Bedford apprentices show how it’s done for National Apprenticeship Week


Apprentices across Bedford Borough have been showing how they’re at the top of their game as part of National Apprenticeship Week.

The week, which ran from 4 to 8 March, is an annual celebration of apprenticeships highlighting the impact of apprenticeships on individuals, employers and the economy.

Highlights from the week have included:

  • Lockheed Martin spoke to future apprentices and their parents about how they are offering positions through The Bedford College Group
  • Lockheed Martin also announced the first cohort of its apprentices from its Ampthill site. The apprentices achieved first-class honours following the completion of their engineering apprenticeships.
  • Wadys Electrical and Mechanical Building Services spoke about its rolling programme of apprentices, some of whom are working on the new Cotton End Lower School.
  • Bedford-based brewer Charles Wells announced the graduation of six team members from its inaugural Rising Stars training programme
  • Leah Stares from Charles Wells received a Certificate of Outstanding Recognition from Mohammad Yasin MP for making a significant impact during the course of her learning.

Speaking about his experience with the Charles Wells Rising Stars programme, Duncan Dennis said: “The Rising Stars programme has helped reinforce the solid set of skills necessary to excel in my role as Assistant Manager.

“It’s also very gratifying to know that the company you work for is willing to make a substantial investment in your career so that you can grow and progress”.

Charles Wells Apprentices
Charles Wells apprentices were also invited by Bedford and Kempston MP, Mohammad Yasin to join 200 other apprentices at the House of Commons to celebrate their achievements.

Meanwhile, Georgina Smith, Apprentice Recruitment Advisor at Bedford College spoke about how they help students access their portfolio of apprenticeships, the largest in the region: “With apprenticeships, you’re learning on the job but also gaining technical qualifications.

“You come in to the college one day a week and are taught by a tutor so you get that theoretical knowledge.

You can work right up to degree level with apprenticeships and you don’t end up with a debt.”

Electrical Apprentice at Bedford College, Sam Gibbs, says this is why apprenticeships have worked for him: “With Uni you may not learn things you do on the job. Everything that the company I work for helps me achieve reflects on me as a person and what I do at college.

“Whenever I achieve something it’s partly down to them too… being an apprentice has many perks and benefits.”

Bedford College has much to be proud of with their apprenticeship programme, having trained over 2000 last year and 90% staying in employment after their apprenticeship programme ended.

Hannah Brown, who is a paid journalism intern with Bedford Independent has also been speaking about how learning on the job has helped her: “Being in the thick of it allows me to learn about live reporting and also see first hand the importance of local news in the community.”

Stats released in February of this year showed that in 2017/18, there were 814,800 people participating in an apprenticeship in England. They earn on £170p/w on average.

To find out more about apprenticeships head to the government’s apprenticeships website or Bedford Borough College.