Tristan James

Deputy Personnel Manager at Truro and Penwith College

Tristan James joined Truro College as a Business Administration Apprentice in 1998, and is now recruiting the next generation of Apprentices as deputy manager of the College’s Personnel department.

Starting as an Apprentice in the College’s Part-time Courses Team, while also completing his Apprenticeship qualification with the College, Tristan’s first achievement of his impressive 19-year career was to achieve permanent employment within the department, before moving into the role of Personnel Assistant in 2003. After successfully helping Personnel support the College’s continued growth and merger with Penwith College in 2008, Tristan was promoted to his current role in 2012.

“I chose the Apprenticeship route as I wasn’t keen on continuing with a full time academic education,” said Tristan. “I wasn’t sure what career I wanted to pursue, so went for the Business Administration Apprenticeship as I felt this would give me experience in a range of areas, and allow me to make a decision from there.” 

Tristan’s role requires him to oversee all HR related functions at the College, including screening the 1,500 applications received every year, while also writing job descriptions, interviewing candidates and managing staff performance and absence.

“The College’s absence rate reached an all-time low last year, and our staff turnover rates are some of the best in the industry,” Tristan commented.

Proving that what goes around really does come around, Tristan is now heavily involved in the recruitment of Apprentices working at the College, where an impressive 16 are currently starting their careers. When it comes to recruiting Apprentices to work at the College, Tristan and the Personnel department work hard to ensure they find the right people.

“When someone applies to be an Apprentice, they haven’t necessarily got any previous experience in the role, so it’s important we look at the individual. The College is a fast-paced environment, and qualities such as energy, enthusiasm and commitment are really important to us.”

“Once we have identified a successful candidate, our goal is to ensure they have the support to complete their Apprenticeship to the best of their ability while gaining a good breadth of experience in the role, giving them a solid foundation to build a successful career.” 

If you would like to find out more about starting your career as an Apprentice, contact the College’s Apprenticeship Recruitment team on 01872 242711 /