The Principal of Keighley College has praised the contribution students have made to their local community – while congratulating their academic achievements.

Despite the difficulties posed by the pandemic the college has just enjoyed another successful set of Level 3 and GCSE results, with many students meeting or exceeding their target grades.

Principal Steve Kelly said he was full of admiration for the extra effort that students and staff had put in over a trying 12 months, and their sense of social responsibility.

Achievement in the face of adversity

He said: “This year has been extremely challenging for all students across the country, as well as for those who teach and support them.

“We are very proud of our students and over the past year they have not only completed their studies but helped in their local communities, as well as with their families. 

“I am pleased to say students at Keighley College have been able to gain their vocational qualifications and progress to university, further study or employment. Many have also decided to apply for apprenticeship opportunities in the region.

“The college is open for enquiries and we still have places for anyone wishing to enrol on our courses which start next month and include full-time vocational courses, T Levels, A levels and part-time study.

“We are here to help and would encourage anyone who has questions to contact us by calling 01535 685000, emailing or visiting”

Inspirational husband and wife team

There were many inspirational stories behind the grades achieved by Keighley College students, and especially adult learners, this year. 

Husband and wife Chris and Laura Smith both started at the college after initially being turned down for the Access to Higher Education – Health Science Professions course, as neither had the required GCSE grades for English or maths.

The Head of Service Professions, Kevin Burke, decided to take a chance and offered them each a place anyway. His belief in them was proved well founded as they both went on to work ‘tirelessly’ and pass the course, while also achieving Grade 5s in English and Maths.

Those achievements were all the more remarkable given the fact that Laura and Chris were both holding down a job while studying. They have now each been offered a place at Bradford University, where they will study Nursing.

Overcoming the challenges of dyslexia

Adult learner Katy Currell, meanwhile, has been struggling with the educational challenges of dyslexia for years.

Until recently trying to read longer pieces of text or to write represented a huge challenge to Katy. But that has now, thanks to ‘incredibly hard work’ on her part and specialist support from her English teacher, all changed.

Katy has just achieved a Grade 4 pass in her English Language GCSE, and her teachers also say  they have seen her self-confidence grow steadily as she has progressed.

Keighley College joins Leeds City Region partners to prioritise adult learning

Keighley College, a member of Luminate Education Group, has teamed up with partners across the Leeds City Region to host a series of free short courses for adults, as part of the national Festival of Learning.  

The group is working alongside local organisations and education providers to get adults in the region back into education, following the challenges of the pandemic. 

Now in its 29th year, the Festival of Learning (formerly Adult Learners’ Week) was launched to celebrate adult students and encourage others to participate in lifelong learning. 

Cllr Jonathan Pryor, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Economy, Culture and Education at Leeds City Council, said: “Over recent years, although Leeds has continued to prioritise adult education, we’ve seen it become less of a priority across the country. A lack of confidence amongst adult learners due to the pandemic, paired with historic funding cuts and reduced support, has resulted in the lowest adult participation in a decade. This partnership aims to celebrate the important role learning can play in adult lives and encourage them back into education.

“Skills are very high on the agenda for business recovery and growth post-pandemic. The partnership reflects that adult learning is available at all levels and stages of life; whether that’s starting from scratch with a new skill, brushing up and updating knowledge or taking it to an advanced level.”

As part of the Festival of Learning, adults will be encouraged to develop skills, enhance their employability and improve wellbeing through a range of taster sessions, residential days, virtual seminars and open days.

Yultan Mellor, Principal and Chief Executive at Northern College, added: “The festival is a superb opportunity for us to shine a spotlight on the different expressions of adult learning across the region, including community, college, home and residential settings. Our collaborative activities aim to showcase the benefits of adult education, including flexibility, financial support, personalised experiences and positive wellbeing outcomes.”

Set to launch in July, the Festival of Learning activities will kickstart with a Returning to Education: Support for Adult Learners webinar at University Centre Leeds on 20 July. Additional upcoming events include Five Ways to Wellbeing course at Northern College on 22 July.

Ann-Marie Spry, Vice Principal of Adults at Luminate Education Group, commented: “Adult education is central to the rebuilding of our economy in a post-Covid environment. Therefore, we are working with key stakeholders in the area to demonstrate how lifelong learning can better equip learners to adapt to unexpected change and enhance their skills, in order to suit the ever-changing job market.

“This partnership brings together experts across the region to identify how we can work together to achieve shared objectives to raise the profile of this vital agenda. Drawing expertise and insight from our partners helps us to understand the current climate, allowing us to overcome barriers to learning and champion adult education.”

In the next academic year, the partnership will be encouraging learners to take part in ‘Have a Go’ activities, providing adults with the opportunity to try different courses and discover their passion. Rebuilding relationships with the community will also be a key focus for partnership activities, including taster sessions in local community centres.

The group, including Leeds City College, Keighley College, Harrogate College, White Rose Academies Trust and University Centre Leeds, is working with partners including West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Leeds City Council, Bradford Council, West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges, University of Leeds, The Prince’s Trust and Northern College, to deliver shared adult learning objectives.

Find out more about the Festival of Learning partnership by following the hashtag #FoLpartners on social media and discover our upcoming events here.

Recruitment drive for growing college

Jobseekers invited to pursue an exciting career – and help shape the workforce of tomorrow – at Keighley College

Keighley College is aiming to add to its large and committed team by staging its first ever Staff Careers and Recruitment Day.

The virtual event, featuring a live link to the campus, runs from 12 noon to 7pm on Tuesday 6 July and will be an opportunity for visitors to find out about the range of exciting job opportunities that are available as well as training opportunities for those that want to work in education, training and skills. 

The college, one of the area’s largest employers, has been growing and is now poised for further expansion thanks to a recently announced £33.6 million Towns Fund award for Keighley. Part of that funding will be used to create a new Skills Hub and a centre for manufacturing, engineering and future technology: both of which will be sponsored by Keighley College.

Those who take part in the college’s Staff Careers and Recruitment Day will be able upload their CVs, talk to members of staff and learn how they can come and be part of a fantastic staff team. The college is also keen to hear from individuals who are considering a career in education, skills and training – especially those with industry experience. 

Principal Steve Kelly said: “This is a particularly exciting time for Keighley College, and we are keen to recruit new and committed team members to join us on our journey as we continue to grow.

“This recruitment day is a great chance to find out more about the outstanding work we do here, register an interest and get involved.

“The college is at the heart of the community and has a key role to play, thanks to our skills provision and exceptional industry links to agencies like Skills House, JobCentre Plus and the Department for Work and Pensions. 

“Our work – and that of other organisations across our district – is driving the skills agenda and helping the economic and social regeneration of the town and region.

“Keighley as a location has a lot to offer including its proximity to beautiful countryside, Bronte Country, Cliffe Castle and the famous Keighley & Worth Valley Railway.

“I look forward to welcoming lots of potential new employees on Tuesday 6 July, giving them a virtual tour of our cutting-edge facilities, and hearing from them about how they can contribute to our continuing success story.”

Virtual slots for Keighley College Staff Careers and Recruitment Day are available at 12 noon, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm, 6pm and 7pm.

For more details and to book a place visit .

The college currently has positions available in a number of fields including teaching, learning support, technical, students support, leadership, administration, training and facilities.

To find out more about job opportunities at Keighley College visit, call 01535 68500 or email

Refugee Week

Refugee Week is a UK festival that celebrates the resilience and contributions of refugees and people seeking sanctuary. It is a week-long celebration which centers around World Refugee Day on 20 June. 

Refugee Week was established in 1988 to help challenge the xenophobia and hostility refugees faced from society and the media. It is now a national initiative that works towards combating the negative stigma, educating communities about the valuable contributions of refugees and giving them a safe place to live. 

The annual celebration acts as a powerful platform for those to share their experiences and the challenges they face when seeking asylum. The week aims to create a safe place where communities can develop a better understanding of the issues that refugees face. It also offers an opportunity for people to be seen, listened to, and valued in their community.

Inclusivity is at the heart of the event, accompanied by activities and exhibitions which strive to bring everyone together to raise awareness of the history and challenges that refugees can face in their everyday lives. 

We Cannot Walk Alone

This year, the theme for Refugee Week is ‘We Cannot Walk Alone’. 

This theme stems from a speech delivered by Martin Luther King during the American Civil Rights Movement. However, the words still resonate with us today and relate to all aspects of our lives. 

The theme encourages us to walk side-by-side with each other by reaching out to someone new. It inspires us to connect with new people and learn something valuable from each other. 

Why not take part in Refugee Week Simple Acts inspired by this year’s theme? These are simple acts that we can incorporate into our everyday life to stand with refugees and make new, valuable connections. 


Here are some ways you can get involved.

Whose Land? By Meduula

Meduulla, a Zimbabwean-born artist, poet and rapper uses her voice to raise awareness of the consequences of conflict with migration. This is an online event held on the 14 June. 

Guardian at 200: Humanitarian issues and the power of the media

The John Rylands Research Institute and Library holds the entire archive of the Manchester Guardian. This panel of special guests and experts will discuss items from the archive and how it could impact our future.

Home, Street, City: Finding Sanctuary in Wakefield

From 26 May to 19 June, this exhibition celebrates artwork made by people in Wakefield during the pandemic, exploring experiences and memories of their homes.

Across the college there will be a creative competition around the themes of sanctuary in which students can participate in. Take a look at the competition poster for more information. 

Keighley Support Services 

If you’d like to get support, there are many local services available. 

Keighley Place of Sanctuary 

Refugee and Asylum Seeker Support Group, Wednesdays at 12:30pm -1:30pm.

The Good Shepherd Centre 

A welcome to asylum seekers and refugees offering them a place of safety.

Students clean up in the community

Twelve Public Services students have been making a difference in the community by taking part in the One Hour Tidy project.

As part of the Kinder Colleges initiative, students are encouraged to become more active within the community and be kinder to the planet. 

The students worked alongside Keighley Big Local’s Shaun O’Hare, a council community warden and a local environmentalist to collect litter from around the college and along Dalton Lane.

Set up by Keighley College tutor, Mark Hargreaves, in collaboration with the Keighley Big Local, the project is a contribution to the national programme, the Great British Spring Clean.

As a result of the project, the students collected 16 refuse bags of litter, an old tyre and a fire extinguisher.

Mark organised the project in a bid to raise awareness of environmental issues amongst students.

“As aspiring public servants, our students can learn a great amount from working with members of the community. Projects like these give our students vital real-life teamwork and communication experience, which will also help them to complete their qualifications. 

“Keighley College strives to be a positive force for change within the community, therefore we have a duty to the environment and showcasing the importance of this to students. The feedback from the students was fantastic – they all really enjoyed the activity and learnt valuable communication skills.”

The college is planning many upcoming community projects, including planning a walking route for the Worth Valley Walking Festival, which is designed to raise environmental, physical and mental health awareness in the area.

“We will also be involved in some tree planning with the Environment Agency as part of the biomimetic flood reduction initiatives in the Aire Valley.”

Take a look at the Public Services courses here.

Students scoop six manufacturing industry accolades

Students from Keighley College have achieved six manufacturing industry accolades as part of the Milner Awards.

Sponsored by Keighley Training Consortium, the annual awards recognise the achievements of first year apprentices on the Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (AME) programme at the college.

Three apprentices have been selected to receive the main awards: Outstanding Apprentice, Academic Achievement and Skills Achievement, and have been given a cash prize in recognition of their accomplishments. Three additional students have received special recognition awards. 

William Jowitt, director of Keighley Training Consortium and member of the supervisory board of the AME, said: “Apprentices are one of the key engines of economic growth; each year we see ambitious learners strive for excellence through the AME programme. 

“The collaborative approach we’ve seen among apprentices and local employers has been remarkable, clearly demonstrating the value of apprenticeships. These winners, who studied the programme in 2019, have shown exceptional skill development and admirable dedication.”

This year’s Milner Awards took place at Keighley College. Attending the ceremony were the apprenticeship employers, including Produmax and CarnaudMetalbox Engineering and winners Toby Woodhead, Ben Bott, Max Weatherhead, Gabby Lloyd and Suraj Mistry.

Ronnie Magee, Deputy Head of Technology at Keighley College, commented: “We’re extremely proud of our apprentices’ achievements. They’ve gained valuable experience while demonstrating impressive commitment to learning and development. These awards are an amazing opportunity to show how important working together with local employers is for the community.”

The yearly awards were formed in 2015 as the AME programme launched at college. The AME board is part of a district-wide initiative in partnership with the local council and the Careers and Technical Education partnership. The programme is designed to inspire young people to work within the industry, enabling them to obtain the skills needed for employment.

Ben Bott, who won the Outstanding Apprentice Award, added: “I feel incredibly proud to receive such a prestigious award. My mechanical engineering apprenticeship at Produmax has been a pivotal point in my learning and development, equipping me with the technical skills needed to flourish in my career. I have spent the prize money on a new computer in order to complete my college work.”

Toby Woodhead, Keighley College student who works as an apprentice at CarnaudMetalbox, added: “It’s an honour to receive the Practical Workshop Skills Award. I was recognised for the hands-on work I did in the college workshop, such as milling and assembly jobs, as well as the machine building I do as part of my apprenticeship.”

Keighley College promotes kindness through new initiative

Keighley College is putting wellbeing at the forefront of its agenda by launching a new initiative, Kinder Colleges.

In a bid to promote wellbeing across the college, the programme encourages students and staff to become champions of kindness by participating in wellness activities across the district.

Underpinned by six key themes: Kinder to Self, Kinder Relationships, Kinder to the Planet, Kinder Spaces, Kinder Business and Kinder Communities, the inclusive project aims to enhance awareness of social responsibility and inspire good wellbeing practice among the college’s staff and students.

Steve Kelly, Principal at Keighley College, said: “The pandemic has been incredibly tough for our staff and students, however it allowed us time to reflect on the importance of wellbeing. It has been touching to see our community come together to support each other during challenging times, and we’re committed to embodying this culture of kindness within the college.

“Kinder Colleges is focused on inspiring students and staff to become active citizens with the community, which might be seen through volunteering, planting trees or random acts of kindness. We’re encouraging our learners and colleagues to let us know about the outstanding work they’ve been doing by tagging #KinderColleges on social media.

“As a college, we work closely within the community to undertake volunteering, charity work and fundraising, and we’re excited to see the rollout of similar activities as part of this initiative.”

More information on Kinder Colleges is available by visiting

From beauty to business – Level 3 Business Apprentice, Ellie, shares her passion for the housing sector

Ellie Gill was studying beauty therapy before she switched career paths.

“I didn’t like the idea of full-time education or university and thought an apprenticeship would suit me best.”

Ellie, who is currently working at Mortgage Advice Bureau, said her role often consists of 

chasing lenders and solicitors for updates on current and new cases that the mortgage advisors have submitted to a lender. 

“We liaise with our clients from the application being submitted right until completion takes place with the solicitors. Our aim is to ensure our clients have great customer service throughout the process and are stress free in a time that can be quite difficult.”

Ellie also said she supports the customer support team twice a week. 

“This often ranges from calling leads that have come through to us through our linked estate agents or a general enquiry through the office. I book these appointments for the mortgage advisors, making their life a lot easier, whilst creating business for the company. 

On her job and team

Ellie, who says there has been a number of highlights during her apprenticeship including building relationships with clients, also added that her team have been very supportive particularly during the pandemic.

My team at Mortgage Advice Bureau have been really supportive throughout my apprenticeship. The director, Andrew Milnes, the Customer Support team and the advisors are always at the end of the phone if I have any questions. Everyone is always helping me look for opportunities to progress my career further and to potentially be a mortgage advisor myself in the future.

“There have definitely been some challenges as a result of the pandemic, which knocked everything back in the housing market and during that time it was stressful for us and our clients however, we made sure every single one of our clients knew we were there, even if it was just for a chat!”

On apprenticeships

Ellie encourages those thinking about their next steps to consider an apprenticeship as she believes it is ‘life-changing’.

“Apprenticeships have taught me that you can progress in your career even while you are still studying. Earning money is also a bonus as you only have your job and college to focus on. You also get plenty of time to do this work so you aren’t having to do it in your own time.”

Looking to the future

Ellie says she hopes to progress and eventually become a mortgage advisor one day.

“I really enjoy being able to build relationships with our clients during the biggest purchase they are most likely ever going to make. It’s rewarding when you get positive feedback from a client especially when it’s the whole team that has worked on the case, it makes our job worthwhile and I look forward to doing this long term.”

An insight into Parliament

Public Services students delved into the world of politics, MPs and government as part of a virtual workshop.

The interactive session was organised by college partners, the Bradford Skills Careers Technical Education, Public Services and Law Board, along with Northern Railway and Senior Education and Engagement Officer, Rachael Dodgson.

Understanding politics

Keen to develop their knowledge on the variety of employment opportunities within the public service sector, students learnt about non-uniformed roles and how the UK Parliament is structured. 

The workshop informed students about the importance of getting their voice heard, the difference between parliament and government and the role of MPs and peers.

Rebecca Cuthbert, Course Leader of Sport and Public Services at Keighley College, helped organise the session.

“It was extremely beneficial for our students to hear first hand experiences of careers within the sector. The workshop allowed them to put theoretical knowledge into a real workplace context.

“We’ve worked with Bradford Skills on many occasions; they deliver a fantastic learning experience for our students and we’ll continue to work closely with them. The feedback from all learners and staff has been amazing, hopefully next year we can visit Parliament!”

A new perspective 

Local MP for Keighley and Ilkley, Robbie Moore, answered students’ questions focusing on his career pathway, plans for improving the local area and an insight into working for Parliament.

Tom-James Smith, Public Services Level 3 student at Keighley College, enjoyed getting to know Robbie and understanding his reasons for becoming an MP.

“Robbie helped develop our understanding of the day-to-day responsibilities of working in parliament. Hearing from him has encouraged me to get involved in the voting process and have more of a say in the local area. 

“It was valuable to understand how our local MP is developing employment opportunities for young people. We now know who we can contact if we have any ideas for improving the community.”

Discover our range of Public Services courses here.