Jamie, Solent & Isle of Wight Reserves Manager at Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust

Their apprentice Amanda is part of a second cohort of apprentices who are being funded through a landscape partnership based Heritage Lottery Fund project. Jamie explains “It was identified that there was a lack of skilled workers in Isle of Wight woodlands so a project was developed to create the next generation of woodland workers and focus on training up local young people through apprenticeships.”

When asked about advice for other employers, Jamie feels that “It is important to plan and also to research what is required of a modern apprentice.”

He would recommend the experience to others, “If managed well you end up with a skilled employee that understands your company’s ways of working. It’s a very rewarding process.”



Iain Soutar: Director at Southern Counties Auctioneers

Iain Soutar, Southern Counties Auctioneers’ Director, contacted Sparsholt College to discuss an Apprenticeship for his daughter Victoria when she was finishing school. He was pleased with the process – “We had a lot of help, the College made it very easy and had a positive approach. It was easier than I thought it would be.”

Iain has found employing an apprentice has had a positive impact on the business and would highly recommend it:

“Bringing younger staff into the business reflects well on our company and gives the whole place a fresh approach”.

Visit the Southern Counties Auctioneers website

Animal Care

Animal Care

Derek Needham: Charity Manager at The Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary

Training young people is really important to this organisation, and Derek would not hesitate to recommend an Apprenticeship, saying: “With an Apprentice you get enthusiasm, energy and new ideas which all add value to an organisation.”

He describes his first visit to Sparsholt as brilliant, and the start of a relationship that now includes students from the college enjoying work experience at and visits to the sanctuary. Derek also believes their apprentice Lorna’s experience and confidence has really grown throughout the Apprenticeship and she’s learnt a lot about herself along the way.

“With an Apprenticeship you don’t just get the apprentice, you get the training organisation with it”.

Visit the Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary website



Darren Woodward: Course Manager at Tylney Park Golf Club

Having previously studied at Sparsholt College himself, when Darren first wanted to recruit to his greenkeeping team he approached the College straight away. “I didn’t need to look anywhere else, I knew it was a very good college”. Darren has since employed many apprentices over the years.

He feels his current apprentice Aaron has been trained in every aspect of greenkeeping and “is doing a really good job. He’s getting good experience and practical skills at Tylney Park and Sparsholt is providing the underpinning knowledge in a good learning environment too”.

“It has worked very well for us. Apprentices are here to learn and make a really important contribution.”

Visit the Tylney Park website