Apprenticeship Graduation Ceremony

Monday 9 March 2015

A celebration of the value that apprenticeships bring to young people, businesses and the local economy was staged at Bedford Corn Exchange.

A packed hall saw the Mayor of Bedford Dave Hodgson welcome employers and employees in the first Apprenticeship Graduation Ceremony.

Organised by Bedford College, a major training provider of apprentices, the ceremony was one of the first funded by the Government to showcase the benefit that apprenticeship bring across the UK.

“I see apprenticeships as a win, win opportunity,” said Mayor Dave, who has pledged to see 2,016 apprentices taken on by companies across the Bedford Borough by 2016.

A young Bedford Borough Apprentice Ambassador Kathryn Jack gave an inspiring talk about her career progression from a 16-year-old in Business Administration to her international role now with the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx).

Guest speaker Ashleigh Porter-Exley, who was featured on TV’s The Young Apprentice programme about real life apprentices, regaled the audience with stories of her teenage life in Yorkshire. Celebrating her 20th birthday the day before the awards ceremony, she is soon to unveil her new business funded with £25,000 from the show.

In the Outstanding Apprentice of the Year award presentation at the Corn Exchange, the winner was George Welsh of Advancing People, a recruitment company.

There were awards too for the employers who were deemed to make the greatest contribution to apprenticeships.

The large employer winner was CILEx of Kempston. The SME category winner was Advancing People of Brickhill Drive, Bedford.

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