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Employers celebrate their outstanding apprentices

Outstanding apprentices were in the spotlight during Apprenticeship Week 2013, as City College Norwich invited employers to celebrate the achievements of their apprentices.

City College Norwich’s apprenticeship provision has expanded considerably in recent years, with the College’s Employer Partnerships team currently providing apprenticeship training to around 700 apprentices in Norfolk and beyond.

The College chose National Apprenticeship Week 2013 to launch its inaugural Annual Apprenticeship Awards, which were presented on Thursday 14th March in the boardroom at Norwich City Football Club, in conjunction with the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce Opportunities event at Carrow Road.

All of the apprentices being recognised were nominated by their employers, with three main award categories – Intermediate Apprentice of the Year, Advanced Apprentice of the Year and Personal Achiever of the Year.

For the overall winner of the Apprentice Achiever of the Year award, Chelsea Garrett, 20, from Blofield Heath, it was a double celebration as Miss Garrett has recently secured a position with the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital as a Waiting List Co-ordinator – a position she will commence whilst completing her NVQ in Business Administration.

Chelsea said: “The Department is brilliant and the apprenticeship was new so it gave me the opportunity to really start a career as well.  It’s not just normal admin work, because you’re dealing with patients that need your help.  I just enjoy the whole thing, the department, the people, the work.”

On winning her award, Chelsea added: “It’s brilliant, I wasn’t expecting it at all to be honest.” 

Jorja Nichols, 17, from Aylsham, who is on a Marketing Apprenticeship with Just Regional, was named overall winner of the Intermediate Apprentice of the Year award. 

Jorja said of her 10-months’ experience as an apprentice and then winning the award:  “It’s been tough, but it’s really good and I enjoy it a lot.  I was a bit surprised that I got first place.  It’s a nice feeling to have won.”

Lee Todd, Director, Just Regional, added:

“For a small business it was a big step to take on an apprentice, but what we have found is that rather than just the admin role we had planned for her, the reality is Jorja is now heading up a distribution team of 130-plus delivery people. 

“The bottom line is she has freed up so much of my time, which means that I can get out to see customers and the profitability of the business has increased by about 12 per cent.  We’ve got a direct result of 12 per cent increase in turnover through having an apprentice.”

Gary Howard, Director of Employer Partnerships, Norfolk Educational Services, who presented the awards, commented:

“With this week being National Apprenticeship Week, and all of the celebrations around apprenticeships, we decided that for the first time we would recognise apprentices outside the College’s other award ceremonies for 14-16 students, FE and Higher Education and our VQ Day Awards. 

“We’ve had an overwhelming response from employers to these inaugural City College Norwich Apprenticeship Awards, which goes to show just how much employers value the contributions made by apprentices.” 

Full details of the City College Norwich Apprentice Award winners are as follows:

City College Norwich Intermediate Apprentice of the Year

  • 1st : Jorja Nichols, Marketing Apprentice, Just Regional 
  • 2nd: Robyn Ayre, Business & Administration, Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital
  • 3rd: Mitchell Vale, Business & Administration, The Red Cat Partnership

City College Norwich Advanced Apprentice of the Year

  • 1st: Katy Monk, Creative & Digital Media, The JMS Group
  • 2nd: Kyle Bradnum, IT Professional, The James Paget Hospital
  • 3rd: Chris Ashwell, Creative & Digital Media, Jemmett Fox Media

City College Norwich Apprentice Achiever of the Year

  • 1st: Chelsea Garrett, Business Admin Apprentice, Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital
  • 2nd: Ben Ramsbottom, Retail, The Tea Junction                   
  • 3rd: Roxanne Ames, Retail, Opolka- Earlham Stores

Pictured: Mitchell Vale, one of the award winners in the Intermediate Apprentice of the Year category (pictures: Matthew Radmore, Extended Diploma Photography student)