College Celebrates Apprenticeship Success
On 28th June Lancaster & Morecambe College invited apprentices, employers, staff and guests to celebrate the efforts and achievements of apprentices and employers over the past year at their annual Apprentice Awards ceremony.
LMC Principal Wes Johnson opened the event, welcoming the finalists and their guests and spoke of the college's links with the community and local employers. Wes said what a strong field of entries there had been and how difficult it had been to narrow down the entries to the finalists and winners.
Coun. Roger Mace, Right Worshipful Mayor of Lancaster, then spoke about the history of the apprenticeship scheme, his own experience as an apprentice and his desire to promote apprenticeships during his year in office.
Karen Pecsvaradi, Head of Faculty for Construction and Engineering thanked employers, apprentices and training coordinators for their hard work and then introduced each award, telling the audience a little about why each finalist had been nominated before inviting the winners and runners up to receive their awards.
The first award was Best Team Player. The winner was Kate Wells, of Trust Medical Ambulance Service taking a Business Administration Level 2 Apprenticeship. Kate was nominated by Natalie Lisgo, who said in her nomination: "Kate is a joy to work with. Every day she goes above and beyond to get her job done and support others. Her work ethic is outstanding and she's a great example for our company values, which are Patient and Customer Focus, Passion, Teamwork and Respect. She's become a very independent worker and knows when to ask questions or for support. She is a delight to work with and an asset to our department and company."
The runner up in this category was Eve Frith, Business Administration Apprentice at Lancaster & Morecambe College.
Most Improved Apprentice was awarded to Rustom English of Net Development Ltd, who is taking an IT, Software, Web & Telecoms Professional Apprenticeship. Rustom was nominated by Anette Ritson, who said: "When Rustom joined us in October, he was always keen to learn but, as expected, he was slower than a fully trained developer. He has spent a lot of time honing his skills and learning from his team members to become a really efficient and knowledgeable member of our team. His skills have increased exponentially and he is now a really valued resource and able to work at the same speed as our other developers. He has a great attitude to work and interacts exceptionally well with his colleagues to learn from them and also to share his learning. He is willing to ask questions, but he learns from the answers and constantly improves. He also drives his own learning, often reading, researching and practicing in his own time. He works above and beyond his job description, and will always offer to help others. He has truly exceeded all of our expectations of having an apprentice."
The runner up was Laura Scott, Customer Service Apprentice at Lancaster & Morecambe College
Amelia Haygarth of Trust Medical Ambulance Service, Samantha Burns of Chapleys, and Chris Woollard of Lancaster & Morecambe College were Highly Commended in this category.
Most Dedicated Apprentice was awarded to Claudia Lourie, Hairdressing Level 2 Apprentice at D F Studio, nominated by Jackie Payne. In her nomination, Jackie said: "Claudia uses her initiative and is very proactive. Her hairdressing ability has improved so much and I have every confidence to let her get on with cuts and know she won't make any mistakes. She is excellent at keeping to time and works well under pressure without getting stressed. Her dedication to work is excellent, she has a great work ethic and makes all clients feel welcome. She does everything she is asked to straight away and thoroughly."
Runners up were Laura Scott of Lancaster & Morecambe College and Rustom English of Net Development Ltd.
Best Business Contribution was awarded to Darcie Whitehead of OEP Building Services, nominated by Iain Crabtree. Iain said: Darcie joined OEP to help our busy office with administrative tasks and looking after reception, but it quickly became evident that she was capable of contributing towards our construction business on a much higher level, so we promoted her to the project team and suggested she apply to do a degree in construction part time at UCLan of which she has now completed the first two years. Darcie is now a key member of our team and whilst she works well under instruction she is also capable of developing processes to make her role more efficient. Darcie has been a great find for OEP and we are grateful to LMC for their support throughout her apprenticeship."
Runners up in this category were Kieran Scarr of Paul Scarr and Son and Ashton McLachlan of Philip Jones Opticians.
The Employer of the Year award was presented by Vicky Lofthouse of Lancaster & District Chamber of Commerce to Natalie Lisgo of Trust Medical Ambulance Service. Natalie was nominated by Amelia Haygarth and Kate Wells, who both spoke of how their she had helped them to develop their confidence, gave them guidance where required, but encouraged independent thinking and decision making. They felt supported and motivated by Natalie and that there was an excellent working relationship with their assessor. They both also spoke of how their Natalie was an excellent role model, with Kate saying "Natalie was an apprentice herself when she started at Trust Medical, so she has been able to understand what we are doing and has more knowledge of how to complete certain tasks which has been a huge help for me. Natalie is also an ambulance care assistant on the road and when she tells us about her experiences on the road it makes me want to be just like her, ambitious and hard working. Trust Medical would not be the same for me if Natalie was not my team leader."
The final award of the evening was the Apprentice of the Year award, chosen from the four category winners. This was presented to Rustom English, who received his award from Coun Mace.
Speaking after the awards LMC Principal Wes Johnson said “Apprenticeships are a key government priority and an integral part of our college provision, meeting the needs of hundreds of individuals and businesses across the region. I was therefore thrilled to welcome so many employers, nominees, their families and college staff to our Apprentice Awards Ceremony. Listening to the testimonies behind each nomination reinforced the positive impact that apprentices can have on the businesses who employ them, let alone the personal journey of development that our employed apprentices progress through. Judging the worthy winners was a tough task given the quality of the nominees, so they deserve real credit, no more so that Rostrum English, our apprentice of the year.”