We know it can be difficult starting your first job and studying at college at the same time so we provide you with your own Training Co-ordinator to support you every step of the way. We also carefully choose every employer that we work with, so that we know you'll get great support at work as well.
We work with employers of all sizes across Oxfordshire, from the large organisations we've all heard of, to the most amazing of small businesses doing inspirational work in their field.
You might be ready to jump straight into a career after school. Maybe you're already working and want a complete career change. Or perhaps your current employer is looking for the best way to develop your talent further. Whatever your current job role, whatever your age, and whatever level you wish to study at, apprenticeships could help to develop your career.
We work with employers in lots of different industries; from Accounting to Greenkeeping, from Engineering to Team Leading and beyond. You will gain practical skills on the job, earn respected qualifications, and earn a wage too.
High-quality college facilities that compete with any found in industry, along with our award-winning support for apprentices and achievement rates amongst the very best in England, mean that you will have the best chance to succeed with us.
Tyler is a Level 2 Greenkeeping apprentice at Frilford Heath Golf Course.
Photo (L-R): Manager Alex James, apprentice Tyler Romanek, Level 2 Greenkeeping at Frilford Heath Golf Course, and Ben Rusher from Employer Services.
“I originally completed a Level 1 Agriculture course at Abingdon & Witney College’s Common Leys campus and was going on to a Level 2 Horticulture course when the opportunity to do a Greenkeeping apprenticeship at Frilford Heath golf club came up.
I really enjoy the practical side of the course, being outdoors in such a beautiful setting is my idea of a great job!”
Barney is currently a Level 3 Motor Vehicle apprentice at THG Vehicle Repairs in Witney.
Photo (L-R): Matt Forder owner of THG Vehicle Repairs in Witney, Gemma Burgess from Employer Services and apprentice Barney Forder.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time as an apprentice and it’s completely different to school. My tutors have a very positive approach to learning; it’s not just listening to them and taking notes, it’s interactive with tasks like card matching and taking part in presentations, as well as the practical skills.”
Suzy is a Level 3 Business Administration with Host. (Victoria Hall Management Ltd) in Oxford.
Photo (L-R) Apprentice Suzy Morris, Level 3 Business Administration apprentice with Host. and Gemma Burgess from Employer Services.
“I’m really enjoying my apprenticeship. It’s building my confidence and skills and definitely helping at work where my role is quite varied and needs a wide-range of skills; from good organization to strong interpersonal and communication skills. It was really great to win this award!”
Katie is a Level 3 Customer Services apprentice at the Busy Brush Café, Wallingford.
Photo (L-R): Gemma Burgess from Employer Services, apprentice Katie Southern, Level 3 Customer Services apprentice and Andrew Jackson, owner of the Busy Brush Café.
“I was really pleased to win this award - it comes at the end of a very busy period at the café with a new owner Andrew Jackson just settling in. I’ve enjoyed doing the apprenticeship, especially the day release at college, because you get to meet other apprentices and share your experiences.”
Darren is a Level 2 Team Leading apprentice with the University of Oxford, Department of Engineering Science.
Photo (L-R): Tam Hawkins from Employer Services with Darren Soden, Level 2 Team Leading apprentice with the University of Oxford Department of Engineering Science.
“I was really pleased that my hard work was recognised. At first, I was skeptical that the apprenticeship was going to help develop my role in the department of Engineering Science, but I've found it challenging and it’s great that the university has invested in my skills.”
Autum is a Level 2 Business Administration apprentice with The House Project, Oxfordshire County Council.
Photo (L-R): Gemma Burgess from Employer Services with Autum Walsh, Level 2 Business Administration apprentice and her manager from Oxfordshire Council Council.
“As a child in care and an apprentice I can give my team at The House Project a young person’s point of view and an insight into how we view things. My apprenticeship has allowed me to learn a wide range of skills without being in a classroom.
My confidence and mindset has improved massively through the course.”
Charlotte is currently a Level 2 Business Administration apprentice with the University of Oxford, Department of Oncology.
Photo (L-R): Gillian Roberts from University of Oxford, Department of Oncology with Charlotte Parish, Level 2 Business Administration apprentice, and Gemma Burgess from Employer Services.
“I’m really enjoying my job at the moment - I work with an interesting team of people and I’m pleased to have won this award. It comes on the back of winning recognition with the University of Oxford as an apprentice too, and it shows that all my hard work has paid off.”
Nicole is currently a Customer Services apprentice at Blenheim Palace.
Photo (L-R): Apprentice Nicole Nielsen-Pike, with her manager Alice Bennett from Blenheim Palace.
"I love working at Blenheim Palace because no two days are the same and I get to meet people from all kinds of different backgrounds and places. It’s such a supportive work environment, all the managers and staff are so nice and everyone is always willing to help you out."
Jason is currently on a Team Leading apprenticeship at JSP Safety.
Photo (L-R): Assessor Amanda Franklin, Jason and his manager Gerry Nash.
“I really enjoy the responsibility I’ve been given in my apprenticeship. For example, I recently rolled out a change to do with some of the helmets JSP produce, to make them compliant with new legislation in certain countries."
Rika is a Level 3 Hairdressing apprentice in The Sun Spa, Abingdon.
Photo (L-R): Gemma Burgess from Employer Services with apprentice Rika Noppakun, Level 3 Hairdressing and Ali Marlin owner of The Sun Spa, Abingdon.
“I’m really, really pleased to have won apprentice of the month, it’s a great end to the year in which I will complete my Level 3 course. Having started on the Level 2 apprenticeship I’ve got a great sense of achievement in completing my apprenticeship, it's helped build my confidence and customer-facing skills.
Dale is a Level 3 Engineering apprentice with Holm Engineering, Thame, Oxfordshire.
Photo (L-R): Employer Scott Holm from Holm Engineering with Dale Phelps, Level 3 Engineering apprentice and Mark French from Employer Services.
”I’m very surprised but ecstatic that I’ve won! It’s a boost to my confidence and means a lot to me.
I’m really enjoying the apprenticeship, especially the classroom activity, where I can give input into the sessions and see how other companies do things differently. Being slightly older than some in the class I like helping others out and supporting my peers.”
We were 2018 Apprenticeship Provider of the Year for the South of England, and the only College shortlisted for national provider of the year in 2019.
Degree Apprenticeships now offer you the chance to study for a University degree whilst learning on the job and earning a salary
Our apprenticeship provision is judged to be "Outstanding" by Ofsted
I had a place at university for a full-time course, but I wasn't completely set on what career path I wanted, so I decided the best thing to do would be to get experience.
At college and Oxford Brookes University, it's nice to meet students from other companies; it gives a good insight into other businesses and is interesting to have debates and understand their opinion on different subjects. The lecturers are enthusiastic and willing to help, and it's easier to gain the support in a smaller lecture environment.
I love that my degree is funded, I'm gaining experience that I wouldn't get from university, and it's exciting to know that I'm guaranteed a relevant job at the end of my apprenticeship.
I recommend the land-based courses that the College run to friends all the time. It’s a phenomenal place to learn, especially the attentive way the courses are taught to apprentices. The support from staff is fantastic too. I owe a lot to my tutor in particular.
I personally believe that being a gardener is not just a job, it’s much more. It’s a state of mind. You have to have a passion to make it work.
Gardening is a continuous cycle of hard work, knowledge, and growth. Each season is different and every season has a purpose. You really are working with the grain of nature and this roots you as an individual in a way no other profession does.
Doing an apprenticeship has allowed me to get experience at the same time as studying a full-time degree, and gave me the opportunity to decide what career path I wanted to go down.
I think that working in a full-time role and doing an apprenticeship is never easy. Time management, at first, was my biggest challenge. Ensuring that I was spending enough time on work, studies and myself was hard, but this definitely got easier as I worked out how to manage my time. I am able to use what I learn in the classroom to my day to day work, which is really useful, also allowing me to bring new ideas to the team.
Doing a degree as well as an apprenticeship was the best decision I made.
I love working at Blenheim Palace because no two days are the same and I get to meet people from all kinds of different backgrounds and places. It’s such a supportive work environment, all the managers and staff are so nice and everyone is always willing to help you out. I always get the training I need and time to do my work for college.
Sonja, my tutor, has been amazing too and has really supported and pushed me to succeed. Learning on-the-job has worked perfectly for me and I’ve taken every opportunity I’ve been given at Blenheim with both hands. I hope to keep working at Blenheim once I complete my apprenticeship because I can see that there are so many opportunities here and they really look after and develop their staff
I was a plumber but I've always had a passion for gardening. I was looking for a route into the industry so I applied for an an apprenticeship at Hailey House, a 20-acre country estate near Wallingford. I covered the basic principles of horticulture at the College, including soil structure and plant identification tests. At Level 3 we looked into more advanced subjects such as plant physiology, soil analysis and designing/planting plans, preparing us to take on more responsibility within the industry.
I eventually went on to become the head gardener of an 80-acre, 18th Century estate just outside Oxford. This role gave me the responsibility of managing a large project; creating schedules, hiring/purchasing machinery, delegating tasks to staff and liaising with the estate owners. Having progressed quickly from apprentice to head gardener I felt there was more I needed to learn. I was honoured to be offered a student position at RHS Garden Wisley, where I have been working and studying full time, and being trained by one of the world’s leading organisations in the horticultural industry.
Being an apprentice means that I can gain all the work skills that I need and a degree too, which will help increase my knowledge in the business world, not to mention giving me the chance to ‘earn while I learn’.
We have learnt a variety of topics related to business at the College, such as digital information for business, business management, accounting, operations and customer communications.
I monitor new products that are soon to be launched by manufactures, such as Coca Cola, and then help the commercial team look for new leads and potential projects to help the manufacturer with this new product.
My advice is to take on all challenges thrown at you and give everything a go, but also be willing to ask others for help and advice.
Starting an apprenticeship was definitely a big change of environment but I didn’t really know what to expect; I’d been so used to a school environment, and I wasn’t sure how much it would differ to the work environment.
I learnt some valuable skills in website design and moderating, event planning and social media management. There was even some international travel involved, such as a motorcycle trade show in Milan, Italy.
To anyone thinking about an apprenticeship, I would say go for it! It’s a great option for someone who is looking for a hands-on route into a career, or for people who don’t plan on going to university. It opens up a wide range of opportunities and gives you so many ideas about future careers.
After GCSEs, I spent a bit of time at sixth form, but I realised that this way of learning wasn’t for me. I had always been more hands on with my learning and this is why an apprenticeship was perfect!
Not only can you gain skills and experience within the workplace, but you also gain a lot of life experience that will stay with you throughout your professions.
My business administration apprenticeship has allowed me to work closely with a brilliant team of workplace professionals, meet a lot of friendly faces at Abingdon & Witney College and at University of Oxford apprenticeship networking & ambassador events.
As someone who left school, not knowing which career path to take, my apprenticeship has now enabled me to see clear options ahead of where I would like to go with my career, and with the experience I have gained, has given me the confidence to reach my goals.
Almost all of our apprentices stay in work when they complete their apprenticeship, but most also don't stop learning!
You can progress on to a higher level apprenticeship, including degree apprenticeships, or continue to train in the workplace.
Whatever you choose to do after your apprenticeship, you will have gained the skills, qualifications and experience you need to succeed in your chosen industry.