Apprenticeship achievements celebrated in special ceremony

Over 70 of Bridgwater College's Apprentices joined friends, family and employers in a special ceremony to celebrate Apprenticeship achievements across a wide range of vocational areas.

The event, which was held at the Canalside in Bridgwater, marked a year of outstanding achievement, during which framework certificates were presented along with special awards for attendance, commitment to learning and most improved apprentice, to young people following apprenticeships in subjects ranging from plumbing to horticulture, and from engineering to leather goods manufacturing.

John Alvis of Alvis Bros Ltd and High Sheriff of Somerset was guest speaker for the evening and told the audience,

“The current economic climate has reminded us of the real value of core skills in leading us out of recession. For too long there has been the feeling that our financial service sector is all that mattered to the economy. This country will be dependant on the young men and women who serve their apprenticeship and become skilled craftsmen in their chosen trade. They will be the people whose skills will lead the recovery.”

Andy Berry, Head of Arts & Technology who also spoke at the event said,

“We are very proud of all our Apprentices and tonight is a great opportunity to celebrate some of their successes. The Apprenticeship route is not an easy one and Apprentices have to juggle the demands of on-the-job learning with achieving more experience and qualifications in the College environment. A lot of commitment and dedication is required on the part of the Apprentice, the employer and all the College staff who are involved in training and supporting these students. Well done to everyone.”

Jeremey Kerswell, Head of Land-based Studies added,

“Special mention has to go to all those involved in the Agriculture programmes—we have seen 100% framework achievement for this subject, which is all the more outstanding when compared to the national achievement of 65%.”

The main award of the night was Apprentice of the Year, sponsored by AM Sensors Ltd, which was hotly contested by nominations from all ten apprenticeship areas. It was won by Chris Young, Electrical Apprentice employed by Rogers Restoration of Highbridge, who also recently won first place in the National Skills Electric Finals at the NEC in Birmingham and has a chance of competing in the World Skills Competitions in London in 2011.

The College currently has over 600 students following Apprenticeship courses with over 400 different employers. If you would like to find out more about becoming an Apprentice, or if you are an employer and would like to take on an Apprentice, please call 01278 441234.