West Sussex apprentices celebrated their achievements at a graduation ceremony at The Hawth, Crawley on Monday.
A total of 65 graduates attended the ceremony with local employers, training providers, friends and family members. This year’s apprenticeships ranged from social care, management and engineering.
Speakers at the ceremony included Paul Wagstaff, West Sussex County Council’s Director of Education and Skills, Jim Cunliffe, Sussex Area Leader of the Federation of Small Businesses, Steve Pullen, Varian’s Senior Manufacturing Manager and Holly Jade-Ryder, Mid-Sussex District Council’s Business Development Officer.
Richard Burrett, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “I would like to offer my congratulations to the apprentices who graduated at the ceremony this year and to the family and friends who joined them.
“I would also like to thank the employers who attended and who have supported these apprentices through their training.
“Apprenticeships are a fantastic way for people to learn whilst working in their chosen field and we hope to see more people becoming apprentices in the future.”
Among those at the ceremony was Beth Reeves who graduated as an Advanced Apprentice in Engineering Manufacture (Engineering Maintenance) and works at Roche Diagnostics Ltd in Burgess Hill. As a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Ambassador, she has now moved on to a Higher Apprenticeship qualification in Engineering.
She said: “It was great to see so many different industries and employers celebrating and promoting apprenticeships across the county. Graduating from education whilst in full time employment has had its challenges but today has made me feel proud of how far I have come. I got that feeling of achievement from everyone in the room today.”
Jim Cunliffe, FSB’s Sussex Area Leader said: “My firm employs apprentices and this is something I am very committed to. It is important we recruit, train and employ people, especially young people, using apprenticeships. This ensures a pipeline of talent to our smaller, local businesses and supports our economy.
“Events like the one today brilliantly raise awareness of what can be achieved through an apprenticeship. I wish every one of the Apprentice Graduates success in their chosen career.”
The graduation event has been running for four years and is organised by West Sussex County Council and the Federation of Small Businesses.