Case Studies

Simonetta first heard about an apprenticeship through the Keele Internship Programme…

Name: Simonetta Mitchell, age 23.

How did you hear about your internship? I heard about the apprenticeship through Keele University internship programme

What company do you work for? What is your job title? I work for the Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce and my job title is Ceramic Skills Academy Research Assistant/Administrator.

What does the job role entail? My job entails providing effective, efficient, accurate and responsive administration for clients, communicating both orally and in writing. I also engage with stakeholders, aiding in the organising of meetings and events, and compiling evidence to meet targets. Furthermore I attend career fairs and other networking events to promote the projects that I work on.

What skills have you gained from your Internship? The skills that I have gained from the Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce include; excellent administration skills through the Ceramic Skills Academy as well as the Ready for Business programme. Further skills gained from the internship are excellent organisational skills, gained from planning and organising meetings as well as time management regarding meeting KPI targets and other deadlines. Attending the careers fairs and networking events has heightened by communication and networking skills, improving my confidence.

What opportunities has the internship opened up for you? The internship has opened up many opportunities regarding gaining experience in many different areas and getting involved in different projects. Furthermore it has opened up many training opportunities such as time management and studying for an NVQ in Business Administration.

What advice do you have for future interns? Advice for future interns are to get the most out the internship, and to get involved in all that is on offer, documenting it for future reference.

Alex and Elliot experience life at Churchill


Students were presented with a fantastic opportunity as they completed work experience during half term with one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high quality ceramic tableware, Churchill China.

Alex Abbotts successfully achieved a place doing an internship with the company.

She said; “I was given the opportunity to work within the Marketing Department. I was really nervous before I went but everyone was so nice and welcoming, I just loved it! When I arrived I was given the chance to learn more about the different areas of the company and even got a tour around the factory which was really interesting in itself! They still use traditional methods for making pottery, it makes you proud of being from the Potteries. During the week I was there, I helped with current projects they were working on and did my own research finding images and searching for ideas. They asked me my opinions on materials they had produced and listened to my views. I also sat in meetings – they were really scary! It was great to see what goes on in a real working office and how everyone works together as a team. I’d love to go back again. The experience has allowed me to see the different paths I could take in the future within a marketing role; from research, to design, to promoting the materials internationally. I really enjoyed the design element of marketing so I would like to take that further after college. I would definitely recommend doing work experience to others!”

Next year, Alex is planning on going to Newcastle College to study a foundation degree in design before going to university to continue her education in marketing design.

Elliot Evans took up his place in the IT Department. He said; “Working within the IT team definitely reaffirmed my passion for computers. Each day I got given a schedule and got the opportunity to look around each department and talk with different members of staff. The IT team explained what their roles were within the company and I found out more about what their roles involved and how they got to that position. I was given my own tasks to complete – I was given the responsibility of working with live data on spreadsheets. From a work perspective, it was good to experience working in an IT environment at an office pace and to be there for a full working day to see what it might be like in a future career and prepare me for progression from college. “In order to get the placement I had to write a CV and cover letter which helps to develop a useful skill in itself. I was a bit worried about it but I spoke to Tom in careers and he worked through it with me giving me advise on how to modify it. Now I have even more things to put on my CV that will help me when I’m looking for jobs. In fact, I was able to talk about my time at Churchill during a recent interview for an apprenticeship. I really enjoyed the experience—it was just my cup of tea!”

Elliot has secured a Software Development apprenticeship that he will begin after leaving college.

Hear what Abbey Hill & Watermill School thought of  Factory Tour at Wade Ceramics

NameCath Bridgeman

Occupation: Careers Advisor

What did you do on you visit? We had a tour of the factory, information on the history of the factory and business and then an opportunity to practice labelling bottles.

What did you enjoy about the visit? The practical aspect of the visit was probably enjoyed most by students. I found the history of the business and how it evolved most useful.

Did your visit change your perceptions of the ceramic industry? Yes, it made me realise that there are more opportunities than I thought and that there are vacancies for my students who may not have a full range of GCSE’s.

Finally…Cath said “The visit has opened my eyes to opportunities available in Stoke’s most traditional industry.”