.

From April 2017, the government will be introducing an apprenticeship levy and making greater funding available to individuals who work 16 hours per week, or more. Individuals will also be able to study an even wider selection of subjects ranging from a GCSE equivalent level right up to a Master’s degree equivalent level.

Stephen Burkes, the Director of Sussex Skills Solutions, said: “Apprenticeships have always had a very strong brand identity with the public but the funding rules and limitations around the level you could study up to created somewhat of a glass ceiling. Apprenticeships have always been a fantastic way to learn on the job, but fell short of the academic level to allow for real learning progression once you were in an established role. These restraints are now being removed and people of any age can access the funding regardless of their prior qualifications. Individuals can now study a new or advanced subject, related to their job role, up to Masters Level while earning a salary.”

Dan Shelley, Vice Principal Sussex Coast College Hastings said: “Businesses thrive when they are committed to developing their staff and a well trained workforce feels valued and works more effectively, and an apprenticeship is now a key way of achieving this.

As the number of higher level apprenticeship standards begins to build and the amount of long-term, personal debt from high tuition fees and maintenance loan repayments starts to be even more of a reality, then young people aged 19-24, and their parents or carers, will truly see an apprenticeship as an alternative where you can earn and learn. As employers deploy their apprentice levy payments on pre-graduate schemes, more and more young people should benefit from accessing apprenticeships, further increasing the volume and worth of such programmes.

We are not there yet, but if careers guidance can catch up and really show that apprenticeships have a dual role to provide entry-level employment and opportunities to up-skill and gain degree-level qualifications – while offering participants the chance to gain experience and get paid – then we might be at the dawn of another apprenticeship revolution.”

These new reforms will provide fantastic opportunities for businesses across Sussex, and Sussex Skills Solutions is encouraging businesses to get in touch for a free consultation to see how they can help utilise these opportunities.

Drawing on the expertise from staff at both colleges, who have decades of experience in apprenticeships, Sussex Skills Solutions can give you all the information, advice and guidance to help develop qualifications aligned to an employers’ needs. They can also implement new innovative ways to deliver the training to reduce the impact on employers and employees.

For more information and your free consultation, call 030 300 39777, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit

 RCC fish workshop web

Over the past few weeks students from Robertsbridge Community College have had fun with fish during cookery workshops with catering tutors from Sussex Coast College Hastings.

(1 minute read)

Year 9 food students were able to learn tips on filleting during a fish preparation workshop. They were able to try out a range of different recipes including Salmon Ceviche and Filleted Plaice with a butter and caper sauce. They also mastered a quick and easy flatbread recipe to eat with their marinated salmon.

After progressing through a local school heat, one of the students was able to use her new found skills to represent her school at the regional Future Chef competition.

RCC future chef web

The South East Regional Final was held at Orpington College on February 9th and included a strong field of very talented young chefs from across the region. The students were tasked with preparing a two course meal for two people in an hour and a half, using just £10 to buy all the ingredients. Although she didn’t make it through to the national finals, the judges congratulated her on her preparation skills and the range and depth of the flavours.


Each week, students from all over the world visit the college to study and explore Hastings and the South East.

(2 minute read)

So we thought we’d take a little time out to chat to some of the students.

Francesco is studying on our International A-Level programme, during his 10 month study placement.

“Hi, I’m Francesco and I’m from Ferrara in Northern Italy. I’m 17 years old and I am about half way through my college studies in Italy.

I’m in Hastings for 10 months, studying A-Level Maths, Further Maths and Physics. I was really interested in coming to England, and particularly Hastings, to study in a British college so that I can get a taste for studying abroad, experience a new town and culture, as well as improving my English.

I was really excited to arrange my study year and chose Hastings because it has lots of history and it is a beautiful and traditional seaside town. Since I’ve been here, I’ve been able to explore the town, visiting the old town, the cliff railway and the St. Clements Caves. I’ve also been able to visit Brighton and London, which are only an hour or so away on the train.

I started at the college in September and I was really impressed with the college when I arrived. It is a lovely new, modern building, with great resources inside and really friendly people. I settled into college life really quickly and really enjoy the subjects I am studying. I chose maths, further maths and physics because these are the subjects I am studying back in Italy, and hopefully they will help me to pass my exam when I return home. My tutors are really nice and made me feel really welcome. They are always willing to help me and always getting me involved in class discussions.

My host family is lovely. They have also made me feel really welcome in England. Zoe, my host mother, is always very kind to me. Steve, my host father is very funny and always makes me laugh; and they are both excellent cooks. Once I return to Italy, I will complete my studies and take my final exams. After that I hope to go onto a top University in Italy.”

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