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Welcome to Way Out West your unofficial guide to living, working and studying in the west of the province

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SWC to host Climate Change workshop at COP26

Following the recent launch of its world-leading Erne Campus in Enniskillen, South West College has been invited to host a key note address and panel discussion as part of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow in November. One of only two Northern Ireland organisations, and the only UK further education college invited to host a Green Zone event, South West College will join 100 exhibitors, hosting 200 events providing opportunities to listen, learn and celebrate climate change. COP (Conference of the Parties) brings together almost every country in the world to tackle issues related to climate change. This year will be the 26th annual summit with the UK hosting the event in Glasgow. Established by the United Nations, the event will bring together a panel of world-class experts in high performance construction. Keep reading here.

SWC Recognised as a GOLD Provider of Cyber Security Education

South West College have been recognised as a GOLD Provider of Cyber Security Education. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) have published a list of schools and colleges that have achieved CyberFirst recognition at Gold, Silver or Bronze level. By achieving Gold Provider status South West College have been recognised as delivering excellence in cyber security education.

NCSC and the UK Government use industry and academic expertise to nurture the UK’s cyber security capability. They help to build the UK’s talent pipeline, promote innovation and develop the country’s cyber security research, ensuring a secure, resilient and prosperous economy by providing people and organisations with the cyber security skills they need. In addition, the NCSC supports government by working alongside education to meet the UK’s needs in technology and cyber security and to stimulate a diverse talent pipeline.

Sinead McGee, Head of School for Mathematics and Computing, believes this is good news for both current and future students at South West College. Sinead says, “we take great pride in offering courses and qualifications that help strengthen the IT sector in our local region. We have a group of highly qualified tutors that offer the best possible education to students who wish to embark on careers in IT and Cyber Security, and we also offer opportunities to local employers to grow and develop their IT programmes and practices in this regard. This Gold Award is a fitting reward for the work we’ve done in recent years, but we also hope it will be a catalyst for us going forward in teaching Cyber Security, because there is no doubt that this will be a growing career area.”

Curriculum Conference

The 13th annual South West College Curriculum Conference will take place on Monday 25 October 2021 via Teams. The focus of this year’s Curriculum Conference will be sustainability and project based learning. Support staff wishing to attend should consult their line manager to seek approval. We look forward to bringing everyone together for this event, so please remember to save the date!

Alison Farquhar Completes Ironman Barcelona 70.3

Congratulations to Alison Farquhar, our Lead Mentor from SUSE+, who recently completed Ironman Barcelona 70.3 in Calella. Known for its beautiful location at the “Costa del Maresme” and its distinctive lighthouse landmark, Calella is a tourism and sport hotspot. Its golden beaches and mild climate offers a playground for triathlon enthusiasts, with the race offering a great late season challenge thanks to its beautiful sea swim, a flat and fast bike course, and a flat run course along the Calella beachfront.

Alison described her incredible experience. “Like so many things, The Ironman Triathlon, was cancelled last year. I wasn’t sure if I was going to take part this year, but in the end I did. On the morning of the race there were high winds and as I walked to the start line I could see and hear the huge waves crashing onto the beach – scary stuff, considering I knew I’d soon have to get in there! We queued for the swim start with the other 2000 athletes and once I crossed the line I just had to go for it. I managed to get to the 1st buoy and I was at the mercy of those incredible waves. Groups of people were holding onto the buoy, but once I got past it and got to the next one, I knew I just had to get ashore as soon as possible. Once on dry land it was time to get on my bike and head off on the next 56 miles. there was a head wind for the 1st 35 miles to the turn point, then we had a lovely tail wind for the 20 odd miles back. Then off I ran on the 13.1 miles run route in a very warm sun. Crossing that red carpet on the  finish line was amazing and the atmosphere was just electric. It was such a fantastic experience and I’m delighted that we are now returning to a new normal. If you are dreaming of an event or a new goal, my advice is just go for it because life is too short!

Back for Lunch in Etcetera

Etcetera Restaurant on our Dungannon Campus will be holding a soft opening of their lunch service for staff groups on Tuesday 19th and Wednesday 20th October. There will be limited availability for each day. To find out more about the service or make a booking, please contact Jeanette: jeanette.clingen@swc.ac.uk

HySkills widens reach at “Solutions for Net Zero” Co-Event

HySkills, an Erasmus+ Project led by South West College, participated in the ‘Belfast Power 2X – Solutions for Net Zero’ virtual conference on Friday 1st October. The aim of the conference was to explore the green hydrogen future and to develop a clear understanding of green hydrogen from both an industry and community perspective. Boasting a diverse mix of high-level public and private sector presenters and welcoming more than 100 attendees, the conference included informative presentations and moderated discussions on the future of green hydrogen in the context of the Belfast Power 2X (BP2X) and EU funded, Erasmus+ HySkills projects.

Richard Rodgers, Head of Energy at the Department for the Economy opened the event, while Dr John Harrison, HySkills Director, highlighted South West College’s role as a leader in green skills development through vocational education and training programmes such as HySkills – which will provide modular training to ensure that we have a competent workforce with the ability to work with hydrogen and related technologies in a “critically safe manner.”

Commenting on the success of the conference, Dr Harrison said it had provided a great opportunity to showcase the work of South West College and had helped the HySkills programme to reach a wider audience and illustrated the college’s continued efforts to facilitate the industrial transition to net-zero carbon emissions. For further information on HySkills visit here.

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