Higher Education Apprenticeships: The key to Professional Development - Bridgwater & Taunton College

Former BTC apprentice, Paul Bridgeman, reflects on his experience as an adult apprentice, and the effect his newfound skills have had on his existing career.

Paul originally attended the College as an engineering apprentice in 1999, however, after attending a Taster Session 20 years later, decided to return to complete a Level 5 Degree Apprenticeship in Operations/Departmental Management.

Paul said;

I knew the college was an outstanding FE & HE provider. The course was just right for me and the chance of doing an apprenticeship (again), paid for via the apprenticeship levy, made it an easy choice!


Paul now works as a Project Manager for Trelleborg Sealing Solutions. Here he is responsible for managing multiple projects and Capital Investments in automation, site facilities, machinery and more.

Paul said;

Being able to apply what I have learnt immediately in the work environment and then assessing what has/hasn’t worked gives you the immediate experience that you cannot learn from a class or a book.

Unsurprisingly, due to his hard work, Paul was awarded a Distinction for his Apprenticeship. Paul’s achievements were made all the more impressive as he overcame several challenges on top of his work/studies.

 The staff at BTC have been excellent. When I was struggling with illness and was hospitalised twice, they didn’t apply any pressure to get the work complete and were more concerned for my wellbeing. When I was ready to continue, they offered as much help as I needed with extra one-on-one support.


As a result of the knowledge and skills acquired from his Apprenticeship, Paul has gone from strength to strength in his existing job role. He has applied what he has learnt to create a Project Governance system for his portfolio of projects based on the business strategy he helped create.

Paul was also able to gain confidence to apply the knowledge he had learnt and introduce new skills into the business where needed. As a result, Paul has influenced decisions, supported colleagues, and helped build teams across the business.

With several major projects going on, Paul has now decided to take a break from Higher Education and focus on applying his new skills and knowledge to tackle the projects and his professional development.

He said;

There is so much to be gained from taking up an apprenticeship!… BTC is a great provider for FE & HE, the staff are great and the facilities are excellent. The college has good access and facilities for me as a wheelchair user, an excellent library and great access to internet-based libraries and journals. Although the course was interrupted by Covid, the college were quick to setup Teams based lessons and provided extra support where needed!


Paul’s story is a great example of have valuable apprenticeships can be in aiding professional development and career success, whatever your age!

We wish Paul all the best for the future and look forward to seeing what he does next with his new skills!


Learn more about our Apprenticeship opportunities here.

Find out more at the College’s Apprenticeship Jobs Fair in February.

We’re here to help! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Bridgwater & Taunton College’s Information and Advice team on 01278 441234 or email info@btc.ac.uk. Alternatively, come along to one of our open events; view our facilities, speak with our experienced staff and experience the BTC atmosphere.

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