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National Apprenticeship Week 2023

7 February 2023

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To mark National Apprenticeship Week 2023 two former Bolton College apprentices have discussed life after an Apprenticeship.


Corey Dickinson and Katie Mulligan are both excelling in their careers after completing their Apprenticeships two years ago.


Corey, 20, has progressed from apprentice to owner of Tonsor Male Grooming, a highly-successful Westhoughton barbershop with over 150 five-star reviews.


He said: “I preferred practical tasks at school so, after discovering a love of barbering, I became an apprentice at 16.


“It was a challenge building my client base but I was dedicated and soon went from five regular clients to being fully

booked, week in, week out.


“At 18, I became shop manager then at 19, I bought out my boss and rebranded the barbershop; I now employ three Bolton College apprentices because I want to create opportunities for those who, like me, have a passion and drive to do well.


“Not everyone thrives at school but given the right environment, anyone can become successful and achieve qualifications.”

successful and achieve qualifications.’

The College, which is part of the University of Bolton Group, works with over 600 leading employers across the North West, supplying apprentices for a variety of sectors, including construction, education and financial services.


Apprenticeships are real jobs, with a salary and a contract of employment. The College’s apprentices spend 80% of their time training on the job, then 20% learning in College.


Katie Mulligan, 25, excelled at school so taking A Levels seemed like the only option for her: “Despite acing my A Levels, they weren’t for me; I’m hands-on and wanted to build a career so instead of going to university, I became an early years apprentice at Clevelands Preparatory School.


“I wish I’d done an Apprenticeship sooner because there are so many benefits: on-the-job training; working with

experienced professionals; a salary and paid holidays; and achieving a debt-free qualification!”


Katie certainly made an impression at Clevelands, one of the most successful independent schools in Greater Manchester; she is now nursery manager, in charge of five staff, and she’s also training to be a teacher.


National Apprenticeship Week runs from 6th to 12th February and to mark the occasion, Bolton College has produced a series of short films about the Apprenticeship experience, after visiting apprentices and their employers in the workplace. These will be released throughout the week on the College’s social media channels.



Adam Corbally, star of the BBC’s The Apprentice, will also visit12 local secondary schools with Bolton College’s Schools Liaison Coordinator, Ian Littlewood.


For the first time during National Apprenticeship Week, a day will be devoted to T Levels - #TLevelThursday. These gold standard qualifications, equivalent to three A Levels, were introduced to the College in 2021.


Sector-specific industry placements form 20% of the T Level programme, allowing students to put their learning into practice and giving them the skills that businesses seek when recruiting.


A selection of construction T Level students recently benefited from a placement at Bethell, where they worked on real-life construction sites, whilst digital students are enjoying a 26-week placement at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, the global edge-to-cloud digital company.     


Catherine Langstreth, Bolton College’s Assistant Principal of Curriculum & Stakeholders, said: “Apprentices are the lifeblood of many businesses and over the years, thousands of our apprentices have secured permanent employment or progressed to university.


“Bolton College has a very successful track record for delivering high-quality Apprenticeships and I am so proud of Corey’s and Katie’s achievements.


“This week is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the skills and talents of apprentices like Corey and Katie, and to celebrate the partnerships we have built with employers throughout the region, without whom these Apprenticeships would not be possible.”


To learn more about Apprenticeships at Bolton College, and to hear what Corey and Katie have to say about their Apprenticeship, visit