Winners announced at 2018 Cornwall Apprenticeship Awards

Apprentices, their families and colleagues came together on Friday night to celebrate in style as Truro and Penwith College played host to the fourth annual Cornwall Apprenticeship Awards.

Holly Day and Neil Caddy from Pirate FM presented the awards with support from Cornwall-wide business sponsors to recognise and reward the exceptional achievement of 38 shortlisted learners and employers involved in Apprenticeship training.

The Awards, celebrate both the achievements of Apprentices from across Cornwall who work in a variety of sectors, and also those employers who go the extra mile in terms of the provision and support they provide.

The Awards are open to all Apprentices and Apprenticeship employers across Cornwall and cover a range of professional categories including construction, engineering, management and marketing and business. Judging the Awards was a panel made up of industry leaders from a range of large and medium Cornish employers. 2018 was a very successful year for learners from Truro and Penwith College as 11 of Ofsted Outstanding College’s Apprentices came out on top in 13 Apprentice categories.

Stage, set and seating for the Awards evening

Truro College's Fal building was transformed for the Awards

The Large Apprenticeship Employer of the Year award was won by Serco Defence for the wide range of Apprenticeships on offer within the organisation, from aeronautical engineering to logistics and business administration. Progression rates at Serco are exceptional, with all of Serco Defence’s Apprentices being offered a guaranteed job on completion, while being encouraged to take part in community and charity work to support corporate social responsibility. Highly commended in this category was 2017 winner Eden Project and Watergate Bay.

SME Employer of the Year was won by RRL. Previously known as Robinson Reed Layton, the accountancy firm was highly commended in 2017 with judges scoring them as winners this year due to the organisation going the extra mile in funding all of their Apprentices learning and associated costs including additional qualifications where needed. Many of RRL’s Apprentices stay with them for a number of years after completing and are given a dedicated training manager and buddy in the office to support them throughout their training. This year’s highly commended nominees were Bluefruit and Vision Independent Financial Planning. 

Serco Defence scoop the Large Employer Award

Serco Defence scoop the Large Employer Award, pictured with Ashley Shopland from category sponsors Imerys Minerals

SME Winner at the 2018 Cornwall Apprenticeship Awards

Stephen Gainey from RRL is presented with the SME employer award by Alan Woods OBE from sponsors VTCT and iTEC

Cornwall’s Apprentice of the Year was named on the night as 18-year-old engineer Daniel Rutter from Falmouth. After completing his level 2 Apprenticeship in June, Daniel spent his summer working on tool improvements at home before starting his level 3 Apprenticeship in September. Not only has Daniel become an ambassador for Truro and Penwith College and his employer Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group by visiting schools to encourage others to consider Apprenticeship training, but his ability in the workplace is already resulting in significant cost savings for his employer.

In addition to winning Cornwall’s Apprentice of the Year 2018 Daniel was also awarded Engineering and Manufacturing Apprentice of the Year 2018. Despite being no stranger to recognition and praise from colleagues and tutors, becoming a double award winner on the evening was not something Daniel was expecting.

“I didn’t expect to win the Engineering and Manufacturing category, let alone Cornwall’s Apprentice of the Year”, commented Daniel. “I was thrilled to be nominated and came here to enjoy the evening, when they announced I had won I was overwhelmed and speechless. My confidence and self-belief will definitely grow as a result of this evening”

Julie Smith, Perpetual Inventory Controller, Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group commented: “Daniel is always looking for opportunities to grow as an engineer and learn new things, actively seeking out projects where he can contribute. He is a pleasure to work with and someone with a passion for engineering, he is a real standout Apprentice demonstrating he can look beyond the task he is set to provide a solution that delivers above and beyond our expectations”.

Cornwall's Apprentice of the Year Daniel Rutter with hosts Neil Caddy and Holly Day from Pirate FM

Cornwall's Apprentice of the Year Daniel Rutter with hosts Neil Caddy and Holly Day from Pirate FM

Cited by judges as “an inspiration and role model to us all” the Apprentice Achiever of the Year 2018 was awarded to 41-year-old Amelia Wilson from Perranporth for her work in the role of Apprentice Education Support Officer at Cornwall Council.

The Achiever of the Year category is awarded to an Apprentice who has overcome adversity or some form of personal challenge to complete their Apprenticeship and is subject to a public vote that was heavily supported by media partners Pirate FM and headline sponsor Cornwall Live.

Amelia is registered blind, a guide dog user and uses specialist software to perform exceptionally well in her role, and has become an integral part of her team. Amelia has shown outstanding commitment to expanding her skills and knowledge, seeking out additional training opportunities, taking sole responsibility for a number of tasks and advising members of the public on a variety of queries.

Helen Peerless, from the Apprentice, education and early years department at Cornwall Council commented: “Amelia has approached and overcome the challenges presented by her disability with great personal strength and dignity, and in this respect she is a role model to us all. She has proactively challenged barriers she has experienced in both the workplace and training environment, resulting in reviewed practice. This can only have a positive benefit for future Apprentices and employees.”

Amelia said: “It was amazingly flattering to hear I had been shortlisted for the Awards, I was taken aback. The Education and Early Years department at Cornwall Council is a lovely place to work, it is a really supportive environment. Everybody in my category was so amazing I didn’t expect to win at all. I think this kind of recognition will stand me in good stead going forward in my career and will certainly help with securing future employment.”

Amelia Wilson announced Achiever of the Year by Tim Rumbelow from event partners Cornwall Live

Amelia Wilson announced Achiever of the Year by Tim Rumbelow from event partners Cornwall Live

Other category winners on the night included Hospitality Apprentice of the Year – Sponsored by Headland Hotel – Aurelija Grikstine from Headland Hotel; Accountancy Apprentice of the Year - Sponsored by Cornish Pirates – Bethan Kent from Tregothnan; Construction and Trade Occupations Apprentice of the Year – Sponsored by ISO Spaces – John Povey from Eden Project; Health and Social Care and Childcare Apprentice of the Year – Sponsored by Skills Hub – Michelle Elliott from Port Isaac Surgery; Digital and IT Apprentice of the Year – Sponsored by Parnall Engineering Advanced – Elliot Paull from Bluefruit; Management and Marketing Apprentice of the Year – Sponsored by St Austell Brewery – Amber Charman from H Tempest Ltd; Business Apprentice of the Year – Sponsored by NatWest – Thomas Hyde from Vision Independent Financial Planning; Customer Service and Retail Apprentice of the Year – Sponsored by the Rick Stein Group – Charlotte Laity from Falmouth Exeter Plus; Hair and Beauty Apprentice of the Year – Sponsored by Marzipan Hair – Georgia Attenborough from NV Hairdressing; Motor Vehicle Apprentice of the Year – Sponsored by Steve Andrews Tyres – Jay-Dee Leach-West from Roseland Stores and Engineering and Manufacturing Apprentice of the Year – Sponsored by Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group – Daniel Rutter from Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group.

Speaking after the event, David Walrond, Principal of Truro and Penwith College, which hosted the Awards commented: “It’s important that we recognise Apprenticeships are a key part of Cornwall’s Economic Strategy to provide a skilled workforce and sustainable high quality employment and careers, improving both individual and our collective life chances.

“Truro and Penwith College is proud to host this event and celebrate learners and employers of the highest quality, and I am thrilled that 11 of the 13 Apprentice categories were won by Truro and Penwith College learners this year. Quality of experience and of outcomes continues to be our focus and the recent publication of national data demonstrates the Apprenticeship achievement at the College is not only well above the average of all providers in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, but also 9% above the average of all providers in the UK.”

“We are grateful to our many partners in Cornwall’s business community, many of whom have come forward to sponsor tonight’s event, and without their support the Cornwall Apprenticeship Awards simply wouldn’t be possible.”

The Awards presentation, was preceded by a delicious dinner, designed and served by students from the Rick Stein Academy and Truro and Penwith College's training kitchens Spires and Senara, who were supported by Truro and Penwith College tutors Mark Lewin, Hannah Dome and Tony Duce. College theatre technicians Jon Johnson and Chris Rogers provided stunning lighting, video and sound throughout and were supported by students Taran Moseley and Jacob Archer-Moran who are studying Production Arts and Live Events at the College.

Apprentices in the kitchens at the Cornwall Apprenticeship Awards 2018

Apprentices prepared and served the menu on the evening.