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    College bags top county apprenticeship awards

    Abingdon & Witney College had much to cheer about last night at the inaugural 2017 Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards, hosted at the Marlborough Enterprise Centre in Woodstock.

    Eighteen finalists battled it out across eight categories during the three-hour event run by the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP). The Awards celebrate the achievements of local employers, training providers, schools and apprentices.

    The College and its apprentices came away from the evening with a superb haul of three trophies. This included the prize for best Training Provider, overcoming stiff competition in the form of Wallingford-based Jewel Training and construction specialists ACE Training.

    There was further success in the Intermediate Apprentice of the Year category, with horticulture apprentice Sasha Fraser being recognised for her work at Oxford City Council.

    Gemma Tuckey won the Special Recognition Award, for an apprentice who has overcome significant challenges to learning or work. Her Level 2 and 3 apprenticeships in business administration at Oxfordshire County Council has now led to a permanent role.

    The two runners-up for that award were also College apprentices, Alex Free and Ian Rigsby, who both work in the Yellow Submarine café in Witney. The charity has a long-standing relationship with the College and its apprenticeship programme, and the Yellow Submarine catering team were responsible for putting on a delicious spread for those attending the awards ceremony.

    Finally, Lorraine Ball was ‘Highly Commended’ in the Higher Apprentice of the Year category, for her role as Operations Manager at Home Instead Senior Care.

    Di Batchelor, Principal at Abingdon & Witney College, was full of praise for staff and apprentices alike:

    “It was a very good night for the College, and I felt very proud to be its Principal. Congratulations to all of those involved with our apprenticeship delivery, and to the fabulous apprentices, in winning these prestigious awards.

    The fact that we are regarded as the top training provider in the county, and that so many of our apprentices were nominated for awards, is a testament to everyone’s hard work and determination to achieve success.

    As it says in the event guide, “nothing says ‘excellence’ like an industry award.””

    (March 2017)

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