Apprentice of the Year Awards ceremony brings Apprenticeship Week to a close at Weymouth College

March 16, 2017

A week of activities at Weymouth College in support of Apprenticeship Week 2017, was bought to a close on Friday (10th March) with a Business breakfast followed by the Apprentice of the Year Awards – both held in the College’s HIX Academy.

 Growing apprenticeship provision in Central and West Dorset

Nigel Evans, Principal and Chief Executive Weymouth College warmly welcomed over 50 local business leaders to the Hix Academy where they joined Richard Drax MP, Ian Girling (Chief Executive, Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry) and the Weymouth College Apprenticeship Team to discuss the implications of the Apprenticeship levy and commitment within the west Dorset area to the principles of Apprenticeship training.

Richard Drax updated the audience on the Government’s very latest position regarding apprenticeship provision and confirmed his continued support for apprenticeships in Dorset:

“providing our young people with the best start to get on in life and have a rewarding career is an area close to my heart.

“Apprenticeships not only give young people the opportunity to learn a valuable skill whilst earning at the same time, they can also actively raise the productivity of the businesses they join.

“It is fantastic that locally there have been just over 2,000 apprenticeship starts in the year 2015/16 as compared to just 750 ten years ago,”

Ian Girling of the Dorset Chamber of Commerce reaffirmed the ongoing commitment of business in Dorset to the development and growth of apprenticeship opportunities and stressed the great importance of the partnership between business and education in delivering options for the Dorset workforce in the future.

Ian said: “In a rapidly developing global economy, it is absolutely essential that investment in skills is a no.1 priority for businesses.

“This is why we support the apprenticeship programme so strongly and are delighted to be working with Weymouth College on encouraging businesses to invest in skills.”

 Weymouth College Apprentice of the Year awards 2017

A quick turnaround in the Hix Academy and employers, assessors, family and friends joined Weymouth College apprentices for the College’s annual Apprentice of the Year Awards.

Weymouth College was particularly pleased to welcome Tim Martin – Founder and Chairman JD Wetherspoon – who delighted and inspired the audience with his recollections of early days in business and considered thoughts for future success.

Mr Martin then joined Andrew Johnson – Head of Apprenticeships, Weymouth College – in presenting the College’s 13 sector winners with their Apprentice of the Year Awards.

Andrew Johnson said “the comments we received from our employers in nominating these outstanding apprentices bears testament to the hard work our apprentices are putting in to their chosen careers and also to the importance local employers place on the apprenticeship scheme in training the next generation of Dorset employees.”

Richard Drax MP was extremely pleased to be able to announce the final award of the day – the Weymouth College Apprentice of the Year 2017 – presented to Jessica Burgoyne.

Jessica – a childcare apprentice at Bincombe Valley Primary School – was absolutely delighted to receive the award.

Ms Annette Cobb, Deputy Head at Bincombe Valley Primary School said:

“Jessica’s energy and enthusiasm is infectious and her cheerful nature and positive outlook are always evident. Her self-belief has grown considerably over the course of the year.  It is absolutely fantastic to have a member of staff, who so early in her career, is making such a big difference”

Richard Drax said:

“First and foremost can I congratulate all the winners and in particular overall winner Jessica who judging from the comments of her employer richly deserves this award.

“I’d also like to thank Weymouth College enormously for their massive contribution to the apprenticeship idea and for backing it so diligently.

“And finally can I add that we were all held spellbound by the wonderful, humorous and genuine address by Wetherspoon Founder and Chairman Tim Martin whose story really is an inspiration to everyone”.

The Weymouth College Apprentice of the Year Award winners for 2017 are:

Childcare Apprentice of the year and Weymouth College Apprentice of the Year 2017

Jessica Burgoyne, Bincombe Valley Primary School

Engineering Apprentice of the year

Michael Denning, PGT Ceewrite, Weymouth

Sport Apprentice of the year 

Ross Watson, New Body Fitness, Bridport 

Plumbing Apprentice of the year 

Morgan Kitton, G R Edwardes Ltd, Bridport

Business, Management and IT Apprentice of the year 

Milli Threadwell, Agincare, Weymouth

Health & Social Care Apprentice of the year 

Mariane Cole, Darwin Care, Weymouth

Carpentry & Joinery Apprentice of the year 

Liam Tewkesbury, East Boro Housing Trust, Weymouth

Motor Vehicle Apprentice of the year 

Lee Sawyer, Buckland Newton Hire Ltd

Catering Apprentice of the year 

Chad Walker, The Martyrs Inn, Tolpuddle

Hairdressing Apprentice of the year 

Blade McKechnie, John Edwards Dorchester

Customer Service Apprentice of the year 

Bethany Russell, Chalbury Food & Wine Weymouth

Business, Management and IT Apprentice of the year 

Bethany Alderman, ATLAS ELECTRONIK, Winfrith

Electrical Apprentice of the year 

Zac Bentley, Spectrum Property Care, Poole