South Devon College celebrates apprenticeships at awards ceremony

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As part of National Apprenticeships Week 2019, apprentices and employers from across South Devon gathered for South Devon College’s Apprenticeship Awards Ceremony 2019, delivered in partnership with Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, Spirent, Our Heat and Pennon.

Over 200 people were in attendance to celebrate apprenticeships including friends, family, employers and College staff. The event, hosted at the Imperial Hotel in Torquay, was a great opportunity to showcase the excellent success of apprentices and the positive impact they have on local businesses and the community.

There were 39 apprentices shortlisted over 16 categories, having been nominated from over 1,500 apprentices on programme with the College. A total of 31 local employers were also nominated for categories, having been selected from over 1000 businesses engaged with an apprenticeship.

In attendance was the evening’s keynote speaker Greg Fitzgerald, CEO of Bovis Homes. He spoke about his remarkable career having started in the construction industry as an apprentice at South Devon College himself. He also shared his advice to current apprentices on the importance of decision making and communication.

Current Motorcycle Maintenance and Repair apprentice Fabio Ribeiro spoke about his personal experience on his apprenticeship, providing a valuable insight to the benefits it brings and how his apprenticeship will allow him to pursue his dream career. This was followed by an engaging presentation from local employer Joanne

Hickey – Clinical Skills and Apprenticeship Manager at University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust who spoke about the hard work and dedication of apprentices working in the healthcare sector.

The coveted prize of ‘Apprentice of the Year’ was awarded to James Yalland from Dartmouth. Based at South Devon Marine Academy on the River Dart, James has excelled at his apprenticeship and has been completing detailed and complex boatbuilding tasks for his employer Demon RIBs to a high standard. This has included the completion of a major restoration project of a Rigid Inflatable Boat for his employer, James has both project led and undertaken most of this work himself. A complex restoration of this type of vessel, which included composite works, refitting of propulsion systems and fitting of new tubes requires not only a wide range of skills and knowledge but also project planning and time management. James was also recognised as ‘Marine Apprentice of the Year’, he said, “It feels incredible to have won! Winning my category was so unexpected so to be named Apprentice of the Year is really overwhelming. I’m thrilled to have this achievement”.

Stephen Criddle OBE, Principal and CEO of South Devon College, said, “The Apprenticeship Awards Ceremony was another wonderful evening to celebrate the many brilliant apprentices who are really transforming the local economy.

“We were delighted earlier this week to have Anne Milton MP, Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills recognise the great business and apprentice work in Torbay, and this celebratory event has really rounded off a great apprenticeship week for Torbay.

“Everyone nominated to receive an award should be incredibly proud of themselves and their achievements, having been shortlisted from over 1,500 other apprentices. I’m sure friends, family, employers and everyone associated from the College will join me in congratulating our winners, they are truly inspiring and I have no doubt that they will all go on to achieve great things.”

Special thanks to our panel of judges for tirelessly working their way through the 150 nominations received this year.

Thank you to:

Rebecca Davies
Senior Economic Development Officer at Torbay Development Agency
Ian Smith
Training and Development Manager at Sherwoods
Emily Tucker
Head of Apprenticeships and Employer Engagement at South Devon College

Full List of Award Winners
Automotive and Motorcycle Apprentice of the Year
Runner Up
Tim Westwood

Luke Belsher

Business and Management
Apprentice of the Year

Runner up
Jack Klar
Christian Skelton

Aaron Harding

Computing Apprentice of the Year
Runner up
James Abbott
Christopher Hounsell

Vince Chan

Construction Apprentice of the Year
Runner up
Samuel Bridge
Cameron Ash

Greg Thomas

Digital Media Apprentice of the Year
Runner up
Danni Webber
Lauren McKenzie

Naomi Davey

Engineering Apprentice of the Year
Runner up
Daniel Martin

Libby Daymond

Hairdressing Apprentice of the Year
Runner up
Shannon Tyler

Charlotte Hill

Health Apprentice of the Year
Runner up
Tracey Wealthall
Hayley Burrows

Lucy Cadmore

Horticulture and Science Apprentice of the Year
Runner up
Amy Cairns
Thomas Mesher

Rebecca May

Hospitality and Catering Apprentice of the Year
Runner up
Kieran Bourke
Emily Wakeham

Bethany Gerrish

Marine Apprentice of the Year
Runner up
Jordan Fowler
Joshua Gooden

James Yalland

Plumbing and Electrical Apprentice of the Year
Runner up
Kieran Hill
Josh Boon

Dominic Crawley

Sport Apprentice of the Year
Runner up
Samuel Brown

Jay Osborn

Teaching, Learning and Early Years Apprentice of the Year
Holly Johns

The Higher Apprenticeship Award
Runner up
Tina Smee
Karl Wright

Guy Boosey

South Devon College Staff Apprenticeship Ambassador
Runner up
Antony Sutton
Carla Nardone

Steve Burge

Best Small Employer Ambassador
(49 or fewer employees)

Runner up
Priority Pixels
Southwest Plumbing


Best Large Employer Ambassador
(50 or more employees)
Runner up

Torbay Council

Apprentice of the Year
James Yalland

If you would like to grow local talent and to find out more about the range of apprenticeship standards on offer email [email protected] or call 08000 380 123