To mark the achievements and contribution to the workplace, Shropshire Council held a virtual awards event last week, where over 70 members of staff and training providers attended.
The council has 192 apprentices who are currently developing their skills on the job within the council and its maintained schools.
Part of the event included an awards ceremony where winners of each category were announced:
Rising Star Award: Jeanette Hill, compass and assessment team in children’s services who is currently undertaking a level five operations/departmental manager apprenticeship
Director’s Choice Award: Tracy Bennett, data analyst in the infrastructure and architecture team, who is currently undertaking a level four data analyst apprenticeship
Apprentice of the Year Award: Chris Thompson from Norton-in-Hales CE Primary School who completed his teacher level six degree apprenticeship in 2020 and Matthew Fleming, an apprentice data analyst also in the infrastructure and architecture team, who is currently undertaking a level four data analyst apprenticeship
As an Apprenticeship Levy-paying employer, the council and its schools use apprenticeships as a key route of development for members of staff.
The criteria of each award category focused on the commitment, contribution and potential for future success for each nominee. The awards were sponsored by Barnsley College, University of Wolverhampton and Skills Training UK, providing a prize for each of the winners.
Ed Potter, Shropshire Council’s cabinet member for children’s services, said: “I’m so proud of our apprentices and what they’ve achieved so far.
"To date, we’ve created 115 new apprenticeships positions within Shropshire Council and our maintained schools. Thirty-free of these learners have now completed their apprenticeship programmes, with several progressing to higher level apprenticeships.
“Apprenticeships are a great way to earn whilst you learn, but they’re great for us too. It’s so rewarding to invest in people and help them to develop their skills, knowing that we’re doing our bit to tackle unemployment at a particularly difficult time for many.”
Michele Roberts, head of the apprenticeship hub at the University of Wolverhampton, added: “As one of the region’s leading degree apprenticeship providers with over 900 apprentices studying on 17 apprenticeship programmes we are delighted to celebrate both our employers’ and our apprentices’ success during National Apprenticeship Week.
“The 350 employers that we work with have shown a real commitment to continue upskilling their workforce during this really challenging year with the coronavirus pandemic and apprentices have shown great tenacity in continuing to work online to achieve their goals.
“It’s our absolute pleasure to shine the spotlight on companies who have continued to support their employees in this uncertain economic climate ensuring that apprentices progress and complete their programmes.
“We need also to recognise the success of our apprentices who have graduated or are in the process of graduating, proving that this vocational route is as relevant today as it has always been and we are looking forward to further developing programmes that will benefit local, regional, national and international economic skills regrowth and revival.”