Bridgwater & Taunton College has strategically placed itself at the forefront of technical and professional training to support business. Our vision is to be a world class education and training organisation which creates outstanding progression opportunities for our students, customers and our communities through leading edge practice and partnership with employers.
We are proud to be the region's leading provider of Apprenticeships and work with a large number of local and national employers to train the next generation of professionals. The College’s dedicated Business Development team is highly experienced in the development and delivery of Apprenticeship solutions, as well as being highly knowledgeable in the new reforms, including the Levy.Learn more
A Traineeship is an education and training programme with work experience that unlocks the great potential of young people and prepares them for their future careers by helping them to become ‘work ready’. The flexibility of Traineeships offers employers the opportunity to help build a pool of high quality future recruits, specific to the sector.Learn more
Professional development is essential to maintain professional credentials and to ensure competency and development of workplace skills and qualifications, as well as progression throughout a professional's career.Learn more
Distance Learning is ideal for individuals who would like to develop work skills and gain new qualifications, without the need to attend College.
These courses are designed to be studied in the learner’s own time and can be completed online or paper-based with the support of a specialist tutor.
Bridgwater & Taunton College has created and developed a world class, innovative and exemplary model of employer engagement. It is totally committed to working with national and international partners to find training solutions that will address their business needs and contribute towards the education, job-readiness and welfare of current and future generations. It has a wealth of expertise and an excellent reputation that is not only substantiated by nationally-recognised awards and accolades, but is also evidenced by the strong partnerships it has been able to forge with multi-national companies. Within these partnerships it has worked in unique and innovative ways to deliver the training and skills that industry needs.
Engineering training for industry is being delivered through a joint training programme delivered by Alstom and Bridgwater & Taunton College.
“This unique Traineeship is testament to the excellent working relationship we have with Bridgwater & Taunton College. Together we offer young people from Somerset an opportunity to acquire the skills and behaviours they need to progress to full-time Apprenticeship programmes, and in doing so are securing Alstom’s engineers of the future.”
Steve Jones, Vice President for North Europe, GE Power (formerly Alstom)
In the wake of phenomenal success on the world stage, British Gymnastics is lining up the next generation of club coaches, managers and owners via a unique and innovative apprenticeship programme with Bridgwater & Taunton College that enables aspiring gymnasts, as well as those nearing the end of their career, to be redeployed as coaches and instructors. Designed by and for employers in the industry, the programme is further raising the profile of gymnastics right across the UK and creating increased opportunities for young people to participate in the sport. This is the very first time that a college has partnered with a national sporting governing body to provide apprenticeship training.
Bridgwater & Taunton College has now been shortlisted by TES (Times Educational Supplement) in the 2018 ‘Apprenticeship Programme of the Year’ category for its ground-breaking partnership with British Gymnastics.
The TES award recognises innovative approaches to delivering apprenticeships, and their positive impact on industry workforce needs. Bridgwater & Taunton College Principal, Andy Berry, said: “We are proud of the achievements of all our apprentices, and delighted to have been shortlisted for this award. The partnership with British Gymnastics is hugely exciting, and it would be fantastic recognition for our students and for the College as a whole if we were to win.”
BYLOR, the primary Tier 1 contractor at Hinkley Point C, was and is continuing to recruit the right operatives to join their Apprenticeship workforce. BYLOR is a joint venture between Laing O’Rourke and Bouygues TP. Laing O’Rouke is the largest UK privately owned engineering enterprise and Bouygues TP is the main civils contractor at the Flamanville nuclear power station development in France.
Bridgwater & Taunton College has been working extensively with BYLOR to not only provide the Apprenticeship training, but supports the application, recruitment and assessment process to find the right apprentices for work at Hinkley.
The College’s early engagement with EDF Energy on the Hinkley C nuclear new build has led to partnership working alongside key Government departments to articulate and support the delivery of the qualification standards for the nuclear new build roll-out nationwide.
Ford Motor Group, has worked in partnership with the College delivering the Ford Masters Apprenticeship Programme (FMAP) since 2001.
The FMAP is an intensive three-year work-based programme during which students gain experience and qualifications in the latest automotive technologies. Students then have the opportunity to progress onto one of the College’s university level courses on completion of this programme.
In 2006 Magnox (who holds the contracts and licences to defuel and decommission five of the UK’s nuclear reactor sites on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority), found themselves with a fleet of plants scheduled for shutdown and requiring dismantling. Although their workforces were highly skilled nuclear plant operators, they needed to re-skill in front-line decontamination and dismantling skills. Magnox approached what was then Bridgwater College, for help.
"We wanted our training programmes to link with national standards and deliver real qualifications. We recognised that we could achieve this most effectively working in collaboration with a partner in the educational sector, so we turned to the College.” - Brendan Daly (then Training Manager of Magnox).
A programme was developed in partnership with the employer and College teams spending time assessing the needs of the company and its operational procedures and culture. The programme was designed to allow Magnox employees to train in the skills of decommissioning, whilst simultaneously being able to assess and validate this training, to award the candidates the NVQ Level 2 in Nuclear Decommissioning.
"Talks produced an enthusiastic response and a framework for an exciting way forward. The College's flexible approach to what we wanted has given me confidence for the future and it was their staff's input into our needs that has resulted in true partnership working. I was particularly impressed by the College's commitment to what we are trying to achieve.” - Ken Powers (then Managing Director Reactor Sites South).
Following the success of the Nuclear Decommissioning NVQs, Magnox subsequently requested new NVQ programmes in Radiation Protection. Once again, the College's teams collaborated with staff from Magnox to produce a streamlined and effective programme to meet the company's needs, and within three years of the first contact between the company and the College, over 100 candidates had achieved their NVQs in either Nuclear Decommissioning or Radiation Protection.
Since 2014 Bridgwater & Taunton College has been the training provider of choice for MoD engineering apprentices. Based at Abbey Wood and Devonport there are over 200 people currently enrolled as apprentices.
Apprentices gain exceptional achievement rates and many have progressed to senior roles upon completing their training.
As a result of this contract, the College recognised the need to provide higher level skills training and invested £8 million in a new Advanced Engineering Centre where apprentices learn the skills they need in exceptional facilities.
In 2011, over 1000 jobs were to be created at the new DHL/Morrisons distribution centre being built in Bridgwater, with vacancies in warehousing, driving, administration and catering.
Working with DHL/Morrisons, to develop a training programme specific to the company and the jobs available, the College provided funded training to people who wanted to work at the distribution centre, with part of the programme supporting candidates with their online application. The training was aimed primarily at people not currently in work, and all candidates successfully completing the training programme were guaranteed a place at the DHL/Morrisons recruitment days for an interview.
College staff also supported candidates with interview skills, literacy and numeracy skills, health and safety training and also simulated work in a warehouse environment, including using pallet trucks and forklifts.
This model for working with employers in building training programmes was so successful, that’s it’s now been developed a number of times for working with other employers, specific to their needs.
Bridgwater & Taunton College's unique Apprenticeship programme with Mulberry – first established in 2005 – enabled Mulberry to address a skills shortage among its specialist production staff. This helped to safeguard the company’s UK production, and was also instrumental in Mulberry's decision to invest in a second UK factory in 2013, the largest single investment by the UK fashion manufacturing industry for 20 years.
The new factory created over 300 jobs and Mulberry, in partnership with the College and Job Centre Plus, has provided employment to over a hundred local people.
“The enthusiasm and vision of Mulberry, and the responsiveness of the College, meant that this partnership moved from the concept stage to fruition in just a few months - helping us deliver a brand new workforce and providing much needed jobs in an area of significant unemployment." – Ian Scott, (then Mulberry Supply Director).
Bridgwater & Taunton College won a tender to work with UKHO, in 2017. The long-term partnership has resulted in a variety of Apprenticeship programmes being developed and delivered by the College, for apprentices who are Line Managers, Team Leaders and Operational Managers, from Level 3 through to Degree Level.
The programmes range significantly, with Digital, IT, Cyber Security, Data Analytics and Human Resources, to name a few.
In 2014 Wessex Water teamed up with what was then Bridgwater College to provide a purpose-built educational facility that gives young apprentices the skills required to work in the water industry.
The new water utilities facilities at the College’s Construction Skills and Innovation Centre (CSIC), enables apprentices to learn about repairing and maintaining typical pipework used to supply water to people throughout the west, giving them the hands-on skills required to gain an NVQ Level 2 in the water industry.
The course, developed by Wessex Water in partnership with the College, offers the potential for a full-time role in the company’s main laying and repair and maintenance teams, as well as achieving their NVQ qualification. Ali Hobbs, of Wessex Water’s human resource team said: “We’re very excited to be working in partnership with Bridgwater College with this new scheme which provides a great opportunity to learn the skills required for a successful career. The importance of Apprenticeships is ever-growing these days and it’s very rewarding to see young people grow and develop into the world of work.”
The college, welcomed the first cohort of Yeo Valley Engineering apprentices to an induction day at the College’s Energy Skills Centre back in 2013.
The six apprentices were the first recruits on a long-term Apprenticeship programme being implemented by Yeo Valley, initially made available to existing Yeo Valley staff members, where over 40 applied!
Maxine Ford, previously a Production Night Hygiene Operative at the Isleport Distribution Centre, said: “This Apprenticeship opportunity is incredible; I’ve wanted to go into engineering for a long time and couldn’t believe my luck when this role came up. I am pleased to have got this job and can’t wait to get going. I hope that I can continue to progress through the different roles at Yeo Valley and end up in a management position.”
Matt Tudor, Head of Business Development & Marketing at Bridgwater & Taunton College, said: “The College had been working with Yeo Valley for several years on the development and delivery of a specialist dairy science programme as well as wider business and management training. We were delighted to have launched the Engineering Apprenticeship programme, which will form the basis of Yeo Valley’s recruitment pipeline for years to come.”
The College has led the way in creating and developing a world class, innovative and exemplary model of employer engagement, and has won Apprenticeship contracts with many prestige companies, such as Rolls-Royce.
The success of the College’s work hinges on several factors – a College-wide ‘can do’ approach; an unswerving commitment to exceptional customer service; a dedicated point of contact for each business; courageous, early investment in bespoke learning environments; genuine collaboration with employers and awarding bodies to develop/deliver innovative, accredited training programmes with a clear line of sight to work.
We are committed to fostering close working relationships with businesses. We view high-quality education as an engine for growth in your business and in our economy.
Our dedicated Business Development Account Managers work with a ‘can-do’ approach, an unswerving commitment to exceptional customer service, are a dedicated point of contact and, work with employers and awarding bodies to develop/deliver innovative, accredited training programmes with a clear line of sight to work.Learn More
The Apprenticeship Levy is a relatively new government initiative which puts Apprenticeship funding into the hands of employers, encouraging them to invest in their apprentices. Bridgwater & Taunton College offer a Levy Management Service to support businesses through the different processes and procedures.Learn More
Your first port of call is our team of Account Managers, who offer a single point of contact for all aspects of your workforce development needs.