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Exeter College Celebrates ‘Exceptional Apprentices and Employers’ at a Glittering Awards Ceremony

By March 6, 2019March 25th, 2021Member News & Updates

Exeter College has held its annual awards celebrating exceptional apprentices and honouring the employers that go above and beyond to encourage these individuals.

More than 180 apprentices, employers, key business leaders, friends and family attended the glittering awards ceremony held at Sandy Park. 

The evening saw the celebration of the achievements of fifteen apprentice winners, four employer winners and three special recognition awards. The event, kindly sponsored by tax, accountancy and financial services experts Simpkins Edwards, aerospace engineering firm, MB Aerospace, and law firm Foot Anstey, took place on Friday 8th February.

Martine Tucker Vincent, Early Years Educator Apprentice at Pine Cones Nursery in Sidmouth, was awarded the overall ‘Apprentice of the Year.’ Martine started her journey on a Traineeship, quickly showing her ability and determination, moving onto an Early Years Educator Level 2 Apprenticeship and now Level 3.

The apprenticeship team shortlisted five apprentices to be considered for the Award and it was the unenviable task of the Award’s five judges to select their overall winner. The judging group was made up of Brian Lodge from South West Comms, Adam Owen-Jones from Pennon Group, Richard Golsworthy from Mercedes Benz, Kate Merrick from MB Aerospace and Robyn Agar from IKEA.

Brian Lodge, Judge and Managing Director of SW Comms said: “Martine has faced incredibly challenging circumstances outside of the workplace but funnelled her energy into her College work, showing maturity, commitment and resilience rarely seen in someone her age.”

Her employer says that she is an absolute pleasure to teach and if Martine is an example of the future of our Early Years sector, it's looking bright.

Director of Apprenticeships & Employer Engagement at Exeter College, Mike Blakeley said: “The best thing about my job is witnessing the success stories of our Apprentices, who put in the hard work to achieve their career goals. These individuals are shaped by their Apprenticeship journeys and blossom both inside and out of the workplace. The evening also gives my team a chance to say a proper thank you to our business partners. It is their commitment and generosity that enables us to grow our offering and support so many people to progress.”

The employer winners named at the awards were Cormac, Devon Bricklaying, Coombe Pafford School and University of Exeter.

Meanwhile, the special contribution award winners were civil engineering consultancy, AWP, and the Royal Devon and Exeter Foundation Trust, for Outstanding Contribution to Apprenticeships, and Andrew Perry from Great Western Railway for Exeter College Apprenticeship Lifetime Achievement Award. 

As well as nominated apprentices and employers, other key businesses and partners attended including Taylor Wimpey, Devon County Council, Radio Exe and St Austell Brewery. Exeter College has a substantial network of more than 950 employers that support Apprenticeships and this number is growing.

The evening was compered by Exeter College’s own apprentices Ben Snow and Honor Lovell, who both work at University of Exeter.

Guest Speaker, Jake McClure, Executive Director at City & Guilds, said: “We are lucky to enjoy such a rich and diverse local business community and Apprenticeships play an important role in giving individuals the opportunity to reach their potential and nurture local talent, helping our economy to continue to grow.” Jake, is a strong advocate of Apprenticeships and champions the initiative through his work developing skills in over 100 countries.

Apprenticeships at the College have continued to go from strength-to-strength, heralding another year of growth, with 1,000 plus starts. The college is positioned in the top spot in the South of England for exceptional employer satisfaction, and second out of circa 200 FE colleges nationally. It scored 99% – very close to a near perfect 100%, well above the national figure of 85.2%, according to figures released by the Department for Education (DfE) in its 2018 survey of employers.


The Apprenticeship winners were:

Sophie Kennard, The Swan, Hospitality Apprentice of the Year

Kevin Wigmore, University of Exeter, Professional Learning Apprentice of the Year

Hannah Moore, University of Exeter, Outstanding Performance in Professional Learning

Alexandra Holland, Skanska Construction UK, Civil Engineering Apprentice of the Year

Jordan Henry, GPR Repairs, Motor Vehicle Apprentice of the Year

Hermione Shaw, Whitchurch Primary School, Sport and Leisure Apprentice of the Year

Chris Meredith, RD&E, Maths and Science Apprentice of the Year

Emily Bennett, Mitchell Architects, Accountancy Apprentice of the Year

Amber Bassett, University of Exeter, Business and IT Apprentice of the Year

Amelia Ware, University of Exeter, Outstanding Performance in Business and IT

Daisy Turner, Victoria Road Practice, Health & Social Care Apprentice of the Year

Daniel Huxtable, Peregrine Mears Architects, Construction Apprentice of the Year

Dan White, Great Western Railway, Engineering Apprentice of the Year

Laura Hazell, Headstart, Hairdressing Apprentice of the Year

Paige Shephard, Echoes Childcare, Childcare & Education Apprentice of the Year

Sam Harrison, MB Aerospace, Overcoming Adversity

Martine Tucker Vincent, Pine Cones Nursery, Overall Apprentice of the year


The Employer award winners were:

New Employer of the Year – Cormac

Small Employer of the Year – Devon Bricklaying

Medium Employer of the Year – Coombe Pafford School

Large Employer of the Year – University of Exeter

Outstanding Contribution to Apprenticeships – AWP and RD&E Foundation Trust

Lifetime Achievement – Andrew Perry, Learning and Development Manager, Great Western Railway


For more information on Apprenticeship schemes or to enquire about our services to business, please contact Laura Cornick on [email protected] or 01392 400454.