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Amaz­ing appren­tice­s hon­oured at WCUC’s annu­al Appren­tice­ship Awards


Wiltshire College & University Centre held its annual Apprenticeship Awards at The Civic Centre in Trowbridge on Thursday 22nd February 2024.

Wiltshire College & University Centre marked excellence in apprenticeships at its annual Apprenticeship Awards last week.

The ceremony, held at The Civic Centre in Trowbridge, concluded WCUC’s annual celebration of apprenticeships and followed a range of activities held during National Apprenticeship Week at the start of the month.

The event is always one of the highlights on the WCUC calendar and this year’s spectacular ceremony was no exception, with a range of apprentices and employers honoured with prizes.

Awards were presented by WCUC Principal & Chief Executive Iain Hatt alongside guest speaker Ruth Lambert, Development Manager – Somerset and Wiltshire at the Federation of Small Businesses, and the event opened with a musical performance from student Rosie Spittle.

More than 120 guests were in attendance, including apprentices, their guests and employer representatives, as well as WCUC staff and other dignitaries.

Iain Hatt said: “Our annual Apprenticeship Awards is always a memorable occasion and this year’s event was no exception. It was wonderful to be able to celebrate some of the outstanding successes our apprentices have achieved in the workplace. I congratulate all our winners – the recognition you have received is richly deserved.

“WCUC is one of the largest providers of apprenticeships in the region, working with hundreds of employers to offer training programmes across a wide range of sectors and skill levels.

“Our apprenticeship offering continues to expand and adapt to support the skills needs of employers right across the county, and I would like to thank all of our partner employers for whose continued support we are ever grateful. Their dedication to our apprentices and training programmes is the backbone for the many success stories we heard on the night.”

In total, 19 apprentices were presented with prizes, with learners coming from a wide range of industries, including agriculture, business administration, construction, engineering, health care and hospitality.

A broad spectrum of apprentices were recognised, from those who are at the start of their employment journey to experienced professionals who have chosen to upskill or change careers through an apprenticeship.

Joshua Scott was named Hospitality Apprentice of the Year. He works as a chef at Sandroyd School near Salisbury and took up an apprenticeship after previously studying A-Levels at Shaftesbury School.

Josua said: “Hospitality isn’t a career I ever thought about when I was at school. I did maths, physics and computer science at A-Level, so this is something I fell into but I have totally fallen in love with it. My advice to anyone who isn’t sure about their career path is to always keep your options open as you never know what is around the corner. This was something I was offered unexpectedly but I have ended up finding something that I really enjoy.”

Lavena Welch works at Bath & North East Somerset Council and was named Team Leader Apprentice of the Year. Lavena’s apprenticeship marked her return to formal study for the first time since her school days.

She said: “I am so chuffed. It was very daunting to go back to studying after a long break. If I am honest, I wasn’t too forthcoming with the course work at the beginning but once I started to participate more, I began to really enjoy it, and I am so glad and so proud that I managed to achieve it. It is never too late to develop your skills, and I am now supporting one of my colleagues as she is going through the same apprenticeship.”

Three employer awards were also handed out in recognition of their dedication to supporting apprentices and being advocates for apprenticeships.

The Small Apprentice Employer of the Year Award was won by John Williams Heating Services, Spa Medical Centre won the Medium Apprentice Employer of the Year Award, and AB Dynamics was named Large Apprentice Employer of the Year.

For more information about studying an apprenticeship with WCUC, click here.

To see the full gallery from the night, click here.


Agriculture Apprentice of the Year: Ellie Ollivier

Bench Joiner Apprentice of the Year: Alfie Read

Bricklayer Apprentice of the Year: James Mackinnon

Business Administration Apprentice of the Year: Imogen Marsh

Chartered Manager Apprentice of the Year: Andrew Goreing

Children, Young People and Families Practitioner Apprentice of the Year: Sarah Stephens

Customer Service Apprentice of the Year: Holly Curtis

Early Years Practitioner Apprentice of the Year: Gemma Davies

Gas Engineer Apprentice of the Year: Joshua Lamb

Groundworker Apprentice of the Year: Finn Johnson

Hairdressing Apprentice of the Year: Gracie Dark

Horticulture Apprentice of the Year: Joe Porter

Hospitality Apprentice of the Year: Joshua Scott

Land Based Service Engineering Technician Apprentice of the Year: Job Payne

Mechanical Manufacturing Engineering Apprentice of the Year: Finley Parsons

Science Industry Maintenance Technician Apprentice of the Year: Oliver Gokgol

Senior Healthcare Support Worker Apprentice of the Year: Helen Hill

Site Carpenter Apprentice of the Year: Jacques Kinnison

Team Leader Apprentice of the Year: Lavena Welch

Small Employer of the Year: John Williams Heating Services

Medium Employer of the Year: Spa Medical Centre

Large Employer of the Year: AB Dynamics

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