Front Page Friday


Unmanned Ariel Vehicles (Drone) Training

During May and June 2018, forty staff from all campuses had the opportunity to carry out CDP training in operating a drone in a safe and proficient manner. This training was funded through the Connected programme and took place at the Drone Factory Belfast, with the practical session being held at The Giants Ring near Shaw’s Bridge. The staff involved all thoroughly enjoyed the experience, learning about the legal requirements and good practice to ensure the safe operation of the drone on each flight. If you have any UAV requirements for the delivery of teaching within your course please do not hesitate to contact Linda Clarke in the first instance and she will direct you to a proficient Drone operator within your campus.

Chair of the Governing Body retires

On Wednesday 13th June Joe Martin retired as Chair of the Governing Body after many years of dedicated service to the College.  Joe was Chair of the Governing Body from 2010 – 2018.  All the staff at the college would like to wish Joe and his family well in his future retirement, and thank him for his years of service.


Baps and Bucks Fizz!

As we near the end of the year, campuses are hosting ‘Baps and Bucks Fizz’ to allow staff to get together before the summer period begins. Events are being held in Omagh, Dungannon and Enniskillen on Monday 25th June.

Mid Ulster leading the way for Engineering Innovation Excellence

Mid Ulster engineering businesses were given a unique opportunity to hear from industry experts and local business leaders about new and emerging technologies and how they can be used, even by small enterprises, to achieve business growth.

The ‘Mid Ulster Engineering Event – Facing the Future’ was held on Tuesday 19th June in the Burnavon Theatre, Cookstown. The free event was delivered as part of the ‘Mid Ulster Engineering Innovation Programme’ funded by Mid Ulster District Council and delivered by the InnoTech Centre.

The event’s keynote speaker, renowned manufacturing expert Peter Marsh, former Financial Times Manufacturing Editor and author of “The New Industrial Revolution” discussed the biggest drivers within 21st century manufacturing that are set to transform the sector, focusing on the latest breakthrough technologies including advanced robotics, automation and digital fabrication.

Welcoming the event, Councillor Kim Ashton, Chair of Mid Ulster District Council stated:

“Mid Ulster is widely recognised as a regional manufacturing ‘hub’ and the sector plays a vital role in the local economy. Mid Ulster District Council has prioritised support for the sector in its economic development strategy and believes it is critical to deliver interventions such as this event to equip Mid Ulster businesses with the know-how to exploit the potential of new technologies and enable them to engage directly with industry leaders from across the sector”.

Dr Jill Cush, Deputy Chief Executive at South West College, said:

“This event presents an excellent opportunity for local manufacturers to gain practical expert-led advice on how to approach the next generation of manufacturing. We are delighted that leading UK Manufacturing Experts will be joining us to introduce local businesses to the trends, opportunities and challenges associated with the digitisation of manufacturing, and help them recognise how this can benefit their supply chain, productivity and competitiveness”

Picture Perfect at the Ardhowen Theatre

An exhibition of sample photos from students who completed the NCFE Level 2 Certificate in Photography at South West College, Enniskillen, are currently on display at the Ardhowen Theatre.

During the year the students learned the fundamentals of Digital Photography and completed their own themed projects.

This class takes place every Monday evening with a range of tutorials and equipment to use. If you or anyone you know are interested in joining next year’s class please email: owen.gormley@swc.ac.uk


 Celebration Of Success!

Celebration of Success ceremonies have been held across the campuses in recent weeks. We can be extremely proud of each and every student involved and also of the role the College plays in creating and supporting student ambition. South West College students continue to achieve at national, international and global competitions and the skills and work ethic is exemplary. Below are just some of the students who received awards at the events.

Memorial Award Winners at Omagh Campus Celebration of Success (front row, left to right) Tara Meabh McCarroll, Contribution to Health and Social Care, Patricia Madden Memorial Award; Niall McCaughey, Contribution to Construction, Phelim Woods Memorial Award; Michaela OÕNeill, Contribution to Beauty Therapy, Naomi Fox Memorial Award (back row, left to right) Harry Issacs, Contribution to Sport, Janet Parkinson Memorial Award; Niall Colhoun, Contribution to Business, Proinnsias McElhill Memorial Award.

Top students from the curriculum areas of media, IT, performing arts, construction, engineering and applied science, pictured at the SWC Dungannon Celebration of Success.

Award winners in the Health & Life Services Dept with guest speaker Claire McGuiness, Campus Manager Carol Viney and curriculum manager for Health & Life Services Camilla James

Special Olympics Success

A number of our students from across the campuses recently participated in the Special Olympics in Dublin, with many of them achieving success and taking home medals. Special Olympics transforms lives through the joy of sport. They are one of the world’s largest sports organization, with more than 4.9 million athletes in 172 countries and over a million volunteers.We can be very proud of everyone connected to the college that took part in the events in Dublin. Congratulations to everyone involved!

SWC Success Stories 

‘South West College prepared me for life hospitality and real kitchens.’

Stephen Holland is Executive Sous Chef at Lough Erne Golf Resort, one of Northern Ireland’s premier venues, located on 600 acres of countryside amongst the 365 islands of lower Lough Erne. It’s a prestigious place for any chef to be practising his craft, but despite his success, and his ambitions for teh future, Stephen has no hesitation in looking back at his time at South West College as a key step in his journey.

‘My time at South West College prepared me for real life hospitality and real life kitchens. A lot of young chefs today might get bad tutelage, might get bad experience in the kitchens, but my experience with South West College was excellent, my lecturers prepared me for the real life kitchens and that really did prove to my advantage. They treat you like a chef, not like a student, so you’re already prepared when you go into the workplace, so that you can say “I am a stable chef” and move forward from there. It was definitely a great experience for me.’

‘I wanted to stay occupied and improve my employ-ability, so I quickly found myself at South West College…’

Nigel Wiltshire is a familiar face in the Skills Centre in Enniskillen, where he work at the Daily Grind coffee dock. Nigel explains how after graduating from University the SUSE project helped him get to where he is now.

‘When I graduated University I was seeking out some short courses to keep myself occupied and to improve my chances of employment, so i quickly found myself at the Skills Centre enrolling in a few courses. The Daily Grind Coffee Dock was already established when I arrived, which was to the advantage of myself and everyone else getting involved in catering and hospitality here for training us to be competent in barista work. The reaction has been great. Students and staff have made it part of their routine, it’s a popular place as well as a great training exercise.’

You can read more about the SUSE project on Way out West soon…

‘Being on stage was so exciting, a completely new feeling.’

South West College Performing Arts Students recently performed the musical American Idiot at the Burnavon Theatre in Cookstown. It was the culmination of a long process of hard work, involving auditions, rehearsals and training, but in the end was a rewarding experience, and one which showed the sort of excitement that is on offer in the world of performing arts.

‘I’ve done performing arts all my life, but during this course I’ve learned to be more confident and comfortable with what I do. I was always a bit shy with my singer, I was never a confident singer, but the tutors here and everything about the course has brought that out of me much more, and I feel more comfortable thanks to the course.

‘The tutors were so important. It was a lot of peoples first show and it’s not an easy thing to do, but they were incredibly supportive. Brian always told us to do our best and pushed us when he thought we had more to give. I would recommend it 100%. The group is like a family, you come in and everyone is so warm and welcoming. Every morning you get up and you’re excited to get in.’

‘When people do come to see a show like the one we just did, they think ‘wow, that’s great’. I don’t think they expected it, and that that’s why people need to get more involved, and I think this course really pushes people to do what they want. Doing this course, people, including my friends, have said to me, “Why are you doing that? It’s not going to get you anywhere.” But it’s a dream, and if you want to accomplish what you want to do in life, you’re not going to just give up, you’re going to keep going and keep fighting, and that’s the way that I think this course really brings out the best in people.’


STEM Centre hosts MISS STEM Europe Participants trip to Brussels

Over the past 9 months the STEM Centre has been working with 30 young females with the objective to:

“shape future youth policies concerning females in STEM education and careers.”

The 30 females consist of pupils from Saint Joseph’s College Coalisland, Saint Joseph’s Grammar School Donaghmore, South West College students from disciplines such as Games Design, Engineering, Science and Creative Media and 5 females who work in STEM industry locally. Companies such as Hyster Yale, McAleer and Rushe, Purple Dot and the InnoTech Centre.

The girls have researched, designed and developed an action plan that has been presented to policy makers in the field of STEM in the UK and Europe, they have visited Mid Ulster Council, Northern Ireland Assembly and in June the girls visited Brussels for 3 days to present their action plan to the European Parliament.

During the trip participants were given the opportunity to visit a range of STEM workshops and places of best practice including, LU Leuven Innovation Centre, the Living Tomorrow project and not forgetting the remarkable Concept Chocolate Factory Tour!

Quote Emma Marks (MISS STEM Europe Project Coordinator)

“Miss STEM was an excellent project to run as part of our overall STEM initiatives, the impacts of the programme on the 30 young participants have been outstanding, aiding to the encouragement of more females in to STEM education and careers.  All participants were a joy to work with and a credit to their schools and college.”

Project delivered in conjunction with the Leuven Institute and funded by Erasmus+

South West College in Canada

Three former South West College recently joined Rocky Mountain Equipment in Alberta, Canada.  Cathal, Colin and Kieran are all excited about their new jobs ahead. We wish them the best of luck!

Also pictured are Rocky Mountain Equipment staff who helped co-ordinate Cathal, Colin and Kieran’s arrival in Canada.


World Cup fever comes to South West College

Forget the World Cup in Russia, all eyes turn to the Omagh Leisure Centre this afternoon when football teams made up of staff from across the South West College Campuses will go head to head to claim the bragging rights over one another. South West College staff enjoy weekly after work football sessions as part of the colleges Health and Wellbeing programme, and today’s event will hopefully be the first year where three individual team (one form each campus) will take part. This video shows what happened when Omagh took on Enniskillen in 2016!

C’mon Fermanagh!

Of course, South West College isn’t the only place you’ll find a big football match this weekend. It’s an exciting time in Enniskillen as Fermanagh prepare to take on Donegal in the Ulster GAA Final in Clones on Sunday. I’m sure staff from across Tyrone will join those in Fermanagh in supporting the Ernemen in the quest to take home the title!