On Thursday 9th June 2016, an award ceremony was held at Weston College, Weston-Super-Mare, in which employers, apprentices, key college partners and governors attended. It was hosted by Weston College’s Principal and Chief Executive Dr Paul Phillips OBE and was hosted at Cadbury House Hotel in Congresbury.
Toni Squires, a business administration apprentice, won the highly prestigious award ‘Apprentice of the Year’. For winning the award, Toni was presented with a gold trophy and a £500 cheque, which had been donated by Flexiform.
Toni was initially employed in a role to assist the administrator in processing new valuation instructions from clients and to look after the filing system at Aztec Property Valuers. In only a few months, Toni had progressed to managing the valuation instruction process, through hard work, dedication and a willingness to learn. This is quite an accomplishment for someone who started with no office or property valuing experience.
On receiving her award Toni said “I’m really happy about winning, I didn’t expect it. It’s a real reflection of the progress I have made”. She then went on to enthusiastically say “I’m looking forward to progressing in further qualifications and within the company”.
The Principals Award for ‘Employer of the Year’ went to GKN Aerospace, as well as the award for ‘Large Business Employer of the Year’. The company launched a flagship apprenticeship programme with Weston College in September 2015. The second intake of apprentices will happen in September 2016.
Barry Channing who is the Technical and Apprentice Training Leader at GKN Aerospace said “Our current first year apprentices are the best we’ve had for many years and we are very much looking forward to taking them forward into the business and growing them further. It’s nice to see so many different employees and employers here of varying sectors, so for us it’s a fantastic award and really pleasing to take away Employer of the Year”.
Sally Gunnel OBE, the Olympic gold medallist and the only woman ever to hold four major track titles concurrently, was the evenings keynote speaker. Gunnel said “What’s great is that Weston College really support all the apprentices and give them the confidence to be able to learn the skills needed to start their career”.
Principal and Chief Executive of Weston College, Dr Paul Phillips said “It was a fantastic evening and I feel very proud of all our apprentices and business partners. Congratulations to all award winners!”
The winners are:
Large Business Employer of the Year: GKN Aerospace
Medium Business Employer of the Year: Priddy Engineering Services
Small Business Employer of the Year: Gilly’s on the Hill
New Business Employer of the Year: South Western Housing
Work Experience Provider of the Year: Alliance Living Care
Working in Partnership: Thatchers Cider
Business Administration Apprentice of the Year: Toni Squires, Aztec Property Valuers
Professional Services Apprentice of the Year: Billy Walker, Symmetry
Childcare Apprentice of the Year: Emily Athay, HoneyTree Nursery
Engineering Apprentice of the Year: Joe Martin, GKN Aerospace
Health, Public Services and Social Care Apprentice of the Year: Lynne Hobbs, BrunelCare
Hospitality and Catering Apprentice of the Year: Cloe Hynam, Gilly’s on the Hill
Teaching Assistant of the Year: Kirsty Garrett, Westhaven School
Construction and Motor Vehicle Apprentice of the Year: Sam Taylor, Priddy Engineering
Hair and Beauty Apprentice of the Year: Verity Panter, Broad Street