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Apprenticeships are going strong in South Lincolnshire despite pandemic with Whaplode and Spalding winners at Boston College's virtual awards

Despite a difficult year with education moving online, apprenticeships are still proving popular.

And students and employers from the Spalding area were recognised at a recent apprenticeship awards event.

Heather Walker, from Spalding, was one of the winners at the Boston College virtual event. She was named Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools Apprentice of the Year for her placement at The Willoughby School in Bourne.

Wendy Poole, Boston College Head of Apprenticeships. (45097157)
Wendy Poole, Boston College Head of Apprenticeships. (45097157)

With over 400 apprentices currently studying at Boston College (which also has a campus in Spalding), covering a range of industry sectors, the event celebrated the diversity of opportunity and value that apprenticeships bring to the country.

Wendy Poole, Boston College Head of Apprenticeships, said: “Apprenticeships at Boston College have continued to grow throughout the past year despite challenging times for employers and learners. The majority of our apprentices have continued to work throughout lockdowns, especially those in Health and Social Care and food retail.

“There have been some who have been furloughed but have continued with their learning during this time which has helped them focus and prepare for when they do return to the workplace and to college.

Lydia Garbutt, who is completing an apprenticeship at The Priory School in Spalding through Boston College. (45097159)
Lydia Garbutt, who is completing an apprenticeship at The Priory School in Spalding through Boston College. (45097159)

“We have seen an increase in Health and Social Care apprentices and this is a sector that is growing all the time. Health and Social Care has been very much in focus during the Covid-19 pandemic, which has probably contributed to raising awareness and interest in working in this sector.

“Our apprentices have continued learning throughout the pandemic. The college moved very quickly to online learning and their college sessions have not been interrupted at all. It has been difficult, of course, to carry out any practical work with them; however our tutors and apprentices have worked their way round this and been able to demonstrate various practical activities relevant to their apprenticeship using online learning tools.

“We have adapted our delivery model to bring forward more theoretical elements which lend themselves to remote learning, making the more practical elements available for when learners do come back into college.”

Case study Lydia Garbutt enjoys apprenticeship at The Priory School in Spalding

Lydia Garbutt, from Kirton, is doing her apprenticeship at The Priory School in Spalding.

She said: “I am currently studying an administration assistant apprenticeship.

“I wanted to study this apprenticeship because I realised what I had originally been studying wasn’t what I wanted to do full time, I realised an administration career was more for me.

“Due to the fact I didn’t have much experience within administration, it would have been difficult to get an admin role without qualifications or experience. After exploring my options I knew an apprenticeship was going to suit me best.

“I chose an apprenticeship over full-time study for a couple of reasons. One of the reasons being that I can learn whilst earning a wage, I still learn the same things as if I was doing a full-time college course.

“An apprenticeship also gives me the experience of working in a real working environment. Apprenticeships normally last between one to two years and are a great way to get a boost onto the career ladder. You get a qualification and experience that will help you in your future career.

“I recommend apprenticeships because it is a great experience and a great way to learn many new skills whilst earning a wage. I can’t lie and say that it is easy but I get plenty of support from The Priory School and Boston College to help me get the best and achieve within my apprenticeship.

“You don’t have to be a teenager to do an apprenticeship either, I’m 20 and only just started my journey. It is the best experience I have ever had, I have gained so much more confidence since I started, and have met some amazing people along the way. Although I started my apprenticeship during the Covid-19 pandemic, it has been a surreal experience that I would never change and can’t wait for the rest of my apprenticeship.”

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