Apprentices across Oxfordshire have been celebrating after the county’s first ever apprenticeship award ceremony.
The inaugural Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards recognised the best talent in the county with a special presentation evening on Wednesday last week at the Marlborough Enterprise Centre in Woodstock.
The celebration of the achievements of local employers, training providers, schools and apprentices took place during the 10th National Apprenticeship Week. The new awards enabled Oxfordshire Apprenticeships, part of Oxfordshire Local Enterprise partnership (OxLEP), to celebrate the achievements of the county’s apprentices.
Chloe Penniston, a legal services apprentice at The Burnside Partnership, a boutique private client law firm based in Combe, west Oxfordshire, won the Apprentice of the Year Award.
Chloe was also named Advanced Apprentice of the Year and was chosen as the overall winner by sponsors Darke & Taylor because “she is an inspirational apprentice, dedicated to her role and her team, who has quickly become an integral part of the business and a role model both for her colleagues”.
On winning her awards, Chloe, who said she was still in shock the following morning, said it “has been an amazing experience”.
She added: “I would never have thought that I could win two such brilliant awards.
“The whole evening was such a fantastic experience, which I will never forget.
“I cannot thank my employers enough for giving me this opportunity.”
While Faringdon Community College won the School Award, Abingdon & Witney College also had much to cheer about as the college and its apprentices came away from the evening with a haul of three trophies.
This included Gemma Tuckey, who won the Special Recognition Award as a business administration apprentice at Oxfordshire County Council, and horticulture apprentice Sasha Fraser, who was rewarded for her work at Oxford City Council.
The college also won the prize for best Training Provider, overcoming stiff competition in the form of Wallingford-based Jewel Training and construction specialists ACE Training.
Di Batchelor, principal at Abingdon and Witney College, was full of praise for staff and apprentices alike.
She said it was “a very good night for the college” and that she felt “very proud to be its principal”.
She added: ”The fact that we are regarded as the top training provider in the county, and that so many of our apprentices were nominated for awards, is a testament to everyone’s hard work and determination to achieve success.”