Last night, Bridgwater & Taunton College held their annual Apprenticeships Award Evening at The McMillan Theatre to celebrate the success of their Apprenticeship provision across 11 award categories.
The College’s March 2019 Ofsted inspection resulted in ‘Outstanding’ grades in five key areas, most notably Apprenticeships, with the Inspector reporting that:
Partnerships with employers and other stakeholders lead to excellent opportunities for learners.
College leaders are highly skilled at working with international, national and local employers to plan and develop a curriculum that takes account of the future direction of industries.
A key focus for the College has been apprenticeship growth, bucking the national declining trend of apprenticeships. The College has increased apprenticeship enrolments year on year, and have just over 3,000 to date.
At Bridgwater & Taunton College’s Apprenticeship Awards 2020, judges selected 15 of the very best BTC apprentices to receive recognition for their hard work and contribution to their organisation. 16 of the 1,400+ employers that the College currently work with were also invited to attend the awards and our successful partnership celebrated.
Caitlin Tucker, a Level 2 Manufacturing Sewn products & Apparel Apprentice took the Intermediate Apprentice of the Year Award. Caitlin is completing her apprenticeship with Sassi Holford in Taunton. Initially inspired into sewing by her mother, Caitlin is showing fantastic skill and natural ability working on high-end pieces that feature in Bridal Shows.
The Higher/Degree Level Apprentice of the Year was awarded to Stephen Miller, a Level 4 Apprentice in Agricultural Business Management. Stephen has now progressed on to the degree programme and is hoping to achieve an industry placement with John Deere in the future with the long term aim of working as a farm consultant alongside managing the arable and pig units on the family farm. Stephen tutors added:
Stephen demonstrated an outstanding level of ability and professionalism. His attitude and enthusiasm were second to none and these qualities complimented his excellent development of ability and knowledge.
The Advanced Apprentice of the Year was awarded to Simon Cook, who also took home Overall Apprentice of the Year. Simon has progressed to Senior Groundsman at Wellington School after starting his apprenticeship in September 2017 as a Groundsman. He achieved his Level 2 in Sports Turf in 2017, beginning the Level 3 a few months later. Simon fully contributes to and enhances a safe and fun learning environment for pupils undertaking sports activities at Wellington School.
Over 95% of Somerset’s businesses are small and medium enterprises (SMEs). In a region with almost zero unemployment but no university of its own, there is an acute shortage of higher-level skills. It is crucial that we work closely with SMEs to develop work-based training programmes that will raise aspirations and increase workforce productivity. The Small Employer of the Year was awarded to Spicerack, an independent creative technology agency.
Somerset Larder, providers of freshly prepared food for businesses based within Somerset, took home the Medium Employer of the Year award. Whilst Wessex Water were awarded both the Large and Overall Employer of the Year 2020. Wessex Water is the country’s leading water and sewerage company, serving 2.7 million customers across the area. Apprenticeships form part of Wessex Water’s long term talent and recruitment strategy. With over 150 apprentices in the business at any one time, apprenticeships are seen as core to long term, and ongoing, technical and personal development.
Other winners included Charlie Heavon for Rising Star of the Year, Amy Tanner for Work Experience/Placement Student of the Year and Work Experience/Placement Employer of the Year, SMS PC & iPhone Repair. The College’s James Satchell Memorial Shield was given to Lewis Nichols.
Apprentice electricians, Ben Kidner and Alex Rendall were presented with an Outstanding Achievement Award after their outstanding display of technique at UKSkills 2019.
Andy Berry, Principal of Bridgwater & Taunton College, concluded the evening by sharing his inspirational story of how he began his career as an Electrical Apprentice. He commented:
There are many avenues and routes an apprenticeship can take you. We couldn’t do it without our outstanding employer partnerships and our hardworking, dedicated staff who go the extra mile to support our apprentices and employers. We could not be prouder tonight and are thrilled to celebrate your successes with you.
The College wishes to thank Sedgemoor District Council for sponsoring this year’s event. Individual Award sponsors included; EDF Energy, Bylor, UK Hydrographic Office, Mindful Education, The WEX Platform from Work Experiences, Learning Curve Group, Taunton Round Table and Bridgwater Chamber of Commerce. The support of key employers such as these makes the event such a rewarding and spectacular evening.
If you would like more information about studying an Apprenticeship at Bridgwater & Taunton College, please contact our Information and Guidance Team on 01278 441234, or visit www.btc.ac.uk.