Three Nescot students have been honoured at an event celebrating apprentices in Surrey.
Ryan Crook, Lewis Forrester and Jennine Pegrum were shortlisted for the Surrey County Apprentices Awards, organised each year by young people’s charity SATRO.
Ryan, an Advanced Fibrous Plastering apprentice, also won the Wates Cup, given each year to the best Level 2 student.
Nescot Principal Sunaina Mann said: “We’re really proud of our all apprentices, and for these three students to be shortlisted in a regional competition is a great achievement for them and a testament to their hard work.
“An apprenticeship programme is an excellent opportunity for students to combine qualifications with work experience to learn a trade.”
Ryan joined the college as a full-time student, impressing his tutors so much he was put forward to do an apprenticeship with George Jackson Ltd, a prestigious firm credited with introducing fibrous plastering to the UK.
"To be honest, I was pretty shocked to win the Wates Cup," he said. "I was happy when I was nominated, because I work really hard and I love my job, so it was nice to know that the college and my employers were happy with what I’ve been doing."
He described getting the apprenticeship as the best thing that had ever happened to him, and said the quality of his work has continued to improve since starting with the company, based on Kimpton Park Way in Sutton.
David Serra, director of George Jackson Ltd, described Ryan as hard-working, dependable and enthusiastic.
“We are delighted for Ryan’s work being recognised by the Apprentice of the Year Award, and it is fully deserved,” he added.
“Ryan has shown attention to detail, commitment and enthusiasm in his work. These are qualities we encourage and share at George Jackson Ltd, and we look forward to continue developing him into a very skilled fibrous plasterer.”
Lewis Forrester also joined Nescot as a full-time student, and the college helped him secure a Carpentry and Joinery apprenticeship with Painshill Park Trust in Cobham.
Lewis said he had been ‘over the moon’ to join the Trust, which he described as ‘not your average place to work’.
“I work as hard as I can and I do all my work to the best of my ability – I’m really enjoying it,” he said.
Jennine Pegrum took an apprenticeship in Plumbing at Nescot after working in banking for 18 years.
She owns DP Loft Conversions with her husband and did her Level 2 apprenticeship through DCA Services in Wallington, who described her as conscientious, polite and hard-working.
“It was a great evening, and it felt really good to be shortlisted, because it was so a big decision for me to return to education after so long,” she said.
“I’d say to anyone thinking about doing an apprenticeship to go for it, because you never know where it will take you.”
The Surrey County Apprentices’ Awards were held on September 10 at the County Hall in Kingston-upon-Thames, with prizes given out by High Sheriff of Surrey Dr Helen Bowcock.
Apprenticeships enable people aged 16 and over to learn a trade by combining practical experience gained in the workplace with knowledge and qualifications gained in the classroom.
Nescot offers apprenticeships in a range of subjects, from Plumbing and Construction to Barbering, Hairdressing, Health and Social Care, Business Administration and Childcare, with students also gaining qualifications in Maths, English and ICT.
The college also has a REED NCFE Centre on-site, where staff can match employers interested in taking an apprentice with students who wish to become an apprentice.