Friday, 10 February 2012

Northumberland College Apprenticeship Awards

Great night yesterday at the Kirkley Hall campus of Northumberland College Apprenticeship awards - well done to all the winners. I was very proud to be able to speak at the event which celebrated some of our fantastic local apprentices.

The winning apprentices were:Keegan Kilpatrick, who works for Persimmon Homes, bricklaying and building homes
Gemma Hadden, who works for Newcastle City Council, as a motor vehicle apprentice
Jason Janczuk, who works for UK Coal, as an electrician

All 3 spoke very well in their speeches, as did Mark Bolton, the Director of Business Development who I had met earlier in the week at our Jobs Summit in Prudhoe.

The best bit was seeing the pride on the apprentices faces and hearing their stories. Almost as good was the sense of achievement the employers felt at having giving a young man or woman a start in life.

People like Chris Curry at Persimmon, and Kenny More of Newcastle City Council, quite literally looked upon the successful apprentices as their surrogate children and their sense of achievements in their apprentices was great to see.

I also got the chance to spent some time talking to the staff who are clearly doing a great job, and some of the new employers, who came from all over the region, but some as far afield as Merseyside!

It was a great way to round of Apprenticeship Week which has saw us invite apprentices to speak with the Minister at our Jobs Summit, visit local schools and employers to promote apprenticeships and finally to spent a bit of time last night celebrating their fantastic achievements.

A quick thank you to Liz and her team who made last night go so well.