Apprentices honoured by awards
TOP apprentices were celebrities for a night when they were recognised for their hard work and commitment at the Swindon College Apprentice-ships Awards Evening.
Awards were handed out for those students who excelled in courses in 19 categories, including cookery, hairdressing, engineering and housing.
The presentation of the glass trophies, certificates and citations took place in a hall of the college, at North Star, in front of the apprentices’ family, friends, teachers and colleagues.
Evelyn Little, director of employer responsiveness and business first, who is responsible for apprenticeship, said the standard of apprentices this year was high.
“It’s a celebration of apprenticeships and also to raise the profile of apprenticeships within Swindon to other employers,” she said.
“We do apprenticeships in levels two, three and four, and we’re keen for employers to realise the potential of apprenticeships now, the benefits to their companies, that the youngsters can train while they earn.”
The star of the show was Stephen Baker, 22, of Parks , who was named the overall apprentice of the year.
Stephen, an administrator at Jephson Housing Association, gained an NVQ in business and administration.
He said: “I’m shocked. I didn’t even know there was such an award.
“When I first started with Jephson, I had never done anything like that before. I was in groundwork before and I was really shy. I didn’t like answering the phone but I woke up one day and got used to it.”
Andrea Tate, who has been a teaching assistant for 11 years, was named diploma level three teaching assistant of the year.
The Abbey Meads resident, who works at Highworth Warneford School , said: “I’m proud my name has been put forward and everyone has been supportive at Warneford, where I work. Colleagues have been supportive and senior managers.
“And it has helped me to achieve my HLTA (Higher Level Teaching Assistant) studies, so if I hadn’t done the diploma with the key skills, I wouldn’t have been able to move on to the HLTA.”
Andrea believes that she won the award because of her positivity and because she managed to complete the course within a year.
There were also special employer awards given out to employees of Swindon’s biggest firms.
Margaret Ruth Fenton scooped the Honda award and Declan Kearns took the BMW award.