Thirteen apprentices from across Staffordshire have been recognized for their outstanding contributions to business at this year’s Apprenticeship Recognition Awards.
The awards, which coinside with National Apprenticeship Week from 9 to 15 March. were held at the Kingston Centre, in Stafford, on Thursday 5 March and gave apprentices, employers and learning providers the chance to celebrate their successes.
The Awards, now in their fourth year are organised by the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
Ken Stepney from the LEP who presented the young people with their awards explained that he was very proud of the apprentices and what they have achieved for their companies.
Ken said: “Apprenticeship growth is one of the top priorities for the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and excellent progress has already been made over the last five years.
“These Recognition Awards allow us to celebrate the successes of our apprentices while showcasing the real business benefits of recruiting apprentices. There are some wonderful examples here of how apprentices have made a real and significant difference to their company, regardless of their age, and they should be very proud of their achievements”
Increasing the number of apprenticeships remains a priority for the county. In 2012/13, 9,620 people started an apprenticeship in Staffordshire in compared to 4,570 in 2008/09 – more than double over a five year period.
Staffordshire County Councillor, Ben Adams, cabinet Member for Learning and Skills added: “Apprenticeships are a vital part of our strategy 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. ”
Businesses interested in taking on an apprentice can contact the Apprenticeship Helpline on 0300 111 8002 or by visiting www.stokestaffslep.org.uk
Megan Boards, aged 21 from Cannock works for Lichfield District Council in the Building and Land Control department. She said “What I enjoy most about my job is that I get to speak to customers and work in a busy office. Young people should consider apprentices because it will get them into work, learn new skills and build their confidence.”
Tom French, aged 17 from Newcastle is an apprentice with KMF. He said: “I like working at KMF because I get to learn different skills such as welding and get paid at the same time. Apprenticeships are a great option for young people and I would encourage young people to check them out.”
Ross Kynaston, aged 22 from Leek works for Bentley Motors and said: “My apprenticeship has allowed me to learn about all areas of business, not only locally but globally such as offices in Beijing. Through my apprenticeship I have accepted a permanent role at the company since January and it will hopefully be the start of my career with Bentley Motors. I would advice young people to look at all opportunities and not just university, companies will give you the experience and qualification to start your career.”
Stuart Nixon , aged 24 from Newcastle works for HG rewind an industrial motors company and he enjoys learning new skills and meeting new people.
Mitchell Hill, aged 18 from Stoke on Trent, is an apprentice Hydraulic Engineer with Transairvac International. He said that he loves his work and being an apprentice and gets to work on different projects including working on ships, lorries and cranes.
Louis Eltringham from Stone is an apprentice with Deck Joint, he said “I am proud to have won an award and it’s great to hear that my employer thinks that I am good at my job”
Jack Arnold, from Leek is an apprentice at Westwood Post Office and said: “Thanks for this award, I feel very proud to receive it and would like to thank everyone for all the support I have received during my Apprenticeship”
List of Winners:
Mitchell Hill Transairvac International 16-18 Newcastle
Jack Arnold Westwood Post Office 16-18 Leek
Louis Eltringham Deck Joint Ltd 16-18 Stone
Stuart Nixon HG Rewinds 19-24 Stoke
Molly McGlynn Royal Stafford 19-24 Stoke
Amy Artis The Swan – Burslem 19-24 Stoke
Thomas Lench A. Lench Building Contractors 19-24 Stoke
Chloe Humphreys AdgiftsOnline Ltd 19-24 Newcastle
Tom French KMF 16-18 Newcastle
Megan Boards Lichfield District Council 19-24 Lichfield
Dean Reddin JCB 19-24 Rocester
Ross Kynaston Bentley Motors 19-24 Leek
Mike Jones Ageas Retail Partnerships 25+ Stoke