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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) 2024.

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David Pomfret, Principal and Chief Executive of CWA with Aggie Zajac and Tom Kardas at Recipharm.

NAW takes place from the 5th-11th February 2024 is the 17th 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 2024 is “Skills for Life”. To celebrate how apprenticeships can help individuals to develop the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career, and employers to develop a workforce with future ready skills.

David Pomfret, Principal and Chief Executive of CWA visited and worked with four apprentices at Recipharm, global market leader in the design, development, and manufacture of drug delivery devices. The King’s Lynn site provides development and manufacturing services from pilot to commercial scale. Tom Kardas, Aggie Zajac and Tom Witt are currently studying the Engineering Manufacturing Technician Level 4. Daniel Grange is currently completing Apprenticeship Standard for Engineering Technician – Machinist. Aggie and Tom toured David around the MDI manufacturing unit within Recipharm in full PPE, David helped with hand assembly of the medical devices. Daniel provided David a tour of the toolroom and showed David some of the specialist equipment which is used in his job role. Finally, Tom welcomed David into the healthcare manufacturing area of the business and explained his role and talked though the full manufacturing process which he is a part of.

David Pomfret said "It's always a pleasure to spend some time with our apprentices and employer partners.  Recipharm (previously known as Bespak) in King's Lynn are a global market leader in the design, development and manufacture of drug delivery devices, and it's been a few years since I last visited.  I spent time with four of our level 3 & 4 engineering apprentices and was delighted to see the progress and opportunities available and see and hear about the employer and college support.  I also appreciated the opportunity to spend some time with Paul Hunt, Senior Talent Acquisition Partner at Recipharm, and I highly value our productive partnership."

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David Pomfret, Principal and Chief Executive of CWA with Tom Witt and Daniel Grange at Recipharm.

Rob Petto Assistant Principal Funding and Performance at CWA visited Greenyard Frozen in King’s Lynn to visit Jana Cerniseva who is currently completing Apprenticeship Standard Customer Service Level 2. Jana started her apprenticeship in September 2023 after previously studying politics at university, but wanted a new challenge in an industry she could see herself working in long term. Rob worked with Jana testing recipes in the development kitchen. Jana explained that the development kitchen is where recipes are created and then perfected for Greenyard's clients before these are scaled and manufactured.

Jana Cerniseva said “I am really enjoying my apprenticeship at Greenyard Frozen. It has been interesting to work in so many areas of the business, from the development kitchen trailing new recipes to quality assurance of products which are sold in supermarkets. I look forward to continuing to learn during my apprenticeship.”

Rob Petto said “I really enjoyed spending the afternoon learning just a snippet of what goes into frozen food product development with Jana, speaking to her about the path that led her to her apprenticeship and how much she was enjoying it compared to the degree she previously studied. It was also great to hear from Gavin, her manager, how much Jana is already valued in the team and his ambitions for her future. It’s a great example of apprenticeships at their best.”

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Rob Petto, Assistant Principal Funding & Performance at CWA and Jana Cerniseva at Greenyard Frozen.

Paul O’Shea, Assistant Principal Student Services at CWA visited Greg Aviss at Downham Preparatory School & Montessori Nursery who is completing a Teaching Assistant Level 3 apprenticeship. The School is a non-selective Independent Preparatory School for girls and boys aged 3 months to 13 years. Greg assists and shadows Ms Smith in reception class. Paul worked with Greg in supporting the children with their work for the afternoon. They first had literacy and handwriting practice, followed by playtime outside. Greg led story time on the mat and then Paul sat with two of the children and played a game of snakes and ladders before the children’s home time.

Paul O’Shea said “I thoroughly enjoyed my afternoon at Downham Preparatory School and Montessori ‘helping’ our apprentice Greg Aviss in the Reception class. I was really impressed with his skills and confidence in working with the children and supporting the class teacher and it was great to hear the head teacher speak so positively about his development as an apprentice teaching assistant in such a short time. I am sure he is destined for a great career in education.”

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 Paul O’Shea, Assistant Principal Student Services at CWA with students from Downham Preparatory School and Montessori Nursery and Greg Aviss.


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