Apprentices are rewarded after school challenge success

  |  Published: Mar 25th 2015
Award winners: Francesa and Adam with Bill Chapple
Award winners: Francesa and Adam with Bill Chapple

The hard work and success of apprentices across Buckinghamshire was celebrated at a County Council reception on Friday 20 March.

The lunch event, at the Judges Lodgings in Aylesbury, was the culmination of a prize challenge in which groups of apprentices were tasked to give presentations to secondary schools.

About 20 young people attended and were told by Council Vice-Chairman Bill Chapple OBE: “You are in a very exciting time in your life. You are now going from education into real life. It’s hard and it can be daunting, but apprenticeships help you get there.”

He added: “We are committed to offering young people apprenticeships within the Council and encourage other organisations to do the same.”

He then opened an envelope and revealed the winners of the Apprenticeship Challenge 2015, which was a group who presented to students at Sir William Ramsay School in Hazlemere. They were given gift cards, donated by the John Lewis Partnership and the County Council.

Francesca Brinkworth and Adam Creech, who both work as apprentices at Hughenden Primary School, accepted the prize on behalf of the four-strong group.

Francesca, 19, who works as a business administration apprentice in the school office, is a former pupil of Sir William Ramsay.

She said it was nice going back to her old school to give a presentation, but added:  “It was quite daunting - my legs were shaking.”

Adam, also 19, an apprentice teaching assistant, praised the concept of apprenticeships, saying: “I think it’s fantastic. Getting experience and learning on the job is a very good way to progress.”

The group, who also included Emily Shadbolt and Chloe Culley, narrowly beat a strong field of teams which presented apprenticeships to a total of six schools. These were: Aylesbury Vale Academy, Cottesloe School, John Colet School, The Mandeville School, Sir William Ramsay and Princes Risborough School.

The challenge was organised by Buckinghamshire Adult Learning who provided training and mentoring. The apprentices who took part were drawn from within the Council and from other organisations across the county. The idea was at least one member of each team was a former pupil of the school they were presenting to.

Caroline High, the Council’s Corporate Training Advisor, told the gathering on Friday of the success of apprenticeships in Buckinghamshire. She said: "Although, there is no guarantee of a job at the end of a scheme, 56 per cent of our apprentices last year went on to find jobs within the Council.”  

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