Apprentice of the Year in…Public Services and Education
Megan Barnes - Frenchay Primary School
Megan Barnes is an apprentice with Frenchay Primary School. She takes on the responsibility of preparing the classroom for the day and helping children who need extra support, as well as assisting the school’s teachers and staff in creating activities and settling the children. She presents herself as a happy, approachable and friendly support so that the children can look up to her, trust her and know there is always help on hand. This positive attitude is a great help to all at the school, helping to create an environment where the children feel safe.
Fiona Brown - St Rose’s Special School
Fiona Brown is an apprentice at St Rose’s Special School which provides education, therapy and day and residential care for children and students with a wide range of disabilities. Fiona has had an impact on the lives of many students across the school with her helpful assistance and positive attitude. Caring and kind, Fiona is particularly good with students with profound needs as she is able to sensitively communicate with them using Makaton and equipment such as eye gaze.
Stuart Mackenzie - Gloucestershire Constabulary
Stuart Mackenzie is a finance trainee with Gloucestershire Constabulary. Through hands-on experience, he is learning how to undertake different financial roles and skills. Being part of the constabulary, he is also learning about the policing and protection of the community which is something Stuart is passionate about. It is evident to the organisation that Stuart is destined for great things, with his employer expecting him to go into management roles in the future. Said to be a pleasure to work with, diligently curious and polite, he has had a hugely positive impact on the wider team.
Apprentice of the Year in…Construction and Property Industries
George D'Rozario - Shared Apprenticeships
George D'Rozario is completing the Level 4 Construction Site Supervisor apprenticeship with Shared Apprenticeships and has been such a success he has already had a special mention from the regional director. George supervises specialist contractors and workers, monitors health and safety on site, records, controls and reports the progress and quality of works and assists the quantity surveyors with controlling costs. Projected to finish his apprenticeship even earlier than expected, George is keen to progress on the completion of his course to a degree apprenticeship in the built environment.
Daniel Rickman - St Peters Garden Centre
Daniel Rickman is in his second year of a Level 2 Site Carpentry standard at Gloucester College. As a maintenance assistant at St Peter's Garden Centre, he is responsible for the upkeep and safety of the site, as well as conducting routine maintenance and undertaking large re-fits and tasks. Dan has adapted excellently to his role and become a key member of the maintenance team, being instrumental in the development of the garden centre. He has an excellent eye for detail and holds himself to extremely high standards, planning to become a self-employed carpenter and builder.
George Skuse - Mott Macdonald
George Skuse is a civil engineering apprentice with Mott Macdonald, managing and developing high-quality, safe pavement models and drawings to be used by contractors on-site. George has already displayed a great work ethic and a keen attitude in his project work, completing jobs without needing much input to a high standard. He has received stellar feedback from multiple individuals and has fit in extremely well with the highways team. George is also the continuous professional development representative for the Highways Early Career Professional network, hosting webinars for employees within the division.
Apprentice of the Year in… Engineering, Manufacturing, Energy and Electrical
Euan Clarke - Safran Landing Systems
Euan Clark is an apprentice with Safran Landing Systems, responsible for the maintenance of all mechanical and electrical equipment in the process department. He plans and undertakes preventative maintenance as well as fixing breakdowns for more than 200 assets. Euan always had a passion for learning practical skills and the apprenticeship has allowed him to develop these as well as management and organisational skills. His fantastic attitude sees him committing his time and energy to not only his role but to inspiring the next generation of apprentices at recruitment events and initiatives.
Cara French - Wessex Water
Cara has had a great start to her new career as an apprentice with Wessex Water. She has continuously developed her skills and understanding which has led her to contributing highly to her team and the company overall, with her work seeing a 50% reduction in leakage levels in the Taunton zone. It is Cara's personal qualities such as her positive demeanour, determination to succeed as well as a calm steady approach which have had such a positive impact on the team, with Cara becoming a role model for other apprentices and an ambassador at many events.
Amy Tanner - Wessex Water
Amy Tanner is part of the Wessex Water construction department which deals with large-value schemes. These need to be completed safely, to a high standard and in a timely and cost-efficient manner, all of which Amy has achieved over and above expectations. She has developed a vast range of experience by working with various teams, with her enthusiasm to learn all aspects of the role making her a great part of any group and setting her up for success. Amy has also taken part in outreach events and is looking into becoming a STEM ambassador.
Apprentice of the Year in…Health, Well-being and Care
Toby Gallagher - North Bristol Trust
Toby Gallagher is a trainee nurse apprentice with North Bristol Trust, working closely with health and social professionals to deliver excellent patient care and support the wider family network. Toby works in the Acute Medical Unit, embracing all of the opportunities that the programme has offered. An ambassador for the apprenticeship scheme, he has encouraged and influenced others to join the programme and further their nursing careers. Toby will qualify as a nursing associate later this year and aims to then become a band 5 nurse through an additional apprenticeship route.
Alisha Moxham - City of Bristol College
Alisha Moxham has been offered a full-time role as a learning support assistant following her apprenticeship with the City of Bristol College. Based around the health and social care of students, the role involves working with the students to help them become as independent as possible. Alisha works with students with a range of learning difficulties and disabilities, acting with politeness, professionalism and respect to all staff, students and carers. Students respect Alisha and look forward to her being on shift. She shows great initiative and is happy to volunteer for extra hours.
Vicky Smith - Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust
Vicky Smith has spent 30 years as a healthcare assistant and has undertaken an apprenticeship with Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Trust to further her skills and continue to help others. In her role, she provides therapeutic relationships to hard-to-reach patient groups. She is reflective and creative when implementing nursing interventions, realising the importance of building trust and relationships with patients. Vicky has a passion to make a difference in the lives of the marginalised, aiming to train further to become a band 5 nurse once she has completed her apprenticeship.
Apprentice of the Year in...Technology, Digital and Creative
Joe Varney - Assured Digital Technologies
Joe Varmey is an Azure Cloud Support Specialist in his Level 3 Information Communications Technician programme. His role is to resolve system user queries and faults in a helpdesk environment, and he also provides support in other projects such as maintenance tasks, hardware upgrades, computer system faults and more. In only eight months, he has received 94 customer feedback surveys, averaging a score of 4.95 out of 5. His passion for the IT industry is evident in his enthusiasm to build new skills, learn more information and engage with new technologies.
Lucy Hanman - Atkins, Member of the SNC-Lavalin Group
Lucy Hanman is on a Level 6 Digital and Technology Solutions apprenticeship with Atkins, taking on a role as a consultant, business analyst and mentor for young professionals. Since starting, she has been able to aid in the revamp of the young professional awards scheme through the early careers network, change existing processes for clients and continuously improve them and represent apprenticeships in schools and colleges. Lucy has shown an aptitude for learning and creating opportunities that not only benefit her personal career development but also that of others, making her a very successful member of the Atkins team.
Lewis McKeating - MBDA Systems
Lewis McKeating is a software engineer with MBDA, developing and maintaining current and future software. He is responsible for making sure his code is tested and up to a high standard, for researching emerging technologies and for working closely with internal and international teams. Lewis has shown that he is an adaptable learner in a challenging field, showing ability beyond his years and outperforming many graduates. Lewis has also undertaken a role in the company’s induction team supporting new and experienced hires and plays a role in outreach events as an apprentice ambassador.
Apprentice of the Year in...Professional Services
Maea Browning - Pro Global
Maea Browning has taken on significant responsibilities across all areas of HR at Pro Global. She is solely responsible for the recruitment of entry-level candidates and their journey from start to end of the recruitment process, the onboarding of new employees across multiple locations in the UK, and internal communications as editor-in-chief of Pro People and its social media channels. Maea also manages the learning and development for all UK employees and works closely with the HR operations team, writing her own HR Policy and managing the performance management process.
Aimee Flaskett - Weston College
Aimee Flaskett is completing a Level 3 Marketing Assistant apprenticeship which covers digital, social media and event marketing, brand activation and customer communications. In her role at Weston College, she leads finance for the marketing department, liaises with press partners, organises a range of events, writes web content and creates organic social media campaigns and photography. Aimee has high-level skills, takes on any challenge and always surpasses expectations. So impressed by her work, Weston College has offered Amy a full-time role despite much time still remaining on her apprenticeship.
Lucy Hart - The Healthcare Financial Management Association
Lucy Hart has been hired as an events coordinator following her apprenticeship at The Healthcare Financial Management Association. Her role involves delivering a diverse and demanding programme of events throughout the year, covering administration, attendance and support. She also leads on creating and managing the team’s web pages, is responsible for a large portion of the team’s marketing activity, and is also the webinar lead for the whole organisation. Highly regarded by the organisation as a whole, Lucy successfully completed her apprenticeship with flying colours and is now continuing to thrive and impress everyone she works with.
Apprenticeship Training Provider of the Year
Gloucestershire College is committed to developing local talent and supporting the growth of businesses in the South West. As an award-winning training provider, it offers a comprehensive range of professional and technical training programmes and apprenticeships, from entry-level right up to degree. With one of the largest portfolios of apprenticeship programmes in the region, Gloucestershire College is the trusted partner of over 1,300 employers and has more than 1,800 apprentices in training. With a focus on future skills, the college prepares learners for their careers, facilitates future progression and enables business growth.
South Gloucestershire and Stroud College
South Gloucestershire and Stroud College supports more than 1,000 employers with its apprenticeship and work experience programmes, recruiting over 400 new apprentices every year. SGS nurtures personal and social development, working with apprentices to upskill their problem-solving, critical thinking and positive attitudes to learning and employment. The new SGS Horizon Construction Apprenticeship Centre in Filton is supporting the needs of the construction industry by helping 500 apprentices annually with a career in the sector. The campus provides learners and employers with the flexible apprenticeship delivery they need to develop their organisations and ensures excellent progression routes
Weston College is one of the fastest-growing further and higher education colleges in the UK. Working closely with an employer network of over 2,500 businesses of all sizes it develops bespoke apprenticeship programmes tailored to the needs of individual employers. Currently the only Ofsted ‘outstanding’ college in the region, the organisation continues to buck national trends with statistics such as having 1,900 apprentices, beating apprenticeship standards benchmarks by 15%, hosting apprenticeship events with hundreds of attendees, seeing a 97% employer satisfaction rate and a 40% growth in degree apprenticeships.
Mentor of the Year
Jen Bircher - Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Trust
Jen Bircher is an outstanding healthcare assistant with Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Trust. She provides vital support for new starters, welcoming them into the ward and providing words of wisdom to help them through the new experience. Not only emotional support, Jen ensures they can also undertake the practical aspects of the role by ensuring they have the time to complete their care certificate and assisting them with any clinical tasks they aren’t confident with. Jen has helped retention rates by putting apprentices at ease before joining the organisation, as well as when they start.
Nancy Gill - Wessex Water
Nancy Gill is the pastoral support and safeguarding lead to Wessex Water's 200 apprentices. A ‘ferocious cheerleader’, Nancy is committed to ensuring everyone meets their full potential, supporting apprentices and their managers with work, training and personal issues. Her dedication to improving individuals’ situations is exemplary; whether she is providing practical and professional solutions or lending emotional support, her attention and commitment remain undivided and yield excellent results. Her support is invaluable not only to the individuals she works with but to the wider business and the success of its apprenticeship programme.
Seth Saberton - Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust
Seth Saberton is a role development support worker within Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust. Seth is paving the way for his role within the trust to be a permanent feature due to the outstanding support and guidance he is providing across his locations. He supports multiple apprentices along with new-to-role healthcare support workers with his mentor support, as well as providing outstanding clinical work and general staff support. He also created a successful new meeting network for inter-workforce support which is now being rolled out in other areas
Small - Medium Employer of the Year
Avonmouth C of E Primary School
For years now, Avonmouth C of E Primary School has taken on new apprentices every September. It has found the apprenticeship programme to be invaluable and has seen significant benefits. The range of experiences the apprentices have has meant that it has been able to provide its children with additional pastoral support, sports, creative activities and SEND support. Avonmouth’s apprentices are valued the same as any other member of staff and receive the same opportunities, many of them getting first refusal with upcoming jobs so that they can continue their professional development even further with the school.
Merretts Heating Services
Merretts Heating Services is a proud member of the Plumbing and Domestic Heating Technician Apprenticeship Board with whom it has developed the apprenticeship standard and assessment plan for the Plumbing and Domestic Heating Technician apprenticeship programme for England. Director Dave Merrett has dedicated much of his time to apprenticeships, committing to recruiting local candidates every year. Every apprentice is trained with the best engineers, add-on courses, is fully inducted into the business and has a clear career plan with support from all areas of the business, and is subsequently offered a permanent position.
Shared Apprenticeships is a not-for-profit social enterprise specialising in widening participation pathways into the construction industry. It employs and supports young apprentices to attend college and gain workplace experience on-site with a main contractor or supply chain, allocating work locally and paying at least the national living wage from the start of the programme. Apprentices have well-being and learning support outside of their placement, with extra opportunities to take advantage of. Shared Apprenticeships delivers lasting social impact with its employment, addressing the skills shortage in the industry and inspiring the next generation.
Large Employer of the Year
Cornwall Group Ltd
Independent, family-owned Cornwall Group has an occupational competency training programme designed to support new skill development and career progression. Fostering a culture of learning, the Cornwall Group Apprenticeship Journey involves specialist training partnerships and a vast amount of internal support which encourages long-term development. Cornwall Group puts a lot of investment into the apprentices, not only during the initial stage of their careers but further on by offering opportunities to progress. The apprenticeship also offers added benefits such as driving lessons, high street vouchers and salary reviews to promote a more positive experience.
Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust
Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust currently has 210 apprentices on programmes from Level 2 to Level 7 across 32 different apprenticeship standards. In addition to upskilling and developing its current workforce, the Trust has committed to increasing the number of entry-level apprenticeship vacancies. Its dedicated careers engagement officer engages with schools and the local community using a curriculum of bespoke workshops to increase social mobility and accessibility to work, train and establish a career within the NHS. The team have also modified recruitment and onboarding to allow for personalised support throughout.
Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has nearly 400 people on apprenticeships in more than 40 different standards. It works tirelessly to create pathways to inspire and develop its current workforce, as well as bring opportunities to more people by connecting with schools, colleges and local communities. The Trust works closely with training providers to support each apprentice relative to their needs. This includes effective mentoring workshops for staff working with the apprentices to help them support the new recruits even better, making the apprentices feel more valued and important to the workforce.