From education to employment

LSC and City & Guilds Proud to Promote and Support Success in Apprenticeships

The winners of the Apprenticeship Awards for 2006 were given their prizes at a glittering awards ceremony hosted by TV’s Natasha Kiplinsky and Richard Hammond last week.

At the ceremony, 24 year old John Vickery from Birmingham was awarded the prize of Advanced Apprentice of the Year. The complete list of winners is as follows: Apprentice of the Year: Sarah Helen Herrick, Leicester. Advanced Apprentice of the Year: John Vickery, Birmingham. Personal Achiever of the Year (16 ““ 18): Jessie Todd, Watford. Personal Achiever of the Year (19 ““ 24): Lucy Wilkins, Somerset. Young Apprentice of the Year: Matthew McCarry, Cumbria.

The Stories

John Vickery admitted when explaining his route to success that he lacked motivation and direction upon leaving school, moving from one job to the next. He puts his change and new sense or purpose down to the Apprenticeship in telecommunications that he served at mobile phone giant Orange, in 2002. He said: “I”m so happy that now I”m an engineer I can start giving back to the scheme. I am living proof of not only how an Apprenticeship can benefit a business but also how it can turn around a person’s life.”

The winner of the title of Apprentice of the Year was Sarah Herrick. She is an apprentice at The Crown Inn at Tur Langton in Leicestershire, responsible for planning menus and supervising the young new staff and commis chefs, and for health and safety concerns. He boss at The Crown Inn, proprietor Ian Taylor, noticed her potential almost immediately. He said: “Sarah arrived at The Crown answering an advertisement for a pot washer. After working with Sarah for no more than three hours it was quite obvious there was a star in our midst.”

Sarah explained the impact of the Apprenticeship, saying: “My Apprenticeship has had a huge impact on my career and I feel that it is brilliantly beneficial. It has boosted my confidence in my abilities and my capabilities have no boundaries. I have made my family very proud of me and it gives me great satisfaction to talk to our customers about what I am doing.”

Speech! Speech!

Speaking at the event, the Secretary of State for Education, Alan Johnson MP, said: “It is no co-incidence that the companies behind these awards are Britain’s most successful businesses and no surprise that tonight’s winners have such inspiring stories to tell. We should shout from the rooftops about these success stories as we work to tackle the inexplicable cultural snobbery about the value of vocational education.

“The fact is,” he continued, “there is no better way to learn to be an engineer than being an engineer; no more effective method of testing someone’s skills than watching them in action; and no better system for matching skill to business than through extending and encouraging Apprenticeships like the ones we”ve heard about tonight.”

Richard Hammond, one of the presenters, said: “Apprenticeships are one of those happy circumstances where everybody wins: on the one hand you”ve got apprentices who are getting their career off to the best possible start and on the other hand you”ve got employers who”ve put in that bit of extra effort and out of it they get these great employees who are motivated, driven, hard-working and very loyal.”

Jethro Marsh

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