Stoke Staffs LEP
LEP honours outstanding apprentices
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LEP honours outstanding apprentices

Twelve apprentices have been recognised for their outstanding contributions to business at this year’s Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Apprenticeship Recognition Awards.

The awards, held as part of National Apprenticeship Week, gave apprentices, employers and learning providers a unique chance to celebrate their successes.

Apprentices working in engineering, finance, hairdressing, business, technical crafts and education were among the winners.

They included KMF engineering technical apprentice Daniel Bradbury, who was praised for his “fantastic work ethic” and 100 per cent attendance record – as well as designing improvements in production processes that are set to save the Newcastle-under-Lyme firm £6,000 a year.

Finance apprentice Nicole Bath, who works for Stone packaging firm Woolcool, was praised for her “pinpoint accuracy” and her work in redesigning the stock control system, achieving a 20 per cent reduction in the stock held and freeing up warehouse space.

Oliver Durber, a a teaching assistant at Willows Primary School, Penkhull, Stoke-on-Trent, was presented with an award for his work with children with special needs, including teaching himself sign language so he can communicate with hearing-impaired pupils.

Meanwhile Daniel Whale, workload coordinator with Stafford IT firm risual was praised as a “resounding success” for his customer relations work, and Shane Proctor, bench-hand joiner with Olde England reproductions, Longton, was singled out for his “exemplary attitude” and quality of work.

The awards, now in their sixth year, were organised by the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

Presenting the awards, LEP board member Ken Stepney who leads on education and skills, said: “Apprenticeships give young people a broad base of experience to build on, which can lead to highly successful careers.

“This year’s award winners have shown real drive and motivation and have really benefitted their businesses and their own development from learning in a workplace environment. These are just the skilled and aspirational young people we need to build a vibrant economy.

“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 and their employers.

Ben said: “As we celebrate National Apprenticeship Week 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 tenth year celebrates apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the economy. The week of celebrations has seen hundreds of events recognising the achievements of apprentices right across the country.

Apprenticeships continue to create more career opportunities for people in Staffordshire while giving businesses the chance to grow their own skilled workforce. More than 9,400 people in Staffordshire started an apprenticeship in 2016.

The Awards were held at Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s Smithfield offices in Hanley. The full list of winners is: Harriet Greenwood, Francesco Group, Stafford; Nicole Bath, Woolcool, Stone; Shamima Miah, St Wilfrid’s Catholic Academy, Tunstall; Katharine Green, Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council; Sasha Jones, Newcastle-under-Lyme Dental Practice; Melissa Adams, University Hospitals of North Midlands, Stoke-on-Trent; Shane Proctor, Olde England Reproductions, Longton; Daniel Bradbury, KMF, Newcastle-under-Lyme; Oliver Durber, Willows Primary School, Penkhull; Lauren Blundred, Venesta Washroom Systems, Trentham; Daniel Whale, risual, Stafford; and Aidan Taylor, Goodwin Steel Castings, Stoke.