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College apprentice employer wins top prize at National Apprenticeship Awards
29 November 2018

College apprentice employer wins top prize at National Apprenticeship Awards

A Wiltshire College & University Centre apprentice employer has won a prestigious prize at the National Apprenticeship Awards.
GoSkydive, which works with the College to deliver the only skydiving apprenticeship of its kind in the world, was Highly Commended at the glitzy London ceremony co-hosted by TV presenter George Clarke and apprentice Lois McClure.
The event, now in its 15th year, celebrates the country’s best individuals and employers who champion apprentices and the GoSkydive team were thrilled to pick up the BAE Systems Award for SME Employer of the Year.
GoSkydive General Manager Paul Shipway said: “To be a finalist and earn the Highly Commended Award is a real privilege.
“Receiving recognition and reaching this stage is testament to all the hard work that everyone puts in.”
Michael Baller, who was at the ceremony and now manages GoSkydive’s apprenticeship programme after completing the unique ‘Customer Service’ apprenticeship himself, has had quite the year for being nominated for, and winning, awards.
In September he won the Rolls Royce Advanced Apprentice of the Year at the South West Regional Apprenticeship Awards and earlier in the year was awarded Outstanding Apprentice of the Year at the College’s own annual awards ceremony.
Michael said: “The whole team has helped to make our apprenticeship scheme what it is today and this award is testament to our passion and commitment to excellence.”
Wiltshire College & University Centre has been working closely with GoSkydive for more than two years and since the apprenticeship programme was introduced there has been a 100 per cent success rate.
Apprentices complete a two-year programme, with rotations through different areas of the business, learning everything from sales and marketing and customer service through to photography, video editing, health and safety and gaining their tandem skydive certification.
Tony Basham, Director of Business and Partnerships at the College, said: “I am delighted to see Wiltshire represented in the National Apprenticeship Awards.
“GoSkydive has redefined apprenticeship roles and earlies this year one of our own Assistant Principal’s jumped out of a plane attached to Mike!
“They are clear on the benefits of apprenticeship training to their business ensuring that all staff deliver an exceptional customer experience – their USP.
“We are proud to continue supporting them and all of our apprentices.”