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Ellesmere Port to host newly merged college's apprentice awards

Event will recognise apprentices from across Cheshire

Helen Nellist, deputy principal and chief executive(Image: UGC TCH)

Ellesmere Port is to host the inaugural apprenticeship awards for the new further education college for Cheshire.

The town’s college campus off Sutton Way will see South Cheshire College and West Cheshire College holding the event on Thursday (April 27.)

Following the merger of the two institutions to create the new FE college last month, the ceremony will bring together what is described as the ‘best of the best’ from across its three campuses in Ellesmere Port, Chester and Crewe.

The apprenticeship awards, previously organised by West Cheshire College, celebrate the outstanding performance and results achieved by apprentices from across the region.

More than 200 guests are set to attend with more than 30 awards being presented on the night.

The West Cheshire College Ellesmere Port campus building

The awards are intended to pay tribute to those apprentices most deserving for their ingenuity and hard work, distinguishing them from others and proving them worthy of recognition.

Among the categories are STEM Apprentice of the Year, an award for exceptional enterprise and initiative and Apprenticeship Ambassador of the Year as well as various prizes within specific industry sectors.

Former West Cheshire College acting principal and chief executive Helen Nellist is now deputy principal and chief executive of the new body, leading the employer engagement programme.

She said: “We are extremely proud of the high quality apprenticeship programmes that we deliver that make a valuable contribution to both our apprentices’ careers and the employers we work with.

“The apprenticeship awards were a well-regarded annual event for West Cheshire College and we are delighted to continue the tradition by now hosting an even bigger and better event that will recognise apprentices from across Cheshire.”

West Cheshire College’s annual apprenticeship awards last year(Image: UGC TCH)

West Cheshire has hosted the awards for the past six years.

Apart from guests the students will be joined by many of the large organisations which the new college works in partnership with including Vauxhall, Bentley Motors, Unilever and National Grid as well as representatives from Cheshire West and Chester and Cheshire East councils, the Cheshire & Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership and chambers of commerce.

Dame Pat Bacon, chairman of the governors at the new college and previously chairman at South Cheshire, said: “We are truly proud of the fabulous achievements of our apprentices.

“With just over 1,300 apprentices across both South Cheshire and West Cheshire College, what better way to reward and recognise their efforts than at the apprenticeship awards.

“Bringing together apprentices and our employers, it promises to be a memorable evening and our biggest one yet.”

Both South Cheshire and West Cheshire Colleges are also celebrating their inclusion on the register of apprenticeship training providers. This is a necessary requirement to allow them to deliver apprenticeship training from May 1.

Selected organisations listed on the register undertake a thorough assessment. This considered the college’s ability to provide high quality apprenticeships and training, its financial health, eligibility to receive public funding and Ofsted results.

The college provides an employer hotline for firms looking for more information on apprenticeships.

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