Industry apprenticeship partnerships celebrated

Industry partners joined Reaseheath College’s Apprenticeship and Business Hub teams at an awards ceremony to celebrate the success of their companies’ apprenticeship programmes.

As well as marking the success of outstanding apprentices, the glittering event, held during National Apprenticeship Week, also featured the presentation of awards to businesses judged to have ‘gone the extra mile’ in their support for their apprenticeship programmes.

Guest speaker Joanna Moonan, Deputy Director at the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IATE) told guests that Reaseheath College was well known for providing high quality education and training and that the apprentices and businesses attending the awards evening were shining examples of excellence.

She emphasised that IATE was on a mission to support employers in co-creating high quality, cost effective apprenticeship programmes and technical qualifications in partnership with specialist educational institutions such as Reaseheath.

One of the country’s leading apprentice trainers, Reaseheath currently trains 970 apprentices within the land based industries and works in partnership with hundreds of large, medium and small employers. After completing their programme the majority of apprentices continue into permanent roles with their employers, who in turn benefit from a readily available succession of technically skilled employees.

Employer awards this year went to:

Employer of the Year – Large organisations (Sponsored by Krone)


First Bus

One of the UK’s leading UK bus operators, First Bus was recognised for achieving excellence in providing a nationally recognised apprenticeship training programme. The judging panel also felt that the company showed real focus on the quality of Continuing Professional Development and quality of care.

Eighty-two First Bus apprentices are currently on the programme, the majority being engineering technicians specialising in mechanical and electrical engineering and coach building and a small number in trade supplies. The apprentices receive tailored training at Reaseheath’s bespoke engineering apprentice academy on the Hurleston Business Park near to main campus.

The college has invested over £50,000 into state-of-the-art training equipment at the site and First Bus has similarly invested by equipping the purpose-built, heavy engineering workshops with hybrid electric training buses and other training tools. A workplace style environment ensures a seamless switch between depot and college learning.

Runners up


A highly respected employer across the rail network with significant plans for growth, Alstom was felt by judges to be an attentive company where apprentice progression and development is paramount. In particular, its collaborative approach and focus on quality were recognised for adding significant value to its apprenticeship programme.

AT Oliver and Sons

The service arm of Olivers, a major company supplying agricultural equipment and machinery, AT Oliver and Sons was selected for the genuine care the company demonstrates for the technical progression and overall wellbeing of its apprentices.

Thanks to thoughtfully constructed progression, all new apprentices understand what they need to achieve. Apprentices at the end of their programme proactively support apprentices at the start of their journey, ensuring they enjoy the same positive experience.

Company values are also passed down from long serving employees to the apprentices, instilling positive workplace behaviours for life.

Employer of the Year – SME organisations with less than 250 employees (Sponsored by First Bus)


A P Webb Plant Hire

Rail maintenance specialist A P Webb Plant Hire helps to keep the nation’s trains running by providing track maintenance solutions for Network Rail and other principal contractors.

To remain at the forefront of such a demanding and fast paced industry the company requires dual skilled rail plant engineer / operators, able to both fix and operate complex rail track machinery. Reaseheath’s team worked with A P Webb to design tailormade apprenticeship training and the company has successfully used the programme to expand its intake of appropriate employees.

Described as a model employer, A P Webb was selected as an award winner for ensuring that its apprentices complete their programme to a high standard and represent both their company and their industry with pride.

Runners up

Grants Butchers

Grants Butchers was one of the first butchers to subscribe to the new apprenticeship training standards and enrolled a female apprentice who was one of the first in the country to achieve excellence at this new benchmark.

As well as being nominated for demonstrating exceptional commitment to the development of its apprentices, the company was also praised by judges for its efforts to reduce its carbon footprint by using local produce.

Total Tools

Total Tools offers an extensive service across the hire, sales and repair of construction tools, equipment and accessories.

This is an expanding business which uses its apprenticeship programme to attract and retain talented employees, in turn ensuring an excellent and seamless service for its customers.

Judges were particularly impressed with the enthusiasm with which Total Tools engages with Reaseheath’s skills coaches and its active internal and external promotion of its apprenticeship programme. It was recognised that the company placed high value on mentoring its apprentices and this foresight encouraged many employees to remain part of the workforce for many years.

Apprentice Mentoring Excellence Award (sponsored by Arla)


AT Oliver & Sons


Runners up

Vets 4 Pets Chester

Platinum Construction

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