Credit: Article published in the Gazette & Herald – 16 February 2021
Award winners in Wiltshire have spoken of their “delight” at a much-needed lockdown boost.
Wiltshire College and University Centre took one of its main events online to mark National Apprenticeship Week.
The College’s Apprenticeship Awards are usually one of the highlights in the academic calendar and an opportunity to celebrate the successes of apprentices and their employers.
Due to the pandemic, the annual awards ceremony was unable to take place as normal, so a dedicated webpage was set up instead to announce all this year’s winners.
Each winner received an award in the post, which many said was a wonderful surprise at such a challenging time.
Tim Litherland-Atkin, who works for Mander Duffill in Chippenham, was presented with the Assistant Accountant Apprentice of the Year award after completing his Level 3 course last year with a distinction.
He said: “I am really pleased to have won this award and want to thank my College lecturers for helping me to continue with during the pandemic as well as my employers for all their support.”
Tom has since progressed onto the higher Level 4 in Professional Accounting and hopes to complete later this year.
This year’s winner of the Large Apprenticeship Employer of the Year award went to Selwood Housing, in Trowbridge.
We are really proud of our apprenticeship programme and so are delighted to win this award in recognition,
said group HR manager Sallie-Anne Bown.
She added: “Selwood has had many apprentices over the years, some passing through the company and many taking permanent roles with us.
Our company is all about delivering services within the local community, and apprentices naturally tie in with that. It’s a chance to give others the opportunity to get into the world of working whilst studying and equipping them with the skills and knowledge they need.
We’re proud also that we’ve been able to support our apprentices throughout the pandemic, which has been a challenging time for many. All of them have been able to work remotely or in a Covid-secure way.”
The College currently works with 748 businesses across Wiltshire, Dorset and the wider South West region, supporting more than 1,500 apprentices in 72 different programmes.
Apprenticeships range from Level 1 right up to degree level and those being nominated for awards must have completed a qualification.
This year the College awarded 19 individual and three employer awards.
Head of business development Alex Clancy said: “I’m delighted we could still mark this occasion during National Apprenticeship Week, and showcase the hard work and effort put in by so many of our apprentices.
“We also wanted to thank the businesses we work with for their continued support in training people to gain nationally recognised qualifications working alongside experienced professionals.”
To see the full list of winners, visit www.wiltshire.ac.uk/naw2021-awards.