The article draws on the findings of a longitudinal study of an opportunistic sample of full-time further education trainee teachers attending an English new university. The study commenced in 2002 seeking to examine the processes through which trainee teachers entered the profession. Initially the research explored the routes followed and experiences that led trainees to enter teacher training. This was accompanied by an interest in trainees’ experiences in their placement colleges. The final stage of the project draws upon fieldwork conducted in 2004/05, which seeks to examine trainees’ accounts of teaching and working in the sector. This particular paper explores the lived experiences of four respondents and considers the personal trajectories that have led to FE teacher training. This is related to their orientations towards teaching and is followed by a section exploring teaching experiences within particular educational settings. Finally, the article examines respondents’ transitions to FE concluding with the significance of these accounts for the development of a progressive educational politics. It is argued these are equivocal, though respondents concern with care of their students contains progressive possibilities.