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Apprentices celebrated at graduation ceremony

Apprentices, employers, family and friends celebrated at WCG’s Apprenticeship Graduation and Celebration of Awards ceremony at a packed Old Shire Hall, Warwick on Thursday 13 September.

The apprentices were celebrating completing a range of apprenticeships from engineering and horticulture to farriery and business administration at companies large and small, local and national.

The college group’s fourth graduation ceremony began with a drinks reception at the historic Grade 1 listed building in Northgate Street, before guest of honour Paul Johnson, from the Warwick Manufacturing Group (part of the University of Warwick) gave a keynote address on the importance of apprenticeships in driving the growth of the Midlands economy.

The apprentices then took to the stage to receive their official scrolls from WCG Group Principal and CEO, Angela Joyce. Awards were also made to Outstanding Apprentices in three industry sectors.

  • Molly Cartwright, Level 3 Advanced Product Design and Development Technician Apprentice with Jaguar Land Rover, won the award for Outstanding Apprentice in Engineering and Construction

  • Adrian Maye, Level 6 Degree Product Design and Development Engineer Apprentice with Jaguar Land Rover, won the award for Outstanding Level 6 Apprentice for Engineering Industries

  • Jack Mann, Level 2 Diploma in Work-based Horticulture Apprentice with Instant Scenery, won the award for Outstanding Apprentice in Land-based Industries

  • George Wyllie, Level 2 Diploma in Hospitality Services Apprentice with Farmers Fayre, won the award for Outstanding Apprentice in Service Industries

WCG Engineering apprentices (edited).jpgAngela Joyce, Group Principal and CEO of WCG, said: “Our Apprenticeship Graduation is a wonderful opportunity for us to recognise and reward apprentices in the same way as those who have studied for a degree. We were delighted to see so many family, friends and employers coming together to celebrate the apprentices’ achievements with us in the auspicious surroundings of Old Shire Hall.

“Apprenticeships are one of the most established ways of bringing new talent into the workforce – and one of the ways our region can remain competitively skilled in the future. We absolutely believe apprenticeships are great for businesses and individuals alike. By choosing an apprenticeship, you not only gain the vital academic grounding in your chosen sector, but the experience of putting what you have learned into practice.  

“At WCG we have made a strong commitment to apprenticeships which are proving to be an excellent way of developing the skills and behaviours that businesses require. By working with employers directly, we have created programmes that are responsive to their specific work-readiness needs. Congratulations to all of the apprentices on achieving their apprenticeships – we wish them all the very best for the future and continued success in their careers.”

Jack Mann, age 22 from Worcester was the winner of the Outstanding Apprentice in Land-based Industries. Jack completed his Level 2 Diploma in Work-based Horticulture with Instant Scenery, a Worcester-based garden design and maintenance company. He is now progressing onto a Level 3 Apprenticeship.

After originally completing a construction course at college, Jack started at university but quickly decided that an apprenticeship would be a better option for him. He had grown up doing gardening with his father and his love of the outdoors meant that joining the Instant Scenery team suited him perfectly.

Jack said: “I am surprised and delighted to win this award. It’s been a really informative and instructive course and ideal for someone like me who struggles with learning in a formal setting. I did a year a university studying to be a software developer but soon realised that the apprentice route was better suited for me. I’d definitely recommend it.”

His employer Dan Powell, proprietor of Instant Scenery, said: “Jack has excelled since joining Instant Scenery and has not only developed personally but he has contributed greatly to the success of and continued development of the business.

“He has developed excellent plant knowledge which has proven invaluable to the business and our customers. This knowledge has enabled Jack to be a key member of the garden maintenance team.

“Jack has continually developed and shown that hard work and a willingness to progress goes a long way. His overall attitude is superb; he is always cheerful and smiling, despite the weather conditions this country offers!

“We are delighted that Jack’s hard work and commitment has been recognised with this award. Both as a business, and personally, I am very proud of him.”

George Wyllie, 21, from Cubbington won the award for Outstanding Apprentice in Service Industries. He completed a Level 2 Apprenticeship in Hospitality Services with the family-run farm shop and restaurant, Farmers Fayre, based at Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth.

George said: “I had a brilliant night at the graduation evening, it was a really good ceremony. I first decided to do an apprenticeship as I thought it was the best route to get into catering and get a qualification. My apprenticeship has given me a lot more confidence and I’ve also really enjoyed the college lessons and earning money. Now that I’ve finished my apprenticeship I am going to continue working full time at Farmers Fayre.”

Alby Brenchley, from Farmers Fayre, said: ”George has approached every day with a smile, bringing an infectious joy to those around him. He has developed in his role through hard work and an unparalleled attitude, becoming an integral part of our team. We are all extremely proud to share in George’s success – well done George!”

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