Laura Fredericks e1641891848361 1004x360 - A&P Group

A&P Group

Just over two years ago, Laura Fredericks (pictured above) was living in Manchester and working in a call centre.  

Today, she’s fixing ship’s engines at a ship repair company in Falmouth.  

Laura, 36, is doing an engineering apprenticeship with A&P Group Ltd – and enjoying every minute.  

“I’ve always put my husband and children first and left me behind, but I feel now that I’ve given myself a bit of a push and thought – you know what, you can do it,” said Laura, before adding that starting a new career in a new town – and as the only woman in her section – was a daunting prospect at first. But she needn’t have worried.  

“Everyone here has been fantastic,” said Laura, a mother-of-two. “They’ve seen me get stuck in and see that I want to be here and want to do the job.”  

Laura is doing anengineering apprenticeship at A&P Falmouth in conjunction with Cornwall College. She gets to work on a range of different ships, sometimes alongside the wharf or elsewhere in the dry dock where she helps to carry out a variety of marine repair services.  

“I love the people that I work with and I love the job,” said Laura. “I feel as though I’ve grown as a person down here,” she added.  

Fellow A&P Falmouth apprentice Hugo Keeble (below), 19, agrees that working and learning on the job has many benefits.  

Hugo Keeble 1024x576 - A&P Group

“I was never very good at talking to other people,” said Hugo, who has lived near Falmouth all his life. “I would get on with the job and do it myself, but you sort of learn to talk to everyone else to get more advice from them.”  

Hugo is also doing anengineering apprenticeship, as well as attending Cornwall College, and is now in his second year. He says it’s a great way to start a career and build a solid set of qualifications.  

“I’d say it’s a really good idea,” said Hugo, advising other young people to think about doing an apprenticeship as an alternative to university. “It gives good, real-life experience of the job which you’re going into.”  

A&P Falmouth’s Production Director Darren Rice (below) began his career at the company as an apprentice back in 1987. He knows the value the schemes can bring.  

Darren Rice Production Director 1024x576 - A&P Group

“It’s absolutely essential,” said Darren, describing how new ideas and experiences are a major contributor to the future of any company. “We need to develop people and keep our abilities alive for future generations, maintain our reputation within the industry and enhance the service that we offer to customers to futureproof the business.”  

Darren says A&P’s apprenticeship scheme is ‘second to none’, offering people the chance to grow through the business.  

“I have 13 project managers who report to me and 11 of them did their apprenticeship with the business and now they’re managing complex, high value contracts,” said Darren. “The opportunities are really there.”

Posted on 11th Jan 2022 | dca


We have seen many employees progress through apprenticeships, giving us the opportunity to produce high quality engineers

Darren Etherington, Production Director at Watson-Marlow

The value that the apprentices have added to our business has paid this back many times over

Michelle Pearce, Practice Director, RRL accountants

Apprenticeships aren’t just entry level jobs for youngsters coming straight out of school – they’re fantastic opportunities for upskilling existing employees too

Publican Mark Holden, Victoria Inn

It is absolutely essential that new blood is developed for the Bakery industry which is best done via the apprenticeship route

Mark Norton, Managing Director at Prima Bakeries

Apprentices invigorate our crews and the new roles have created a lot of excitement within the Service

Kathryn Billing, Cornwall Fire, Rescue and Community Safety Service Group Manager