Renishaw enjoyed a highly successful night at this year’s Gloucestershire Apprenticeship Awards ceremony held at Hatherley Manor, Gloucester on the 12th of June. After Renishaw won the Outstanding Contribution to Apprenticeships in Gloucestershire award, Eva Lily Fielding, an engineering apprentice with the company, won the top award of the evening – Apprentice of the Year.
It had already been a successful night for Eva, having accepted the award for Outstanding Apprentice of the Year in the Engineering and Manufacturing field earlier in the evening in front of more than 270 guests at the ceremony.
Eva not only works hard as a first-year apprentice in training at Gloucestershire Engineering Training, but also in her efforts to encourage more young people into apprenticeships. She has spoken to MPs, in schools and at the Liberal Democrat Spring Conference about bridging the skills gap in Britain through more apprenticeships.
She said, “It was a huge shock to have the honour of receiving both the awards in the first year of my apprenticeship. It’s all a little overwhelming. I’m very proud to be an apprentice with Renishaw and hope to continue working hard in schools to promote apprenticeships.”
She added, “I feel that I have learnt more life and social skills in the last 6 months than my last 7 years in education.”
Addressing the point of promoting apprenticeships, Eva went on to say, “I do believe that more needs to be done in school to help promote apprenticeships and remove the ‘Taboo’ of them being a ‘lesser form of education’ than university.
I made the right decision by choosing an apprenticeship with Renishaw, but there are still hundreds of missed opportunities for those who are not given the correct guidance and advice in schools.”
In granting Renishaw the Outstanding Contribution to Apprenticeships in Gloucestershire Award, the evening’s host Steve Knibbs noted that during 2014 Renishaw is creating a record number of new opportunities for young people, including apprenticeships, graduate position and student placements. This includes recruiting a record 67 graduates, a further 32 apprentices, and giving summer and industrial placements to some 108 students. The company also currently has a record 111 apprentices in training at its five sites in Gloucestershire and at Gloucestershire Engineering Training.
It was also noted that the company started its first apprenticeship scheme in 1979 and even during the very difficult times, including the recent recession, it continued to recruit for its programme.
Renishaw was also recognised for its wider work to positively promote the benefits of apprenticeship schemes, noting that its co-founders Sir David McMurtry and John Deer are themselves former apprentices.
The awards, which are now in their third year, aim to recognise both apprentices and the businesses which help drive apprenticeship schemes in the county. Managing Director of Gloucestershire Media, Sarah Pullen said of the awards, “Tonight is a time for celebration as we shine the spotlight on the young people who are really making a difference and who have gone that extra mile to set a fine example to others.”
The ceremony, organised by Gloucestershire Media, who publish the Gloucester Citizen, the Gloucestershire Echo and Stroud Life, was hosted by BBC presenter Steve Knibbs. He later tweeted, “Great night presenting the Gloucestershire Apprenticeship Awards. So many incredible winners and nominees. We’re doing apprentices proud in Gloucestershire.”