Cornwall Apprenticeship Awards 2017 Winners

We take a closer look at the winners from the 2017 Cornwall Apprenticeship Awards, who were recognised for their outstanding achievement on Friday 17th November:

Category winners

Cornwall’s 2017 Apprentice of the Year - Sponsored by Truro and Penwith College

Winner: Shannon O’Regan – Marzipan Hair

Nominator Hannah Thomas said; “The minute we met Shannon, the team knew she would be a dream Apprentice.”

Not only has Shannon gone on to achieve 2nd in the Cornish Skills competition, but has been named ‘star of the show’ by industry experts.

Shannon learns about the industry in her own time and often practices what she has learnt -educating the team, including her younger sister who is now a member of Marzipan.

Shannon is well loved by the Marzipan team and clients. Her nominator said she believes Shannon is a ‘future star’.

Apprentice Achiever of the Year - Sponsored by GetMyFirstJob:

Winner: Diane Jones – Oltco 

Diane's confidence grew quickly under the watchful eye of her office manager and company directors and she showed signs of huge potential which led to Diane taking a responsible role within the company. 

Diane has not only gone out of her way to increase brand awareness which has generated more business for Oltco, but the Apprenticeship has enabled Diane to make huge improvements to her Charity, The Noah Community Project, which helps families in need across Cornwall and wider afield.

Nominator John Pearce said: “Diane has completely embraced the process of retraining, enjoying the new challenges that she has faced and becoming a very valued and respected member of our team.“ 

SME Employer of the Year - Sponsored by West Briton:

Winner: The Victoria Inn

Retention and progression has been a key aspect of the Victoria Inn’s Apprenticeship programme. The Victoria Inn offers Apprentices a minimum 3 year training opportunity if they have the ambition starting an Apprenticeship with the company is an automatic guarantee of continued employment.

All of the 2016/2017 Apprentices are upskilling and progressing onto the next level of Apprenticeship training.

Eight members of staff started an Apprenticeship programmes with Truro and Penwith College in September 2017 and earlier this year The Victoria Inn’s dedication to training and customer service was recognised when they were awarded the St Austell Brewery South West Pub Team of the year for the second year running.

Large Employer of the Year - Sponsored by St Austell Brewery

Winner: Eden Project

Eden not only provide high quality and varied work experience opportunities for their Apprentices, but incorporate additional learning programmes and projects to improve their chances of progression. This includes Skills Workshops, Sustainable Enterprise programme, Plant-to-Plate project, Community project, Mentoring and Work placements with other businesses.

All Apprentices that have taken part in Eden’s programme (since 2014), have progressed straight into full-time permanent employment or further education, a large percentage of which continue to be employed by Eden, a testament to the effectiveness and depth of their training.

Gordon Seabright, Managing Director said: "Apprenticeships are a hugely important part of what we do. We are an educational charity and take very seriously our role in bringing along the next generation of young people. Eden apprentices are the leaders of tomorrow and there are no limits to what they can achieve."

Accountancy Apprentice of the Year - Sponsored by Cornwall Chamber

Winner: Ellen Curnow – Lang Bennetts

By the end of her first year, Ellen has already proved herself to be capable enough to start managing one of Lang Bennetts’ book-keepers.

With outstanding results from her AAT exams, Ellen achieved an overall 95% mark and distinction in her Level 3 exams and consistently attains high standards and outcomes in all her practical work.

Helen Hood, Partner at Lang Bennetts: “Ellen epitomises what Apprenticeships are all about. The scheme has enabled her to discover a career path she clearly loves whilst also providing our company with a young, talented member of staff who is contributing not only to our bottom line but also to our efficiency and knowledge base. She is exceptional in every respect and we’re delighted to have her.”

Business Apprentice of the Year - Sponsored by CORMAC

Winner: Diane Jones – Oltco

Diane's confidence grew quickly under the watchful eye of her office manager and company directors and she showed signs of huge potential which led to Diane taking a responsible role within the company. 

Diane has not only gone out of her way to increase brand awareness which has generated more business for Oltco, but the Apprenticeship has enabled Diane to make huge improvements to her Charity, The Noah Community Project, which helps families in need across Cornwall and wider afield.

Nominator John Pearce said: “Diane has completely embraced the process of retraining, enjoying the new challenges that she has faced and becoming a very valued and respected member of our team.“ 

Construction Apprentice of the Year - Sponsored by Corbey Construction:

Winner: Oliver Weeks – RHR Construction

Ollie brings energy to meet the challenges of working on a busy construction site. He’s been described as an Apprentice with an extraordinary work ethic, happiest when busy and focused on the day's tasks ahead of him.

“Ollie has developed good problem solving skills; when something won’t quite work out he stops and considers before moving on. He is always quick to take College learning out into the workplace,” his tutor and nominator, Tim Toomey said.

Ollie’s boss at RHR construction said: "He is tireless and just gets on with the job, as soon as he finishes something he always comes up to me and says 'I've done that, what's next?'

Engineering Apprentice of the Year - Sponsored by Watson Marlow Fluid Technology Group

Winner: Spencer Brewer - WES Engineering Solutions

Nominator Andy Foulks said: “As Spencer’s tutor I have seen his skill level increase rapidly over the past twelve months securing Distinction Grades in the majority of Units.  In the workplace Spencer has also shown outstanding personal development."

Spencer has been enrolled onto a Management course on top of his apprenticeship at College, and has previously completed additional training in Computer Aided Design and Parametric Modelling (CAD) achieving qualifications at Level 1, 2 and 3.

Spencer has also taken part in College advice days providing information and guidance to prospective learners and Apprentices at the College.

Customer Service and Retail Apprentice of the Year - Sponsored by the Rick Stein Group:

Winner: Rebecca-Jay Thorpe – Cornwall Council 

Rebecca initially started with the Council as an unpaid work placement from the Job Centre in February 2016 and then secured a position as an Apprentice at the end of May 2016.

Nominator Sarah Doidge, Assessment Team Leader at Cornwall Council said: “Rebecca has developed into a fully-fledged member of the contact centre team. She confidently deals with all nature of calls that we deal with, from taking telephone applications for Housing Benefit and all associated queries regarding subsequent claims to dealing with queries for disabled parking badge applicants.

Rebecca even helped a new applicant to learn new skills, which demonstrates an admirable, mature and selfless attitude. An opportunity arose for Rebecca to step up to a Customer Services adviser which she sailed through her interview and secured the full-time position.
 

Management and Marketing Apprentice of the Year - Sponsored by the Cornish Pirates:

Winner: Keira Anderson - Penwith Community Development Trust 

Keira has showed outstanding commitment and personal development through her Apprenticeship, developing the necessary skills to support her role while working with six different organisations.

She's worked exceptionally hard to promote the ‘Your Way’ project, developing a marketing strategy and implementing social media, public relations and design to drive the campaign. 

Bernie Wills, Community Manager and Keira’s line manager, said: “Keira has delivered outstanding results, and is often way ahead of the project. She has also proved to be a self-starter, adaptable and patient. Nothing has phased her during the last year”. 

Hair and Beauty Apprentice of the Year - Sponsored by the Headland Hotel:

Winner: Shannon O'Regan - Marzipan Hair

Nominator Hannah Thomas said; “The minute we met Shannon, the team knew she would be a dream Apprentice.”

Not only has Shannon gone on to achieve 2nd in the Cornish Skills competition, but has been named ‘star of the show’ by industry experts.

Shannon learns about the industry in her own time and often practices what she has learnt -educating the team, including her younger sister who is now a member of Marzipan.

Shannon is well loved by the Marzipan team and clients. Her nominator said she believes Shannon is a ‘future star’.

Hospitality Apprentice of the Year - Sponsored by Eden Project:

Winner: Eleanor Bolton - The Old Coastguard 

Ellie was asked take on the challenge to ‘step-up’ and cover the main desk full-time after one of their full-time receptionists was signed off work with an injury.

Ellie is known to always look for ways to improve and likes to be ‘top of her game’, in addition to her Apprenticeship, she has completed training in ‘Cellar and Bar Essentials’ and also a L2 WSET (Wine and Spirits Education Trust) course.

A guest of the Hotel commented “I’d like you to pass on my thanks to Ellie who went ‘over and beyond’ at around 10.30pm when I needed some help in my room. She was extremely kind to me, was very calm and reassuring. We will certainly be back to stay again!”

Motor Vehicle Apprentice of the Year - Sponsored by Steve Andrews Tyres:

Winner: Joshua Sheppard – Matt Turner Mechanical Services 

Joshua's Nominator Joanna Turner said: “Josh started with us in May 2016 after applying for a job we had advertised for an experienced mechanic particularly with diagnostic experience. Josh took the initiative to apply even though he did not meet the criteria. On first impressions Josh was very well presented and confident and we therefore offered him a job with a view to him completing his level 2 and 3 Apprenticeship with us."

Josh completed his Level 2 course within 10 months of starting and has not only been exceptional with the manual side but also with record keeping and his portfolio.

Digital and IT Apprentice of the Year - Sponsored by Natwest:

Winner: Daniel Cannons – Tregothnan 

Daniel has been an important member of the team responsible for delivering Tregothnan’s new website and the integrations between the website and Tregothnan ERP systems.

Daniel was entrusted with the task of reviewing and documenting the status of all company computers with regards to operating system and anti-virus updates/patches. This review and documentation was critical in ensuring Tregothnan remained protected. The work Daniel carried out here was accurate and was delivered in a calm manner during what could have been a potentially stressful period.

Daniel's Nominator Claire Scholes: “We believe Daniel should win the award for this category because he applied himself to his apprenticeship 100% from day one. Daniel wasted no time in having a positive effect on the business through his work and personality. The work Daniel has produced and undertaken is consistently excellent, and has made a real and meaningful difference to Tregothnan’s IT”. 

Health & Social Care and Childcare Apprentice of the Year - Sponsored by Cornwall Care

Winner: Sophie Poulton – Carnon Downs Surgery 

As part of the front line team, Sophie is crucial in the day to day smooth running of the practice and mastered the clinical computer system within weeks. She can now can be seen to train some of the more experienced but perhaps less ‘I.T’ focussed staff members on how to use it to its best.

Within three months of starting at the practice, Sophie had helped reduce their collating of newly registered patients’ notes to the lowest it has been for many years and took on a project with the GP Registrar to look at how we can improve the recording and allocation of visit requests for the housebound patients

Alison Fry, Assistant Practice Manager at Carnon Downs Surgery described Sophie as; “An Apprentice who is blossoming into a real asset. Her capacity to take on duties and tasks whilst learning new skills by asking advice, listening to those more experienced than herself and by attending training sessions still impresses me after 8 months of her apprenticeship. I believe Sophie has the ability, capacity and personality to succeed here in General Practice. A manager of the future - of that I am sure – I had better watch out!”