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College of West Anglia (CWA) Senior Management Team went back to the floor to work alongside a college apprentice in a series of events that celebrated National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) 2023.

NAW took place from the 6th-10th February 2023 is the 16th annual celebration of apprenticeships. The week brings together businesses and apprentices across the country to shine a light on the positive impact that apprenticeships make to individuals, businesses, and the wider economy.

The theme for National Apprenticeship Week 2023 is ‘Skills for Life’. The week will reflect on how apprenticeships can help individuals to develop the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career and help businesses to develop a talented workforce that is equipped with skills for the future.

David Pomfret, Principal at CWA spent time working alongside Amanda Ayres at Greenvale, Cambridgeshire. Greenvale is the UK’s largest suppliers of organic potatoes. Amanda is the Intake Senior Team Leader currently studying the Level 3 Team Leader/Supervisor Apprenticeship. As part of the apprenticeship Amanda directly manages team members, plans, and monitors workload, problem solves and builds relationships with internal and external stakeholders.

David Pomfret, Principal at CWA said:

“As Principal, I like spend time with our apprentices and it is great to see the positive impact of our engagement with employers through apprenticeships. Our apprentices not only learn for their own development, but their learning gives back to the business too – examples being enhanced communication and even identifying significant cost savings through project work.”

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College of West Anglia Princial David Pomfret and Amanda Ayres at Greenvale.

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College of West Anglia Princial David Pomfret and Amanda Ayres at Greenvale.

Kerry Heathcote, Vice Principal Curriculum and Quality visited PCML, precision engineering and manufacturing company in March, Cambridgeshire. Kerry worked alongside two CWA apprentices, Erin Walker, Harry Emery. Erin is currently working through her Engineering Operative Level 2 apprenticeship on the manual Machining pathway, working towards her Level 2 Diploma (Knowledge) and Level 2 Certificate (Skills) in Engineering. Erin was new to engineering when she started in September 2022. Harry is on the Level 3 Engineering Technician (Machinist) pathway. Harry is a progression learner who achieved the Engineering Operative Level 2 in June 2022.

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Kerry Heathcote, Vice Principal Curriculum and Quality with apprentices Harry and Erin at PCML.

Rob Petto, Assistant Principal Funding & Performance at CWA visited Twinkle Tots in King’s Lynn to visit Shannon who is studying Level 2 Early Years Practitioner apprenticeship. Shannon is responsible for her own key children in her role and is learning how to identity how to support the children's development according to age, needs, interests and abilities. Shannon does this through planning of purposeful play opportunities, environments and observations.

Jayne Freerar, Managing Director at Twinkle Tots said:

We have a few apprentices, but we are new to employing them. I have been pleasantly surprised how quickly our apprentices have fitted in to the team and to be able to learn on the job. We can teach them the ways we do things here at Twinkle Tots.

Shannon was quite shy when she joined us 5 months ago but very quickly, she had developed excellent communication. She is not afraid to let the children know what they can and can’t do. In addition, her skill at story telling have the children captivated, so she’s a real hit. Her key children in particular love her.

Shannon said:

I previously studied a full-time course at the college in a different subject, but when I wanted to study childcare, I was recommended to look at apprenticeships. The apprenticeship is much more practical and a hands on, earning a wage is certainly made a difference as well. I feel I have more freedom to use my own initiative.”    

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Rob Petto, Assistant Principal Funding and Performance at Twinkle Tots.

Paul O’Shea, Assistant Principal, Student Services at CWA visited Harvey Wright who is completing a Food and Beverage Team Member Level 2 apprenticeship at Heacham Manor. Harvey started his apprenticeship by shadowing members of staff across all roles in the food and beverage team before he went on to work with customers directly. Harvey is responsible for making drinks, taking cash and card payments as well as setting tables, setting up for events, serving afternoon teas and anticipating customers’ needs and providing excellent customer service.

Harvey Wright said:

I have really enjoyed my time at Heacham Manor completing my apprenticeship, it’s been great to be so hands on to learn the job. I will be finishing my apprenticeship in the next couple of weeks, but I will continue to work here. I am looking at the possibility of completing a level 3 apprenticeship in the future.

Sunny Sangha, Food and Beverage manager at Heacham Manor said:

We have been so fortunate to have Harvey working with us as an apprentice, he is hardworking and happy to get involved in all areas of the business. We are relatively new to apprentices working as part of the team at Heacham manor, but due to the success of having Harvey with us we are looking to expand the roles we offer, as well as replace Harvey’s role once he finishes his apprenticeship.

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Paul O’Shea, Assistant Principal, Student Services visiting Harvey at Heacham Manor.

Paul Harrison, Vice Principal, Corporate Services at CWA visited Ryan Eagle at Guy Raymond a manufacturing business in King’s Lynn. Ryan has completed 4 months of a 12-month Level two Supply Chain Warehouse Operative apprenticeship. Ryan’s main duties revolve around two main areas, which are ‘Picking/packing dispatch and Warehouse duties.

Ryan Eagle said:

"I worked at Guy Raymond prior to starting my apprenticeship but it has been great to learn how only how to be more effective in my job role, but also understand the background to why we do certain aspects of the role in a particular way. I am looking forward to completing my apprenticeship later this year and continue to work at Guy Raymond."

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Paul Harrison, Vice Principal, Corporate Services with Ryan Eagle at Guy Raymond.

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