National Apprenticeship Week: Organisations celebrate the positive impact of apprentices

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service apprentice, Aaron Fuller

As part of the 15th annual National Apprenticeship Week (7 – 13 February), organisations in Bedford Borough are shining a light on the positive impact of apprentices as part of this year’s theme ‘build the future’.

Bedford College is hosting a series of online activities featuring stories and interviews with those who have started their careers as apprentices.

One of those in the spotlight is Becky Richards who is now studying towards an HND at the college’s Advanced Engineering Centre at Bedford whilst working at Lockheed Martin in Ampthill.

Becky is an apprentice at Lockheed Martin

Becky represented Lockheed Martin in the Rising Star category in the East Midlands Region of the National Apprenticeships Awards in October 2021 and said she hopes to upgrade to a BSc in electronic engineering at Bedford College.

Mark Lawson, head of engineering technical facilities of Lockheed Martin, was full of praise for Becky, saying:

“We are immensely proud for Becky to have been considered alongside the other great candidates.

“Becky will continue to work through the HND stage of her apprenticeship, and we certainly view her as one of LMUK Ampthill’s Rising Stars.”

You can find the National Apprentice Week content on the Bedford College website here and on their social media channels.

At Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Services (BFRS), trainee firefighters take part in a two-year apprenticeship scheme.

It equips recruits with the skills to respond to emergency incidents as well as ensuring they have the tools to save and protect life, property and the environment.

BFRS also provide apprenticeships in other departments within the Service. Aaron Fuller is an apprentice in their Property Services department.

“I am going into my fourth year at the Fire Service,” said Aaron.

“I have always been interested in working within the emergency services and the training I am receiving is excellent.

“The most challenging part for me has been balancing work and college but after time this gets easier.”

“I love that no two days are the same and that my apprenticeship means I am able to work within the profession I am interested in while I figure out what I would like to pursue as a long term career in the future.”

Commenting during National Apprenticeship Week, assistant chief fire officer, Alison Kibblewhite, said: “Our apprenticeships schemes are a great avenue into a long and rewarding career. It provides young people in the local area with great opportunities to enter the job market at the start of their careers.

“Our apprentices are learning on the job and bringing fresh ideas to the Service, ensuring that we are always striving to work smarter to provide an excellent service to the people of Bedfordshire.

“We will continue to support and explore apprenticeship opportunities across all departments within the Service”.

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