A trio of Coventry College students have hit the ground running in their new roles as apprentices
Please note: This article was published on November 23, 2022 and may contain information that is no longer current or up to date.

A trio of Coventry College students have hit the ground running in their new roles as apprentices


A trio of Coventry College students have earned praise from a major regional housing company after hitting the ground running in their new roles as apprentices.

Toni-Leigh Chohan has impressed staff at Citizen Housing just weeks into a professional placement as part of her Level 2 Painting and Decorating apprenticeship, with fellow Coventry College students-turned-colleagues Summer Collins and Terry-Leon McPhilimey also making flying starts.

The three-year course gives learners the opportunity to gain experience operating in commercial and domestic properties supporting the maintenance of a range of local sites.

Citizen is one of the UK’s leading social housing providers, and Toni-Leigh has been receiving expert professional guidance from Painter and Decorator, David Bellerby as part of her apprenticeship.

Combined with assignments and classroom learning delivered by Coventry College, the apprenticeship aims to give learners practical skills and knowledge of safety and environmental requirements ahead of a career in the industry.

Toni-Leigh progressed to the Level 2 apprenticeship after completing a Level 1 course at Coventry College.

“I am really enjoying my role. I particularly enjoy meeting new people and being in different environments most days,” she said.

“I am currently learning multiple trade elements including carpentry and plumbing which I hope will help me with further education or into a different job role, as well as in my personal life with designing and carrying out construction work in my own house.

“I am very happy I progressed from full-time education to an apprenticeship as I am getting paid to learn and do what I enjoy. I have gained better communication skills in the working world through customer service and have learned a variety of skills from different people at work and at college.

“The next step for me will be to gain full-time employment and possibly move onto self-employment to run my own business one day.”

David Bellerby at Citizen Housing said: “I am very pleased with Toni-Leigh’s progress so far. She is doing really well at Citizen Housing, and it’s great to be able to share my knowledge with someone who is just starting in their career.

“Toni-Leigh is already impressing her colleagues, including myself, as well as customers. She has been advising tenants on the causes and remedies for issues such as damp, and how to prevent it by moving certain parts of the bedroom furniture to dry those areas out.

“Customers have been very happy with her service and advice, as have I to see Toni-Leigh use her knowledge in the workplace.”

Coventry College Construction Tutor David Ali, who is continuing to support Toni-Leigh’s learning alongside her apprenticeship after teaching her on her Level 1 qualification, said: “I am very pleased with Toni-Leigh’s employer experience so far. She has had a good induction to the company and the role, which has paid off.

“Students on apprenticeships can get a better understanding of work ethics and how to become independent and work better in a team due to being out in the workplace.

“Toni-Leigh seems to be more directed, focused and organised since starting her apprenticeship programme, and has shown that she really wants to achieve this apprenticeship for further employment and future gains.”

Terry-Leon said: “It is a friendly environment at Citizen Housing and I am enjoying the fast-paced working environment as it keeps me busy and these are the type of working conditions I work best in.”

Summer Collins said: I am absolutely loving my experience so far. I am particularly enjoying working with people of different ages with different backgrounds and experience. It’s great to talk with them and find out what I can do with my apprenticeship afterwards.”

To find out more about upskilling your team, take a look at our professional short courses or our part time and adult courses. To discover the benefits of bringing apprentices onboard take a look at our apprenticeships page.

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