Wiltshire College & University Centre’s Apprenticeship Awards made a triumphant return this week with a spectacular ceremony at the Civic Centre in Trowbridge.
The annual ceremony is one of the highlights on the WCUC calendar and caps a week-long celebration of National Apprenticeship Week.
This year marked the return of an in-person ceremony for the first time since 2020 and a range of apprentices and employers were all honoured with prizes on the night.
Awards were presented by WCUC Principal & Chief Executive Iain Hatt alongside guest speaker Paddy Bradley MBE, CEO of the Swindon & Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership. More than 130 guests were in attendance, including apprentices, their guests and employer representatives, as well as WCUC staff and other dignitaries.
Iain Hatt said: “The Apprenticeship Awards is always a fantastic occasion and every year we look forward to celebrating the achievements of our apprentices. Being able to do so in person again made this year’s event all the more memorable.
“Our apprenticeship offering continues to expand and adapt to support the skills needs of employers right across the county.
“I would like to congratulate all of our apprentice winners, whose achievements in the workplace are hugely impressive. 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 honoured across different areas, including business administration, construction, hairdressing, engineering, horticulture, catering, health care and early years.
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.
Olivia Coles was amongst the award winners and was named Business Administration Level 3 Apprentice of the Year for her work at Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust. Olivia said: “It is lovely to get this recognition. My apprenticeship has really helped to build my confidence and it has given me a rounded view of things outside of my organisation as well as within it. My knowledge and skills for my job have really improved and I have actually taken on a different role as a Team Leader since I started it, which I am really enjoying.”
Troy Peach undertakes his apprenticeship at Hook Farm and won Apprentice of the Year for Advanced Apprenticeship in Agriculture Level 3. He said: “I’m absolutely chuffed, you never expect to win an award. An apprenticeship has been great for me. I find written work quite difficult so a classroom environment isn’t really for me but being on a farm, being hands-on and actually putting my skills to use is perfect. Being able to work in an environment that I love and put all of my effort and attention into is great and I have been able to get everything I want out of it.”
In addition to the individual awards, WCUC presented three employer awards, recognising their dedication to supporting apprentices and being advocates for apprenticeships.
The Small Apprentice Employer of the Year Award was won by Newton Farm near Bath, Harnham Infant School won the Medium Apprentice Employer of the Year Award and Cross Manufacturing was named Large Apprentice Employer of the Year.
More pictures from the Apprenticeship Awards are available on the WCUC website and social media channels.
For more information on apprenticeships at WCUC, click here.
The full list of award winners:
Assistant Accountant Level 3 Apprentice of the Year – Alfie Smith
Business Administration Level 3 Apprentice of the Year – Olivia Coles
Team Leader/Supervisor Level 3 Apprentice of the Year – Damian Dunda
Associate Project Manager Level 4 Apprentice of the Year – Emma Davies
Commis Chef Level 2 Apprentice of the Year – Dalton McCombie Lawrence
Creative Hairdressing Level 3 Apprentice of the Year – Helen Cox
General Welder Level 2 Apprentice of the Year – Cameron Torrance
Advanced Apprenticeship in Agriculture Level 3 Apprentice of the Year – Troy Peach
Horticulture Operative Level 2 Apprentice of the Year – Kamala Weaver
Land-Based Service Engineering Technician (Plant Pathway) Level 3 Apprentice of the Year – Lewis Monk
Senior Healthcare Support Worker Level 3 Apprentice of the Year – Antonio Pinna
Early Years Educator Level 3 Apprentice of the Year – Samantha Greenland
Site Carpentry Level 2 Apprentice of the Year – Jacob Hobson
Bricklayer Level 2 Apprentice of the Year – Liam Gibbens
Painter & Decorator Level 2 Apprentice of the Year – Alex King
Installing Electrotechnical Systems and Equipment (Buildings, Structures and the Environment) Level 3 Apprentice of the Year – Graham Downer
Advanced Apprenticeship Engineering (Craft Technician) Level 3 Apprentice of the Year – Rebecca Dingwall
IMI Heavy Vehicle Service and Maintenance Technician Level 3 Apprentice of the Year – Chris Morgan-Shelbourne
IMI Motor Vehicle and Maintenance Technician (Light Vehicle) Level 3 Apprentice of the Year – Adam Trollope
Small Apprentice Employer of the Year – Newton Farm
Medium Apprentice Employer of the Year – Harnham Infant School
Large Apprentice Employer of the Year – Cross Manufacturing