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Awards Honour Hardworking Apprentices

Nescot College apprentices were honoured at an awards ceremony in the College Refectory on Wednesday 13th January, as youngsters, their tutors and their employers enjoyed a rare chance to mingle and celebrate the rewards of up to three years hard work.

‘It’s so good for the apprentices to get a ceremony like this and this one was particularly lovely,’ Said Jan Etchells of Syntonic, who is also London Regional President for the Federation of Master Builders.

‘You could see how much effort had gone in, but it was friendly and welcoming, not at all stiff, and clearly done for the apprentices themselves.

‘I go to lots of these things but I was adamant I wanted to be at this one for our apprentice Jeff, he’s a fantastic kid and I’m proud of him. I’ve enjoyed this and I’m very glad I came.’

For Jan’s apprentice, Jefferson Bright, 19, from Croydon, the evening was a bit of a surprise.

‘To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much but it was a great night, I came away with a smile on my face.’

For Jeff, who has now finished his apprenticeship, the future is looking much more secure than for many youngsters in these difficult times.

‘I’m going to stay with Syntonic and get as far as I can, there is a lot to learn and this is a fantastic company – tell you what, with the winters we’ve been having, I’m thinking of moving into the gas side and doing call-outs!’

Zoe Watson

Fellow plumbing apprentice Zoe Watson agreed, ‘There’s a lot of opportunity in this industry if you’re willing to put the effort in,’ she said, ‘But it is nice to have this to mark the occasion – my mum definitely liked it.’

Zoe, who works at plumbing firm Smith & Byford, is now a fully fledged heating engineer and will shortly be able to tackle jobs independently.

Well-known local firm Smith & Byford has a long tradition of training apprentices and is firmly committed to the scheme in partnership with Nescot.

‘There’s nothing like it,’ says Sandy Meecham, who is responsible for Zoe at the firm, ‘These kids are the future of your company. Why would you want to take the risk of hiring in an outsider when you can grow your own?’

The ceremony was unusual as apprentices can qualify at different times unlike other courses, where results are released altogether. The evening began at 6.30 with a buffet and refreshments before the prize-giving began.

Awards were given by Surrey Satro, which fosters links between education and business in the region. The apprentices’ certificates were presented by Deputy Principle Gary Chin on behalf of the Nescot.

The awards reflect Nescot’s longstanding commitment to the Apprenticeship Scheme, with links in the local community going back three generations.

These partnerships came in for special mention in Nescot’s recent Ofsted inspection, where the college was recognised as Outstanding in eight key areas under the ‘inspirational leadership’ of Principal Sunaina Mann.

Inspectors found that, ‘Productive partnerships with employers and community groups have supported the development of new provision, including a broader range of apprenticeships. The college has developed its provision well to meet the needs and interests of students and employers.’

Nescot offers apprenticeships ranging from Hairdressing and Childcare to Plumbing and Construction. Go to the Apprenticeships section of the website for further information or call the Apprenticeship Team on: 020 8394 3377.

Outstanding Ofsted Results 2010

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