Dedicated Burnley College apprentices doing themselves proud on the frontline as the UK continues to battle Covid 19

Dedicated Themis apprentices from Burnley College are proving they are the best of the best as they work on the frontline against Covid-19 in these unprecedented times.

By Susan Plunkett
Wednesday, 20th May 2020, 3:45 pm

These potential young leaders of the future are each playing vital roles, from saving lives within the NHS to ensuring the future of their employer’s business.

Speaking of his pride in his apprentices Neil Burrows, Director of Themis, said: "They have stepped up to the challenge during these unprecedented times and embraced the many changes that have come their


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Michaela is a business apprentice and part of the senior management team at Althams Travel Ltd

"We are all in this together and have a role to play, big or small, and we need to work tirelessly for those who need us.

"One day, our outstanding apprentices will look back over this period of their careers and reflect on the things they have learned. While we are advocates of on-the-ground training and hands-on experience, what we are experiencing currently cannot be replicated in any workshop, laboratory or learning space and the life-skills our apprentices are gaining are invaluable.

"Their futures will not be defined by Covid-19 but they can certainly learn from it and take this experience with them as they progress up the career ladder and become the leaders of tomorrow."

Michaela Ingham and Connor Watson Reid, both from Burnley, are among the inspirational apprentices.

James Henderson, of Barnoldswick is aThemis accountancy apprentice at Pendle Borough Council.

Michaela is a business apprentice and part of the senior management team at Altham’s Travel Ltd and Connor is a digital marketing apprentice with East Lancs Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

With the travel industry greatly affected by Covid-19, Michaela is gaining experience in crisis management and problem solving.

She said: “We’ve had to restructure our senior management team, manage cashflow, help customers with cancellations and processing refunds and, ultimately, try to rebook travel where we can.

"We’ve also coordinated Altham’s drivers and vehicle fleet to help the NHS – delivering prescriptions and driving patients to hospital appointments.

"It’s good to feel that I’m doing something positive and proactive.”

Connor usually creates e-learning courses for staff training but now he is playing an important role disseminating emergency training courses to staff as together they tackle Covid-19. Never has the challenge been greater.

He said: “We are delivering more emergency training courses to roll out important information as comprehensively as possible. They need to have impact and it needs to be now."

James Henderson, of Barnoldswick is a Themis accountancy apprentice at Pendle Borough Council.

He is working round the clock to support Pendle businesses secure vital financial grants to enable them to continue trading once the pandemic is over. He said: “It’s all hands on deck.

"We are working with local businesses to navigate paperwork and check their eligibility so we get the help to those who need it most. While we may not be saving lives, I feel like I’m doing my bit to keep our region in business and ultimately support the livelihoods of thousands across the borough.”

Connor Bonney, from Blackburn is a Themis engineering apprentice at Walker Steel Laser Services in Accrington. Connor is an essential member of a highly-skilled team pressing bedside cabinets to be used in hospitals.

Cameron Brown, of Darwen is a Themis apprentice and patient services assistant at the Royal

Blackburn Hospital and an important part of a busy team ensuring the hospital is fully disinfected at all times - a role that has never been more important.

Katie Bolton, of Rossendale is a Themis pharmacy apprentice at the same hospital and part of her role is to ensure all patients get the medicine they need at this critical time.