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Islington offers extended bursaries

Islington Council has become the latest local authority to fund its own bursary scheme to bridge the gap left by the abolition of the education maintenance allowance, in response to an appeal by students at City and Islington College. The council will offer an extra #163;300 a year for students who would be eligible for free school meals to pay for equipment and activities and help 16- to 19-year-olds stay in education. It will be available in addition to the government bursary scheme, administered by schools and colleges, which offers an average of #163;800 a year to students meeting the free meal threshold - although in practice, many local authority areas are not able to meet this target. Richard Watts, Islington's executive member for children and families, said: "I've been impressed by the commitment of the students I've worked with on this. Jointly we've been able to develop this bursary scheme that will make a real difference to the job opportunities available to young Islington people once they enter the world of work."

Ucas unveils its further ambition

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service has said its new website that allows young people to apply for post-16 courses has received more than 23,000 visitors since it was launched just over a week ago. aims to offer a central application system similar to the one it provides for higher education applicants. However, the interest has not yet translated into the site becoming a major source of applications: just over 100 have so far been made through the site. To date, schools, colleges and training providers in 58 local authorities are working with Ucas. "While the Ucas undergraduate system manages admissions to higher education, Ucas Progress is for younger students. It's a broad, dynamic service, with options including academic, vocational and training courses," said Cathy Gilbert, director of customer strategy at Ucas.

Engineering academy paves the way to success

New College Nottingham has opened a civil engineering academy, which will provide a real-world environment for students to learn about street works and civil engineering projects. Designed with industry advice, the facilities include live street lighting, an urban roundabout, drains, paving and a viewing gallery below street level for students and teachers to examine underground hazards. The academy is intended to train workers for major regional projects, such as the extension of the tram network in Nottingham and the widening of the A453. Andrew Pole, a 17-year-old student, said: "The site looks exactly as it would in real life, so I'll be able to build my confidence and skills in a practical, realistic way with the support of a lecturer."

Hull delivers higher-level logistics apprenticeship

Hull College has developed a new higher-level apprenticeship designed to train staff for express logistics and time-sensitive supply chains. Developed with the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, the Level 5 apprenticeship was launched in response to employer demand, the college says. Hull College has made logistics a speciality, with more than 3,000 students training on courses from Level 2 to foundation degrees, and staff this week travelled to China to share its expertise. It is estimated that the logistics industry will face a shortfall of 500,000 trained staff over the next four years.

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