Taking place between 8 – 14 February and coordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service, National Apprenticeship Week is a celebration of the positive impact Apprenticeships have on individuals, businesses and the UK economy.
Governors and the College’s Senior Management Team spent the week talking to Apprentices and taking part in various virtual Apprenticeship lessons to experience Apprenticeship learning first-hand.
Tuesday saw the Principal Martin Tucker, Governor Daphne Skinnard and Chair of Governors Bob Crossland take part in a virtual cook-along with Chef Lecturer Tony Duce and his class of commis chef Apprentices.
Boxes of fresh fish were delivered to each of the students (and senior members of staff) from Harvester Seafood, St Austell, with Tony setting two culinary challenges for them to tackle in their kitchens at home; Fowey River muscles, scallops & prawns with smoked butter & tomato, and whole Mevagissey lemon sole with shrimp & samphier butter sauce.
Judging by the food on display anyone eating the Apprentice’s food at their employer’s restaurants after lockdown is in for a treat with Paul Ainsworth, The Cove at Maenporth Beach, The Headland Hotel & Spa, Hotel Tresanton and The Longstore, Charlstown just some examples.
Hair and beauty Apprentices were also busy competing in the College’s annual Cornish Skills competition that gives learners the opportunity to showcase their skills in a wide range of categories with winners going on to represent the College and Cornwall in the national WorldSkills UK competition.
Director of Studies, Cheryl Mewton attended and judged the Level 2 Hair category, that required students to present models from their households virtually, styling their hair to incorporate sustainability themes and styles from the 1920s and 1960s.
An employer support webinar on Friday saw nearly 60 of Cornwall’s top employers register for a session with the Apprenticeship team and special guests, Kim Conchie (Cornwall Chamber of Commerce), Sharron Robbie MBE (Devon and Cornwall Training Providers Network), James Collings (FootAnstey LLP) and Cathie Kessell (Cornwall Council), who offered their expert opinion and advice on why Apprenticeships will be key throughout Cornwall’s recovery and the Brexit transition.
Senior members of staff attended more lessons throughout the week including Director of Quality Lowenna Bradley welcoming a new group of senior healthcare support worker Apprentices from Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust and Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust as part of the College’s range of nursing and healthcare Apprenticeships.
Dressing for the occasion, Lucy Maggs, Director of Operations at Penwith College donned her hard hat to learn about power tools in her lesson with construction Apprentices, while engineering welcomed Apprentices Aaron and Jason from DP Engineering in Redruth to talk to full time students about their success after progressing to study an Apprenticeship with the firm.
Scott Cryer, Director of Finance and Jane Cashmore, Director of Operations at Truro College joined marketing Apprentices to explore marketing legislation and ethics, with a group of Apprentices from a range of areas joining Lowenna Bradley, Director of Quality and Vicky Pearson, Director of Teaching and Learning to discuss their experience and feedback what it is like to be an Apprentice at Truro and Penwith College.
Holly Rollins (Penryn) is a business administration Apprentice and commented: “I’ve been blown away by the amount of support I’ve had throughout my Apprenticeship. Because of the pandemic It’s been a really difficult year but my training advisor has been so supportive. They’ve helped me to stay organised and keep on track throughout it all”.
Commis Chef Apprentice Kai Meadows (Truro) is completing his Apprenticeship with St Michael’s Hotel and took part in the cook-along lesson with the Principal and Governors on Tuesday. Kai said: “I’ve been really impressed with the number of guest speakers we get to listen to throughout the year, the College’s link with some of the country’s top caterers is great. It’s also amazing to hear from people in the industry who have been working all over the world”.
Hospitality team member Apprentice Olivia Carthew (Bodmin) completed her training at the Paul Ainsworth Collection where she enjoyed an unforgettable experience before the impacts of Covid-19, flying to Saudi Arabia to work at ‘A Taste of the World’, a gastronomic celebration for food lovers.
Olivia has now gained full-time employment at Paul Ainsworth’s Michelin-starred restaurant, Paul Ainsworth at No6, where she has already been promoted to Restaurant Curator and is running her own front of house section. Olivia commented: “Truro and Penwith College is one of the providers that’s most heard of in the community. Everyone I know who has done an Apprenticeship with the College has said how great it’s been and it’s a name that will always stand out on your CV".
Nearly 2,000 people have watched a live Q&A from Monday 8 Feb with Apprenticeship Recruitment Coordinator Tammy McDermott that is available on the College’s Facebook page.
Tammy also supported Schools across Cornwall with helpful resources and videos throughout the week and attended a virtual Mock Apprenticeship Interview Day with Pool Academy.