Twelve apprentices have been recognised for their outstanding contributions to business at this year’s Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Apprenticeship Awards.
The awards, held as part of National Apprenticeship Week from March 14 to 18 gave apprentices, employers and learning providers a unique chance to celebrate their successes.
Apprentices working in engineering, health, property management, education and the voluntary sector from right across the county were amongst the winners.
The awards, now in their fifth year, were organised by the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
Presenting the awards, LEP board member Jonathan Dale said: “It is great to see so many apprentices making such an outstanding contribution to the firms and organisations they work for. This is just the kind of can-do attitude we need to help our region prosper and I am sure these young people will go far in their future careers.
“Their achievements also illustrate the real commitment of employers and training providers to develop the skills and innovation we need for a thriving economy and flourishing communities.”
Ben Adams, cabinet member for learning and skills at Staffordshire County Council added his congratulations to the apprentices. Ben said: “As we celebrate National Apprenticeship Week and this year’s theme of ‘rising to the top’, it’s great to be recognising such huge local talent here in the county.
“Apprenticeships remain key to our plans to bring growth and prosperity to Staffordshire. They give employers the opportunity to grow their own talented and skilled workforce. And, for young people especially, the training in the workplace is a valuable first step into a career with good prospects for the future. ”
National Apprenticeship Week, now in its ninth year, celebrates apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the economy. The week of celebrations will see hundreds of events recognising the achievements of apprentices right across the country.
Apprenticeships continue to create more career opportunities for local people while giving businesses the chance to grow their own skilled workforce. More than 9,600 people in Staffordshire started an apprenticeship in 2014/15 compared to 4,720 in 2010. In addition, 2,440 of the apprentices were aged 16-18 which remains a key focus for the county (an increase of 17% on the previous year).
The Awards were held at Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s Smithfield offices in Hanley on Thursday 10 March.
People can find out more about apprenticeships at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/apprenticeships. Employersinterested in taking on an apprentice can contact the Apprenticeship Helpline on 0300 111 8002 or by visitingwww.stokestaffslep.org.uk
Quotes from apprentices and employers:
Joe Stanyer from Newcastle is an apprentice with Newcastle Borough Council and is an apprentice with the IT team. Joe said: “I really enjoy the work I do and working with all the different IT equipment. I enjoy being an apprentice, it provides me with a great way of learning new skills which are important to the role I’m actually doing and I can earn money at the same time.”
Callum Bradbury is a Business Administration apprentice at the Painsley Catholic Academy. He said:” I work for a variety of departments – Finance ,HR, Operations. I love what I do. Young people should definitely consider apprentices because they can come away with a top qualification. If they don’t have work experience it’s a great way to gain experience. Apprenticeships are a great option because it gives you both a work background and education background which looks great in employer’s eyes.”
Natalie Beech is an apprentice with Kier Stoke and said: “I am so proud and happy to have won this award. Doing an apprenticeship and combining study with on-the-job experience is something I can’t recommend highly enough; my college work has been invaluable to my day-to-day role, encouraging me to think logically about how to deal with things like health & safety and risk assessments.
Kier Stoke partnership director, Scott Murray, explained that the company is incredibly proud of Natalie. Scot said: “I am absolutely delighted to see Natalie recognised in this way by the LEP. She is a highly motivated and determined individual, who works extremely hard and is always seeking out challenges in order to drive herself forward. She plays an instrumental part in the delivery of our service, and is passionate about helping others too, volunteering as a mentor to other young people and using her experiences to inspire them to strive for their own successful careers. Natalie’s well-deserved achievement is a prime example of our commitment to using the success of Kier Stoke to bring added benefits to our community here, with a proven track record in improving the lives of young people and reducing unemployment in the area by providing vital training opportunities.”
Ryan Pearsall is an apprentice at GF energy Power Conversion Stoke on Trent. He said: “I enjoy getting involved in various projects around the factory like making demo cases for the products. I also get great support from the company including the chance to earn a wage and learn new skills to progress my career path.”
Shannon Perkins from Cannock is an apprentice with PTP Training. She said: “I now help place apprentices into apprenticeships. I really enjoy helping them and there are a lot of benefits to apprenticeships like learning on the job and getting paid at the same time.
List of Apprenticeship Award Winners:
|Siak Transfers Ltd
|Newcastle Borough Council
|Stoke City Community Trust
|Learn 4 Work
|Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
|Burton and SD College
|Action for Blind People
|Kier Stoke Ltd
|The Painsley Catholic Academy
|GE Energy Power Conversion