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Apprentices reach for the Stars

June 13, 2014

High achieving Apprentices from Ellesmere Port were recognised for their hard work and dedication during West Cheshire College’s Star Apprentice Awards ceremony on Tuesday 4th March at its Chester Campus.

Sixteen Apprentices from a range of industry sectors including pharmacy, plumbing, vehicle maintenance and repair, retail, technical theatre and accounting were honoured as part of the College’s National Apprenticeship Week celebrations (3rd-7th March).

Rachael Smith, 20, from Ellesmere Port was named Star Apprentice in Hairdressing after completing an Apprenticeship in Hairdressing at West Cheshire College’s hair salon.

Rachael said: “I completed a Level 1 and 2 course at the College and decided to do an Apprenticeship as I thought it was the best way to improve my skills and get more hands-on experience whilst getting more qualifications.

“I really enjoyed my Apprenticeship and learnt so much from doing it.

“After completing my Apprenticeship I got a job straight away as a Stylist in a salon at Chester and I don’t think I would have done this without the skills and experience I gained from my Apprenticeship.

“I would really recommend people looking to get into the industry to do an Apprenticeship as it was so beneficial for me. My long term career goal is to open my own salon.”

Tom Rodaway, 20, from Ellesmere Port, won the Star Apprentice in Engineering Award after completing a Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship in Engineering at Capenhurst Nuclear Services (CNS).

Tom said: “I’ve always had an interest in fixing things so when I heard about this Apprenticeship it sounded ideal to me.

“My Apprenticeship lasted four years so it was very thorough and I learnt so much from it- much more than I would from just being in a classroom.

“After I completed my Apprenticeship, I was offered a permanent job at CNS and the company sponsored me to continue my education and study for a Foundation Degree.

“The Apprenticeship has been a great way for me to start my career and I have got so many opportunities from it.

“I’m so proud to have won this award, it is good to see that my hard work has been recognised.”

Winners received their awards from Jacqui Hornby, Senior Vocational Learning Officer at Cheshire and Wirral Partnership (CWP) NHS Foundation Trust, alongside Nigel Davies, Principal and Chief Executive and Helen Nellist, Vice Principal - Business Development at West Cheshire College.

Nigel Davies, Principal and Chief Executive of West Cheshire College, said: “I am delighted with all of the winners of the Star Awards.

“All of them have worked so hard to be here and should be very proud of their achievements.

“Apprenticeships combine real-life work experience with gaining a qualification so they are ideal for people who are looking for their first job or for a career change.”

Jacqui Hornby, who presented the Awards, said: “It has been a pleasure to present these Awards and I have been overwhelmed by the talent here.

“West Cheshire College do a fantastic job delivering Apprenticeships to such a high standard within a wide range of organisations.

“At CWP we have a number of Apprentices who have been hugely beneficial for both the Trust and the individual. I would certainly encourage any organisation to consider recruiting an Apprentice.”

Every year West Cheshire College supports hundreds of Apprentices in the workplace in a range of different organisations from large businesses and public sector organisations through to SMEs and charities.

For more information call the College’s Apprenticeship hotline on 01244 656499 or visit

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