An awards ceremony celebrating the positive impact of apprentices in their workplaces and beyond has been held by The Sheffield College.
Apprenticeships enable young people and adults to earn as they learn, study a qualification, progress in a career and gain employment afterwards.
This year’s Apprenticeship Awards, staged at the Mowbray, Neepsend, on 16th May 2023, saw the winners presented with certificates for their achievements.
Alongside apprentices and their family and friends, college leaders, apprenticeship staff and governors attended the ceremony.
Andrew Hartley, Deputy Chief Executive and Executive Director for Commercial and Operations, The Sheffield College, said: “It is inspiring to hear how our apprentices are making a difference in the workplace and beyond.
"Some of our apprentices are breaking down barriers within their sectors including mentoring under-represented groups.”
He added: “Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to go further in a career, achieve qualifications and develop industry skills. For employers, apprenticeships offer an incredibly valuable talent pipeline that enables their business to grow.”
The winners of this year’s Apprenticeship Awards are:
Case study - Stacey Clasper
Stacey Clasper is completing a Construction Site Supervisor Apprenticeship at Level 4 with Henry Boot Construction. Stacey joined the company in October 2020 after returning to education as an adult learner whilst raising a young family.
She was determined to fulfil her career ambitions and decided to go to college and study a BTEC Level 3 in Construction and The Built Environment. Stacey then joined Henry Boot Construction as a Trainee Site Manager.
Stacey has quickly gone on to become a vital member of the team with a hard-working attitude and thirst for learning. She excels in her role and regularly achieves distinction in her studies.
Her responsibilities at Henry Boot Construction include supervising live construction projects and making sure they are technically sound and meet robust construction guidelines.
She is eager to develop as much experience as possible by working on housing projects, urban development schemes, listed building refurbishments and commercial office developments.
Her experience includes working at Headingley Learning Centre in Leeds, where she was part of the team who carried out the sensitive restoration of a grade 2 listed building. The facility is now open and provides a modern learning space for SEN pupils.
Stacey is Chair of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) Student Members for Sheffield as part of her journey to become a fully Chartered Construction Manager. Stacey is committed to encouraging under-represented groups into the construction industry and regularly gives talks, including at schools, to share her inspiring career path.
Stacey said: “Receiving this award is a lovely surprise. I have always been interested in construction and large buildings not purely from an aesthetic point of view but in the way that buildings are engineered. I used to drive past Henry Boot Construction on my way to work and that inspired me to apply to the company.
“I really enjoy being on site and learning and growing in knowledge every day. There is a huge variety of jobs in the sector. Construction doesn’t just involve heavy lifting, digging holes and laying bricks but offers exciting project management opportunities too.”
Case study – Ellie Eadon
Higher apprentice Ellie Eadon won the FREDIE+ Champion Award. This award category recognises apprentices whose role reflects the values of fairness, respect, equality, diversity, inclusion and engagement.
As Community Development Worker at the Link Community Hub in Stradbroke, Ellie is managing a range of projects for those who are struggling. The charity runs a second-hand clothing shop, food bank and pet food bank, support groups and outreach work, and sign-posts residents to specialist services.
The Link Community Hub addresses food poverty, mental health issues, domestic violence, substance misuse and unemployment in partnership with other agencies. Demand for support has risen as a result of the cost of living crisis.
Ellie is passionate about her work and personally invested in the project having progressed onto the apprenticeship after completing voluntary work during lockdown. She helped to provide doorstep visits to socially isolated and vulnerable individuals within the Stradbroke area of Sheffield.
Ellie has been described as an amazing advocate for community development work. Her kindness and understanding have been praised by one service user for ‘shining a light into their darkest moments and helping them to save their own life.’
Ellie is completing a Leader in Adult Care Level 4 Apprenticeship, a degree level qualification aimed at those who have responsibility for managing community or residential based services.
Ellie said: “I feel really pleased to have won an award, it wasn’t something that I was expecting! I chose an apprenticeship because I really enjoy developing my skills in the workplace. We have received funding for my role to continue for another three years, which is also really good news.”
Case study - Josh Houghton
Josh Houghton is completing a Software Developer Level 4 Apprenticeship and won the Higher Apprentice of the Year category.
Josh is based in the IT Helpdesk Project Development team at The Sheffield College. He has worked his way up the qualification levels after initially completing an Administrative Apprenticeship at Levels 3 and 4. He then found his interests lay in programming.
Josh has demonstrated exceptional proficiency in a variety of programming languages, software development practices and technical skills and has worked closely on a range of projects, contributing significantly to the final product.
In addition to his eagerness to learn new technologies and techniques, Josh has also shown outstanding collaboration and communication skills and has been proactive in seeking guidance and mentorship from team members.
Josh said: “I love learning on an apprenticeship and developing a range of new skills. Going to university isn’t for everyone and paying for tuition fees is ‘no thank you’ from me! On an apprenticeship, I can earn as I learn and achieve a university level qualification at the same time.”
The Sheffield College is the largest provider of apprenticeships in the city and region, which are backed by around 800 employers. Apprentices are being trained across a wide range of sectors including accounting, construction, education, engineering and healthcare.
To find out more, visit the college’s Apprenticeship+ service, which enables employers to get the skills they need and students to become highly employable.
Pictured. Higher apprentice Stacey Clasper is a Trainee Site Manager at Henry Boot Construction. Image credit: Joe Horner