On Thursday night, as National Apprenticeship Week 2022 started to wind down, the celebrations for apprenticeships were cranked up!
Apprentices and their proud parents, family members, friends, employers and members of staff all gathered at The Wharncliffe Restaurant, in Rotherham to celebrate the amazing achievements of apprentices and their employers.
National Apprenticeship Week 2022 is the 15th annual week-long celebration of apprenticeships. The week brings together businesses and apprentices from across the UK to shine a light on the positive impact that apprenticeships make on individuals, businesses and the wider economy.
On Thursday night, the spotlight was on apprentices from RNN Training and its partner Colleges, Rotherham College, North Notts College, Dearne Valley College and University Centre Rotherham. Apprentices were awarded eight different awards throughout the night, with the overall Apprentice of the Year Award being presented to Level 2 Apprentice in Building Maintenance Operations, Ben Lingard.
Speaking about his award, Ben said: “I came into my apprenticeship straight from school and had no knowledge in construction, so to be standing here today with this award is such an honour. My employers, AESSEAL have been brilliant with me from day one, I feel very lucky to be spending my apprenticeship with them.
“It feels amazing to have won!”
Speakers on the night included, Helen George, Assistant Director for the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, James Godsell, Director of Employer Partnerships at RNN Training, Claire Godfrey, Assistant Principal for Apprenticeships, High-level Skills and Innovation and Jason Austin, CEO and Principal of RNN Group.
Speaking at the ceremony, Jason was full of praise for the award winners and apprenticeships as a whole.
He said: “It’s been a great night for all and it’s wonderful to see so many of our amazing apprentices be recognised for their hard work and incredible achievements.
“Apprenticeships are crucial to individuals, organisations and the economy in our local area and nights like tonight truly show what wonderful things apprentices do.”
Jason also paid tribute to the wonderful work of students that had helped make the night a success. The Wharncliffe Restaurant, the outstanding venue for the awards ceremony, is a training restaurant for Catering and Hospitality students at Rotherham College. Their classy and delicious food was enjoyed by all. Media and Photography Students at Rotherham College also played an important role in the evening as they captured all the smiles, laughs and proud faces on film.
The final award for the night was the Feoffees Apprentice of the Year. Feoffees are Rotherham’s oldest charity and the award was presented by Tony Grice, Greaves of the Feoffees of the Common Lands of Rotherham, to apprentice Kamran Hussain.
Kamran was overjoyed with his awards and underlined how important apprenticeships are to building confidence. Having left school, Kamran first went to work at a call centre before working as a taxi-driver, but decided he wanted to do an apprenticeship to go into a different career.
Speaking about apprenticeships, he said: “My time as an apprentice has been absolutely fantastic. The support that I’ve received from my employer, Engie, and the College has been second to none.
“I really wasn’t expecting to win tonight, I was happy just to be nominated, but it just goes to show that age is not a barrier when it comes to apprenticeships. It’s been a great night!”
Full list of award winners:
Apprentice of the Year – Ben Lingard (Intermediate Apprenticeship in Building Maintenance Operations Level 2)
Business: Apprentice of the Year – Molly Fletcher (Apprenticeship Standard Business Administration Level 3)
Care: Apprentice of the Year – Kristy Richardson (Apprenticeship Standard in Senior Healthcare Support Worker Level 3)
Childcare and Education: Apprentice of the Year – Ewa Klimerek (Apprenticeship Standard in Teaching Assistant Level 3)
Construction: Apprentice of the Year – Kamran Hussain (Apprenticeship Standard in Gas Engineering Operative Level 3)
Engineering: Apprentice of the Year – Joseph Wilcock (HNC Electrical & Electronic Engineering )
Hair: Apprentice of the Year – Chloe Haigh (Apprenticeship Standard in Professional Hairdressing Level 2)
Highly Commended Award – Kirsty Fellows (Apprenticeship Standard in Human Resources Practice Level 3)
Feoffees Apprentice of the Year – Kamran Hussain (Apprenticeship Standard in Gas Engineering Operative Level 3)
Employer of the Year – Engie
Social Action Employer of Year – South Electrical
Outstanding Employer Mentor Award – Jason Davies – TGB Sheds