A year of Apprenticeships through a pandemic

This year apprenticeships have been very different for everyone involved, and following the country going into its third national lockdown, the demand for online learning is ever growing.

Throughout the year, staff across the Apprenticeship and Traineeship department at Hugh Baird College have worked tirelessly to ensure students still receive the same experience during their programmes.

Here are some of the College’s achievements:

Health Care

Students studying the Level 3 Health and Social Care course at the College are employed as Senior Health Care Support Workers across the Liverpool University Trusts and work across all areas of the hospital. Together the students and staff have continued to ensure that the learning and knowledge is embraced through this pandemic.

This year, the students have all been re-trained to use the correct personal protective equipment and in some cases they have been redeployed from clinics and theatres to work on multiple wards dealing with challenging experiences and supporting families through these difficult times.

Some of the students have even left the family home to assist in the health and care of their patients and protection of their families.

Jean Cooney, Hugh Baird College Level 3 Senior Healthcare Support Worker Apprentice, said:

Being part of the NHS during the pandemic has been hard work. We are faced with long, hot and uncomfortable days looking after some of the sickest patients. Although it’s tough, this is the reason why I embarked on a career in the health care industry - to save lives. I feel we will fight this and come out stronger than ever!

Lesley Cradduck, Apprenticeship Manager at Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, said:

We are really pleased with the relationship that is developing between the College and the Trust. Hugh Baird College have been delivering our Healthcare Apprenticeships for just under a year and in that time, they have made great efforts to get to know our diverse range of services and needs. We have received great feedback and now offer students apprenticeships ranging from Level 2 to Level 5 - we are really looking forward to growing this portfolio.


Dilan McDonald, Level 3 Site Carpentry and Joinery Apprentice has recently won the ‘Trainers Choice’ award, from his employer The Sovini Group. Dilan progressed on to the Level 3 apprenticeship after successfully completing a Level 2 apprenticeship at the company.

Stephen Lally, Hugh Baird College Assessor in Carpentry & Joinery, said:

Dilan continues to work at an excellent standard with in-depth written and photographic evidence of the skills that he has gained, he is enthusiastic apprentice and loves his job. During his time in College, he is always engaged and adds to the discussions with his peers. Dilan is now on target to achieve his Level 3 qualification to a high standard. He has even hit 100% attendance this year, which is a real achievement under the current circumstances and his tutors highly recommended him for this award.

Eve Andrews, Learning & Development at The Sovini Group, said:

The Sovini Group and Hugh Baird College have worked together successfully for a number of years. We have built a strong working relationship which has resulted in apprentices successfully achieving their apprenticeship and gaining permanent employment within The Sovini Group. Through the partnership that we have with the College, we are able to develop a motivated and skilled future workforce.

Beauty Therapy

Alongside the Hospitality industry, the Hair and Beauty industry has been one of the hardest hit industries during the pandemic. Despite this, students have continued to take to social media to post exciting content featuring tutorials and past work, alongside studying to build upon their current skills.

Jade Dring, Level 2 Beauty Therapy student, is an Apprentice at Platinum Nails and Beauty based in Liverpool. Jade has embraced her Level 2 Beauty Therapy course and is enjoying putting her knowledge into practice within the salon. Wanting to further herself and build upon her client base, Jade recently created her own Instagram account @jadedringbeautyxx_.

Amy Keir, Owner of Platinum Nails and Beauty, said:

I have worked with Hugh Baird College to train our Beauty Apprentices for the last five years. The Apprenticeship team are always keen to support the employer and learner with each step of their Apprenticeship journey. Over the years we have built a great relationship with Marian Fitzgerald, Lead Assessor and Lesley Weir, Business Development Manager. This academic year I recruited Jade as our Beauty Therapy Apprentice after she successfully past a two-week trial at the salon.

This year has been a challenge for our industry due to the ongoing pandemic, but Jade has still managed stay engaged with her studies, even with the shift to online delivery. Jade has really grown with confidence and is developing a high standard of industry skills which we can see put into practice within the salon, she is a valued member of the team and we are looking forward to reopening within the next few weeks.

Hugh Baird College is extremely proud of our students and employers who continue to work through this difficult time. All students are still committed to learning and developing, through their individual learning journeys.

The teaching staff at the College continue to listen and develop relationships with the apprentices. Giving them value and knowledge to support and grow in all aspects of their apprenticeship. Using online resources, the team have embraced a new type of delivery method and the students have supported this, ensuring that as a College we are not only a learning environment but also a listening tool that encourages the students to speak, listen, grow and develop through this pandemic.

For more information regarding Apprenticeships and Traineeships at Hugh Baird College, please visit: www.hughbaird.ac.uk/apprenticeships or alternatively call 0151 353 4444.

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