open evenings
student services


Apprenticeship Employer Case Studies


Case Study

Residential investment company RDA invests in apprenticeships


Since 1992, RDA Estates in Hove has successfully specialised in providing affordable residential investment opportunities and making the property investment process as straightforward as possible. In recent years, the company’s director Jean Shillinglaw, encouraged by her son, an experienced businessman, decided that the company could benefit from the input of younger people. With the support of City College’s Apprenticeships team, the company did this by investing in apprentices and has never looked back.

“I’ve learnt so much from my children and their friends which has proved invaluable in everyday life,” says Jean. “When it comes to my business, having apprentices means that I’ve had the opportunity to work with young people who bring energy and enthusiasm to the business and who’ve not been programmed to do tasks a certain way. It’s also allowed me to have a good age balance in my workforce which is important for all businesses.”

Having completed his Business Administration apprenticeship at the company, Paul Fernley (21), is now a full-time member of staff and feels that his apprenticeship provided him with the skills and knowledge he needed to progress: “I was guided through the correct ways to communicate with others in a work environment, the correct ways to use office equipment and software and, most importantly, I worked alongside people who were eager to help me learn and improve. All of my colleagues at RDA Estates and the staff at City College were always on hand to help me overcome any obstacles and ultimately achieve my best in the workplace.”

The positive impression that Paul made on the company encouraged Jean to take on another Business Administration apprentice, Aimee Martin (20) who is already thriving in her role: “I feel as if I’m learning a lot of new information like I did at College but experiencing working life at the same time. Learning on the job is just as valuable as learning in a classroom and I can see this apprenticeship really boosting my future career opportunities.”


What our employers say...

“All in all we have had an excellent experience in appointing and employing our apprentice via City College. We’ve gone from worrying that this would be something that would prove too time-consuming to appreciating just how easy it all is - and of course really appreciating having such a great apprentice.”

Jane Purcell – Office Manager, Public-i

 “Having recently recruited an apprentice through City College, I would describe the whole process as very straightforward. Members of the College’s apprenticeship team clearly explained the process, vetted the applications thoroughly and only put forward candidates that were suitable for the role and met the brief. This saved a lot of time and effort on our part. We would definitely recommend using City College to place an apprentice candidate and look forward to forging a long-term relationship with the College.”

Ian Simpson – Partner, Humphrey & Co

“This is the first time I have recruited an apprentice and I found the calibre of the CVs City College sent to us was extremely high. The College always kept me up to date and gave me clear instructions with what was needed from me. We have now recruited two excellent candidates and are very much looking forward to working with them.” 

Laura Hilton – Client Manager, Bainbridge Lewis

"City College has been really helpful in helping to place apprentices with us and they're all doing brilliantly. We find that if we train our own people, they grow up within our environment, get much more experience within the salon and know what standards we expect. Once they're qualified, they'll grow much quicker into successful stylists."

Penny Manns - Head of Training, Peewees 

"Its great to finally see an increase in apprenticeship schemes in the UK, they are essential to the hospitality sector producing the managers, head chefs and entrepreneurs of the future. We have a variety of apprentices within Terre à Terre and see it as constant training tool involving the full team, teaching our managers to be trainers alongside nurturing the raw talent of juniors. We look forward to many years working with City College in delivering these apprenticeships."

Philip Taylor – Co-Owner, Terre a Terre 

"Footsteps has been employing apprentices at both our sites for some time and it’s been a huge success. The nursery has benefited greatly from the up-to-date training and support from City College and the apprenticeship programme provides an ideal framework in which enthusiastic, energetic young people are motivated to learn and grow as individuals. "

Hannah Moss – Owner, Footsteps Nursery 

"When it comes to setting up our apprenticeships, we've always had a fantastic relationship with City College and the communication between us has always been excellent."

Ian Habben – Director, The Point 

"City College trained ten of our apprentices in Light Motor Vehicle NVQ to level 3 in an individual group. We were really pleased to find a college who would work with us on our business objectives."

Sarah Caffyn - Caffyns Director of HR/Company Secretary 

"Mears Brighton has benefitted greatly from having construction and administration apprentices in recent years, both in value and in developing our broad base of staff – they’ve proven to be a great asset to the business. City College has been the enabling force in supplying an excellent range of candidates and in making the whole process really simple."

James Cryer – Partnership Manager, Mears 

"Prime Care is pleased to have worked with City College with great success on Recruiting both Apprentices and Care Support Workers from their various Health and Social Care Courses. The quality of these Apprentices is exceptional and I would recommend anyone thinking of investigating this as an employment option not to hesitate as it has been very beneficial to the progress of Prime Care. The excellent back up and continued support of the College’s apprenticeship team has been first class and I look forward to working with them further."

Mike Allistone - Sales and Marketing Manager, Prime Care 

"Our two apprentices have become a valuable asset to our company, are enjoying the varied work required and are beginning to deliver quality workmanship to the high standards we require. We would recommend employing apprentices through City College who have a great team of people available to assist you in every aspect."

Ross Murley - Managing Director, Minton Young