Thursday 12th October 2023
Showground, Wadebridge

Back to the Shop Floor

Amid significant growth within Apprenticeships in Cornwall and nationwide, the Senior Management Team at Truro and Penwith College went back to the shop floor to work with apprentices in a range of sectors to celebrate and raise awareness of National Apprenticeship Week.

Tamsyn Harris, Head of Truro and Penwith College Business, kick started the week on a chilly morning working with Outdoor Active Leisure apprentices at BF Adventure, near Penryn. Alongside new apprentices Ben Trembath, Vanessa Kronschnabl and Ed Longstaff in the Adventure Quarry, Tamsyn learned the basics of rock climbing and witnessed all three apprentices use teamwork and communication to scale the granite rock face, under the supervision of instructor Martin Cathrow.

BF Adventure showcases the success of Apprenticeships by currently having three generations of apprentices working with them! Tamsyn also chatted to Seb Richards, who completed his Apprenticeship at BF Adventure in 2014, and Jake Tuff, who is due to complete his Apprenticeship soon.

Jake shared his enthusiasm about the Apprenticeship at BF Adventure as he had worked there previously on an Entry to Employment scheme: “To come back to do an Apprenticeship here was amazing – it has been the best year of my life and the best change I could have made. With the Apprenticeship I get to combine my hobby, my job and get qualifications. Plus, working with a variety of people and seeing them achieve is really inspiring!”

Martin Tucker, Director of Operations at Penwith College, stepped out of his comfort zone by visiting Mamouchi Hair Salon in Truro. Guided around the salon by apprentice Courtney Groves, Martin discovered what a day in the life of a Hairdressing apprentice actually involves. Martin shadowed Courtney as she went about her daily duties, including greeting clients, preparing hair colours and organising stock. Broom in hand, Martin then helped out by sweeping the salon ready for the next client.

Mamouchi has been working with Truro and Penwith College Business for three years. Courtney started her Level 2 Hairdressing Apprenticeship in August and is full of enthusiasm for the programme and her role: “I chose Apprenticeship training in a salon rather than a full-time college course so I could gain a higher level of knowledge and different skills. You get to earn while you learn and gain confidence in a working environment, plus I get to practice skills while training and learning about different haircare brands. Working at Mamouchi is brilliant!”

Keen to get involved, David Walrond, Truro and Penwith College Principal, donned protective clothing to join apprentices Spencer Brewer, Thomas Hicks and Sam Morley at WES Engineering Solutions in Redruth. David spoke to the apprentices at length and was shown around the work of the business’ three divisions: Resistance Welding, making bespoke parts in high tensile brass, Chrome Zirconium Copper and Beryllium Copper; Hardmetal Engineering, creating precision bespoke parts for nuclear, oil and gas industries; Advanced Engineering, precision engineering for the aerospace, oil and gas, and defence industries.

Apprentice Spencer Brewer, aged 23, explained the benefits of the Apprenticeship programme and working at WES Engineering: “I’m thinking of doing a HNC (Higher National Certificate) now and then maybe a HND (Higher National Diploma) and possibly a degree, and the company will help me where they can. I honestly can’t see any limit to what I can do now and how far I can go.” David Walrond said: “It was great to meet the apprentices and see the workplace in person, as reading about it can’t do it justice. The apprentices are clearly highly motivated and very grateful for the opportunities the job gives them.”

The Victoria Inn in Threemilestone was the next business to welcome a new ‘apprentice,’ as Jane Cashmore, Director of Operations, worked with Hospitality apprentice Christina Santelli and Professional Cookery apprentices Billy Bromley and Luke Hill leading up to a busy lunchtime service. Following a tour of the kitchen with Billy and Luke, Jane assisted Christina with greeting customers, making tea and pouring drinks behind the bar. Luke then demonstrated good carvery technique for Jane, who then tried out her skills as a carvery chef!

St Austell Brewery, which runs The Victoria Inn, is working with Truro and Penwith College as part of an ongoing and growing partnership offering Apprenticeships and training within the Hospitality sector. Billy intends to complete his Level 2 training in order to proceed on to the Level 3 Patisserie qualification, with aspirations to join the Navy and travel the world creating great desserts in the Forces: “I was looking for Apprenticeships as I don’t get on well in full-time education. I like that it is a very different learning environment; I enjoy working here and especially the interaction with the customers. The Head Chef says that I’ve come a long way!”

Sue Dickinson, Head of Finance at Truro and Penwith College, swapped her office for the studio during her recent visit to Pirate FM to work with Creative and Digital Media apprentice Dean Martin. Preceded by a tour of the station’s various departments, including Production, News and Sales, Sue and Dean then joined DJ Scott Temple during his live show to learn the behind the scenes techniques of a successful radio programme.

Dean, who only started the Apprenticeship programme at the start of the New Year, has hit the ground running at the radio station and has gained a wealth of practical experience in just a couple of months. Within a week, Dean was filming and producing news segments for Pirate FM’s online presence, which is now one of his daily responsibilities. “I come into work looking forward to the day! It’s great that you can build the Apprenticeship around what you want to do. I went to university for a year, but the course wasn’t for me and wasn’t working towards my goals. It’s a massive confidence builder being in a workplace doing what a regular employee would do.”

Mark Wardle, Director of Curriculum at the College, met with three current and three former apprentices in order to put his administration skills to the test at Blue Flame Heating Solutions in Penryn. Working with Business Administration and Finance apprentice Jessica Wills in a busy office, Mark assisted with her daily duties, including opening and replying to correspondence, general paperwork procedures and filing.

Director of Studies, Cheryl Mewton, complete with hard hat, boots and gloves, visited the Bovis Homes building site at Trelowen in Truro to work with Corbey Construction apprentice Nathan Hooper. After a tutorial on the art of bricklaying from Nathan, Cheryl got to work helping to construct a wall for one of the new homes. Finding the technique a bit tricky at first, Cheryl soon got the hang of it following a few pointers from Nathan! On reviewing Cheryl’s work, apprentice Nathan said: “For a first attempt, it’s pretty good!”


For all the latest Apprenticeship vacancies visit:

Or come along and meet the team at the Cornwall Business Show at the Royal Cornwall Showground, Wadebridge, on Thursday 19th March.