100 in 100 campaign: How apprenticeships help boost a business’s reputation in developing city’s ‘up-and-coming talent’

APPRENTICESHIPS are already benefiting Portsmouth’s businesses – as one finance apprentice helps prove with a week to go before the 100 in 100 campaign ends.

Promoted by Shaping Portsmouth
Friday, 4th June 2021, 12:00 am

Rebekah Cox is both studying and working at Highbury College She is completing a Level 4 Professional Accounting Technician Apprenticeship and working as the college’s finance bookkeeper apprentice.

The 20-year-old, from Waterlooville, initially began her accountancy journey as a student, but it wasn’t until she completed a work experience placement that she knew an apprenticeship was for her.

Rebekah said: ‘I really enjoyed that, so I knew I wanted to go into accountancy. However, I wanted to keep working while studying at the same time and an apprenticeship was the perfect way to do it.

Rebekah Cox is both studying and working at Highbury College - she is completing a Level 4 Professional Accounting Technician Apprenticeship and is a Finance Bookkeeper Apprentice.

‘You get to learn while you’re on the job and you’re earning money as well.

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‘It’s definitely beneficial when you’re going into college to learn because you can then relate it back to what you do at work, so it’s really helpful.’

The 100 in 100 campaign, a partnership between Shaping Portsmouth, Portsmouth City Council, Solent Apprenticeship Hub and four local travel-to-learn colleges and supported by The News, aimed to create 100 roles for young adults in 100 days.

100 in 100

It has smashed through that target and has so far found more than 250 placements. The final total will be revealed in a special supplement in The News on Friday June 11.

After completing her apprenticeship, Rebekah plans to gain further professional qualifications to become an accountant working in industry.

She added: ‘I really enjoy working here and I enjoy meeting up with my mentor to work on my portfolio. My colleagues and boss support me with my studies and allow me time to do some self-study.

The 100 in 100 campaign partners

‘I like my classes because you get to meet different people that are working in different areas of accountancy. It’s interesting to see how their work is different, but also similar to what I do.’

Rebekah’s boss, interim finance manager at Highbury College Ray Redfern, said there were benefits for businesses taking on apprentices.

She said: ‘Rebekah is an excellent member of the team and we don’t notice that she’s an apprentice.

‘She circulates around and gets involved in a bit of everything, which is great.

‘It’s hands-on experience for her and they say experience is the best teacher. Apprenticeships are a great way to develop young, up-and-coming talent.’

Twelve weeks after it was launched, the 100 in 100 campaign has smashed through its original target with an incredible 262 places found for young adults.

Could you join the companies that have already signed up? For more information, go to shapingportsmouth.co.uk or to register an interest, e-mail [email protected]

Here's our roll of honour so far:

Really B2B

Portsmouth Diocese

STS Defence

Eaton Aerospace


Portsmouth Water

Morris Crocker

Highbury College

Yellow Strawberry

Portsmouth Carpentry

Harris and Wells

Rowlands Castle Builders

CJ Electrical

Success Connections Utility Consultancy & Engineering Services

Tax Assist Accountants

Wink Portchester

D&H Carpentry

Johnson M&E Group


LJH Electrical Southern

Halo Creative

CLC Group

Fratton Bridge Garage


AD Carpentry and Building


Lee Todd Electrical

N&T Carpentry Builders

Eclipse Property Services

AM Electrical South

Pure Construction

HS Building and Maintenance

Pure Plumbing and Heating

Merritt Decorators

HBS Group Southern

North Harbour Garage Limited

Pentagon Installations

Southern Counties Heating & Plumbing

RJM Gas Heating

Portsmouth Carpentry

I and I Carpentry

KO Plumbing & Heating

Read Electrical Services

HiTech Property Services

AM Electrical South

Gypsum Plasterers

SD Brickwork

Glo Electrical

Aqua Gas Heating and Plumbing

Eclipse Projects Limited

Edmark Ceramic Tiling Contractors

Anders Heating Company


County Carpentry and Home Improvements

Jem Property Services

Tew Brothers

Elliott Dugan Carpentry

Castaway Carpentry

LDN Living

51 Degrees

Daisy & Dimples

Empire Digital

*Apprenticeships via training provider Highbury College

South Western Railway

Aspire Bookkeeping

Newgate Motor Services

Integrum Learning

Baker Newman

Jacobs Autos

Solent Way Computers

British Heart Foundation

Arundel Aviaries

CTECH Business Solutions


Fareham College IT Department

*Apprenticeships via training provider Fareham College

Bluebird Care

Puddleduck Day Nursery

The John Doyle Partnership

Highfield Professional Solutions

Activ8 Minds

Portsmouth City Council

Perfect Skin Solutions

*Apprenticeships via training provider Portsmouth College

Castle Pre-School, Cosham

Jackson and Green

*Apprenticeships via training provider HSDC

Leon’s Bistro

Astute Technical Recruitment

Stellas Voice

*Apprenticeships via training provider Highbury College


Isle of Wight NHS Trust


AM Electrical South


Southsea MoT Centre

Tony Wood Hair


Rowlands Castle Builders

Jessica Hayler

Barden FM

Work Wise

Your Centre


Solent Apprenticeship Hub

Hub manager Jodi Fair said: ‘We are thrilled to be playing a part in 100 in 100 and have confidence that this will be beneficial, not only to the individuals who are beginning their career journeys, but also the employers that will be introducing new, skilled employees into their workforce.’

Portsmouth City Council

Cabinet member for culture, leisure and economic development and deputy leader Steve Pitt said: ‘The 100 in 100 campaign is a great opportunity to celebrate the important work that is undertaken across the city and the positive steps it takes towards recovery. Collaboration between our incredible businesses and the skills providers who support them is a powerful tool for growth. As a council we are committed to raising aspirations and skills development. That's why we're supporting this campaign, the business growth and the entrepreneurial spirit Portsmouth is known for.’

Fareham College

College principal and CEO Andrew Kaye said: ‘We are delighted to be supporting this initiative encouraging employers to offer new and existing staff and young adults the opportunity to take their first step on to the career ladder, or progress further in their chosen career. Fareham College’s focus has always been to equip its learners with the knowledge, skills and experience to achieve their ambitions and we look forward to enabling as many people as possible to gain valuable industry experience to set them on the path of their chosen career, as well as aiding the local economy and assisting business recovery in the region.’

Highbury College, Portsmouth

Craig Mincher, commercial director, said: 'The 100 in 100 campaign comes at a crucial time for both individuals and businesses in Portsmouth. Highbury College are proud to play a part in a campaign that will offer such hope and tangible outcomes for both local employers and adults of the city.'

Havant and Southdowns College

Director for business growth and innovation Aaron Butson said: ‘Everything we do at HSDC is to realise the ambitions of our community and we fully support Shaping Portsmouth and partners in the 100 in 100 campaign. With everyone working together to realise this ambition, we will all have a tremendous impact supporting young people into work and supporting others in our community regain employment and upskilling opportunities.'

Portsmouth College

Vice principal Tom Lloyd said: ‘Portsmouth College is delighted to be able to play a role in the 100 in 100 campaign. Collaboration is critical during a crisis and this project is a fantastic example of employers, training providers and agencies from across the city coming together to promote opportunities and support local people back into employment.’

University of Portsmouth

Claire Middleton, degree apprenticeship manager, said: ‘100 in 100 is a great opportunity to highlight all the wonderful new apprentices and employers that we have in the city and to show the commitment they are making in the road to recovery post-Covid. Collaborating with partners is the best way to raise awareness of apprenticeships at all levels and show the diversity of courses, employers and apprentices that are available in our community.'

Shaping Portsmouth

Chief executive officer Stef Nienaltowski said: ‘Two years ago, we launched our Roadmap to a Career vision and this programme is yet another key part of that. No matter what your age, your career options should not be a hidden secret but something you can get access to and experience readily. This programme aims to give our people that opportunity and, whilst some of the placements are age-limited, some are not. Opportunity is for everyone and Shaping and our partners aim to make that happen with this and following programmes.'

Placement types

:: Apprenticeships – combine practical training in a job with study. As an apprentice you'll be an employee earning a wage and getting holiday pay. Work alongside experienced staff and gain job-specific skills.

:: Traineeships – a course with work experience that gets you ready for work or an apprenticeship. It can last from six weeks up to one year, though most traineeships last for less than six months. You can apply if you're eligible to work in England, unemployed and have little or no work experience.

:: T-level paid placements – new courses which follow GCSEs and are equivalent to three A-levels. These two-year courses, which launched in September 2020, have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses so that the content meets the needs of industry and prepares students for work, further training or study. T-levels offer students a mixture of classroom learning and 'on-the-job' experience during an industry placement of at least 315 hours (approximately 45 days).

:: Internships – a temporary position with an emphasis on on-the-job training rather than merely employment. Can be paid or unpaid.

:: Work experience (fewer than 70 hours) – enables young, unemployed people to volunteer for placements lasting between two and eight weeks.

:: Kickstarters – the government's Kickstart Scheme provides funding to create new job placements for 16 to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment.