Bridgwater & Taunton College has strategically placed itself as the region’s leading provider for technical and professional training, with our recent Ofsted inspection awarding the College Outstanding in Apprenticeships. We work in collaboration with a large number of local and national employers to train the next generation of professionals, combining leading edge practice with a wealth of opportunity and development.
Our #WorkingTogether webinar series has been created as a tool to inform, understand and engage with our BTC Business community on a variety of education & training topics related to industry.
For employers who currently work with us and have questions surrounding the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on their apprentices, please read our Employer FAQs. Please also refer to our BTC Business Community Support page
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Over 820,000 people are currently employed within the UK Automotive industry, and with technological innovation at the forefront of the sector, 20.000 new jobs are forecast to be created by 2030. This rapidly expanding marketplace demands a multi-skilled workforce that is reactive to an ever-changing, prosperous future of the automotive world.Learn more
The diverse range of employment pathways in the industry amidst the rural Somerset landscape is why our Animal Care, Equine and Vet Nursing Apprenticeship programmes are highly sought after amongst the regional population.Learn more
Our Creative Arts apprenticeship programmes proudly boast significant links with industry and built upon the rich foundations of arts education, where innovation, experimentation and ideas flourish. We work together with a diverse range of businesses to understand your model in order to develop a training programme that combines niche hands-on skills and industry knowledge within a professional context.Learn more
The world of business encompasses a broad range of roles and responsibilities that support the demands of all businesses operating in a variety of different industry sectors, sizes and work streams.Learn more
The Construction Skills and Innovation Centre (CSIC), located in Cannington, Somerset was built in partnership between Bridgwater & Taunton College and EDF Energy, and is a unique and vast training facility in close proximity to Hinkley Point C.Learn more
The engineering sector employs 19% of the UK workforce, with every new engineering role creating an additional two jobs in the economy. Estimates suggest that between now and 2022 engineering companies will need 182,000 engineers per year, but we are currently seeing an annual shortfall of 55,000. Filling this gap would generate an additional £27 billion per year for the UK economy - the equivalent of building 1,800 schools or 110 hospitals.Learn more
The food & drink industry contributes £31bn to the UK economy each year, and is the biggest manufacturing sector in the country - larger than automotive & aerospace combined! By 2024 the UK will need 140,000 new food and drink recruits to meet anticipated demand from an estimated 70m population, and yet 97% of food and drink businesses are small and medium-sized companies for whom recruitment on a massive scale is not viable.Learn more
Healthcare continues to be a key focus nationwide and is the second largest sector in the South West economy. Although outcomes are generally good and life expectancy high, too many people develop avoidable long-term multiple conditions which affect both the quality of their lives and their ability to work.Learn more
The Land and Agricultural sector continues to remain a high focus in the UK’s environmental agenda, with scientific research and development into new technologies, sustainability and environmental conservation posing opportunities for industry growth and economic output.Learn more
National College for Nuclear (NCfN) is one of five National Colleges, delivering high-level technical training to thousands of learners across England. Set across two hubs (one in Somerset and one in Cumbria), NCfN Southern Hub is a state-of-the-art, award-winning nuclear training facility.Learn more
The wide breadth of training opportunities in the domain of sport is a reflection of popularity and industry demand for 21st century sports coaches, scientists, managers, teachers, fitness instructors and sports professionals.Learn more
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.
BTC has been more than just a partner through the process of our Apprenticeship programme. The team that we have worked with have spent time work shadowing in our business to understand what we need and our challenges. They have then been able to go away and adapt our Apprenticeship programme to meet these needs and offer bespoke delivery options.
We have also been able to add additional training units into the Apprenticeship standards to adapt it to our business, allowing the college to work with our experienced staff to review the appropriate training and delivery for specialist areas.
Reputation and quality mean everything in the world of luxury leather goods—so handbags and accessories manufacturer Mulberry has to be just as discerning as its A-list clients when it comes to employing and training the right craftspeople to make its fine range of products.
Through its work in the creative arts sector, the College is having a highly positive impact on local employment and local enterprise. A long association with luxury leather goods manufacturer, Mulberry was instrumental in the company’s decision to invest in a second UK factory locally, the largest single UK investment by the fashion industry in 20 years.
In previous years, an ageing workforce, a shortage of local skilled labour and a lack of specialist training facilities led Mulberry to take action to safeguard its UK production by co-developing with the College the UK’s only apprenticeship framework in leather goods manufacturing.
‘It is so important that we are continuing to develop our craft skills, which is why we wanted to start an apprenticeship scheme to introduce young people into the company and build up skills – and we are using our experienced skilled workforce to train the younger employees.
Bridgwater & Taunton College are brilliant to us and really flexible and do everything they can to help us. We’re really delighted with them and would recommend them to anyone.
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 – delivering a unique Apprenticeship programme which incorporates an NVQ in Leather Goods Manufacture’.
– Ian Scott, Mulberry Supply Director.
Mulberry undertook to provide employment and training opportunities for disadvantaged local people, including the unemployed, single parents, the over 50s and people with low academic achievement, and worked with the College to devise and implement the entire workforce recruitment, selection and training process – the number of applicants exceeded 3500, against a required workforce of 320.
The College’s pre-employment programme resulted in Mulberry jobs for 83 people from the target groups, with a further 38 securing employment elsewhere as a direct result of their training. For those individuals it was life-changing and for the company it has led to a 100% increase in UK production; the College’s contribution to the project was recognised with the Times Educational Supplement Award for Employer Engagement in 2014.
The Apprenticeship team in Creative Arts have recently – by invitation – been directly involved as consultants and facilitators in the development of a new Level 2 Leather Manufacturing Apprenticeship Standard. Working in collaboration with colleagues from the UK Fashion & Textiles Council, Mulberry and the Royal Opera House, the College also became the first to deliver this Standard, enrolling a Mulberry cohort in January 2019.
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 was 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 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.”
ABP Langport’s Level 2 Butchery Apprenticeship is a 12 – 18-month programme that covers a wide range of traditional butchery skills. It is delivered entirely at ABP Beef premises, supported by a qualified assessor from Bridgwater & Taunton College.
Recruitment to the programme proved challenging and required a number of different advertising and recruitment streams. BTC and ABP worked together to recruit the first cohort of 14, using online and traditional advertising, as well as jointly attending open days, recruitment evenings, school careers days and the Bath & West Show. ABP has invested significant resources, including a brand new training butchery and a full-time trainer with over 20 years’ experience.
The programme is rewarding and challenging in equal measure. Apprentices are from a variety of backgrounds and educational levels, with additional support in maths and English sometimes required. However, these individuals are benefitting from a fantastic opportunity and the company is growing and safeguarding its workforce of the future.
“We are offering a great opportunity to these young people and are delighted in how well both they and our team here have risen to the challenge. The Apprentices’ enthusiasm has put a spring in the team’s step!” Alistair Lyle, General Manger, ABP Beef, Langport.
Since 2014 the College has worked closely with the Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (SOMPAR), to design, develop and deliver an innovative community healthcare apprenticeship programme, focused on the NHS Level 5 Assistant Practitioner role. This role bridges the gap between healthcare assistants and registered practitioners, and its benefits include freeing up nursing staff to deliver more complex skills, increasing workforce flexibility and improving access and continuity of care for patients. The apprenticeship programme offers Assistant Practitioners an opportunity to gain a nationally-recognised qualification that enhances their performance in their current role, leads to improved career progression opportunities and increases their overall levels of motivation, job satisfaction and confidence.
By adopting the apprenticeship model for both new and existing employees, SOMPAR is growing its own talent from grass roots level, providing enhanced progression routes across the Trust, encouraging lifelong learning and removing barriers to advancement – all of which establishes clear career development pathways, and encourages employee loyalty and motivation.
Our dedicated Business & Relationship Managers will consult on your training needs and requirements based upon an understanding of your business. Helping you to make an informed decision by conducting a training needs analysis that focuses on building the skillset required to grow the knowledge base in your workforce. Our collaborative relationships with employers, seeks to understand workplace cultures, expectations and challenges by delivering OFSTED outstanding Apprenticeship programmes, work-based commercial courses and Distance Learning across the UK.
We have an extensive and highly experienced central team whose sole focus is to work with Employers. We support businesses of all sizes and across all key employment sectors to access the excellent apprenticeship opportunities offered by BTC. Our dedicated Business Relationship Managers and Apprenticeship Recruitment Advisers have in-depth knowledge of levy and Apprenticeship funding and how to manage an Apprenticeship programme from end to end leaving you, the employer, free to get on with the day-to-day running of your business.
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 professionalsLearn More
The government is pledging to provide 30,000 new traineeships to get young people in England into work. Traineeships provide classroom-based lessons in maths, English and CV writing, as well as unpaid work experience.Learn More
Work Experience and Industry Placements are invaluable to students looking to gain some experience in a work environment.Placements inspire the next generation to work in your industry, helping to address current and future skills shortages.Learn More
For the launch of the T Levels we are looking for dynamic and pioneering employers to become involved with the delivery of the courses through offering an industry placement for our T Level students.Learn More
Call our team of Business Relationship Managers, who offer a single point of contact for all aspects of your workforce development needs on 01278 655111, email firstname.lastname@example.org or submit an enquiry.