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Meet the Apprenticeships Team: Part 2 of 2

Following on from our first interview with Kelly McAllister and Nicky Betteridge, we hear from two more of the professional but friendly faces that contribute to success at Bradford College Apprenticeships.

This time we speak with Charlotte Wood and Nathan Robins who, like Kelly and Nicky, offer their insight on apprenticeships and why their department continues to be so successful.

Charlotte Wood

Role: Senior Apprenticeships Compliance Officer

Time at Bradford College: 4+ years

Nathan Robins

Role: Curriculum Area Manager

Time at Bradford College: 5+ years

Why are you passionate about apprenticeships at Bradford College?

CW: “I started in the student recruitment team and I’m all about meeting the needs of Bradford.

“In the five years I’ve been here, we’ve had both repeated business as well as working with lots of new companies and organisations across Bradford.

“We go to a lot of events, in schools for example, and just generally try to meet the needs of Bradford and provide a strong student experience.”

NR: “For me it’s all about seeing somebody’s journey.

“Seeing someone come in to start an apprenticeship fresh and having not worked in certain environments before to seeing them complete their apprenticeship is a fulfilling experience.

“Hopefully they then progress onto a higher level and keep growing in terms of their self-confidence and the work skills they’ve learnt.”

What separates us from our competition?

CW: “I think it’s because we’re so flexible in our approach and with the needs of our employers.

“We look at programmes to best suit our employers based on our assessors and the models we work with.

“We’re always looking into the future and at the progression paths for each qualification, to ensure learners can continue through into their desired career once their apprenticeship itself has finished.”

NR: “I think it’s because of the sheer number of quality apprenticeship programmes we offer.

“We’ve got a really good range here at Bradford College and a range which fits in well with the city. We really try to regularly engage with the organisations we work with and identify where employers might feel they need more support for their apprentices. We also offer a wide range of alternative funding routes to suit different employers in different situations – no two employers are the same.”

Why are apprenticeships important?

CW: “They’re a great route for people that don’t just want to sit in a classroom.

“People can continue with their learning and education but in a way that gets them out and into the world of work.

“They’re also absolutely vital in playing a role for those individuals who want to upskill and further themselves in their job role. Apprenticeships give employers the chance to contribute to this.”

NR: “Individuals don’t just gain a qualification or learn a trade, it’s all about the wider experiences and skills learnt along the way.

“People gain important skills, like how to communicate with all sorts of different people. Learning these sorts of skills, as well as the actual course content, is valuable to any potential job or career.”

For anyone who’s unsure, why would you encourage them to choose an apprenticeship with Bradford College?

CW: “It’s essential to make sure it’s the right career path for you and as my colleagues have previously alluded to, a lot of the learners we work with have already done some form of work experience prior to their arrival with us. I also think this is essential.

“When actually going onto an apprenticeship there is a lot of support in place, from myself and Nicky’s team for example, and we ensure that everything in terms of compliance is correct. We ensure employers are visited, spoken to, have our support – as employers of choice – and know their value as an employer we work with.

“These are things which I think are quite bespoke in terms of what we offer.

NR: “The people who work within this department have built up lots of years of experience between them, whether that’s within industry or actual apprenticeship programmes.

“If someone is a bit unsure about what exactly it is that they might want to go into, the relevant people will always be on hand to have a conversation.

“We also offer a lot of strong progression routes.”

What are we doing to ensure we stay as the region’s best provider in the coming years?

CW: “From a compliance point-of-view, it’s all about being on the ball with funding changes and ensuring that we’re looking to the future for the department. We do this by trying to make sure we’re aware and following what we should be doing in advance, ensuring both our employers and learners are suitably notified throughout this journey.

“There have been so many funding changes over the last year and it’s integral to keep our employers aware and stay on top of this. This is something that we’ll always continue to do well as a department.”

NR: “It’s all about us being aware and hearing what skills employers might need in the here and now, but also in the future.

“We’re continuously looking at the equipment and facilities used to make sure the things apprentices are being taught are equipping them for the future.

“This should mean that when they do then finish their apprenticeship, they’re capable and don’t have to relearn any of their training on new equipment.”

Interested in becoming an Apprentice at Bradford College?

Published: 9th February 2023




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