July 2024

Jessica holding her oversized £500 check alongside tutors and CECA UK Staff 01 Jul 2024

Student Awarded £500 Bursary from CECA UK

Student Awarded £500 Bursary from CECA UK

is thrilled to announce that one of our outstanding students, Jessica Welsh, has been awarded a £500 bursary from the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) UK. This award recognises the dedication and hard work of students pursuing careers in Civil Engineering and Construction.

To celebrate this well-earned achievement, we had the pleasure of inviting Jessica and her parents to the college for a presentation evening. This happy occasion, marked not only the recognition of her academic excellence but also the support of her family and the college community.

In an afternoon bursting with pride and excitement, Jessica was presented with her award by representatives from CECA UK and college faculty members in the Design Suite, part of the North East Institute of Technology based on the campus at .

The judging panel agreed that Jessica would be a very deserving winner due to both her clearly demonstrated enthusiasm for a career in Civil Engineering and her impressive academic record. They also commended her on her 'can-do' attitude and pragmatic approach to tackling challenges.”

Jessica said "I am incredibly grateful for receiving the CECA North East Collage Bursary during my first year on the Design and Surveying T Level at New Collage Durham. This opportunity has allowed me to meet and connect with people and organisations within the sector as well as developing personal skills such as interviewing. With the knowledge and skills I am gaining from my course, I plan to pursue a career in a more hands-on role in industry such as surveying or potentially project management. I am deeply appreciative of the support that this bursary has given me, and it is helping me build a foundation for a successful career."

Commenting on the recent roll-out of the College Bursary programme, Chairman, Ross Markwell said, "CECA set up this bursary scheme to create a legacy of future generations of Civil Engineering professionals, with the goal to have at least 50 winners of this bursary over the next 10 years."

The bursary is part of CECA UK's ongoing commitment to promoting the next generation of Civil Engineering professionals. It provides financial assistance to students who demonstrate exceptional promise and dedication in their field of study.

Matthew Tetley of CECA's Foundations Group, added, “This new programme, which is an important component of our Social Value commitments has been driven by our

'Foundations Group' (young professionals board), as part of our efforts to create a talent pipeline for the industry,"

Tori Screen, Curriculum Manager for Technical Construction & Civil Engineeringat said, “We at the college are committed to providing students with as many opportunities as possible to support their academic and professional growth. Bursaries such as this, not only eases some of the financial pressures associated with further education but also inspires other students to strive for excellence.

We congratulate Jessica on this well-deserved award and look forward to seeing her continue to excel in her studies and future career!

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June 2024

Principle and Vice Principle holding award alongside a lady 28 Jun 2024

wins regional business award

are proud to announce they have received a further prestigious regional award. The North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC) Larger Business of the Year award was received last night on behalf of the college by its Principal and Chief Executive Andy Broadbent and members of Team .

The North East Chamber of Commerce has championed businesses across the region for over two hundred years. Bordered by Yorkshire, Scotland and Cumbria, the NECC is the only organisation that represents members from every size and sector of business. It celebrates the uniqueness of membership and recognises achievements, shares successes and helps raise the profile of member organisations. Chamber awards shine a light on such achievements, showcasing innovation and collaboration while emphasising the chamber’s determination to help the region prosper.

The comprehensive evaluation criteria includes financial reporting for the past three years, a brief description the business, the products or services it supplies, its customers and the markets it operates in. It also asks for details of staffing structure, the effects of external factors how they were dealt with. It also asks for business achievements and how they were achieved. Finally, with a view to the future it also covers business objectives for the next 6 to 18 months and plans on how they will be achieved. 

Andy Broadbent, Principal and Chief Executive of , said: “This fantastic award represents the achievements of the whole team at . Without doubt, our senior leadership team are continually inspired by the dedication and adaptability of our colleagues and their pursuit of excellence and long may it continue.

We are delighted to have won this prestigious accolade and offer our congratulations to everyone else who were nominated in this category. It is great to see so much energy and enthusiasm from similar sized organisations across the region and once again it highlights what a dynamic area the North East is.”

A unique feature of the Chamber Business Awards is that regional winners of each category are automatically put forward to be included at the British Chambers of Commerce awards in November.

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Abigail holding her award inside of 's restaurant, The Copper Pot 27 Jun 2024

student cooks up a storm! 

A teenager who won the North East Young Chef of the Year despite being the youngest entrant has secured a job with a Michelin-starred chef.

Last month Abigail Smith (18) won the title of North East Young Chef of the Year title despite her being the youngest participant in the competition. She has now secured the position of ‘chef de partie’ at Rockliffe Hall, near Darlington, with James Close, the former chef patron of two Michelin star, Raby Hunt.

Abigail, from Darlington, has marked the end of her current studies at , where she has dedicated herself to becoming a professional chef. As a Level 3 Professional Cookery student, Abigail has not only honed her skills but had also made an indelible mark on the national culinary stage.

From the moment she stepped into , Abigail was determined to make the most of her time there. Under the expert guidance of her tutor, Lynn Mitchinson, she embarked on a journey that would transform her from a passionate amateur into a skilled and confident chef.

Lynn, a seasoned chef and an inspiring educator, saw potential in Abigail from day one. "Abigail has an incredible talent," Lynn said. "But more than that, she has the determination and the heart to turn that talent into something extraordinary."


The 18-year-old was one of six talented finalists aged under 23 to compete for the accolade. Organised by NECTA (North East Culinary and Trade Association), the brief was to prepare, cook and present a 3-course menu themed around ‘green gastronomy’ to a team of expert judges. Finalists were asked to demonstrate knowledge of sustainability themes in their menus, as well as showing a clear awareness of seasonal produce and use ingredients sourced locally where possible.

Abigail wowed the judges with her menu and gained praise from the judges for her meticulous technique and innovative flavour combinations and was named as the overall winner on the day. She will now go on to complete a two-week internship at Michelin-starred Restaurant Pine in Northumberland as part of her prize. 

As a result of her win at the North East Culinary and Trade Awards (NECTA), she will now go on to compete in the semi-final of the national heat of Young Chef of the Year, organised by the Craft Guild of Chefs.

Under Lynn's mentorship, Abigail flourished and this is the third accolade she has achieved in her early-culinary career, having achieved ‘Gold’ at the Craft Guild of Chefs Mayor Chefs Culinary Challenge 2023 and achieving ‘Silver’ at the Salon Culinaire Major Chefs Culinary Challenge 2024, each one a stepping stone that refined her skills and boosted her confidence. 

When asked about her latest triumph, Abigail said: “The thing I enjoyed most about the day of the competition was being surrounded by driven people who shared the same passion and interest for food and cooking as myself. The competition has already opened so many doors for me including conversations and opportunities with incredibly skilled chefs who are at the top of their game in the industry.”

She continued: "Studying at has been an incredible journey for me. The support and guidance I received from my tutor were invaluable, and their dedication and expertise helped me excel in my studies and achieve my goals. The college's encouragement to participate in competitions played a significant role in my development, leading to a promotion and an opportunity to work with James Close at Rockcliffe Hall. I highly recommend to anyone seeking a supportive and enriching educational environment."

Click here to find out more about hospitality and catering courses at .

Link: /courses/hospitality-catering

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Better health at work award roadshow poster with date and time 18 Jun 2024

The Better Health at Work Award Roadshow

  - Helping everyone make healthier choices

A fantastic event which is open to all, aims to promote prioritising looking after yourself and staying healthy.

is partnering with health and wellbeing charity, the Pioneering Care Partnership (PCP), to host the Better Health at Work Award roadshow. Held at ’s Framwellgate Moor Campus on Wednesday 31st of July 2024 from 11am until 3pm, there will be up to 30 exhibitors in the college’s East Mall promoting ways you can support your health and wellbeing.

There will be a range of activities, advice, and demonstrations on offer - from healthy eating and oral health, to exercise routines and guest speakers promoting the benefits of wellbeing.

Karen Stubbings, Project Lead of the Better Health at Work Award at PCP, said: “±’r excited to be partnering up with to host an event for everyone to come along and discover local organisations and groups that can support them. We will have Pilates sessions, massage demonstrations, exercise routines and even the latest BMI machines for everyone to try.”

PCP delivers The Better Health at Work Award programme which recognises the efforts of employers addressing health issues within the workplace. It is free and available to all businesses in County Durham.

Alison Maynard, Deputy Principal of said, “ achieved a Better Health at Work Gold Award last year and have achieved Continuing Excellence this year. I encourage all organisations who 󲹱’t yet joined the project to come along and find out how taking part will help them reap the rewards of encouraging a healthy workforce.

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May 2024

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