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City of Bristol College’s apprentice success rate climbs for third year running

City of Bristol College has improved its overall and timely achievement rates for Apprenticeship learners for the third year in a row as the National Apprenticeship Achievement rates are revealed.

The College’s increase has meant it has met the GFE Benchmark for Overall achievement rate and placed it in the top three of the region’s College providers.

Head of Business Partnerships, Paul Rogers, said: “In the current situation, with businesses finding themselves in self-isolation, they are looking for our city’s College to provide innovative and bespoke ways of continuing a ‘business as usual’ approach.

“Our team of assessors and tutors are continuing to support both employers and apprentices to carry on with their apprentice programmes.

“This dedication to support them all, has shown through in the latest Government figures. For the third year in succession, City of Bristol College has improved both its timely and overall success rates.”

18-year-old Aimee Holcombe didn’t enjoy full-time education but after starting her apprenticeship with A&R Services Ltd through the College, she said being able to gain work experience and an education has been a ‘great experience’.

She completed her Level 2 Business Administration apprenticeship, which is traditionally a two-year course ahead of schedule and is now working towards her next qualification.

She said: “I have found the whole experience great as I have enjoyed learning my subject while putting it into practice and going to college once a week to work and share experiences with people my own age.

“By doing an apprenticeship, you are putting the skills which you are learning in college in to practice on a regular basis. You are also learning how to work within a professional environment and how to get along with all different types of people.

“I have found my confidence has grown a lot since beginning my apprenticeship as I am dealing with customers regularly and feel confident in what I am speaking with them about as I have been at my company for two years now.”

The College doesn’t just offer apprenticeships to 16-18-year-olds, they have no age restrictions. Sharon Hewitt joined in 2019 on the Business Administration Level 3 apprenticeship scheme in the hope of helping her in her job progression.

Sharon Hewitt is working with a Bristol primary school

She said: “Apprenticeships are a great way to train as you are gaining experience through your job as well as the help from the college. I had a mentor through the course who was absolutely brilliant. She guided me through my course making me feel anything was achievable – she was a great support to me.”

The new apprentice wanted to study around her job and being an older student, found the apprenticeship the perfect fit for her without travelling to college ‘for hours on an evening or weekend’.

She said: “I would definitely recommend the apprenticeship programme and college to anyone who will listen! I haven’t studied for a little while so initially found this quite difficult and more time consuming than I had initially thought, but my mentor, Vicki, was absolutely brilliant. I can’t thank her enough for the time and support which she gave me, I definitely would not have been able to do this without her.”

Sharon is working as an Administrative Assistant at a Bristol primary school and hopes she can take on more responsibility in her current role and looks to progress to an office manager role.

Paul Rogers added: “Our dedicated Business and Enterprise team are fully available to assist businesses with advertising apprenticeship vacancies, shortlisting and arranging virtual interviews so businesses are ready to respond to the increase demands post lockdown.”

Find out about City of Bristol College’s apprenticeship programme here or for employers, get the latest information here.

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