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Exeter College Celebrates the start of 1000 Apprentices

Exeter College have marked a significant milestone having enrolled over 1000 Apprentices in the academic year 2020/21.  

This is the third time that the College has broken the 1000 Apprentices barrier in the last 5 years, a remarkable achievement reflective of the commitment of Exeter’s businesses to Apprenticeships.  

Mike Blakeley, Director of Apprenticeships at Exeter College said, “In what has been a hugely challenging year for everyone, I’m delighted to see the College supporting in excess of 1000 new Apprentices once again. We scaled back our expectations during the pandemic, but our employers have again bucked the national trend and created some truly magnificent job opportunities. We thank them whole heartedly for their support.”  

The College, who deliver over 90 Apprenticeship programmes to a business network of 950 employers across the region, have been busy responding to an increasing need to train new and existing staff. Mike added, The last 18 months have been very busy for the team and the demand for business support has been significant. We have a dedicated team of over 100 people involved in Apprenticeships here at Exeter College and we have seen a number of new and exciting programmes come to fruition recently.”  

One such programme is with Tavistock based, national telecoms company Beacons Communications. The 1000th Apprentice to be enrolled was Lucy Gales, a Telecommunications Engineering and Rigger Apprentice.  

Lucy said, “I chose to do an Apprenticeship because it is something out of the ordinary. I have a love for the outdoors and heights, and I wanted a new challenge so I thought I would get involved in the telecoms network. My job involves a lot of travel around the country, playing a key part in a large team and working at height to install cutting edge telecoms hardware.”  

Beacon Communications South West Regional Manager Matthew Venner said, “Lucy has overcome a lot of stereotypes in the telecommunications industry. Traditionally it is very much a gender orientated role. Lucy has come in and overcome all those invisible barriers and not only that, but she is outperforming the challenging learning milestones that we set for all our Apprentices on the scheme. It has been fantastic to see Lucy make such a positive impact.”   

He added, “We are delighted to partner with Exeter College. With their collaboration Beacon Comms are in a great position to support the current and future generations of skilled telecoms staff our industry is going to need as it continues to grow.”  

Exeter College is proud to support Apprentices such as Lucy to launch their careers. Enrolments for the new academic year 2021/2022 are at an all-time high, laying the foundations for another record-breaking year.  

Exeter College currently has more than 200 opportunities for people of all ages interested in an Apprenticeship. For more information, please visit https://exe-coll.ac.uk/apprenticeships/