National Apprenticeship Week has left a buzz in the air following a glittering awards celebration dinner, presented by Newcastle College at The Copthorne Hotel last night.
The first annual Apprenticeship Awards saw over 100 students, staff and employer partners join together to mark an exceptional year of achievements within the apprenticeships programme at Newcastle College.
The night began with an introduction from Newcastle College’s Director of Business Partnerships, Marc McPake, who said :“This evening is about celebrating success, as individuals and as organisations.
"Our aim at the College is to educate individuals that apprenticeships are a positive career choice, whilst championing apprenticeships to employers as a strategic investment which can be used to recruit or upskill existing team members to support business growth and development. We really want to shout about apprenticeships because we know they’re great, and we know they work!”
Karen Marshall, Apprentice Education and Engagement Lead at Accenture, also delivered a speech highlighting the importance of apprenticeships and the outstanding positive impact they make to businesses. Karen commented: “I’ve always believed that apprenticeships are a fantastic way for young people to grow and achieve great things. Our goal with apprenticeships is to support and encourage people to be greater than they ever thought they could be.
"Apprenticeships have worked so well for us at Accenture, to the extent that we’ve actually expanded our apprenticeship programme and are continuing to recruit more people, who just become stars in the workplace and exceed all of our expectations.”
There were a total of 7 awards up for grabs, with 3 surprise awards being announced on the night for the Apprenticeship Employer of the Year, Skills Trainer of the Year and Outstanding Apprentice of the Year.
The order of awards went to:
• Personal Achievement Award – Jack Shiels of Gap Signs Ltd
• Apprenticeship Champion Award - Katie Shannon of Accenture
• Intermediate Apprentice of the Year Award - Georgia Marie Clews of Astell Care Centre (Four Seasons Health Care)
• Advanced Apprentice of the Year – Ellen Heathcote of Gosforth East and Central Middle School
• Higher and Degree Apprentice of the Year – Claire Atkinson of The Grove Medical Group
• Special Recognition Award – Richard Carter of Newcastle City Council
• Apprenticeship Employer of the Year Award – Northumbrian Water
• Skills Trainer of the Year – Megan Coulson
• Outstanding Apprentice of the Year – Jack Shiels
Charity partner Team Tyne Innovation also came along to offer congratulations to students and to offer inspiration for on-going hard-work, commitment and innovation. Apprentices were invited to board their race boat which will compete in The Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge to raise funds for St Oswalds Hospice, Daft As A Brush and The Stroke Association.