Celebrations for Apprentices and Businesses as Part of the Annual Skills Awards

Exeter College Apprentice Skills Awards 2015

Date: Tuesday 10 November 2015

Exeter College held their Annual Skills Awards last night celebrating Apprentices and honouring the businesses that support the work of the College’s Apprenticeship programme. The event marks an outstanding year for the college having achieved record Apprenticeship success rates, engaging the highest number of Apprentices, achieving national recognition from Ofsted and being the winners of a National Apprenticeship Award.  

In a break from tradition the event was organised and hosted by current Apprentices at the college. The current Level 3 Business Administration Apprentices were tasked with planning, organising and hosting this prestigious college event. An event for Apprentices by Apprentices – as they would know better than anyone how to celebrate Apprentice success. The team sourced the venue, food, decorations and were on hand during the night to welcome and host the guests and businesses in attendance.

Mike Blakeley, Head of Business Solutions and Enterprise at Exeter College said “Our recognised success as a provider is down to the hard work and dedication of our employers and their Apprentices. It’s an honour to be able to celebrate their achievements. The event focuses on our winners but it also recognises the success of nearly 600 Apprentices and the efforts of our exceptional business network which now numbers 900”.

The college's principal Richard Atkins and Cllr Rosie Denham congratulated the 12 Apprentices who were selected for honours at the event.  The awards recognised the outstanding commitment that had been made to their programmes both at college and at work. Overall winner of the Exeter College Apprentice of the year, Polly Wayland 18, was delighted to pick up her accolade “This award has capped a brilliant year for me.  I love my job and having the ability to study for my qualifications and work, gaining the practical experience I need, is fantastic for me.  I’m looking forward to continuing my learning and would recommend an Apprenticeship to anyone considering starting work for the first time.  The support from everybody has been fantastic.”

The event also recognised the contribution of employers from across the Southwest.  Exeter College have a substantial network of employers that support Apprenticeships and this number is growing. Mike Blakeley added “We are exceptionally fortunate in this area to have some of the most supportive and forward thinking businesses in the country.  The range and diversity of our network ensures young people get some amazing opportunities.  We recognise the impact of high quality placements on our Apprentices and we use events like this to recognise the contribution these key partners make”  He added “ Congratulations to all our winners. They are what makes our Apprenticeship provision amongst the best.”


This Year's winners are:

★ Kymberley Edwards​ APlus Training Apprentice of the Year

★ Tyler Gard​ Business and IT Apprentice of the Year

★ Ryan Evans​ Construction Apprentice of the Year

★ Corey Evans​ Engineering Apprentice of the Year

★ Annie Corcoran​ Hairdressing Apprentice of the Year

★ Luke Pearce​ Health and Social Care Apprentice of the Year: Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools

★ Polly Wayland​ Health and Social Care Apprentice of the Year

★ Melissa Hockings​ Health and Social Care Apprentice of the Year: Children and Young People’s Workforce

★ Joseph Fowler​ Hospitality Apprentice of the Year

★ Joel Galliver​ Motor Vehicle Apprentice of the Year

★ Samy Laing​ Sports and Leisure Apprentice of the Year

★ Samuel Watts​ Young Apprentice of the Year


★ Overall Apprentice of the Year – Sponsored by The South Lawn Medical Practice

                                             Polly Wayland


Business Awards

★ Small Business of the Year – Sponsored by Redrow Homes​

Dolphin Pre School and Nursery

The Dolphin Pre School and Nursery is run by Paul and Mel, who have shown that a good balance of high expectations, developmental challenges and strong pastoral interest in their young staff make for a highly valuable training environment. They recognise that each young apprentice is on a journey, has a unique set of skills knowledge and life experiences and value the contribution to their team, consequently young people continue to thrive in such a positive environment.


★ Large Business of the Year – Sponsored by Thrive Talent

Exeter University

The University of Exeter provide numerous opportunities for Apprentices every year. They provide an outstanding commitment to students through offering high quality and well-structured work experience to ensure future Apprentices are ideally suited for the roles they take on. They continually look to develop their Apprenticeship provision and were the first employer to commit fully to the higher Apprenticeship provision with Exeter College. Regardless of scale, the University of Exeter supports each individual every step of the way.


★ New Business of the Year - Sponsored by Rokk Media

Gregory Distribution Ltd

In under 12 months, Gregory’s have fully embraced Apprenticeship provision and have celebrated the benefits that young people can bring to their organisation. They have been exemplary in promoting opportunities supporting candidates and making them feel part of the team. The early momentum and success has only continued to build and they have become notable ambassadors for Exeter College and Apprentices.


★ Contribution to Apprenticeships – Sponsored by Business Solutions

South West Water

South West Water have been on a remarkable journey in the last three years and have become a beacon in terms of providing outstanding opportunities and support for young people. They have invested heavily in their programmes and have gone over and above to ensure success of their provision. They have unselfishly shared their journey with all who have asked and continue to set the path for other employers to follow.

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