St Helens colleges 'firing up' businesses during apprenticeship week

St Helens College
St Helens College

Colleges are marking National Apprenticeship Week by celebrating success stories and showing how giving young people a start can "fire up" businesses.

St Helens College and Knowsley Community College are putting on a host of activities this week as well as letting employers and apprentices alike share their achievements.

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Liaison teams are providing apprenticeship information sessions to young people at schools across the borough and there is an Apprenticeship Roadshow sharing CV tips and guidance on how to search and apply for vacancies.

Currently offering apprenticeships in over 20 different sectors, ranging from engineering, life sciences and health to business, hairdressing, beauty, and computing, both colleges have more than 700 apprentices with high-profile employers on board including Thermo Fisher Scientific, the NHS, CAL International, Yorkshire Repak, NGF and Bagnalls Painting and Decorating.

Several apprentices are also featuring in a week-long social media campaign to inspire and encourage others to follow in their footsteps and "fire up" their future careers.

One apprentice, called Ash, studied the level three diploma in engineering technologies for mechanical engineering at St Helens College before securing an impressive apprenticeship with established organisation CAL International.

He has since progressed on to a HNC in mechanical engineering, fully funded by his employer.

The aspiring aerospace engineer said, “The supportive tutors with their industry links, have helped me to secure my apprenticeship with CAL International. I really enjoy my job and as part of my role, I research and develop new ideas and improve existing designs and processes across a variety of industries such as automotive, chemical, aerospace and packaging.

“With the experience and skills that I’m developing on my HNC and the support and expertise from my tutors at college, I believe my dream career will become a reality.”

Throughout the week, St Helens College is sharing a series of employer blogs, case studies and inspiring stories as examples of how businesses can benefit from employing an apprentice and also how to use the Apprenticeship Levy effectively.

Previous apprentice Bethan, who has since secured full-time employment after completing her apprenticeship with Knowsley Community College, said: “I loved the flexibility of an apprenticeship, as I was able to complete most of the work at home or whilst working in the office. Although at times it was challenging, especially when working towards deadlines, the support that I received from my assessor and workplace manager helped me so much.”

Julia Callaghan, marketing, sales and customer relations director at St Helens College, said: “We work with hundreds of employers throughout the North West, something which we are extremely proud of.

"We are also proud to be able to provide an extensive range of apprenticeship opportunities to people of all ages. We are passionate about educating and supporting businesses to harness the benefits and rewards of employing apprentices and investing in the skills which they can bring to their business.

“National Apprenticeship Week is a fantastic initiative and opportunity to promote and highlight the far-reaching benefits apprenticeships bring to both apprentices and employers, but most importantly, it is a great opportunity to celebrate the achievements of those apprentices that have secured their first opportunity in their chosen career.”

For more information about becoming an apprentice or employing one, visit