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DEDICATED APPRENTICES TAKE A BOW AT AWARDS NIGHT ; It was champagne and smiles at a glittering awards night which paid tribute to the talent and... [Bristol Evening Post (England)]
[June 20, 2014]

DEDICATED APPRENTICES TAKE A BOW AT AWARDS NIGHT ; It was champagne and smiles at a glittering awards night which paid tribute to the talent and... [Bristol Evening Post (England)]

(Bristol Evening Post (England) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) DEDICATED APPRENTICES TAKE A BOW AT AWARDS NIGHT ; It was champagne and smiles at a glittering awards night which paid tribute to the talent and dedication of apprentices in Bristol and Bath. Katie Pavid reports.

THE Marriott Hotel in Bristol played host to the Bristol Post and Bath Chronicle Apprentice Awards on Wednesday evening, and dozens of hard-working youngsters filled its dining room.

From carpenters to engineers to accountants, the glamorous and glittering night showed off some of the finest talent the area has to offer.

The star of the show was Luke Naish, who won Outstanding Apprentice of the Year in the construction category, and who also impressed judges so much he scooped the Bristol and Bath Apprentice of the Year title.

Luke, 18, is in the Philippines doing charity work after the country's natural disaster, but his employer and mentor at Merlin Housing Society, Leigh Hatherell, was on hand to accept the trophy and explain why Luke deserved the accolade.

Mr Hatherell said: "Luke is an apprentice carpenter, and he is a joy to work with. He listens to everything you say, and I don't have to watch him - I know he does a good job.

"He'll be very proud to get this award, and I am proud of him.It's just fantastic." Luke is on a two-year apprenticeship, and is working with a team that installs windows and doors in the society's 6,000 houses. He has completed his first year, and next year, he will learn about other areas of carpentry. Every nominee in the six categories were greeted with a cheer from the room when their names were read. Employers and sponsors showed evident pride in and support for their young charges - and all their hard work looks like it is paying off.

Jake Williams, of Bath and North East Somerset Council, won the award in the public services category.

He said: "I'm a bit shocked, I didn't expect anything like this, but it's fantastic. I am going to use it as a platform to achieve even better things. This whole apprenticeship has provided me with a platform, qualifications and lots of experience.

The award will hopefully help me get a little bit further.

"I didn't know what I was doing with my career so I decided to do an apprenticeship, and it has all fallen into place. I am doing a degree too in Construction Project Management so it's brilliant getting paid to study." Adrianna Duffy, 19, won the award in the health and care category. She is in her second year of an apprenticeship with Brunelcare in Whitehall. She said: "I am overwhelmed to get it. I am just glad the last two years of hard work have paid off and the work I've done has been recognised.

"I couldn't have done it without a supportive team around me, they have been great. The best thing about an apprenticeship is that I am working my way up. It is such a supportive environment." In the services industry category, the award was taken home by Antony Savill. The 23-year-old is an apprentice with the Bristol Port Company. He joined the scheme in 2011, and said that he would recommend apprenticeships to anyone. He said: "If anyone is thinking about it, I would tell them to just go for it. You get amazing opportunities to learn, and I started mine after a family friend told me again and again how good it would be.

"The reception I've got here tonight has been great, and my family have supported me through it all." At a time when the costs of university are rocketing, apprentices provide a precious alternative route to work for many. As more and more businesses in the South West take them on, Chloe Cross, winner of the award for Outstanding Apprentice of the Year in the financial and business services category, said it was the perfect decision for her.

She said: "I didn't feel sixth form would benefit me, and I wanted to get on the job and start learning straight away. I love everyone I work with and being part of a team is the best bit." Chloe is an apprentice with Highcroft Pet Care in Longwell Green, and she is studying for a business administration qualification. Steven Castle and Hal Willis jointly won the award in the engineering and manufacturing category. Steven, 19, works for GKN Aerospace and said: "A lot of work has gone into this and a lot of effort. I wanted to try something different and I thought I would see how an apprenticeship goes. It turns out it's gone very well, and I am getting a lot out of it." Hal, 21, works for Airbus in Filton. He said: "It is a cliche but earning while you learn is so good. I am nearly finished my apprenticeship, then I am hoping to move on to something like trans- national development and keep building my career. "I started after A- Levels and have found this option much better than university." The awards were sponsored by local and national employers, and hosted by the Bristol Post and Bath Chronicle.


? The City of Bath College, which has 25 per cent more apprentices than last year, was named Training Provider of the Year.

? Systemagic, of Bath, is a market leader for IT services in the South West. They have taken on seven apprentices since 2005, and were awarded Micro Employer of the Year.

? The award-winning Bath-based independent Cloud Direct, which gives companies secure access to cloud services, was named Small Employer of the Year.

? Aquaterra, which runs a number of leisure centres including the Bath Sports and Leisure Centre, was named Medium Employer of the Year.

? The award for Large Employer of the Year went to GKN Aerospace. The world leading aerospace company, with plants in Filton and Avonmouth, has taken on 48 apprentices since 2009.

? GKN Aerospace, which in the past five years has developed its own apprenticeship scheme, also won the Apprenticeship Development Award.

The West of England Local Enterprise Partnership? We are committed to driving growth through skills, helping shape our future workforce in partnership with business and education. The West of England LEP recognise the value of high-quality apprenticeship programmes being crucial to the long-term prosperity of the economy. To get involved in the West of England Apprenticeship Hub - please email: Bath and North East Somerset Council? Bath and North East Somerset Council is proud to sponsor the Micro Employer of the Year category. These companies are often at the cutting edge in their field and apprentices area valuable resource, bringing fresh ideas and enthusiasm. Micro employers provide high standards of customer care and deliver vital niche services Hunter Selection? This national engineering recruitment consultancy was established in 2004 with its head office in Bristol. We all need the grass roots supply of talented, motivated engineers to be nurtured. It is incumbent on all of us to promote the sector and encourage youngsters to consider careers in engineering and manufacturing. Technical Apprenticeship schemes have rarely been as accessible as now. This is a huge step in the right direction.

Airbus? With more than 4,000 people at the Airbus site in Filton, we recognise the importance of having the right young people with the right skills coming into our business. The UK has one of the largest aerospace sectors in the world worth Pounds 24 billion to the UK annually and our site at Filton is a centre of engineering excellence. This year 100 people will join our early career schemes including our Undergraduate Apprenticeship Scheme.

City of Bath College? City of Bath College is the largest training provider in Bath and North East Somerset. Barney Willis, work-based learning manager at City of Bath College, said: "We are sponsoring the Apprenticeship Development Award as we have seen countless benefits of apprenticeships and know just how many doors to career paths they can open. Apprenticeships play a crucial element in the success of businesses and make a significant contribution to the economy." GKN Aerospace? GKN Aerospace is one of the world's largest independent first-tier suppliers to the global aviation industry. We employ approximately 12,000 people in more than 35 facilities across four continents. We believe in nurturing new engineering talent to ensure the ongoing success of our company. All apprentices completing our scheme during the past five years have gone on to take up full-time roles within the company.

Renishaw? Renishaw, the South West-based engineering business is creating a record number of new opportunities for young people during 2014. The company was founded in 1973 and now employs some 3,400 people globally, around 1,900 of whom are in the south west of England. Renishaw is highly committed to developing its own skilled staff and this year is recruiting a record 67 graduates, a further 32 apprentices, and will give summer and industrial placements to some 108 students.

Digiprint? Digiprint, launched in 1987, is the first independently owned non-franchise digital print businesses on the high street in the South West. We believe in apprenticeships as our key staff training and development programme. We invest in young people who do not want to follow a path to university and develop them personally and educationally. We regularly promote our apprentice programme through our links with local businesses, the college and through media sponsorships.

Simple Recruitment? Simple Recruitment (South West) is a local independent employment business specialising in the provision of temporary and permanent recruitment. We opened our doors in 2009 and are based in Somer Valley Enterprise Park in Paulton providing staff for the industrial and commercial sectors in Bath, Somerset, Wiltshire and the surrounding areas. We work hard to find our candidates exactly what they are looking for in terms of work from engineers to warehouse workers, PAs to receptionists and everything in between.

Mercedes-Benz of Bristol? The young people undertaking an apprenticeship in our business are the future and have a key role to play in delivering our vision of world-class customer service, with the knowledge of belonging to one of the largest automobile manufacturers in the world.

Mercedes-Benz of Bristol is part of Sytner Group, one of the leading retailers of prestige motor vehicles in the UK. An apprenticeship is an excellent opportunity to gain qualifications and experience along with practical skills in the workplace.

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