Top students and employers pick up prestigious awards at Weston College

UHBW picked up an employer award at the Weston College business awards evening. 

UHBW picked up employer of the year award at the Weston College business awards evening. - Credit: Weston College

Hardworking students and employers at Weston College bagged top awards at a prestigious ceremony to honour their achievements throughout the year.

The special business awards event on June 30 saw the college toast the 'outstanding success' of learners and employer partners for the first time in three years due to the Covid pandemic.

Former Welsh international rugby union referee Nigel Owens was the night's guest speaker as students, employers and local dignitaries attended the Oscar-style evening at the Winter Gardens.

Weston College principal Sir Paul Phillips, who hosted the awards, said: "This year we received a record number of nominations and, while this made judging an unenviable task, it highlights the wealth of talent among our learners and the level of dedication and expertise within our employer network.   

Apache Construction picked up pre-employment employer of the year.

Apache Construction picked up pre-employment employer of the year. - Credit: Weston College

"It was fantastic to celebrate the many successes of our work-based learners, who show outstanding commitment to their programmes. They are truly a credit to the college and their employers.   

"I would like to say congratulations to all of our winners, who we are delighted to work closely with."

There were winners from a range of levels, with trainees being recognised, along with industry professionals who have upskilled through apprenticeships.

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Degree apprentice Jack Kitsell was named overall learner of the year and engineering apprentice of the year for his selflessness, exceptional work, and willingness to take on additional roles outside of work to continually improve and develop his skills.

He said: "This is the culmination of five years of study and work for me. It's a really good opportunity to have that moment to reflect and celebrate those who have helped me through this journey."

Nigel Owens hands Jack Kitsell the apprentice of the year award. 

Nigel Owens hands Jack Kitsell the apprentice of the year award. - Credit: Weston College

Employers who work with the college from across the region were also recognised. 

Abatec Recruitment won medium employer of the year for its 'commitment to Weston College’s new career excellence hubs,' and the opportunities they provide for learners.

Business development director at Abatec Recruitment, Robert Dyer, said: "Working with Weston College is a privilege, the collaboration, ideas, and delivery of engaging young adults is so important, and I'm delighted Abatec Recruitment contributes to some of the amazing initiatives that it runs, ultimately, giving young adults opportunities."

Weston College Business Awards.

Weston College Business Awards. - Credit: Archant

University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW) was named overall employer of the year in recognition of their 'dedication' to apprenticeships, with more than 140 from the college working in a wide range of roles. 

Other winners included Bethan Walker, Ryan Peacock, Karen Passarelli, Shauna Bates, Georgia Ferdinando, Café At The Pavilion and Burnham Plastering and Drylining.