We know it can be difficult starting your first job and studying at college at the same time so we provide you with your own Training Co-ordinator to support you every step of the way. We also carefully choose every employer that we work with, so that we know you'll get great support at work as well.
We work with employers of all sizes across Oxfordshire, from the large organisations we've all heard of, to the most amazing of small businesses doing inspirational work in their field.
You might be ready to jump straight into a career after school. Maybe you're already working and want a complete career change. Or perhaps your current employer is looking for the best way to develop your talent further. Whatever your current job role, whatever your age, and whatever level you wish to study at, apprenticeships could help to develop your career.
We work with employers in lots of different industries; from Accounting to Greenkeeping, from Engineering to Team Leading and beyond. You will gain practical skills on the job, earn respected qualifications, and earn a wage too.
High-quality college facilities that compete with any found in industry, along with our award-winning support for apprentices and achievement rates amongst the very best in England, mean that you will have the best chance to succeed with us.
Barney is currently a Level 3 Motor Vehicle apprentice at THG Vehicle Repairs in Witney.
He was nominated by his ICT tutor Michelle Qume, who was impressed with his attitude to learning and his dedication, being positive in class and how he is applying himself in the workplace.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time as an apprentice and it’s completely different to school. After my GCSEs, I was looking at Sixth Form but then realised that I could learn a trade while earning money at the same time.
My tutors have a very positive approach to learning; it’s not just listening to them and taking notes, it’s interactive with tasks like card matching and taking part in presentations, as well as the practical skills.”
Nicole is currently a Customer Services Apprentice at Blenheim Palace, having started her apprenticeship at the age of 17, straight after finishing her GCSEs.
Sonja Milovic, Assessor/Tutor/IQA at Abingdon & Witney College said: "Over the last two years, Nicole has been exceptionally busy and committed to her work and learning, she embraced challenges and turned those into opportunities. Her commitment to the job role and the team around her is extraordinary, with confidence in herself and others.
Nicole was nominated for her overall progress, commitment to development and achievements so far.”
"I love working at Blenheim Palace because no two days are the same and I get to meet people from all kinds of different backgrounds and places. It’s such a supportive work environment, all the managers and staff are so nice and everyone is always willing to help you out. I always get the training I need and time to do my work for college.
Sonja, my tutor, has been amazing too and has really supported and pushed me to succeed. Learning on-the-job has worked perfectly for me and I’ve taken every opportunity I’ve been given at Blenheim with both hands. I hope to keep working at Blenheim once I complete my apprenticeship because I can see that there are so many opportunities here and they really look after and develop their staff."
Jason is currently on a Team Leading apprenticeship at JSP Safety.
Tam Hawkins, Jason’s Training Coordinator at the College, said:
“Jason has gone the extra mile since he started, constantly striving to get the most out of his apprenticeship. His apprenticeship portfolio work goes far beyond the standard expected for this stage in the apprenticeship and he is one of the most proactive apprentices I work with. He is truly an apprentice success story.”
Jason’s manager at JSP Safety, Gerry Nash said: “Jason’s work ethic is outstanding. He’s been a great asset to the company so far. It’s a very exciting time for the business, and we’re always keen to develop individuals who wish to flourish within a fast-growing company.”
“I really enjoy the responsibility I’ve been given in my apprenticeship. For example, I recently rolled out a change to do with some of the helmets JSP produce, to make them compliant with new legislation in certain countries. I planned, researched and executed this task successfully and it is now being rolled out globally.
It’s a very exciting industry and company to work in and for, with amazing opportunities and experiences there for me.”
We were 2018 Apprenticeship Provider of the Year for the South of England, and the only College shortlisted for national provider of the year in 2019.
Degree Apprenticeships now offer you the chance to study for a University degree whilst learning on the job and earning a salary
Our apprenticeship provision is judged to be "Outstanding" by Ofsted
I had a place at university for a full-time course, but I wasn't completely set on what career path I wanted, so I decided the best thing to do would be to get experience.
At college and Oxford Brookes University, it's nice to meet students from other companies; it gives a good insight into other businesses and is interesting to have debates and understand their opinion on different subjects. The lecturers are enthusiastic and willing to help, and it's easier to gain the support in a smaller lecture environment.
I love that my degree is funded, I'm gaining experience that I wouldn't get from university, and it's exciting to know that I'm guaranteed a relevant job at the end of my apprenticeship.
I recommend the land-based courses that the College run to friends all the time. It’s a phenomenal place to learn, especially the attentive way the courses are taught to apprentices. The support from staff is fantastic too. I owe a lot to my tutor in particular.
I personally believe that being a gardener is not just a job, it’s much more. It’s a state of mind. You have to have a passion to make it work.
Gardening is a continuous cycle of hard work, knowledge, and growth. Each season is different and every season has a purpose. You really are working with the grain of nature and this roots you as an individual in a way no other profession does.
Doing an apprenticeship has allowed me to get experience at the same time as studying a full-time degree, and gave me the opportunity to decide what career path I wanted to go down.
I think that working in a full-time role and doing an apprenticeship is never easy. Time management, at first, was my biggest challenge. Ensuring that I was spending enough time on work, studies and myself was hard, but this definitely got easier as I worked out how to manage my time. I am able to use what I learn in the classroom to my day to day work, which is really useful, also allowing me to bring new ideas to the team.
Doing a degree as well as an apprenticeship was the best decision I made.
I love working at Blenheim Palace because no two days are the same and I get to meet people from all kinds of different backgrounds and places. It’s such a supportive work environment, all the managers and staff are so nice and everyone is always willing to help you out. I always get the training I need and time to do my work for college.
Sonja, my tutor, has been amazing too and has really supported and pushed me to succeed. Learning on-the-job has worked perfectly for me and I’ve taken every opportunity I’ve been given at Blenheim with both hands. I hope to keep working at Blenheim once I complete my apprenticeship because I can see that there are so many opportunities here and they really look after and develop their staff
I was a plumber but I've always had a passion for gardening. I was looking for a route into the industry so I applied for an an apprenticeship at Hailey House, a 20-acre country estate near Wallingford. I covered the basic principles of horticulture at the College, including soil structure and plant identification tests. At Level 3 we looked into more advanced subjects such as plant physiology, soil analysis and designing/planting plans, preparing us to take on more responsibility within the industry.
I eventually went on to become the head gardener of an 80-acre, 18th Century estate just outside Oxford. This role gave me the responsibility of managing a large project; creating schedules, hiring/purchasing machinery, delegating tasks to staff and liaising with the estate owners. Having progressed quickly from apprentice to head gardener I felt there was more I needed to learn. I was honoured to be offered a student position at RHS Garden Wisley, where I have been working and studying full time, and being trained by one of the world’s leading organisations in the horticultural industry.
Being an apprentice means that I can gain all the work skills that I need and a degree too, which will help increase my knowledge in the business world, not to mention giving me the chance to ‘earn while I learn’.
We have learnt a variety of topics related to business at the College, such as digital information for business, business management, accounting, operations and customer communications.
I monitor new products that are soon to be launched by manufactures, such as Coca Cola, and then help the commercial team look for new leads and potential projects to help the manufacturer with this new product.
My advice is to take on all challenges thrown at you and give everything a go, but also be willing to ask others for help and advice.
Starting an apprenticeship was definitely a big change of environment but I didn’t really know what to expect; I’d been so used to a school environment, and I wasn’t sure how much it would differ to the work environment.
I learnt some valuable skills in website design and moderating, event planning and social media management. There was even some international travel involved, such as a motorcycle trade show in Milan, Italy.
To anyone thinking about an apprenticeship, I would say go for it! It’s a great option for someone who is looking for a hands-on route into a career, or for people who don’t plan on going to university. It opens up a wide range of opportunities and gives you so many ideas about future careers.
Almost all of our apprentices stay in work when they complete their apprenticeship, but most also don't stop learning!
You can progress on to a higher level apprenticeship, including degree apprenticeships, or continue to train in the workplace.
Whatever you choose to do after your apprenticeship, you will have gained the skills, qualifications and experience you need to succeed in your chosen industry.
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