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10th November 2017

Apprentices from across York graduated at the seventh annual apprenticeship awards ceremony at the Grand Opera House. Around 100 apprentices received scrolls from The Guilds of York for completing their apprenticeship training and qualifications and proudly walked across the stage to loud applause from the 400 strong audience of family, friends and employers.  

York Apprentice Graduates 2017WEB

The ceremony started with an inspirational key note speech from Martin Kennedy, winner of the Yorkshire & Humber Apprenticeship Champion in 2015 who started his career as an apprentice at Vickers in Leeds, set up apprenticeship programmes in several specialist manufacturing companies and is now the Employer Engagement Manager at York College.

Following the presentation of the scrolls, the ceremony moved on to the prestigious York Apprenticeship Awards which recognise the outstanding qualities, achievements, commitment and progression of both individual apprentices and their employers.

Winners for the five categories were selected by the independent panel following 35 high quality nominations. The independent panel was so overwhelmed by the quality of the nominations received, that they awarded four highly commended prizes in addition to winners for the five categories.

Councillor Keith Orrell, interim executive member for economic development and community engagement said: “This was a fantastic event celebrating the invaluable contribution apprentices have brought to organisations across the city.The numbers present showed the growth of apprenticeships in York and it was pleasing to see so many apprentices, their families and employers celebrate all these achievements. A number of high quality nominations were received for the awards and I would like to congratulate everyone involved for their incredible work.”

Special Award Winners

York Apprentice of the Year 2017 – Under 25 (Smaller Employer)
Highly commended:
• Georgia Frank – Fenton Simpsons Financial Services Ltd; Level 3 Business Administration supported by York College
• Maya Harbun – Prospect Health; Level 4 Business Administration supported by 3aaas                                                                                                                                                                                         Winner: • Sam Sugden – Junior Electrical Engineer at Anderson Green Ltd; Level 3 and HNC in Electrical Engineering, supported by York College 

Apprentice of the Year aged 16-24 smaller employer - Sam SugdenWEB

The Winner, Sam Sugden, had to change jobs within the same sector from one company to another and chose to redo a year’s worth of apprenticeship work to ensure that it fitted closely with the ethos, company values and new job role that he had at Anderson Green.  His nomination was submitted by Andy Moss, Director of the company and includes a testimony from a client about the quality and precision of the technical drawings provided by Sam and highlights the confidence of more senior staff to move this junior apprentice on to large, multi-million pound industrial projects at an early stage. Within a year of joining the company, Sam has now taken on his first independent project design for a 2000m2 primary school and is also near completion of his HNC – way ahead of schedule.  

Sam is now acting as a mentor and role model to the company’s newest apprentice who started in August and Andy Moss, Director says: "‘With a huge skills shortage in the engineering design industry, having talented apprentices like Sam is inspiring and reassuring that the future is bright in the industry. With the input from college tutors, Sam has brought in new ideas helping to keep the company ‘current’ and gives a fresh perspective to all of us in the company."

After receiving the award Sam said he was “Very overwhelmed to not only be nominated for the award, but to win the award is such a rewarding feeling. It’s great to know my efforts have been recognised and gives me real motivation to push on further and take the next step up to progress my education at degree level. I’d also like to thank Anderson Green for providing me with the great opportunities associated with my position and for supporting me in my education as well.“

York Apprentice of the Year 2017 – Under 25 (Larger Employer)
Highly commended:
• Abi McMullan – Joseph Rowntree Foundation; Business Administration supported by YH Training
• Amie Tanner – Garbutt & Elliott; Level 4 Accountancy Technician supported by Kaplan
Winner: Joe Boothman – Public Health Technical Officer at City of York Council; Level 3 Business Adminstration supported by York Learning

York Apprentice of the Year 2017 – Over 25s                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Lee Russell – a former jockey, now working at the farm of RG Brader; Higher Level 4 in Agricultural Business Management, supported by Askham Bryan College, which included a new enterprise plan for the farm.

York Smaller Employer of the Year 2017
The Smiles Room

York Larger Employer of the Year 2017
Fera Science Ltd

Larger Employer of the Year - Fera Science Ltd

Fera Science Ltd  has 400 employees and its origins in delivering world-class science based solutions across the agri-food chain began over 100 years ago. Since 2013, Fera has taken on 34 Advanced Level 3 Lab Technician apprentices, many of whom have continued employment at Fera, with one of their first apprentices now promoted to Apprentice Manager. Fera have worked with York College to launch a Level 5 apprenticeship programme next year and plans for a Level 6 degree apprenticeship in the future.

Rick Mumford, Director of Science said: ‘As one of York’s largest employers we are extremely pleased that our work with York College to support the local economy by employing some of the area’s talented young people has been recognised in this way, especially as this accolade also helps to further raise the profile of key employment opportunities in STEM subjects. The fact that many stay on to work at Fera is testament to their talent and enthusiasm for the work we do. We look forward to even more apprentices joining us in the future, through our existing Laboratory Assistant Apprenticeship and the Level 5 apprenticeship being launched next year. We see recruiting home grown fresh talent’ through career apprenticeships as central to our growth strategy in the future’.

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