Cody James
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City of Bristol College to shine a light on successful apprentices for National Apprenticeships Week 2020

City of Bristol College will be celebrating the successes of its apprenticeship students to mark National Apprenticeship Week 2020 by shining a light on some of its many success stories, including two regional and a national award nomination and two winners.

National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) runs from Monday 3to Sunday 9February 2020 and celebrates apprenticeships across England. It is a time to recognise and applaud apprenticeship success stories.

Apprenticeship employers use the opportunity to promote the success of their apprentices and highlight the huge benefits to other employers, of all sizes, who are thinking of taking on an apprentice of their own.

Two of City of Bristol College’s biggest success stories are two award-nominated apprentices who were put forward by their employers for the Apprentice of the Year Award at the South West Business and Community Awards.

Leanne Finch earned the illustrious title for her work at Sixways Surgery in Cheltenham. The South West Apprenticeship Company (SWAC) student, which is run in partnership with City of Bristol College, has completed a Level 2 course in Business Administration and is now working towards her Level 3 in the same area. She was praised by her employers as a ‘very important part of the Sixways Clinic Team’.

They said: “Leanne was quite shy when she started here with us but her confidence has grown so much and we are all so proud of her and everything she has achieved.”

This was the second nomination for Leanne after she was nominated for Apprentice of the Year at the National Apprenticeship Awards where she was shortlisted as a finalist and was recognised as Highly Commended.

Another award-nominee for the same category was 22-year-old apprentice Cody James, who has just succeeded in earning her Level 4 AAT Accounting qualification. The aspiring accountant, who is working at Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) as a Financial Officer, has already completed her Level 2 and 3 AAT Accounting courses at the college.

She said: “The benefits of completing an apprenticeship are that, as well as working and studying, you also gain a qualification at the end of it all which is a great achievement. It can help get other jobs in the future but the biggest benefit of studying this course is the support you receive from your tutors.

“The accountancy tutors at the college are always happy to help and respond to your queries quickly and efficiently. I chose to study Accountancy as I just love working with numbers, spreadsheets and solving problems.”

But apprenticeships are not just for young people they are also for people wanting to change careers, and this was the case for Sharon Hewitt who joined the college on a Level 3 Business Administration in 2019.

Sharon said: “Being an ‘older’ person with a full-time job, the apprenticeship option was the only way to go as it fits into my job without having to go to college for hours on an evening or weekend.

“Apprenticeships are a great way to train as you are gaining experience through your job as well as the help from the college. I had a mentor through the course who was absolutely brilliant. She guided me through making me feel anything was achievable – she was a great support to me.”

Head of Business Partnerships in the Apprenticeship Department, Paul Rogers, said: “During National Apprenticeship Week we will be inviting future apprentices to our campuses to discover the fantastic opportunities which await them. Apprenticeships offer a route to skilled employment, combining work and study and allows people to ‘earn while they work’.

“The college’s apprenticeship team will be in the reception area of our Ashley Down campus on Thursday 6 February 2020 from 10am-3pm. Everyone is invited to come and ask questions about how to begin a career with an apprenticeship.”

Find out more about the different apprenticeship opportunities the college has to offer.

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