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Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer


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A former Swindon College plumbing apprentice, now a local employer, has been recognised in the prestigious Centrica Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer list (compiled annually by the National Apprenticeship Service).

Swindon College is celebrating the achievements of apprentices past and present ahead of the 10th anniversary of National Apprenticeship Week (6-10 March), and this news comes just at the right time for the local education provider.

Wiltshire-based plumbing and heating company ‘CentraHeat’ was set up by Managing Director and former Swindon College apprentice Lee Flanagan in 2011. Since then the business has continued to go from strength to strength, with Lee choosing to employ apprentices through his former college to support this growth.

“We’ve always been committed to apprenticeships as a fantastic route to a fulfilling career” said Lee. “Having been through the programme myself I am passionate about giving young people the same opportunity, and understand the many benefits that apprentices bring to a business.’’

‘’We took on our very first apprentice almost 5 years ago now, and Swindon College have been on hand throughout, providing us with enthusiastic young people with real potential. The support we’ve received has always been fantastic; and as two of our three current apprentices have recently qualified we’ve just taken on another!’’

One of those now qualified apprentices is Jack Wichall, 20, who said: “An apprenticeship was the obvious choice for me. I didn’t particularly enjoy school and knew that I didn’t want to get an office job. Going to college one day a week and then being able to get out and about and meet customers was great.”

“I love the variety of work at CentraHeat, and am looking forward to continuing to work for them as a fully qualified engineer.”

Swindon College Apprenticeship Training Co-ordinator Clare Popkin is thrilled to see that the programme has worked so well for Lee and his team.

“As a business, it’s important to bring in and nurture young talent to ensure the needs of the sector are met, both now and in the future.” says Clare. “And having been trained through the apprenticeship programme himself, Lee knows the value that apprentices can bring. The success that CentraHeat has had is testament to this.”

CentraHeat will join the College’s Apprenticeship Team on Monday (6 March) as they launch a week-long programme of activities to promote the 30+ apprenticeships available at Swindon College, with a dedicated apprenticeships open evening taking place on Thursday 9 March between 4-7pm.

For more information about apprenticeships at Swindon College call (01793) 498208, email or visit


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