New Apprenticeships are out of this world

There was no doubt that Apprentices have their sights set high as 200 came together for the first time at the College – with two about to embark on an out-of-this-world role as the UK’s first ever Spacecraft Operations Apprentices.

Truro and Penwith College has seen a steady rise in Apprenticeship training over recent years, with students keen to earn while they learn at the Ofsted Outstanding College, while working in a wide range of sectors for some of Cornwall’s top employers.

Over 200 Apprentices will start their quality career this September, across more than 40 Apprenticeship programmes offered at the College. Apprentices will work in their chosen area, while studying for nationally recognised qualifications ranging from entry level Intermediate Apprenticeships to university level higher Apprenticeships.

Job roles cover a range of areas from Software Development, Construction and Digital Marketing to Accountancy, Business and Management and Engineering. In response to employer demand the 2018/19 academic year will see the College introduce three new Apprenticeships in the Engineering, Baking and Aerospace industries.

Twenty-one-year-old Tom Northern previously completed an IT Practitioners: General IT Level 3 Extended Diploma at the College and went on to try University for one year before deciding it wasn’t for him.   

With a passion for the digital sector Tom has already gained valuable work experience through a Level 3 Apprenticeship in the digital sector and is one of this year’s successful applicants for the Level 4 Software Development Apprenticeship programme that will see him work in a new role as a Space Operations Apprentice for Avanti Communications at Goonhilly.

A key part of his role will require him to monitor and maintain satellites that have been launched into orbit to help provide high-speed satellite broadband to Europe, the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa. Avanti is currently enhancing its operations in wider parts of Africa to connect even the most rural areas to enable more people to become digital citizens.

Tom commented: “I’ve always had an interest in space and I was really keen to be part of the work Avanti is doing. Monitoring and maintaining their satellites while also developing my computer programming skills sounds really good and I can’t wait to get started”.

“I studied a Level 3 Extended Diploma at Truro and Penwith College after not achieving as I’d hoped in my GCSEs. The College as a place to learn was really good, tutors helped me get back on track and I achieved a triple distinction so I’m looking forward to returning here”.

From the cosmos to the kitchen, Prima Bakeries and Warrens Bakery have been working in partnership with the College over recent months to attract young people to careers in the traditional craft of Cornish baking. Discussions have resulted in design of the first and only Bakery Apprenticeship Standard in the South West that is starting this academic year with the College investing significantly to create a new, state-of-the-art bakery kitchen at Penwith College.

Mark Norton, Managing Director at Prima commented: “it is absolutely essential that new blood is developed for the Bakery industry. We believe this is best done by being trained by specialist and experienced bakery professionals in a dedicated environment. We are confident that the College’s bakery team understand our business needs and the standards we expect our Apprentices to meet.”

Andy Stittle, Director of Teaching and Learning at the College, said: “We are thrilled to see that the Apprenticeship route is proving to be a suitable option for many of our learners.”

“More and more employers are also coming forward, seeing the benefit of Apprenticeships as highlighted in 2016’s “Outstanding” Ofsted report which in addition to citing “inspirational teaching” and “excellent links with employers” also found “Apprentices make a considerable positive contribution to employers’ businesses.”

Apprenticeship vacancies are always open at the College and anyone over the age of 16 can apply. They can be found on the College website: or for more information call the Apprenticeship Recruitment Team on 01872 242711.