Nelson and Colne College Group recognise apprentice success at annual awards

Some of the region’s most industrious and successful apprentices and their employers were celebrated in an awards evening held by Nelson and Colne College Group at Accrington Stanley Football Club.

Awards were presented to apprentices from both Nelson and Colne College and Accrington and Rossendale College who have impressed their employers, their assessors, and represent some of the most exciting emerging talent in the area.

The evening’s award winners have been busily forging new careers for themselves in industries as diverse as Construction, Childcare and Business and Professional Services.

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Amongst them was father of three young children John Jacobs (28) who was worried he’d left it too late to take on the rigours of an apprenticeship.

John JacobsJohn Jacobs
John Jacobs

However, with the support of Accrington & Rossendale College and local firm, Onward Homes, not only is John thriving in his apprenticeship and building a whole new life for himself and his family, he’s racking up awards as well.

John, from Burnley, won Overall Apprentice of the year and Construction Apprentice of the year at Nelson and Colne College Group’s recent Apprenticeship Awards, while his employer, Onward Homes, the leading North West provider of quality, affordable homes collected the Large Employer Award.

Heading to university from college seemed like the natural path for Georgia Ashworth…until she was given an alternative to mull over.

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When she started college, Georgia knew she wanted to explore a career in engineering, but as she hadn’t yet had exposure to the various roles available, she didn’t fully understand what options might be available to her and what path she might take.

Georgia AshworthGeorgia Ashworth
Georgia Ashworth

Georgia, of Colne, completed a Level 3 Extended BTEC Diploma in Mechanical Engineering followed by a HNC in Mechanical Engineering.

Then, while at a Nelson and Colne College careers event, she came across Yorkshire business, Fives Landis, which was offering work experience in Quality Assurance.

The 22-year-old said: “As this was a role I hadn’t heard of before, I thought it would be a good opportunity to experience a working environment and hopefully there discover my true passion within the engineering sector.”

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Amanda Melton, Group Principal at Nelson and Colne College, said: “Speaking on behalf of Nelson and Colne College Group, we are all extremely proud of the endeavour and determination displayed by our apprentices over the past year.

“With emphasis often erring towards university education, the power of apprenticeships is sometimes overlooked. The fact is, they are a brilliant way for people to access real, hands-on work experience, attain nationally recognised qualifications and lay the foundation for life-long careers.”

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In what made for a pleasant double win, Onward Homes, the company that provided John with his apprenticeship opportunity were crowned ‘Large Apprentice Employer of the Year’.

Elsewhere in the Employer Awards, manufacturer, Panaz, were presented with the ‘SME Apprentice Employer of the Year’ award and East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust took ‘Apprentice Champion of the Year’.

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Amanda added: “What the awards night really showed is the wonderful things that can happen when a determined individual has the support of a place of education and organisations willing to give them a chance.