Celebrating Apprenticeship Success at New College!

15 Feb 2022

New College Swindon rounded-off a successful National Apprenticeship Week with a glittering awards ceremony to celebrate the amazing achievements of their apprentices over the past 12 months. Family, friends and employers were all in attendance to cheer on the winners and recognise their hard work and dedication.

Reflecting on the challenges the College’s apprentices have faced through the pandemic over the past year, Carole Kitching said,

“We are so proud of what our apprentices have accomplished and the resilience they have shown in the face of such adversity. They have continued to work hard both at College and in the workplace, going above and beyond to support each other and their colleagues.

We are also incredibly grateful to our employers, who remained committed to our apprentices and to the job of equipping them with the future-ready skills needed to thrive now and throughout their careers.”

New College trains over 1,000 apprentices every year. Of these, 14 winners were recognised at the annual awards ceremony. Level 3 Plumbing Apprentice Sam Bobs, who took home Outstanding Apprentice of the Year, has been on a journey at the College which has spanned almost 7 years, progressing from Entry Level right through to his Level 3.

Talking about his decision to become an apprentice, Sam said,

“I had seen how successful my grandad had been as a plumber and he’s my inspiration so I decided that this was also the path I wanted to follow. Learning a skill that I can have for the rest of my life, that I can take anywhere I go, was a key point in making this decision. I have always learnt best through a hands-on style of learning and I love building and fixing things. The taught lessons at College have helped me develop so much and the teachers have been really supportive.”

In its 15th year, National Apprenticeship Week takes place every February and is an opportunity to celebrate the apprenticeship community across England and promote the benefits to both learners and employers.

In addition to the awards ceremony, New College Swindon also held an Apprenticeships Fair, connecting potential apprentices with local employers and promoting their offer of over 40 apprenticeship programmes. Ranging from Level 2 (equivalent to GCSE) up to Level 6 (degree), these programmes cover construction, engineering, electrical, digital/computing, healthcare, education, lab science, hairdressing, cooking, business services, management and more. As part of the College’s commitment to provide better opportunities for education and skills development across the region, the exciting addition of the Swindon and Wiltshire Institute of Technology brings high-level technical apprenticeships and degrees to local learners and employers.

Another highlight of the National Apprenticeship Week celebrations was a breakfast event for employers. Titled “Apprenticeships - Back to Basics”, the aim was to debunk the myths surrounding apprenticeship recruitment and funding that are making employers weary of the process.

Business Development Manager, Caroline Maycock said,

“Businesses across the country are still dealing with the economic fallout of the pandemic. It has had a huge impact on their ability to build and maintain a sustainable workforce, with depleted funds preventing them from making the necessary investment in recruitment and development. This event was a great opportunity to discuss how apprenticeships can address these skills gaps and help employers to build back stronger. Apprenticeships provide a cost effective solution, whether looking to bring in new talent or upskill existing staff.”

Apprenticeships are available to start throughout the year and you can apply for the latest vacancies via the New College website, visit www.newcollege.ac.uk/apprenticeships/current-vacancies.

For individuals or employers interested in finding out more they can email apprenticeships@newcollege.ac.uk.