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The newly formed South Thames Colleges Group launched a combined Business Centre at Merton College this week to help local businesses recruit apprentices, train new staff and upskill existing employees. The Business Centre combines the expertise of the Group's colleges – Carshalton, Kingston, Merton and South Thames – which merged to form the South Thames Colleges Group on 1 August 2017.

Our Level 2 and 3 hairdressing students, based at The Salon at Merton College, worked on their community project in collaboration with Merton Women's Refuge, to offer free hair services of cuts, treatments and blow dries.

Merton College's Taste restaurant played host to a special dinner for local employers, to talk about the range of opportunities available to engage with young people. As guests tucked into a three course meal, prepared and served by our catering and hospitality students, they also heard about the apprenticeship and work experience options on offer through the College's Business Centre team.

Students from the College’s Aurora Centre – a specialist unit for young people with complex learning needs – teamed up with the charity Fixers to create a video promoting work experience opportunities. The video, created by the learners, highlighted the issues surrounding young people with severe learning difficulties finding employers who are willing to offer them work experience.

Thousands of race goers tried their luck at this year’s Investec Derby at Epsom Downs Racecourse but it was the students of Merton College’s Hospitality and Catering Academy who were the real winners as they enjoyed three days of paid work experience at the event, cooking alongside legendary chefs Albert Roux and Michel Roux Jr.

A group of talented young chefs from Merton College’s Hospitality and Catering Academy have been awarded paid work experience at the prestigious Investec Ladies Day and Derby Day events at Epsom Downs Racecourse. The work experience has been offered to the students after the College took part in the Investec Derby Chef Challenge, which saw the budding chefs design, create and pitch dishes to be included on menus at the world-famous racecourse.