Dearne Valley College Celebrates Apprenticeship Achievements for National Campaign!

Date: 20/03/2013

National Apprenticeship Week was in full swing at Dearne Valley College, with a range of events and celebrations during the week. The College’s Apprenticeship ‘Speed-dating’ event saw employers from a number of local businesses, who currently employ Apprentices with Dearne Valley College, attending the event for a bit of myth-busting surrounding Apprenticeships.

Representatives from Interserve, Citizens Advice Bureau, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council and Little Einsteins Day Care, along with members of staff from the College’s Business Development team and DVC Sports, were on hand  as ‘experts’ by posing questions to the students and providing the correct answers. Students were broken up into small groups, with the groups having just eight minutes to visit each employer before the whistle sounded. The employers tackled a wide range of questions involving pay and work hours, the variety of Apprenticeships available and workload, among many others, in a bid to dispel some common misconceptions. Over 160 students took part in the event throughout the day, with many leaving much more clued-up on Apprenticeships than they previously were.

In a bid to celebrate the achievements of existing Apprentices and their employers, the College hosted this year’s ‘Apprenticeship Awards Ceremony’ with a range of exciting awards presented throughout the evening.

The College’s Principal and Chief Executive, Martin Harrison, led the ceremony by thanking the employers for their involvement with the College’s Apprenticeship provision, and acknowledging the Apprentice’s continuing hard work and progression. Local MP, John Healey was a key speaker for the event, providing a passionate speech about the role of Apprenticeships in improving the local economy and tackling youth unemployment.

Awards were presented to the top Apprentice within eight key sectors, as nominated by the employers themselves, as well as an ‘Employer of the Year’ and the prestigious ‘Apprentice of the Year – Winner of Winners’ awards, with a trophy, certificate and a £20 Meadowhall Shopping Centre voucher for each Apprentice winner. There was plenty of celebration to be had for one group of attendees, as Business Administration Apprentice, Lucy Schofield, not only bagged the ‘Professional Services Apprentice of the Year’ award on the evening, but she also delighted to discover that she also been chosen as Dearne Valley College’s ‘Apprentice of the Year – Winner of Winners’ for 2013. Her employers, John Clarke and Jo Clarke of Kinetic Nursing Services in Rotherham, also collected a trophy on the evening, having won the award for ‘Employer of the Year’

Speaking about the awards ceremony and his thoughts on Apprenticeships, John Healey MP said:

“Dearne Valley College’s ‘Apprenticeship Awards’ ceremony, and National Apprenticeship Week, is a great opportunity to celebrate the value of Apprenticeships, while also giving them a boost.  Initiatives such as the College’s training allowance and the wide range of subjects on offer here are helping more and more young people to see that an Apprenticeship could be the option for them.

“However, there is always more that can be done. I’m taking on an Apprentice in the constituency office with Dearne Valley College, as well as running a campaign to open up more training opportunities.”

“All this activity is more vital because the number starting apprenticeships has dropped so far this year after increasing strongly for more than a decade. It’s getting tougher for young people leaving school, especially those who decide higher education is not for them, with nearly a million unemployed.”

The winners of the awards were:

Childcare and Education Apprentice of the Year - Sasha Wright at Addison Day Centre (RMBC)

Construction Apprentice of the Year – Daniel Grimshaw (at Elsecar Garden Products)

Health and Social Care Apprentice of the Year – Laura Tompkins (at Badsley Moor Infant School)

Hospitality and Catering Apprentice of the Year – Andrew Darren (at Pinocchio’s Italian Restaurant)

IT Technician Apprentice of the Year – Matthew Hannan (at Stronghold IT Services LTD)

Professional Services Apprentice of the Year – Lucy Schofield (at Kinetic Nursing Services)

Employer of the Year – Kinetic Nursing Services

Apprentice of the Year (Winner of Winners) – Lucy Schofield (at Kinetic Nursing Services)


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