The five organisations that make up Skillshub Cumbria have a proven track record of helping people to make their dreams a reality.

Exterior of the Lakes Academy BEC Construction Skills Centre
Hands over construction plans with yellow helmet and drawing tools

From a beauty technician who flipped her career on its head to retrain as a nuclear waste engineer, to making moves in the world of television production and pitching ideas to the BBC, our learners have many an impressive story to tell. Perhaps yours could be next…

Martyne Simpson reading documents in a binder in an office

Martyne ran her own beauty salon until she decided to leave behind nine years of waxing and nail extensions, swapping them for a hard hat and goggles in pursuit of her dream career in science and engineering.

Now a nuclear waste engineer at Atkins, Martyne insists her remarkable career makeover would not have been possible without Lakes College.

She said: “Lakes College and the National College for Nuclear offer fantastic courses. They’ve got a great support network and I definitely would not have the career that I have today without them. I never really wanted to move away from Cumbria so it is great that this opportunity was available so close to home.”

Martyne Simpson
Ciaran Burch working on a computer at a desk in a classroom environment

Ciaran is a Level 3 Digital Marketing Apprentice at Coniston Stonecraft who learns via Furness College. He said: “I chose this apprenticeship as I have an interest in web design and social media.

“My apprenticeship allows me to get the qualifications I need for future opportunities while also having the experience of work.

“I envision my career progressing from here into marketing and eventually into senior management roles within the marketing sector, continually growing my portfolio and qualifications along the way.”

Ciaran Burch
Photograph of Charlie Stone

After attending Carlisle College, studying Level 3 Media Production, Charlie is working in a number of roles including studio floor manager at Channel 4, and live producer at QVC. He also works with an independent production company helping to develop new ideas for TV shows which are then pitched to companies such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and The BBC.

Charlie said: “Studying media at Carlisle College gave me the crucial first steps and skills to pursue a career I love.

“Take every opportunity given to you – you have no idea where it could take you.”

Charlie Stone
Amper Cropley alongside her employers

Kendal College Accounting Apprentice, Amber said: “Apprenticeships give you fantastic experience in the working world.

“I have been learning to apply complex accounting principles, concepts, and rules to prepare the financial statements of a limited company.

“I have also practised management accounting techniques to aid decision-making and control, prepare and monitor budgets, and measure performance.”

Amber Cropley
Ben Sowerby

Kendal College Agricultural Apprentice, Ben Sowerby said: “I chose to do this course because I want to become a farmer and hopefully one day take over the family farm.

“After completing my Level 3 I’d like to move on to the Level 4 Apprenticeship. I’ve learnt lots more about dairy farming and the tutors have helped me develop my skills in different areas across the farm.”

Ben Sowerby
Danielle Wilsher-Goodman

Danielle is one of our adult learners and is studying a part-time, Level 2 Understanding Autism, distance learning course at Kendal College. Speaking about her experience, Danielle said: “I thought I knew a lot about autism from many years of studying books, talks, and videos online from various professionals coupled with first-hand experience with my daughter.

“However, this course has helped me fill in lots of gaps in my knowledge and work out some other things that I had misinterpreted before.”

Danielle Wilsher-Goodman
A welder working and emitting a large amount of orange sparks

Ashleigh is studying a Project Manager Degree Apprenticeship at the University of Cumbria. She said: “Studying at the University of Cumbria has allowed me to gain an invaluable understanding of project management theory which I can apply in the workplace.

“I would recommend studying at UoC to other students and organisations. There are endless qualifications available to enable constant continual improvement.”


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