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14 March 2018

Apprenticeship Awards celebrate outstanding achievements

The achievements and successes of apprentices were celebrated at Wiltshire College’s annual Apprenticeship Awards.

More than 100 guests, a combination of winners, their families, employers and college staff, attended the event hosted at the Arc Theatre in Trowbridge on Thursday 8th March – during National Apprenticeship Week.

Seventeen individual awards were presented to apprentices in areas such as Agriculture, Carpentry, Design, Leadership and Management, Engineering, Customer Service and Supported Teaching and Learning by Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership Director Paddy Bradley.

This year three awards were also presented to small, medium and large apprentice employers of the year, the winners for which were Busy Bees Pre-School in Westbury, GoSkydive at Old Sarum and Cross Manufacturing in Devizes respectively.

Principal Amanda Burnside said: “I was delighted to welcome our guests for a night of celebration of achievement.

“The future delivery of skills in this country is firmly fixed on apprenticeships and Wiltshire College is playing its part in this.

“The apprenticeship awards is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our apprentices and I congratulate them all for all their significant achievements and wish them even greater success in their chosen fields.”

The College was delighted to welcome a number of special guests including Apprenticeship Ambassador Debbie Williams and her husband John from John Williams Heating Services in Chippenham and Wessex Water Apprenticeship Manager Becca Thurston, both of whom gave a talk about the benefits of apprenticeships.

Trowbridge Mayor Deborah Halik was also a distinguished guest as well as Chair of Governors Helen Birchenough and other members of the governing body.

At the end of the evening a special award for Outstanding Apprentice of the Year award was presented to one of the winners. This year the award went to Melanie Ritchings, who completed an Advanced Apprenticeship in Leadership and Management.

Melanie, had been working in a supervisor role when she decided she wanted to upskill to progress her career and enable her to apply for more senior roles.

She is now working full time as a Hotel Services Manager for North Somerset Community Partnership based in Clevedon.

Melanie, who lives in Bristol, said: “I have overcome some great challenges and to be nominated by my assessor Hazel and win the Leadership and Management apprenticeship award was an honour and made me feel a real sense of achievement.

“I was so blown away by the talent of all the winners and could never have imagined that I would also win the outstanding apprentice of the year award.

“The Apprenticeship Awards are a special event and celebrate achievement young and old.”

Wiltshire College is currently working with more than 1000 apprentices in 93 different pathways and more than 650 employers ranging from small local companies to multinational companies.

The winners of the 2018 Apprenticeship Awards went to:

Agriculture – Matthew Winter
Business Administration – Evie Formhalls
Carpentry – Luke Hayne
Customer Service – Michael Baller
Design – Blaire Gilbert
Electrotechnical – Daniel Betts
Engineering – Matthew Bailey
Hairdressing – Emily Colllins
Health and Social Care – Lotus Nye
Hospitality and Catering – Rebecca Nash
Leadership and Management – Melanie Ritchings
Live Events and Promotion – Hollie Merriman
Motor vehicle Service and Maintenance – Kai Aven
Plumbing – Jessica Crudge
Residential Childcare – Ceri Draper
Supported Teaching and Learning – Emma Phelps
Small Business Apprentice Employer of the Year – Busy Bees Pre-School
Medium Business Apprentice Employer of the Year – GoSkydive
Large Business Apprentice Employer of the Year – Cross Manufacturing

To see more photographs from the event, visit our Facebook page.