Warrington MP visits Collegiate for National Apprenticeship Week

A visit from one of the town’s MPs was the icing on the cake for Warrington Collegiate at the end of their week-long celebration of apprentices.

Warrington North MP Helen Jones visited the College on Friday as part of National Apprenticeship Week.

She presented the College’s ‘Apprentice of the Month’ award to Sarah Bond, who is currently completing an apprenticeship in Business Administration at Rock Oil.

Sarah was named Apprentice of the Month for February after being nominated by her employers.

Helen Jones MP with Warrington Collegiate students for National Apprenticeship Week.

She said: “I didn’t want to go to university but still wanted to learn so I thought an apprenticeship would be a good way to go. I’ve been here since September and I’m really enjoying it.”

Her employers have been so impressed by Sarah’s progress that she has been given the responsibility of looking after Rock Oil’s UK motorcycle distribution – one of their largest markets. She now reports directly to the company’s Chairman.

Greg Hewitt, Managing Director at Rock Oil, said: “Sarah has surpassed all of our expectations. She has taken to it like a duck to water. We don’t see Sarah as an apprentice, even though she is one, and we would love for her to stay once her apprenticeship is over in February 2017. We want her to make a career for herself.”

During her visit, Ms Jones was given a tour of the college, speaking to members of staff in the Work Shop – an area aimed at providing careers advice and support.

She also called in to the Hospitality and Catering facility where she saw students preparing dishes for the lunchtime service in Buckley’s restaurant.

It was there that the MP was presented with a National Apprenticeship Week cake, baked specially for the occasion.

Following her visit, Helen Jones MP said: “It was wonderful to see first-hand the commitment and passion of our young people at Warrington Collegiate. The advice and support offered to students really helps them choose the right path.

“I particularly enjoyed meeting students in Hospitality and Catering to learn more about their day-to-day activities and future career opportunities. Many thanks to catering student Josh Banner for his delicious chocolate pudding and to the students who so kindly baked the cake.”

During National Apprenticeship Week – which ran from 14thto 18th March – Warrington Collegiate showcased the dedication and hard work of its apprentices.

Events took place across college throughout the week, with the annual Voice of the Apprentice event – organised by Unionlearn – being hosted at the College on Wednesday.

It also saw the College’s senior management team go back to the classroom and work alongside students and staff in areas similar to those they trained in.

The ‘Back to the Floor’ event saw Principal Nichola Newton spend the day with the College’s Student Recruitment and Engagement Manager, visiting a number of nearby schools.

During the visit to Byrchall High School, Nichola spoke to Year 11 students about the fantastic range of opportunities available to them at the College and invited them to our upcoming June Open Evening & Skills Show.

Susan Treacy, Deputy Principal for Curriculum and Quality – who started her working life in the Hospitality and Catering Industry – helped to set up Buckley’s restaurant for the lunchtime diners. She spoke to students about her past experiences and how what they are learning can lead to fantastic careers.

The Back to the Floor initiative also saw Becky Welch, Director of Quality, Learner Involvement and Attainment, spend time in the College’s hair salon at the Academy, washing hair and working on clients.

Michelle Seeley, Deputy Principal for Finance & Resources spent the morning in a Level 3 Accounting and Finance class, working on cost and break even analysis. She too spoke to students about her experience and her role within the College.

She said: “It was a great experience to go back to the classroom for the day and see that students are learning techniques that we use at College in everyday life, for example assessing course costing viability.

“By going ‘back to the floor’ and speaking to our learners about our experiences in the industries they hope to work in, we have given them an insight into what is possible and how best to achieve it.