Supporting National Apprenticeship Week

Published: 14th March 2016

Published by City College Southampton

City College Southampton is the largest provider of apprenticeships in the region with 369 apprentices having started their training with us in the last year. The college offers over 40 different types of cross-sector apprenticeships. For further information, click here.

This week, 14 - 18 March, is National Apprenticeship Week and we pledge to help our students to progress into their chosen careers.

Meet some of our apprentices

Calvin Lumsden
Electrical and Electronic Engineering


City College’s Apprentice of the Year, Calvin Lumsden, has turned his apprenticeship into a career. After successfully completing his level 3 NVQ advanced apprenticeship in electrical and electronic engineering and BTEC diploma in engineering, with a double distinction, he has now secured full-time work at GEA Pharma Systems, Eastleigh.

Calvin, 21, from Sholing, has furthered his career in engineering and now works as an electrical fitter.

His job role involves fitting electrical components to pharmaceutical equipment and testing the machinery on completion. Due to his outstanding success and commitment, he is now working towards completing his level 4 HNC in engineering, which is university level status.

Calvin said: “My college tutor suggested I go into engineering and I am very happy that I did. It involves a lot more thinking and understanding and is really interesting. I have learnt new skills and gained industry knowledge I never had.”

To further his career, he plans to work up the ladder, leading to managing an electrical team and he aspires to eventually start his own business.

Calvin continued. “The course was excellent and I learnt things I never knew about the world of engineering. I went to college one day a week, which I found was a good way to gain the education and knowledge needed.”

Josie Dowding 
Heavy Vehicle Maintenance and Repair


Not daunted by heavy plant machinery, huge trucks and working in an all-male environment, 18-year-old Josie Dowding, from Wareham, reveals her passion for her level 2 Heavy Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Apprenticeship with civil engineering company Suttles.

Josie enjoys helping to maintain and repair plant machinery at a 35-acre quarry in Swanage and said: “I love my apprenticeship. I’m continually gaining hands on experience, working towards an industry-recognised qualification plus I’m earning money whilst I’m learning. I don’t think you can beat that.”

She admitted that some elements of her job have been tough due to the size and weight of some of the equipment but that has made her even more determined to succeed. She said: “I may be the only female but I’m treated fairly and the guys are really supportive.”

To gain her technical certificate, Josie has to travel 3 hours every Thursday to attend City College for her theory work and additional practical sessions in the college’s first-class motor vehicle workshop. “Suttles have been really supportive and have even given me a small work van to help me travel to and from college each week” she continued.

Josie plans to progress onto the advanced apprenticeship next year and is looking forward to travelling to Finland very soon to complete a Movax course which will enable her to work on innovative sheet piling equipment.

Andrew Woodward
Business and Administration 


Wanting to learn and develop skills in a real business environment, 19-year-old Andrew Woodward, from Hamble, decided to apply for a Business and Administration Apprenticeship with City College.

Providing full administrative support to the Human Resources (HR) department, Andrew is gaining a wealth of relevant hands on experience whilst getting qualified in business. His work involves a full range of office duties and customer facing services including: dealing with emails, placing recruitment adverts, inviting applicants to interview, making up interview packs, meeting and greeting candidates, setting up meetings, updating spreadsheets, and diary and filing management.

Andrew said “I work in a busy office but everyone has been really supportive, always making time to show me what to do. I’ve enjoyed meeting new people and being able to learn on the job. It’s great!”

“I recommend you apply for an apprenticeship in something you’d enjoy, then knuckle down and work hard. It’s worth it in the end” he continued.

Andrew plans to progress onto the advanced apprenticeship to further his knowledge and skills and to equip him for a long and successful career in business.

Lawrence Utin
Hospitality and Catering 


With a passion for cooking, 23-year-old Lawrence Utin, from Southampton, has proven that his hospitality and catering apprenticeship with Quality Finish Patisserie has been his recipe for success.

Since completing his apprenticeship, Lawrence has been promoted to Head Pastry Chef and is running the production operation and leading his team of assistant pastry chefs.

He said “After my A-levels I didn’t want the high costs of university and felt that an apprenticeship would be a great opportunity to get me straight into work whilst continuing to learn. It has certainly helped me to establish a successful career in the industry.”

“My apprenticeship involved working in the kitchen, shadowing team members, learning about different methods of cooking and mass production, sorting mixes and controlling deliveries. I was quickly given more responsibility and once I completed my apprenticeship and gained further experience I was promoted to Supervisor then more recently became Head Chef.”

“My employer, Quality Finish, has been brilliant and I can’t thank them enough for the fantastic career they have given me.”