The British International Freight Association (BIFA) has established a new collaboration programme with South Hampshire College Group (SHCG) to help develop and deliver courses that make students attractive candidates for roles within the logistics sector.

This is an extension of a campaign the trade association that represents the UK freight forwarding sector started in 2021 to encourage its members to work with schools and colleges to promote careers in logistics, forwarding and supply chain management.

The collaboration will see BIFA and SHCG work together through continuous and structured interaction to engage with the extensive community of BIFA members in the Solent region.

A key objective will be to inform and update BIFA members about the skills courses that SHCG runs that are relevant to the logistics sector; whilst enabling them to provide input into those courses to ensure students have the essential foundation knowledge they need for a successful career within the industry.

Through its Solent regional group, BIFA will be encouraging its members to engage with SHCG students to provide valuable insight into the many aspects of logistics and the wide variety of career opportunities that are available.

There will be an initial meeting at SHCG’s Eastleigh College on 29th February to share further information and have an open discussion with attendees as to how best to work together to achieve the objectives, and set up and run a continuous and structured dialogue between BIFA members and SHCG.

Carl Hobbis, BIFA Member Services Director says: “Brexit, the Covid pandemic, and now the crisis in the Red Sea, have put global supply chains in the news more than ever, so what a great time to encourage someone to consider a career in the international freight sector that manages those supply chains.”

Anoushka Ottley, Executive Director of Business & Partnerships at South Hampshire College Group, says: “We’re excited to be working in partnership with BIFA to help raise greater awareness of the many career opportunities within the logistics sector and to further develop our high-quality training to meet the current and future skills requirements across the Solent region.”

Two Level 3 Creative Media students at Fareham College have had their pieces published in the annual Creative Writing in FE: An Anthology book. 

Beatrice Villaneuva and Lana George are approaching the end of their Level 3 Extended Diploma in Creative Media Production, with both looking to progress onto higher education at university in September. Although both have enjoyed writing as a pastime, these submissions marked the first time either had embarked upon an official writing project. Both short pieces were fictional, incorporating a variety of literary language devices and emotive imagery in the narration.  

The annual Creative Writing in FE Anthology publication brings together Creative Writing excerpts from students in further education across the country. Many submissions are received each year, all analysed carefully by an expert panel including representatives from the Copywriting Licensing Agency, the English and Media Centre and the Association of Colleges. All submissions are assessed on their quality of writing, adherence to the brief, and the imagination and emotion evoked through each piece.  

Beatrice commented: “This project interested me because I saw it as an opportunity to experiment with different writing techniques. It was a huge surprise for me to see my work published, and this has built up my confidence in my creative ability. This course has given me a taste of everything, and the teachers’ support has allowed my creative freedom to flourish. My next step is to build upon this foundation at university as I work toward my goal of becoming a Film and TV Producer.”

Lana said: “I was so happy to see my work in print. With this piece, I wanted to increase awareness of the effect that parents arguing can have on a child, and I hope this publication has managed to achieve that. I plan to continue studying Creative Media at university and would love to become a writer or editor one day.

Gregory Kitchin, Faculty Director of Creative Media at Fareham College, commented: “Lana and Beatrice have already matured into talented videographers on their Level 3 Creative Media Production course and this accolade is further proof that they will have long and fruitful careers in the creative industries. The excellent writing skills demonstrated in their published work adds to their technical abilities and allows them to approach creative projects from several angles, making them true all-rounders whilst still at College. Lana and Beatrice’s achievements are also testament to their lecturers’ high expectations for learners in the Creative Media department.” 

To see all content from the Creative Writing in FE: An Anthology 2023 book, please click here

For any further queries please contact the College at  

Eastleigh College have hosted the final heat of the 2024 Major International Culinary Challenge, with eighteen medals received across the students competing.

It was a strong performance from all students, who were tasked with creating a uniquely inspired dish within a limited time frame, before presenting their dish to a trio of judges. Level 3 Hospitality and Catering Student Oscar won ‘best in class’ for his Pan-fried chicken breast, served with Hassleback potatoes, braised leeks and carrot puree. He will go on to compete in the grand final of the competition at the Excel Centre in London.

Oscar said: “It was a tough competition with a lot of skilled chefs. I’m chuffed to have been awarded best in class and it’s an amazing opportunity for me to get out there in London and network with chefs and employers across the industry.”

The Hospitality and Catering team at Eastleigh College commented: “We are very proud of all our students’ efforts today at the final heat of the Major Chef Culinary Challenge. Eighteen medals is an outstanding achievement and we wish Oscar the best of luck as he goes on to compete in the final later this Spring.”

Andy Mackenzie is an Executive Chef for the Exclusive Chef Academy and was one of the judges for the heat. He commented: “It was a fantastic and impressive display from our competitors today, there was such great imagination across the menus and it really shows that the future is very bright.”

Sky was the recipient of a gold medal in the heat. She said: “I’m very happy to have been awarded a gold medal, it shows that hard work pays off and has given me a real feeling of accomplishment.”

Major International’s annual Major Series is one of the longest-running young chef competitions in the UK and gives learners of varying skill levels the chance to learn new skills, gain valuable tips from industry professionals and experience the competition arena for the first time. Outstanding performers in each heat will progress to compete at the Excel International Convention Centre in London in front of a live audience. With many senior chefs in attendance, the event provides a prime opportunity for networking with industry professionals, with the competition historically often proving a gateway into more exclusive competitions and opportunities.

For any further queries please contact the College at

South Hampshire College Group (SHCG) held its inaugural edition of National Apprenticeship Week as one united group.

With over a dozen events spread over three college sites, the SHCG 2024 National Apprenticeship Week successfully delivered key information to thousands of students, through workshops, presentations and a variety of guest speakers. Networking breakfasts and parent information evenings also ensured that students were not the only beneficiaries of the week’s programme and there were plenty of opportunities for question-and-answer discussions throughout.

The national theme of 2024 National Apprenticeship Week is ‘Skills for Life’ and the week’s programme was tailored accordingly, with most content focused primarily on apprenticeship opportunities, but a T Level webinar and an internship presentation by Autotech Academy ensuring that there was truly something for everyone. The blend of online and in-person events made certain that nobody missed out even if they could not physically attend.

Trudy McKenzie, Careers Lead at Eastleigh College, commented: “National Apprenticeship Week is such an important and informative week for students, and the varied range of talks, workshops and presentations that have taken place this week have been able to provide something for all. We have had a strong turnout from students for our workshops and activities and a further excellent turnout from parents for our special Apprenticeship evening earlier in the week. We want to give a big thanks to all the organisations who have supported our week’s programme, including Wiser Futures, Adams Morey and Autotech Academy.”

A special Networking breakfast was held at Fareham College as part of the itinerary. This brought together employers from across Hampshire, representing a diverse range of sectors, to discuss apprenticeships and how employers and colleges could work together to fill local skills gaps.

Joanne Pawley, the organiser of the breakfast, commented: “The employer breakfast networking event was an opportunity to bring current and new employers together to look at the range of apprenticeship offerings across South Hampshire College Group. It was also an opportunity for potential new employers to understand what an apprenticeship is and to gain an insight into the benefits that an apprentice could bring to their business.”

The week’s success has already led to more planned events, including a second parents’ evening later this term (date TBC), following a sold-out attendance for the first evening.

For any further queries, please contact the Group at:

South Hampshire College Group are proud to have launched a new T level course in Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction, the latest in a growing list of 34 specialised T Level courses across a range of sectors.

T Levels are exciting modern qualifications that are enjoying a surge in popularity across the UK amongst both students and employers. A T Level qualification is equivalent to 3 A Levels in UCAS points, making this learning pathway a highly credible and valuable alternative to A Levels. Comprised of an 80/20% split between class work and industry placements, T Levels are specifically designed to focus on high-level technical and work-ready skills.

South Hampshire College Group is delighted to be one of the pioneers of T Levels in Southern England, currently offering 34 courses covering a range of sectors such as childcare, media, beauty, electrical and many more.

Rudi Kochanowski, Course Manager for the new T Level in Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction, said: “T-Levels are a great way to get ahead in the construction industry. The qualification has been developed with a range of sector leading employers to ensure that learners are learning the skills and knowledge to succeed in the construction industry. The range of topics covered is very wide and the modules have been designed in consultation with employers.”

Debbie Eacott, Digital T Level Lead at South Hampshire College Group, said: “The T Levels provide a wide variety of skills and industry experience that could roadmap a student into their desired career. This is a fantastic opportunity and journey for students to prepare them for a technical mindset that will build talent pipelines to support the industry.”

Benita Raphaels, Student President of Fareham College, said:I chose a digital T Level as it comes with attractive features not conventionally seen with A-Levels such as the 20% work placement. This and various other opportunities expose us to the world of work and allow us to build our networks and experience early on, which is invaluable in an age with a highly saturated workforce.”

Sarah Eggleston, T Level Placement Employer and Owner of, said:”I have been very impressed by the quality and enthusiasm from my T level students, and the level they work at. They are already growing in productivity and independence, I can only imagine how valuable they would be if progressing onto a higher apprenticeship”.

It is an exciting moment in time for T Levels at South Hampshire College Group, with two special T Level community events scheduled to take place this term. A virtual T Levels online event will take place on Thursday 22nd February, providing valuable insight from both teachers and employers on the various programmes available, along with a special question and answer discussion with the audience. A further in-person T Levels Parents Evening event will take place at Fareham College on Thursday 1st February featuring many of the same discussion points.

South Hampshire College Group has announced its membership of The Solent Cluster, the first major decarbonisation initiative to substantially reduce CO2 emissions from industry, transport and households across the Solent and the south coast of England.

The Solent Cluster is a cross-sector collaboration of international organisations, including manufacturers and engineering companies, regional businesses and industries, leading logistics and infrastructure operators and academic institutions, with decades of proven expertise in carbon capture and storage and hydrogen technology. The Solent region has the capacity to potentially capture and safely store up to 10 million tonnes of CO2 annually as part of the project’s ambitions.

South Hampshire College Group (SHCG) joins over 100 members as part of the Cluster alongside founding members the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), global energy provider ExxonMobil and University of Southampton. The founding members have each shared details of their vision for the Solent and how it could secure existing jobs and produce low-carbon fuels for sectors including maritime and aviation, as well as providing energy to heat homes, businesses, and public buildings. This effort could position the Solent at the centre of low carbon fuel production in the UK and make a major contribution to the country’s Net Zero ambitions by 2050.

Anoushka Ottley, Executive Director of Business & Partnerships at SHCG said,

“South Hampshire College Group are deeply committed to aligning our educational offerings with the specific skills required to meet the objectives of the Solent Cluster’s vision. Through close collaboration with local industries, training providers across the region, and strategic planning, we will ensure that our curriculum and training programs are tailored to cultivate the skills essential for realising the Solent Cluster’s goals. Our college group will serve as a dynamic hub for skills development, empowering individuals and the communities we serve to excel in pursuit of the Solent Cluster’s objectives.”

In a recent socioeconomic report released by the Cluster, it confirmed over 70,000 jobs could be secured, including the creation of over 18,000 new skilled jobs as part of a potential £11.9bn economic boost for the Solent region. The Cluster also has the potential of over £4.4 billion gross value added to the economy by 2035.

Anne-Marie Mountifield, chair of The Solent Cluster said,

“Decarbonisation will be a catalyst for transformative change as we seek to propel the region into a new era of sustainable growth. The importance of identifying the potential for thousands of new jobs and billions in investment, cannot be underestimated.”

“The Solent Cluster is an important opportunity to decarbonise the Solent Region, and we are proud to be a part of this collaborative effort to significantly reduce CO2 emissions from multiple sectors,’’ said Dan Ammann, president of ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions.

Dr Lindsay-Marie Armstrong, associate professor of mechanical engineering and academic cluster lead for the Solent Industrial Decarbonisation Cluster at University of Southampton, said:

“The Solent is recognised as one of the leading contributors of CO2 emissions from energy-intensive manufacturing processes every year. The formation of a decarbonisation cluster that spans the public, private and higher education sectors is a monumental step forward for the region.

“It will introduce sustainable fuels for local transportation, the aviation and the shipping sectors; create low carbon energy to heat homes, businesses and public buildings; and open up new highly skilled jobs opportunities. This can only be achieved by working together as a community, covering all sectors and ultimately working with the same desire to achieve a low carbon economic future for the Solent region.”

South Hampshire College Group has welcomed the news that the Solent region has been allocated a £2.5 million skills fund boost.

Other colleges and training providers benefiting from the Local Skills Improvement Fund (LSIF) include Brockenhurst College, HSDC, City of Portsmouth College, Isle of Wight College, Itchen Sixth Form College, Barton Peveril Sixth Form College, PETA, HTP Apprenticeship College, UTC Portsmouth, and Lighthouse Learning Trust.

The investment is strategically aimed at supporting colleges, universities, and independent training providers in offering more training opportunities in key industries. Importantly, it addresses the specific skills needs identified by local businesses and employers in their Local Skills Improvement Plans (LSIPs). Hampshire Chamber of Commerce was tasked as the employer representative body to conduct the skills gap research for the region, to help identify where further investment would be needed.

To date, the initiative has seen £80 million worth of funding distributed nationwide between 2023 to 2024 (£40 million revenue and £40 million capital), with £85 million capital planned for 2024 to 2025. It forms part of a larger £200 million package of skills funding from the Department for Education (DfE).

Andrew Kaye, CEO of South Hampshire College Group, said:

“The LSIF award is a recognition of the excellent joint efforts in our region, especially in supporting the development of the Solent LSIP.

“We are proud to have led the consortium that put together a strong funding bid, in response to the skills gap research undertaken by Hampshire Chamber of Commerce. This targeted investment provides our region with the skilled workforce needed for growth and development and state-of-the-art industry facilities and equipment, ensuring education meets the changing needs of our local economy. We are eager to see the beneficial impact this will have on our students, local businesses and the wider community.”

The Solent region has pinpointed several key developmental sectors, including a focus on the creative industry. Efforts will be directed towards enhancing skills in production arts, set design and construction, stage management, and light and sound technician roles.

The initiative will also address the Maritime and Freeport sectors, concentrating on filling skill gaps in logistics, supply chain management, digital innovation, and the adoption of alternative fuels.

Additionally, the initiative involves considerable investment in research and development. It aims to improve higher-level progression pathways, expand outreach programmes, and implement activities that elevate employability and engagement.

Health and social care are also a priority, with a focus on addressing the shortage in health-related digital skills, immersive healthcare technology, assisted diagnostics, and specialist roles in anticipatory and critical care.

Ross McNally, CEO and Executive Chair of Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, commented:

“We are delighted that the Solent region has been awarded this significant funding. It is of vital importance that we have a skills system in the region that meets the needs of both local employers and learners, which also supports the local economy with the closing of skills gaps.

“When it comes to skills, we have a lot to be proud of.  We have several leading educational and training providers across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and sectors, such as our renowned maritime industry, that are thriving. However, that does not mean that there isn’t room for improvement, and this funding will mark a significant shift in how we approach and finance their needs.

“The collaboration between the Chambers of Commerce, educational institutions, and businesses is a great example of how working together can make a real difference and we would like to congratulate all involved for making this achievement possible.”

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said:

“This investment is about boosting local industries, building people’s skills and ultimately futureproofing our economy and the career prospects of the next generation.

“Our local skills projects will bring together regional organisations, businesses, and education providers to respond to the specific needs of employers, building an increasingly skilled workforce and growing local economies.

“Whether it is green skills, construction, engineering or digital, thousands more people can now gain the skills they need to secure good jobs closer to home. These are long-term plans that will ensure every area can have a brighter future.”


For more information on South Hampshire College Group, visit:

To learn more about the Local Skills Improvement Plans in your region, visit: 


We are pleased to have held our first Careers Fair of the 23/24 academic year.

Over 30 exhibitors joined us for this important juncture in the college calendar, representing a vast range of industries including engineering, childcare, maritime, logistics, higher education, aviation and many more! There was a high level of engagement throughout the day with over 600 students gathering in our Learner Hub to learn more about potential career pathways and the different roles available in different sectors.

Trudy McKenzie, Careers Lead at Eastleigh College, commented: “We are really grateful to those employers and universities who give up their time to come and showcase their industries and courses to our learners.  The aim of this event was to inform and inspire our learners about potential future options and careers within our locality. These events are always well-attended, confirming the great reputation our professional and technical qualifications hold.

“As a Careers Leader, I am passionate about allowing opportunities for learners to network and engage with organisations to help inform and build confidence in their knowledge.  This is just one event of many, where our learners will receive an array of labour market and careers information from professionals, to help them make informed choices for the future.”

Mita was one of our visiting employers, representing Richmond Motor Group. She commented: “It’s been great to chat to so many students and help them see what they can achieve in the motor industry. It’s a really good time to be part of the industry and there’s a lot of transferable skills that can help them both short-term and long into the future as well.”

Susan from Morgan Sindall was also at the Fair. She said: “Many students at first glance would associate certain companies with specific trades but this Careers Fair has given us the platform to help students understand the depth and breadth of career roles within our organisation.”

For more pictures of the day, please visit our social media pages.

For any further queries please contact the College at

Higher education (HE) students from Fareham College, part of the newly formed South Hampshire College Group, have come together for the Class of 2023’s official Higher Education Graduation ceremony.

The ceremony at Fareham College saw HE students and their families enjoy a light drinks reception before joining faculty members in the college’s 120-seat theatre.

Vice Principal Ben Sheridan welcomed guests and opened the ceremony, followed by Robert Hind, Curriculum Area Manager for Higher Education, who conferred the awards. The event ended with a speech from South Hampshire College Group’s Executive Director of Business and Civic Partnerships, Anousha Ottley before students were invited to mark the occasion by having their official portraits taken.

Marking a triumphant end to the academic year, the event comes at a particularly important time for South Hampshire College Group, which officially merged on 1st August 2023.

The Group – which serves an estimated 11,900 students across the Solent region – aims to provide a financially strong, responsive, and ambitious Higher Education programme for those seeking alternative pathways to university.

The HE programmes, which are held at Fareham College, are designed to support progression from a Level 3 or T Level course to a complete undergraduate qualification.

Teaching staff ensure excellence in practice by using industry-leading technology and collaborating with university partners and recognised employers, while students benefit from smaller class sizes, lower tuition fees, and flexible study options, making it a more accessible option for many.

Additionally, students in certain study programmes are supported to enter the second or third year of complementary courses at partner universities, including Southampton Solent University, allowing them to “top up” their qualifications and enrich their learning further.

From this, many of the Group’s alumni have gone on to pursue Master’s degrees or PhDs, a direct result of the outstanding teaching and personalised support offered to all students.

Ben Sheridan, Vice Principal of Fareham College, said:

“The achievement of a qualification at Level 4 or higher is the product of significant hard work and dedication. This event allows our graduates to celebrate their achievements, gathered among friends, family and lecturers. All of our graduates can be immensely proud of their success, and we wish them the best of luck for their next chapter.”

Robert Hind, Curriculum Area Manager for Higher Education at Fareham College, said:

“Our Higher Education graduation ceremony is the highlight of the year for me as it’s our chance to celebrate the considerable achievements of our HE students.

“Fareham College offers a wide range of HE courses which give students who would struggle to access a course at university the chance to study in their local community and gain qualifications to help them move to the next stage in their lives.

Many of the students who graduated this year have overcome considerable challenges in their personal and professional lives to gain their qualification and we are very proud that the supportive environment we offer at Fareham has played a part in that success.”

To find out more about Higher Education courses with Fareham College, please visit:

First-year Event Management students at Eastleigh College have raised over £750 in a special coffee and cake fundraiser for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Within a month of their course commencing, our students have hosted their first live event, featuring a raffle, courtyard games and a mix of homemade and store selected delicacies. All proceeds from the event have gone to Macmillan Cancer Support, with raffle prize donations from friends and families, and corporate donations from local retailers in the Hampshire community. Students were given two weeks to plan the event, a process that involved marketing, decorating, baking and assigning responsibilities to ensure the event ran to plan.  

Gemma Braybrook, Lecturer in Media, Marketing and Event Management, said: “The Macmillan Cancer Support coffee morning has become a regular fixture on the Events Management course and is an innovative first event for our students to take part in. This class all have brilliant people skills, which is important in this industry, and it is hard to believe they have only been on the course a few weeks. They have done an amazing job.”

Brooklyn was assigned the role of Head of Sales for the event. He commented: “There is so much behind the scenes work that has gone into this event and I think the skills involved are great practice for the real work environment. In this era of social media, it can be hard to communicate properly and the teamwork involved in events like this really helps to build strong communication skills which I believe is very important.”

Sumeya was the Project Manager for the event and said: “My job is to ensure all the stalls run smoothly and I am the first point of contact when somebody has any questions or concerns. I have only been active on this course for a short while but already I can see the impact that Event Management is having upon my growth as a person.”

For any further queries, please contact the College at

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