Warwickshire apprentices celebrate in style at graduation event in Warwick

Apprentices from across the Midlands have been celebrated in a special graduation ceremony held at Warwick Racecourse

Apprentices celebrating at graduation event. Photo supplied
Apprentices celebrating at graduation event. Photo supplied

The apprentices were joined by family, friends, tutors and employers to celebrate completing their apprenticeships with college group WCG (formerly Warwickshire College Group).

More than 60 apprentices graduated on the evening.

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The college group is made up of six colleges, including Pershore, Leamington, Warwick Trident, Rugby and Evesham.

Angela Joyce, Jake Summers (Outstanding Apprentice for Land-based, Motor Vehicle and Construction) and Louise Bennett. Photo supplied

Radio presenter Dave Sharpe was the master of ceremonies, with guests hearing from keynote speaker Louise Bennett OBE DL, chief executive of Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce.

Apprentices graduating are embarking on careers in a wide range of sectors, from engineering and horticulture, to marketing and dental nursing.

Angela Joyce, CEO of WCG, said: “We believe in formally celebrating success at every level of education and we are proud to train more than 2,000 apprentices each year for more than 1,100 employers.

“After two years away, it was great to be back in-person to celebrate our apprentices.

Angela Joyce, Megan Lewis (Outstanding Apprentice for Engineering) and Louise Bennett. Photo supplied

“The Skills Act has highlighted the importance of skill-based learning and nine out of 10 employers say apprentices boost productivity. WCG is a pioneer of employer centred education, which led to us receiving the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2021.

“Congratulations to all of our graduating apprentices this year and we wish them all the best as they move forward in their careers.”

Three apprentices were given special prizes on the evening.

Megan Lewis, 26 from Shrewsbury, was named as the Outstanding Apprentice for Engineering after she completed her degree apprenticeship in Electrical/Electronic Engineering with Jaguar Land Rover.

Angela Joyce, Rossi Salvatore (for Outstanding Apprentice for Service Industries) and Louise Bennett. Photo supplied

Megan, who studied at Warwick Trident College, said: “I had done my A-levels in Shrewsbury and initially went to university to study chemistry, but I felt full-time learning wasn’t for me and the apprenticeship route seemed perfect. It has been perfect and I don’t know what else I would have done.

“Being on the apprenticeship has been a big learning curve, but it really helps with time management and personal skills. The experience at college was amazing and it really helped to build friendships to support me through the apprenticeship.”

Outstanding Apprentice for Land-based, Motor Vehicle and Construction went to Jake Summers, a 20-year-old land based engineering technician from near Hinckley. He had completed his apprenticeship with Chandlers Farm Equipment in Lutterworth, with studies at Moreton Morrell College.

And Rossi Salvatore, 22 from Banbury, was presented with the prize for Outstanding Apprentice for Service Industries. He has completed a Chartered Institute of Marketing Level 3 Marketing Assistant apprenticeship with Karcher.

Rossi, who studied at Royal Leamington Spa College, said: “I came out of school at 18 and was an estate agent for just over a year. I decided that wasn’t for me so I took the plunge into the apprenticeship and never looked back.

“Being able to gain a qualification whilst working was a huge plus for me. Personally and professionally my confidence has grown no end over the last few years and now I’m confident to speak up and not be afraid to say that my idea is a good idea.

“I wasn’t expecting to win the award and it came as a bit of a shock.”