What is an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to get career ready, providing apprentices with the skills and knowledge needed to take a step into their chosen career. With a range of opportunities in many different industries, this could be the route for you. If you are more practical minded and learn by doing, then keep on reading to learn a little more.  

So, what exactly is an apprenticeship you may be wondering. This is a job where you get to experience the practical side of working and gain valuable skills, whilst getting paid and having theory-based lessons too. On-the-job training consists of about 80% of the workload and the other 20% will be classroom-based learning leading to a recognised qualification.  

Who can apply? 

Firstly, who can apply to start an apprenticeship? If you are above the age of 16, at the start of your career, wanting a career change, are not in education or wanting to gain relevant skills in their field then you can go ahead and apply.  


There are different levels that equal varying qualifications and will be varying levels of difficulty and skill level, these include: 

  • Intermediate 
  • Advanced  
  • Higher  
  • Degree  

Depending on the level and industry will also impact the length of course, these can vary between one and six years.  


There are so many benefits of choosing to become an apprentice, it is an interesting route that helps to boost your skills and gain experience whilst also getting paid. This practical option is industry focused and will get you ready for your career, with at least a year of work experience and a qualification.  

Other benefits include: 

  • Holiday leave  
  • Experience in an area that you have an interest in 
  • No tuition fees 
  • Recognised qualifications 
  • Employee benefits 
  • Working with industry professionals 


Popular industries where apprenticeships are offered  

Over the years, this has become a popular choice for entering a chosen profession. In the past, apprenticeships may have only been thought of as a place for those in construction to get trained up. However, now there are options for all sorts of industries, such as: 

  • Law 
  • Healthcare 
  • Quantity surveying 
  • Hairdressing 
  • Business
  • Catering
  • Digital
  • Transport and logistics


Apprenticeships at Reaseheath  

If you decide this is the route for you, then why not consider Reaseheath as the place to study. We offer a range of sectors that you can choose from at different levels and to match your career aspirations, these include: 

  • Agriculture 
  • Bakery 
  • Bus and coach engineering 
  • Construction 
  • Craft Butchery Retail and Production 
  • Dairy technology 
  • Food and Drink Process Operator 
  • Food technologist 
  • Equine 
  • Horticulture  
  • Land-Based Service Engineering Technician 
  • Rail engineering 
  • Team leader/supervisor  
  • Veterinary Nursing 
  • Trade supplier 
  • Teacher training 
  • Construction plant 


Now you know a little bit more, is an apprenticeship the route for you? 

Reaseheath Training seek new tutor assessors

Reaseheath Training is the work based learning arm of Reaseheath College and is seeking to appoint new Tutor Assessors to the Apprenticeship Team to tutor and assess a caseload of apprentices at levels 2 and 3 working in a variety of local businesses. There are currently opportunities on the horizon to join a dynamic team within a fast growing department with numerous prospects for self-development.

We have a full/part time positions available in the following areas of expertise:

  • Construction Bricklaying / Plastering
  • Trees and Timber

Our expectation is that the successful applicants will be highly motivated, promoting high timely success rates of apprenticeship frameworks. You will have demonstrable evidence of working in the relevant industry and have qualifications in that area at Level 3 or above.

In addition you will ideally possess GCSE Maths & English Grade C or above and have experience of MS Office Applications. You will also have Assessor Verifier and a teaching qualification or a willingness to achieve these in a specified time.

This job can be flexible and fit around other commitments. This is suitable for candidates who are passionate about training and working with young people. It provides opportunities to work with the forefront government initiatives and trends to support young people into the world of work through Apprenticeships.

In return we can offer a competitive salary of up to £25k and an attractive benefits package including generous annual leave entitlement, CARE pension scheme, employee assistance programme, on site gym, free parking and an attractive rural campus environment.

If you would be interested in finding out more then please register your interest by sending an up to date CV to and we will be in touch.


Reaseheath College welcomes royal visitor at Cheshire Show

Reaseheath College gave Sophie, Countess of Wessex, a right royal welcome when she visited the college’s award winning stand at the Cheshire Show earlier this week (June 23 and 24)

Her Royal Highness, who is Cheshire Show President, spent 20 minutes chatting to staff and students and inspecting the stand’s activities. She particularly admired Reaseheath’s mechanical horse and a pizza oven built by construction students and was keen to find out more about apprenticeships.

Stand organiser Stephanie Owen said: “The Countess seemed to be very knowledgeable and supportive of landbased industries and asked a lot of pertinent questions about our work with rural businesses. She seemed very natural and was obviously enjoying carrying out her duties at the show.”

The Nantwich college’s visitor friendly stand had earlier taken the top award in the education section, with judge Marie Birkenhead paying tribute to the range of activities on offer and the enthusiastic and well informed staff.

Mrs Birkenhead said: “Reaseheath College’s stand was far and away the best exhibit in its section and really met the criteria, which is to educate and inform visitors about the countryside. We were impressed with the attractive display offering activities for all ages, but what was most outstanding was the wonderful welcome which all visitors received when they went on the stand.”

Top crowd puller on the stand was a Caterpillar digger which gave visitors the chance to operate the controls. Apart from riding the mechanical horse, families were able to have a go on a climbing wall and try milking a model cow. Other activities, under the banner ‘Do Something Different’, included a display of the latest horticultural technology and a chance to make floral buttonholes and beaded dragonflies. Animals from the college’s zoo and a scarecrow from this summer’s ‘Superhero’ maize maze were also on display.

Reaseheath agriculture students took part in breed showing and young handler classes in the cattle show ring with heifers and a cow in milk from the Reaseheath Holstein dairy herd. The student team were awarded first place in the ‘tidy lines’ competition.

Deputy Marketing Manager Faye Thomson-Butt said: “This has been a fantastic opportunity for us to demonstrate the range of vocational courses we offer. We are very proud of the success of our students and coming to the Cheshire Show each year gives us a great platform to show the public what we can do.”

Caption: Sophie, Countess of Wessex, joins Stephanie Owen and agricultural lecturer Mark Walton on Reaseheath College’s stand at the Cheshire Show.

MP builds on skills during Apprenticeship Week

Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson built on his skills when he joined construction apprentices during lessons at Reaseheath College last week.

The Minister for Children and Families visited the Nantwich college as part of National Apprenticeships Week, a celebration of the benefits that skilled apprentices bring to businesses and to the national economy by increasing productivity and providing workforce succession.

MP Edward Timpson picks up tips from bricklaying apprentice Adam Platt

MP Edward Timpson picks up tips from bricklaying apprentice Adam Platt

Mr Timpson tried his hand at bricklaying and joinery in Reaseheath’s tailormade workshops and chatted to successful apprentices who are learning their trade at college and in the workplace.

After working alongside Adam Platt, 17, a bricklaying apprentice employed by Greg Lambert Ltd in Northwich and James Lewis, 18, a site carpentry apprentice who works for his father’s building company in Stockport, Mr Timpson said: “Mr Timpson said: “Our growing economy requires a skilled construction industry, and these young people have very valuable skills to offer. The trade offers a great career path, so it’s good to see Reaseheath putting apprenticeships at the heart of their education and training programme.

“We know that apprenticeships provide a fast route into employment and can offer real-life experiences along the way. They are an excellent option for both students and employers, and I am delighted that over 5,000 have been started in Crewe and Nantwich since 2010.”

For further details of Reaseheath’s courses in joinery, brickwork and plastering visit or phone our Courses Hotline on 01270 613242



Reaseheath’s rising stars recognised

The contribution that Reaseheath College apprentices make to regional businesses was recognised at a glittering awards ceremony.

The event highlighted the achievement of 150 apprentices who had gained their qualifications at the Nantwich specialist college in the past year. It was held during National Apprenticeships Week, a celebration of the benefits that skilled apprentices bring to businesses and to the national economy by increasing productivity and providing workforce succession.

Reaseheath College is a leading trainer of apprentices throughout Cheshire and surrounding counties and also provides a valuable recruitment service for employers.

It has extended the delivery of its apprenticeship programmes across the East Midlands by acquiring DART Training, a specialist land-based training provider. Over 1,000 apprentices in land based industries are now trained by Reaseheath Training and DART.

The apprentices, who are in paid employment, receive academic training from college assessors and gain practical skills in the workplace. Although the majority are aged between 16 and 24, Reaseheath also offers adult apprenticeships for those aged over 25. Training programmes can start at any time of the year, and there are vacancies in a number of trades currently available.

Top honours of the awards ceremony went to Apprentice of the Year Sophie Bell, a Level 2 Business Administration apprentice in Reaseheath’s busy marketing department, and to Advanced Apprentice of the Year Ross Brownbill, assistant dairy manager for leading Cheshire farmer Richard Archer. Kate Rooke, a Preston based bull technician for Genus Breeding, was runner-up Advanced Apprentice of the Year.

All three were selected for their commitment to their studies, attention to detail at their workplace and for their outstanding contribution to their employers’ businesses.

Sophie, of Mow Cop, Stoke on Trent, a former pupil at Congleton High School, joined Reaseheath’s business support staff two years ago and has progressed onto her Level 3 apprenticeship. Her varied duties range from helping to organise the college’s course open days, public events and schools programmes to representing the marketing department at internal meetings.

She said: “I was very proud to receive this award. It’s nice to be recognised for working hard. My Grandad won ‘Apprentice of the Year’ 50 years ago, so I seem to be following in the family tradition!”

Ross, a former Royal Marine, has his sights firmly set on career progression and already helps to manage 700 dairy cows.

He said: “Although I’ve only been in the farming industry for five years, my apprenticeship prepared me well. I’ve gained a lot of practical experience through working for several farms and that, combined with sound academic training at Reaseheath, helped me to get a job with good prospects.”

Guest speaker at the ceremony was Barbara Hughes, a successful dairy farmer from Malpas who employs apprentices on the family’s 220 acre farm. She was joined on the podium by last year’s Level 3 agriculture apprentice of the year Adam Brown, 27, who works as an Anaerobic Digestion (AD) technician on Reaseheath’s demonstration AD plant and is also employed on his family’s dairy farm in Holmes Chapel.

The awards were announced by Reaseheath Training Manager Christine Middleton. Other principle winners were:

Best Agricultural Apprentice (Level 2): David Stoner, a stockman for FW Hughes and Sons dairy farm in Mold, North Wales.

Best Agricultural Apprentice (Level 3): Sam Blythe, who works for GF Blythe and Son, his family’s dairy farm on Dunham on the Hill near Helsby.

Edit Agriculture Best Level 3 Apprentice Sam Blythe with Anna Hughes

Agriculture Best Level 3 Apprentice Sam Blythe with Anna Hughes

Best Level 3 Farmcare Apprentice: Kamil Peno, who works on a Farmcare fruit farm in Herefordshire. Kamil was one of six Farmcare apprentices to complete their Level 3 apprenticeship at Reaseheath this year.

Best Construction Apprentice (Brickwork): Ben Hardwick, a Level 3 apprentice  who is employed by  John Cliff Building Services of Market Drayton. John Cliff is a great supporter of apprenticeship training and all his current workforce have qualified through the programme.

Best Construction Apprentice (Joinery): Tom Spibey, a Level 3 student who is one of several apprentices working for RS Developments of Calveley.

Construction Best Apprentices Tom Spibey and Ben Hardwick with Andy Armitage assessor

Construction Best Apprentices Tom Spibey and Ben Hardwick with Andy Armitage assessor

Best Level 2 Equine Apprentice: Bethany Gerrard, a groom at Denstone Stud and Riding Centre, Uttoxeter.

Best Horticulture Apprentice: Jim Alley, a trainee greenkeeper with Delamere Forest Golf Club, who achieved his Level 2 apprenticeship in sports turf

Best Food Apprentice:  Tom Jackson, a Level 3 trainee food technician with Appleby Creamery in Cumbria.

Certificates of Excellence:

Jack Vaughan  (P Vaughan))

Peter Lofthouse (Tatton Park Gardens)

Luke Salter (Muller Dairy UK)

Certificates of Endeavour:

Ben McNulty (Nick McNulty)

Jack Bennison (Andrew Bennison)

Certificates for Outstanding Achievement:

Mark Marrow (Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council)

For more information on the apprenticeships offered at Reaseheath click here.

Horse care apprentices on show during National Apprenticeship Week

Our Level 2 Apprentices in Horse Care organised a ‘Best Turned Out’ competition today (Monday) to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week (March 9 – March 13).

The apprentices were assessed on their ability to present their horses plaited and groomed to perfection and also on their organisational skills. They also took the opportunity to raise money for Macmillan and World Horse Welfare through personal sponsorship.

Course manager Dawn Joyce said: “All the apprentices worked really hard and made a big effort to turn out the horses to a high standard. Hopefully they all learned a lot and enjoyed themselves at the same time!”

Our horse care apprentices travel into college for one day a week from their workplaces as far afield as Bolton, Altrincham and Stoke on Trent. They are also visited at their yards by Reaseheath assessors.

On successful completion of their programme, our apprentices collect an industry recognised qualification plus relevant additional awards such as health and safety and first aid.

For further details on apprenticeships see

On show: Apprentices Becca Raftery, Emma Sutton, Holly Whitehead and Leah Whitfield and pony ‘Jack’ show off their rosettes after the ‘ Best Turned Out’ competition

Reaseheath apprentices ensure staff succession

The crucial role that apprentices play by ensuring staff succession was emphasised at an awards ceremony at Reaseheath College last week.

The ceremony celebrated the achievement of 180 apprentices who gained their qualifications at the Nantwich, Cheshire, specialist college in the past year.

Reaseheath currently trains over 450 apprentices who work in businesses throughout Cheshire and surrounding counties. Most attend college weekly and spend the rest of the week earning and training in the workplace. Although the majority are aged between 16 and 24, Reaseheath also offers adult apprenticeships for those aged over 25.

The scheme is supported by 226 employers including councils, golf clubs, garden maintenance companies, kennels, pet shops, livery stables, florists, farms and the food, construction and timber industries.

Addressing an audience which included employers and family members, Reaseheath Vice Principal Dave Kynaston congratulated the apprentices and their companies for investing in meaningful and valued qualifications which would boost productivity and ensure the future of the UK’s skilled workforce.

He emphasised that apprenticeships had gained favour with both employers and the government and that recruitment was at an all time high, with 850,000 apprentices in the UK.

Guest speaker John Hurst, who oversees management of 15,000 acres for Co-operative Farms and is responsible for the company’s graduate training scheme, said that The Co-operative was working with Reaseheath to ensure that there was a succession of trained and skilled employees within the company who would fill the skills gap when older workers retired.

The agricultural industry was becoming increasingly technical and it was essential that employees were trained in the operation of sophisticated machinery and equipment. His company appreciated the support given by Reaseheath to its training programme.

Also on the podium was Level 3 agriculture apprentice Jordan Kenyon, last year’s Apprentice of the Year, who described his progress as a herdsman with dairy farmer Martin Wheelton of Gawsworth near Macclesfield. His career had moved fast and he now managed two staff and was looking forward to managing a dairy unit or possibly studying business to a higher level.

Apprentice of the Year adam Hughes and Advanced Apprentice of the Year Lyndsay Jones

Top apprentices Adam Hughes and Lyndsay Jones

Top honours of the evening went to Apprentice of the Year Adam Hughes, a plant maintenance engineer for Gunn JCB, and to Advanced Apprentice of the Year Lyndsay Jones, a production operator and machine setter for Aimia Foods, a food and beverages manufacturer.

Both were selected for their commitment to their studies and the quality of their college work, and for their outstanding contribution to their employers’ businesses.

Adam , 20, works at Gunn JCB’s West Bromwich  depot.  He has been with the company for three  years, has completed his Level 2 Diploma in Work Based Learning and has progressed to Level 3. Reaseheath has a long standing training partnership with Gunn JCB and trains apprentices from the company every year.

Lyndsay,  47, is a production operator and machine setter at Aimia Food’s Haydock base, a position which requires him to take full responsibility over three people and five production lines.  Since completing his apprenticeship he has come up with many suggestions which could benefit his company, resulting in him winning an innovation award and  being nominated for the title of ‘Employee of the Year’.

Other principle winners were:

Agriculture apprentice of the year Adam Brown

Best agricultural apprentice Adam Brown

Best Agriculture Apprentice: Adam Brown, 26, who works as an Anaerobic Digestion (AD) technician on Reaseheath’s demonstration AD plant. Adam’s duties include guided tours for local farming and community groups, allied businesses and undergraduates. He is also employed on his family’s dairy farm in Holmes Chapel.


Best Construction Apprentice (Brickwork): Charlie Emms, 19, who is employed by  M E Parker, a company which specialises in steel shed erection on rural farms in Shropshire. Making the most of his brickworking skills, Charlie carries out the blockwork and helps to erect the steel structure.


Best apprentice joiner Ed Oliver with employer Craig Hallworth

Top joinery apprentice Edward Oliver with his employer Craig Hallworth

Best Construction Apprentice (Joinery): Ed Oliver, 18, who works for  Hallworth Construction (Cheshire). The  Northwich company specialises in new build and employs up to 14 staff.  Ed joined the company on leaving school and is one of five apprentices to have completed qualifications at Reaseheath.


Best Horticulture Apprentice: Marcus Burke, 25, of Runcorn, a member of the landscape services team at Halton Borough Council. Marcus is one of a team who maintain the borough’s  green spaces including showpiece flower beds and parks in Runcorn and Widnes. Reaseheath trains apprentices for many local authorities including Cheshire East Council, Cheshire West and Chester Council Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council .


Best Food Apprentice:  Stephen Halliwell, 30, a blending operator with Aimia Foods


Certificates of Excellence:

Sam Lindop (Smilers Building and Groundwork)

Matthew Williams (Ewson Contractors)

Ben Hardwick ((J C Building Service)

Danny Lucock (Halton Borough Council)

Chris Smith (Halton Borough Council)

Jon Hetherington (Halton Borough Council)


Certificates of Endeavour:

Matthew Canner ((A & M Construction)

Tom Spibey (R S Developments Construction)

Darren Huxley (Hill Cross Joinery Ltd)


Certificates for Outstanding Achievement:

Rod Hughes (Holdcroft and Sons)

Joe Hughes (Holdcroft and Sons)


For further details of apprenticeships contact Reaseheath’s Workforce Development team: 01270 613257



Apprentice helps to grow dog grooming business

A Cheshire dog grooming parlour is successfully using the government’s apprenticeship programme to develop its workforce.

Angela Mayers, owner  of The Groom Room in Saltney, has seen her  well established business thrive since employing 19 year-old  Bethan Roberts.  Bethan , a former Level 3 Diploma in Animal Management student at  Reaseheath College, Nantwich, joined The Groom Room for work experience and so impressed Angela that she was offered a permanent position.

The young animal lover, who has always wanted to work with dogs, now has a paid job grooming, bathing and drying canine clients.  As an advanced apprentice, she is continuing to gain specific dog grooming qualifications at her workplace and is regularly visited by work based assessors from Reaseheath.  She had been introduced to dog grooming previously during her college course.

Angela Mayers has been part of the thriving business community in Saltney for seven years. The Groom Room offers an individual service for all breeds of dog and clients travel in from as far as Cumbria to take advantage of specialised processes such as hand stripping.

Said Angela: “The training Bethan received from Reaseheath College was excellent but, by taking advantage of the apprenticeship programme, I’ve been able to offer her the opportunity to gain more qualifications and practical experience.

“The apprenticeship programme is a great scheme and has made a real difference to my business as well as to Bethan’s future career.  It’s developed to guidelines so the training is nationally recognised and well supported by workbased assessors.  I ‘d  urge all businesses to take advantage of it.”

“Bethan lives near Ellesmere Port and is a former pupil at the Catholic High School, Chester. She said: “This is a dream job for me because I’m earning a wage and doing something which I enjoy.”

For further details about the The Groom Room visit their website

For further details about apprenticeship opportunities at Reaseheath College visit the apprenticeships section on our website.