The Cornwall Apprenticeship Awards is well established as one of the leading training awards in the South West. Now in its fourth year, hosts Truro and Penwith College are again on the hunt for both Apprentices and Employers that are demonstrating outstanding achievement and commitment to Apprenticeships, and this week opened nominations via their website

Any learner or employer who is involved in Apprenticeship training in Cornwall is eligible to be nominated, regardless of the College or training provider that delivers their training, provided they are still training as an Apprentice, or completed their training after 1st June 2017.

This year a new, easier nomination process requiring just one 500 word explanation of why the Apprentice or Employer should win will see forty-two nominees shortlisted when nominations close on 6 August. A panel of judges consisting of employers across Cornwall will decide who will be awarded Apprentice or Employer of the Year in each of the fifteen categories at the Awards on 12 October (see box out 1).

Described by her employer as a “dream apprentice.” Cornwall’s 2017 Apprentice of the Year and Hair and Beauty Apprentice of the Year was 17-year-old hair stylist Shannon O’Regan from Marzipan Hair. Judges were impressed by Shannon’s commitment to her role and willingness to broaden her experience, managing the salon’s social media and developing her photography skills while taking pictures of her work to post online and attract new customers.

In 2017 a public vote was introduced for the Achiever of the Year category and with hundreds of votes received, the vote will be returning for the 2018 Awards. Mum and Business Administration Apprentice for Newquay-based flooring company Oltco, Diane Jones was awarded Achiever of the Year in 2017. Having been out of work and a full-time mum for three years before joining Oltco, Diane progressed quickly, taking on office management responsibilities and developing her charity ‘The Noah Community Project’ in her spare time.

The Victoria Inn and Eden Project won SME and Large Employer of the year respectively in 2017 for the exceptional support and progression opportunities available to their Apprentices. The employers have since supported Truro and Penwith College at a number of events and gone on to receive national recognition.

The 2018 Awards will be held in Truro College’s Gannel building on 12th October. Pirate FM are returning as official media partners and the College is thrilled to announce ex-students and Pirate FM presenters Holly Day and Neil Caddy will be hosting the evening. Mark Peters, MD, Pirate FM commented: “Pirate FM are proud to be the official media partner for the Cornwall Apprenticeship Awards, it’s really important to us, as a local company to make sure we are training and educating for the future success of Cornwall as a whole.”

David Walrond, Principal of Truro and Penwith College said: “Apprenticeships are a key part of Cornwall’s Economic Strategy to provide a skilled workforce and sustainable high quality employment and careers. We know that, for Apprenticeships to really deliver economically for Cornwall, they have to be of the highest quality. Quality of experience and of outcomes continues to be our focus in work-based learning with recent national data demonstrating Apprenticeship achievement at the College is not only well above the average for providers in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, but also 9% above the average of all providers in the UK. The Awards present a perfect opportunity to recognise quality, and to really celebrate countywide success in Apprenticeship training and the great contributions of learners and their employers to Cornwall’s economic prospects.”

Nominations for the awards are being accepted via the Truro and Penwith College website – Anyone wishing to submit a nomination can visit these pages for more information or email for guidance.