5th May 2023
South Devon College recently hosted its prestigious annual apprenticeship awards at The Grand Hotel in Torquay, showcasing the outstanding success of apprentices across the college and university centre. The event, generously sponsored by Bay Care Group, Waterdance, Kinetic Sports Group Limited, Mindful Education, Ocean BMW & MINI Torbay, Pennon, Persimmon Homes, TDA, Teignbridge Propellers Int Ltd, Torbay Business Forum and Valeport featured 140 nominations spanning 17 categories, such as health, digital media, and construction.
“Tonight is all about celebration and as principal of South Devon College I am delighted that in 2022/23 the College supported over 1,000 local employers and 1,700 apprentices,” said Laurence Frewin.
“We saw amazing numbers of adult apprentices and increasing interest in higher levels. More employers are rightly choosing to engage with the apprenticeship programme as a way to develop the skills of existing staff and to bring in and support new recruits. So, a very big thank you to all of our local employers for your ongoing commitment to providing these opportunities for local talent.
“We are always eager to embrace innovation in working with forward looking employer partners. As new apprenticeship standards and more higher-level apprenticeship pathways develop, South Devon College will be at the forefront of making sure local employers are well prepared to advantage of them to continue to develop great talent and skills for their businesses and the local area.”
The awards evening was expertly compered by Stuart Elford, CEO of Devon & Plymouth Chamber of Commerce, and Emily Pearson, Head of Business Solutions at South Devon College. Brendon Prince, who shared his inspirational story of journeying around mainland Britain on a stand-up paddleboard, served as the keynote speaker.
Judges were Ben Pountney, Operational Manager – Apprenticeships at South Devon College; Angela George, Vice Chair, Torbay Business Forum; Emily Pearson, Head of Business Solutions, South Devon College; Matthew Crabtree, Chair, Brixham Chamber of Commerce; Sally Cope, Chair, Paignton Chamber of Commerce.
The overall winner of the awards, Apprentice of the Year, was 21 year old Amy Goss from Totnes.
Amy is a Business Administration Apprenticeship with Valeport Limited. She also won the Business and Management Apprentice of the Year Award.
Amy was selected for her exceptional work in creating efficiencies and making improvements within a busy purchasing department. She demonstrated excellent communication skills and qualities that any employer would recognise in a valued employee.
Reflecting on her win, Amy stated, “I hadn’t expected to win the award. When my name was announced, I was so surprised – it’s amazing.”
“I decided to do an apprenticeship because I’ve always been very academic. This was the perfect mixture of both worlds where I could get paid and qualified at the same time. Valeport is a really good employer. I’m allowed to do my college work at any time, they’re happy as long as I complete the course and complete all of my other work.
I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship to anyone who’s unsure of what to do next. I was originally at university and dropped out after two years. I really struggled and couldn’t cope. But with my apprenticeship I get the support of both my workplace and the college and it’s just so much better for me.
I’m keen to stay at Valeport and maybe to pursue another apprenticeship in the future, because I love it.”
Amy’s story serves as an inspiration for those considering apprenticeships. UCAS figures show a significant increase in interest, with the number of students considering apprenticeships surging from 152,000 in 2021 to 427,000 this year. Social studies, business, and medicine are amongst the most popular fields.
South Devon College’s apprenticeship awards stand as a testament to the dedication and hard work of local apprentices, highlighting their essential role in the local community and workforce.
To find out more email: [email protected]
Photos of the evening can be found here.
Full list of winners and highly commended apprentices
Automotive Apprentice of the Year
- Winner: Lewis Stevens
- Highly commended: Poppy Jones
- Highly commended: Bradley Knight
Beauty and Hairdressing Apprentice of the Year
- Winner: Evie Jarvis
- Highly commended: Abigail Barnett
Business and Management Apprentice of the Year
- Winner: Amy Goss
- Highly commended: Fiona Clace
- Highly commended: Bailey Chubb
Computing Apprentice of the Year
- Winner: Josh Skeet
- Highly commended: Jamie Floyd
- Highly commended: Leo Shanto
Construction Apprentice of the Year
- Winner: Jacob Blight
- Highly commended: George Clarke
- Highly commended: Toby Pullman
Digital Media Apprentice of the Year
- Winner: Danielle Roberts
- Highly commended: Lucy Slatter
Engineering Apprentice of the Year
- Winner: Ben Weedon
- Highly commended: Marcus Coombes
- Highly commended: Will Summers
Health Apprentice of the Year
- Winner: Eduard Mazuru
- Highly commended: Jasmine Weaving
- Highly commended: Michelle Pyper
Tourism, Hospitality and Catering Apprentice of the Year
- Winner: Tom Cloherty
- Highly commended: Naomi Harwood
Marine Apprentice of the Year
- Winner: Jack Pearce
- Highly commended: Ava Cousins
- Highly commended: Zak Mitchell
Plumbing and Electrical Apprentice of the Year
- Winner: Mike Walmsley
- Highly commended: Haydon Tucker
- Highly commended: Brad Metcalfe
Sport Apprentice of the Year
- Winner: Bryony Vass
- Highly commended: Isaac Beardsmore
The Higher Apprenticeship Award
- Winner: Emma Hollis
- Highly commended: Jade Sowden
- Highly commended: Nicky Hawkins
Teaching and Learning Apprentice of the Year
- Winner: Clare Owen
- Highly commended: Annette Harpham
- Highly commended: John Shermer
Most Supportive/Inspirational Employer/Colleague of the Year Award
- Winner: Natasha Pawley
- Highly commended: Josh Langford
- Highly commended: Liam Ferris
South Devon College Apprenticeship Staff Member of the Year
- Winner: Debbie Boylan
- Highly commended: Stephen Orme
- Highly commended: Stephen Campbell
Best Large Employer – (50 or more employees)
- Winner: Chime Social Enterprise
- Highly commended: Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust
- Highly commended: Sherwoods
Best Small Employer (49 or less employees)
- Winner: CCG Decorators
- Highly commended: Breakwater Marine
- Highly commended: Chelston Electrical Services Limited
Apprentice of the Year 2023
- Winner: Amy Goss