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.”

 Ashley Chapman centre presents Huda and George with their certificates

Two inspiring young volunteers have been chosen as joint winners of this month's Outstanding Young Person of the Month Award.

(2 minute read)


Huda Caglayan and George Palmer, both aged 17, have been involved in numerous youth events, including planning and organising the first ever Hastings Pride last year. They also helped with two events for mental health and White Ribbon, which aims to educate and raise awareness of violence against women.

The pair also organised the Hastings Youth awards, which attracted more than 400 people, and helped launch the Hastings Youth Grant in December.

The teenagers, who attend Sussex Coast College Hastings, were nominated for the award by Emile Tambeh, Community Cohesion and Support Officer at Hastings Borough Council, who said: “Both individuals work so hard and give up their free time to volunteer and have attended a number of events. They deserve to receive this award in recognition of their outstanding contribution to their local community.”

The Outstanding Young Person of the Month Award is sponsored by Sussex Coast College Hastings and the Hastings Observer Series.

The award is normally presented to someone aged 18 and under who has excelled in some way, but in this instance the two students were put forward together. The award recognises sporting or academic achievements, or goes to someone who has performed an important role on a voluntary basis in their own home or the wider community.

Ashley Chapman, Marketing and Communications Executive at Sussex Coast College Hastings, said: “Huda and George work hard for the town on important issues which affect not only our young people, but also the wider community. They were instrumental in organising the first Hastings Pride and have helped with numerous other important events.”

As part of their award, Huda and George will receive a complimentary meal for two and £100 is being donated to the Hastings Pride fund.

To nominate someone for the Outstanding Young Person of the Month Award, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with details of who you are nominating and the reasons why.

 L3 yr 1 grp A octopus

A brand new art exhibition has opened on Hastings Pier and features work from Art and Design students at Sussex Coast College Hastings.

Updated 24.02.17

(1 minute read)

The Fragments from the Sea exhibition will take visitors on a journey of the sea giving the artists perceptions of what it is like to live in a seaside town.

Over 50 year 1 Level 3 Art and Design students have been working on their own sea themed project at college and will see their work join the exhibition for two weeks. Their work includes pieces of art created using a range materials and processes, from drawing, painting, textiles, pin-hole photography, small metals, ceramics, and print.

L3 yr1 grp A Fish

The exhibition is free and opened on Tuesday 21st February inside the memories room. It is open daily from 10am-5pm and will run until Friday 3rd March.

 Parliament visit web

On Wednesday (8th Feb), 28 A-Level students spent the day in London visiting the Supreme Court and the Houses of Parliament.

(1 minute read)

 Students from the Government and Politics and Law A-Level courses were able to have a behind the scenes look at the building and rooms where some of the most important and significant decisions about our country are made.

The students got to visit the court where the recent Article 50 case took place, went to the Palace of Westminster for a guided tour, including the House of Commons Gallery, and the Strangers Gallery at the House of Lords.

Parliament visit 2 web

While they were at the Houses of Parliament, they were treated to a live debate about Brexit and witnessed Lib Dem leader, Tim Farron, in full swing.

The students then took part in a round of political ‘speed dating’ with a number of MPs and parliamentary officials. The students had a few minutes to ask each MP about their jobs and any other topical political questions they had time for.

The day was rounded off with an address and Q and A session from Home Secretary, and local MP for Hastings and Rye, Amber Rudd.

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