Truro And Penwith College News September 2015

Holly Leverton-Abrahams

Holly Leverton-Abrahams

College Students Buck The Local Trend

As Cornish students begin a new chapter in their education at universities up and down the country, over 300 former Truro and Penwith College students are settling in to their studies at some of the top universities in the country.

Following a record year for results at Truro and Penwith College, 304 College alumni will be starting their degrees at one of the 24 Russell Group universities, which sees the College bucking the trend of falling progression rates to Higher Education in Cornwall. Russell Group universities are renowned for high levels of academic excellence in both teaching and research. Competition for places is intense, and entry requirements are very high in consequence.

Holly Leverton-Abrahams from Truro successfully gained a place at the University of Birmingham to read International Relations after attaining excellent results in Politics, History and Geography A Levels, including an A* in the latter.

Holly said: “I chose Birmingham because it is a Russell Group university and it’s in a big city. Plus, it has a new sport centre there which is great for me as an athlete because I represented the College at the British College Games last year in swimming.”

Alison Johnston

Alison Johnston

Alison Johnston, also from Truro, has progressed to Durham University to study Maths with Biology after achieving three A*s and an A in her Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Biology A Levels.

Alison said: “It was a surprise to get so many A*s in my results. I chose Durham University because it is a great university and it had a good course – being able to do Maths with Biology isn’t that common. The lecturers at Truro College are brilliant and have been really supportive. The Academic Academy really helped as a nice thing to include in my Personal Statement and the seminars and discussions are great.

“I’d advise future students to take time to take a look around on Open Days, research the universities and the courses and make sure they are right for you.”

Andy Stittle, Quality Assurance Leader at the College, said: “Congratulations go to all our many students progressing to degree courses everywhere. It is certainly the case that for places at Russell Group universities student demand is much greater than supply, so to see such high numbers of Truro and Penwith College students winning through to those places is a great tribute to them and their teaching staff. It means an excellent start to their future careers.

“A recent report published by the Higher Education Funding Council for England found that in some areas of Cornwall participation in higher education is in the bottom 20% nationally, and we are therefore extremely pleased to see a continued growth in progression to higher education in general, and in particular to the most prestigious universities.”



Stephane Delourme, Head Chef at Rick Stein’s The Seafood Restaurant. Copyright: The Seafood Restaurant.

Stephane Delourme, Head Chef at Rick Stein’s The Seafood Restaurant. Copyright: The Seafood Restaurant.

Get Your Tickets For Stein’s Chef At Cornwall Apprenticeship Awards

Next month sees a rare opportunity to enjoy a fine-dining dinner prepared by one of Rick Stein’s top chefs while experiencing an evening of entertainment as Stephane Delourme, Head Chef at The Seafood Restaurant, prepares dinner for the Cornwall Apprenticeship Awards.

Stephane Delourme learned his craft as an apprentice at a two Michelin starred restaurant in France, before moving to England and working in London’s Roof Restaurant at the Hilton on Park Lane. In 1994, Stephane returned to France where he worked at Michelin-starred restaurant Prunier in Paris for two years. His career has taken him around the globe on the world’s most famous cruise liner, the QE2, as well as to Dublin where he worked with Patrick Guilbaud in his self-named two Michelin-starred restaurant.

Stephane, who has been Head Chef at The Seafood Restaurant for 16 years, will be bringing his culinary expertise to Cornwall’s first Apprenticeship Awards, being held on October 9 at Truro and Penwith College.

Tickets for the event are selling fast, and with Stephane as passionate about Apprenticeships as he is about his cooking, organisers are recommending people secure their seat as soon as possible.

“Apprenticeships are very close to my heart,” said Stephane. “They are an excellent hands-on introduction to the industry for new chefs. I started as an apprentice myself. Since then my career has given me the opportunity to work in some of the best restaurants in the world and become the Head Chef at Rick Stein’s ‘The Seafood Restaurant’ in Cornwall.”

The menu is mouth-watering. A canapé and Prosecco reception will precede a choice of either ‘A Meurette of Cornish Hake with Beaujolais and Girolle Mushrooms served with Fresh Coco Beans De Paimpol’, ‘Black Wiltshire Truffle Risotto’ or ‘Rioja Braised Lamb Shank, Chorizo and Garlic, served with Creamy Champ and Roasted Vegetables.’ Following these tempting options will be a dessert plate of Lemon and White Chocolate Pannacotta, Dark Chocolate Mousse and Raspberries with Shortbread.

Professional Cookery students from The Rick Stein Academy at Truro and Penwith College will be working alongside Stephane and professional chefs to prepare the Awards dinner.

The award ceremony, compered by Holly Day and Neil Caddy from Pirate FM, will celebrate winners in categories across a range of sectors, as well as crowning the Apprentice Achiever of the Year and the overall Apprentice of the Year.

Tickets are still available for the Cornwall Apprenticeship Awards, hosted by Truro and Penwith College on Friday 9th October, and can purchased from: or call 01872 242711 for more information.


Back: Julia Hussey, Joshua Billington, Toni Drew - Spark Co-Ordinator & Lead Front: Leah Cross, Rona Freeman, Tara Stevens.

Back: Julia Hussey, Joshua Billington, Toni Drew – Spark Co-Ordinator & Lead
Front: Leah Cross, Rona Freeman, Tara Stevens.

The Sparks of Enterprise

Innovative start-up businesses in Cornwall, including a toddler clothing range, a family history research service, and a Cornish skateboard magazine, have been supported by a programme designed to help individuals realise their dreams.

Aptly named ‘Spark’, the programme was developed by Truro and Penwith College with the aid of European funding to help Cornish students explore their business potential by supporting an idea from initial conception through to reality.

Students on the Spark programme received a package of tailor-made training, including a series of workshops in areas such as project management, legal and company structure and sales and negotiation. The students were also offered 8 hours of business mentoring from a list of experts including the three Cornwall Innovation Centre managers and representatives from Eightwire, Upbeat Solutions, Well Put Words, Trevor Lee Media and Nature Workshops.

The training and support gave the candidates funding and a space at either the Health & Wellbeing Innovation Centre in Truro, Tremough Innovation Centre in Penryn, or Pool Innovation Centre to work on their business during a six week test trade period, as well as attending various networking events, including the Cornwall Chamber Business Breakfast.

Tara Stevens created Shufflebum, a toddler clothing range with additional ranges for children and young people with mobility needs. Her products are based on the needs of parents and are designed to withstand the rough and tumble of day to day life. “Never before did I realise just how much information, planning and time goes into producing a business plan. There are so many things to think about, research and then produce it in a format that others can easily understand too. Without the opportunity I honestly believe that I would not be as far forward with the launch of Shufflebum as I am now.”

Julia Hussey’s business idea is Functional Physique, a movement analysis consultation service for sports people and the general public. “The Spark Project truly set light to the kindling of my business idea and I have been amazed at the enormity of the support and assistance I have been offered through this whole process.

Other participants to benefit from the Spark programme include: Kevin Wilkinson, who created the family history research business The Ancestry Hunter; Leah Cross with her teaching resource company Stone Age Students, focusing on prehistoric history for primary school children; Rona Freeman, who will be providing therapeutic treatments and nutritional advice with her business Loving Life; Joshua Billington with v3ast Magazine & Fabrications, a Cornish skateboard magazine and charity for the development of regenerated skateboard facilities.


New students arriving at Truro College on their first day.

New students arriving at Truro College on their first day.

New Year, New Opportunities

The beginning of September saw intense activity at the start of the next phase in education for many Cornish students as they progressed from school to college.

Truro and Penwith College welcomed over 3,200 new students from across the county to its City and Penzance campuses. All are starting their studies on a wide range of courses including A Levels, vocational diplomas, skills training, and the International Baccalaureate (IB).

While A Level recruitment to both sites has grown again, over half the total intake are students on vocational and skills programmes, such as Construction, Automotive, Engineering, Applied Science, IT, Business, and Sports.

The biggest growth in both A Level and vocational pathways has again been in STEM (Science Technology, Engineering and Maths). An additional 55 new starters joined the IB cohort after enjoying a team-building induction day at Tomperrow Campsite, near Truro, earlier in the week.

While the students have had the summer to prepare for their next big step, staff at both Colleges have been busy throughout July and August preparing for the new arrivals.

At Truro, a brand new media suite will provide more effective technical support for creative students, and two new science labs, reflecting the growth in these subjects, are available for budding chemists, biologists and physicists to practise their skills. Construction students at both campuses will benefit from improved teaching facilities, including additional new plastering bays. Accessibility at Truro College has been further enhanced with a new lift providing improved links between the two sides of the campus.

Both campuses were hives of activity at the end of last week as students arrived on buses from towns and villages across Cornwall. For some it was a longer journey than others. At Truro College alone, over 30 buses serve the site during the course of the average day from as far afield as Bude, Callington and Bodmin to St Just, The Lizard and St Ives.

Cheryl Mewton, the College’s Director of Studies, said: “It’s been fantastic to see so many new faces at Truro and Penwith ready to take the next crucial step in their education. We’ve had additional staff on-hand, including our excellent mentors, all former students themselves, to offer help and advice for our first year students. I’m delighted that so many are starting this next phase with us and making new friends in the process.”


Will Pace-Linsell receiving his award from Victoria Byard, lecturer in School of Film and Television at Falmouth University. (Image copyright: George Herbert)

Will Pace-Linsell receiving his award from Victoria Byard, lecturer in School of Film and Television at Falmouth University. (Image copyright: George Herbert)

Media Students Created Success

Cornwall’s creative art is in safe hands if the work of students at Truro and Penwith College is anything to go by.

As a new cohort of fresh talent starts its journey on a range of creative A Levels, diplomas and Apprenticeships, they will no doubt be seeking inspiration from the success and experience of previous College students.

The creative works of Art and Media students were recently exhibited and celebrated as part of the annual CreatED event hosted by Falmouth University, which showcased the talent of young people from schools and colleges across Cornwall.

Three Truro College students were thrilled to win prizes at the awards ceremony, hosted by former Truro College Media student and Pirate FM presenter James Dundon.

Will Pace-Linsell from Bodmin, who studied the A Level Film Studies course, won the Best Film and Animation category for his animation ‘2015: A Space Recovery.’ The judges praised its “superb cinematography, great lighting and editing” and how it “makes great use of film references without descending into pastiche.”

Katie Soane, also from Bodmin, studied the BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Photography and won the Best Photography award for her work ‘Bare.’ The judges commented: “In an age dominated by an obsession with self-image, this work strips back the public facade presented by the individual.  Whilst there is a self-awareness to be seen in the subjects, the photographs remind us there is an underlying beauty in everyone ‘as they are’.”

The event also saw BTEC Art and Design student Dom Rogers, from Falmouth, pick up the award for Best Graphic Design.

Lee Clark, Programme Team Leader for Media and Photography at Truro College, said: “What a fantastic achievement, and a great reward for the students, as well as the staff, the College and Cornish arts and creative education in general.”


Scott Mann MP in Westminster.

Scott Mann MP in Westminster.

Cornwall Apprenticeship Awards – Modern Apprenticeships

With just a week left to get your nominations in for the Cornwall Apprenticeship Awards, there has never been a better time to celebrate the diversity and possibilities offered by modern Apprenticeships, and the achievements of inspirational apprentices across the county.

Why nominate? The Awards will showcase the amazing talent, energy and contribution apprentices make to the current and future strength of local companies. So if you know an apprentice who’s made a difference, make sure they get the recognition they deserve!

The scope and prospects that modern Apprenticeships offer is shown by the rare opportunity to gain behind-the-scenes insights into the intriguing world of politics that came up recently, as Conservative MP Scott Mann sought an Apprentice Office Administrator/Caseworker to join his team in Bodmin for the North Cornwall constituency.

The role will provide the successful apprentice with valuable skills, knowledge and experience of parliamentary policies and procedures, as well as working across various departments throughout the organisation to learn all aspects of casework, research and administration. They will have the opportunity to attend advice surgeries, visit constituents, businesses and attend events with Scott Mann. Ultimately, the apprentice will experience the workings of government and the daily issues that come into the office.

As one of the first Apprenticeships within politics in Cornwall, Scott Mann MP is leading the way in making careers in politics accessible, and highlighting Apprenticeships as a valuable route to that perfect job.

He said: “As a new and young Member of Parliament, I want to offer someone the opportunity to share this journey and experience. I have recently set up my first constituency office in Bodmin, an area of high youth unemployment, and I believe that Cornwall does have the right person to fill this role.

“The benefit for the team is not only to have a new member but to share their experience and knowledge with them. The benefit for the apprentice would be that they would be exposed to all levels of politics and its workings from constituents, Parish Councils, Cornwall Council and right through to Westminster. It will also offer them invaluable experience for other future careers.”

With the rise of modern Apprenticeships, many more exciting opportunities to pursue your dream career are becoming available. From Outdoor Active Leisure to Creative Media, you can earn and learn your way to the top with an Apprenticeship.

The first ever Cornwall Apprenticeship Awards will be held on Friday 9th October and hosted by Truro and Penwith College. To nominate your business or an apprentice who deserves recognition for their achievement visit and fill out the online form.

Nominations are free to submit and will remain open until 5pm on Wednesday 16th September. For more information on the Awards visit or email,


How to Nominate:

Step 1: Visit

Step 2: Select your appropriate category, business or apprentice

Step 3: Fill out and submit the online form

Nominations close 5pm on Wednesday 16th September 2015.

The award categories are:

Apprentice of the Year- Hospitality
Apprentice of the Year – Accountancy
Apprentice of the Year – Construction
Apprentice of the Year – Health and Social Care and Child care
Apprentice of the Year – Digital and IT
Apprentice of the Year – Management and Marketing

Apprentice of the Year- Business
Apprentice of the Year – Customer Service and Retail
Apprentice of the Year – Hair and Beauty
Apprentice of the Year – Motor Vehicle
Apprentice of the Year – Engineering
Apprentice – Achiever of the Year
Apprentice of the Year

Apprentice Employer of the Year (SME < 250 employees)
Apprentice Employer of the Year (Large >250 employees)



 St Austell Brewery is sponsoring the Hospitality category at the Cornwall Apprenticeship Awards.

St Austell Brewery is sponsoring the Hospitality category at the Cornwall Apprenticeship Awards.

Cornwall Apprenticeship Awards – The Future of Hospitality

It is just two weeks until nominations close for the Cornwall Apprenticeship Awards, which are set to celebrate individual apprentice and business achievement across a wide range of sectors.

Employing around 34,000 people across Cornwall, the hospitality sector makes a huge contribution to the county’s economy and is a sector which is fully embracing the benefits of Apprenticeships.

One of the South West’s biggest names in hospitality, St. Austell Brewery, continues to value recruitment through Apprenticeships as essential to the future of its business and, as part of an ongoing and growing partnership with Truro and Penwith College, offered 30 new Apprenticeship jobs in Professional Cookery and Front of House in early 2015.

Adam Luck, Estate Director at St. Austell Brewery, said: “People are at the heart of our business and through Apprenticeships we find enthusiastic and committed individuals to start their career here with a St. Austell Brewery Apprenticeship. Apprenticeships offer us long term recruitment solutions, the right individuals can progress to work in any of our sites, head office, or progress into a management role.”

St. Austell Brewery is further showing its support for Apprenticeships by sponsoring the Hospitality category at the Cornwall Apprenticeship Awards.

Another business to recognise the advantages of Apprenticeships to the future of hospitality in Cornwall is Rick and Jill Stein’s company The Seafood Restaurant, which is sponsoring the Customer Service and Retail category.

With a training partnership spanning over seven years, Truro and Penwith College is proud of its relationship with the award winning restaurant. The Level 2 Professional Cookery Apprenticeship began in 2008 to invest in talented local individuals who were passionate about cooking. The programme was initially designed to develop individuals from within the business with aspirations to succeed, but has also recently brought in external candidates, the first of which will be completing their Apprenticeships in September.

The Seafood Restaurant apprentices putting the finishing touches to their portfolios in Truro College’s Spires kitchen.

The Seafood Restaurant apprentices putting the finishing touches to their portfolios in Truro College’s Spires kitchen.

To date, 60 Apprentices have achieved the Rick Stein Professional Cookery Apprenticeship. Eight new Apprenticeship vacancies have been announced for January 2016 for learners to start as apprentice chefs and to benefit from all the training and support needed to thrive in a kitchen environment.

To add to its continuing commitment to Apprenticeships, September 2015 will see the launch of the Rick Stein Academy at Truro and Penwith College. The Academy aims to inspire and support individuals and enables full time hospitality students to experience working with head chefs from the Steins’ restaurants. The opportunity to take part in masterclasses honing the students’ skills and experience gives students the potential to move into a full time Apprenticeship within one of Rick and Jill Stein’s restaurants.

The first ever Cornwall Apprenticeship Awards, held on Friday 9th October and hosted by Truro and Penwith College, will be a celebration of individual and business success within the Cornish business community. To nominate your business or an apprentice who deserves recognition for their achievement visit and fill out the online form.

Nominations are free to submit and will remain open until 5pm on Wednesday 16th September. For more information on the Awards visit or email,


Games Development at Penwith College.

Games Development at Penwith College.

Nextgen Skills For The Next Generation Of Games Developers

Cornish students will for the first time have the opportunity to study towards becoming the games and movie-making stars of tomorrow.

From September, Truro and Penwith College will be one of only four colleges across the country to offer a brand new qualification in Games, Animation and VFX (visual effects) launched by NextGen Skills Academy.

Based at the Penwith campus, the newly created Level 3 Extended Diploma in Games, Animation and VFX Skills is equivalent to three A Levels and will provide students with relevant and up to date course content that has been written by industry to replicate today’s real-world work environment, as well as unprecedented access to industry mentors and industry-designed live briefs.

Students can study the fundamentals of animation, artistic skills, programming and games design, together with production and common working practices within the industries. The latest technology and facilities will support students in developing the important skills and strong portfolios needed for university courses or employment.

David Atkinson-Beaumont, Deputy Team Leader for Vocational Arts and Community at Penwith College, said: “We’re really excited, and privileged, to be one of the first providers to be delivering such a unique course. The collaboration between industry and education has never been so well done and the students are going to get unprecedented access to some of the biggest players in the games, animation and Visual FX industries.”

NextGen Skills Academy is a new initiative supported by both government and industry investment. Established in 2014, it was set up in response to an industry review that revealed a gap in the education system in providing crucial skills needed to work within the games, animation and VFX industries. The new course has been specifically developed, with input from leading employers, to close this gap.



Jack Nowell on the ball, in his Truro Rugby Academy days.

Jack Nowell on the ball, in his Truro Rugby Academy days.

Rugby Academy Alumni To Clash In The World Cup

The Truro and Penwith College Rugby Academy has come a long way since its formation in 1999, and never will this be confirmed so strikingly as when its recent alumni face off against each other in the opening match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

With England facing Fiji on Friday 18th September at Twickenham, Winger Jack Nowell looks certain to be in the England team, and with Luke Cowan-Dickie, hotly tipped as a mainstay England Hooker of the future, making his senior England debut in the 19-14 win over France in the first pre-World Cup warm-up, he is also a possibility for the squad. Meanwhile Ospreys utility back Josh Matavesi will be part of the Fijian set-up, either at Full Back or elsewhere.

In a joint initiative with the Exeter Chiefs, Truro College’s Rugby Academy allows students aged 16-19 to stay in Cornwall to complete their education while receiving first-class rugby coaching. This set-up has seen native Cornish talent flourishing, with a host of names being signed as full professionals before they finish their studies. “It wasn’t until I got to college that it really hit me that if I put my head down for two years I’d have a contract waiting for me,” says Nowell.

All three studied on the BTEC Extended Diploma in Sports Performance and Excellence at Truro, with Nowell and Cowan-Dickie completing their studies together in 2011, and Matavesi in 2009.

Recent seasons have seen the Truro Academy rugby team as AASE League Bowl winners, South West Colleges League and Samurai 7s winners, and AASE League Plate winners.

Truro and Penwith College enjoys a strong connection with rugby in Cornwall, from its sponsorship of the Cornish Pirates and Redruth teams, to its membership of the Stadium4Cornwall consortium, which recently gained planning permission to create a new stadium – and home for the Pirates – to Cornwall.

Steve Larkins, the College’s Rugby Academy Leader, says: “The Truro and Penwith College Rugby Academy continues to produce outstanding players who have proven themselves nationally and internationally against the best.”