Over 100 attendees gathered at Ashton Court Mansion to take part in the annual On Site Bristol Apprentice Awards where local construction apprentices and employers were celebrated for their contribution to developing the local industry.
The gala event saw apprentices and employers pick up awards across 18 categories, recognising achievement and dedication in trades such as plumbing, brickwork and plastering plus many more. One special award was also handed out to the apprentice of the year, Aaron Edwards, whose hard work and commitment to his development has been an inspiration to other apprentices.
Aaron said: “It’s come as such a surprise to be handed this award, I never thought that doing a job I enjoy so much would lead to awards and recognition like this. There are so many people I’d like to thank including my employer PJ Bryer Ltd who’ve given me this chance and the On Site Bristol team who are creating opportunities for so many young people across the city. I’m looking forward to my future in the industry and would urge other young people to think seriously about an apprenticeship as a way into work.”
Awards were presented to recipients by Councillor Jeff Lovell, Deputy Mayor of Bristol, Councillor Claire Hiscott, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills and Ralph Hawkins, Managing Director of Taylor Wimpey.
The Deputy Lord Mayor said: “I know, from my own experience as an apprentice, the value these opportunities offer young people. Today’s job market is a tough place to enter if you don’t have the skills or education employers are looking for. On Site Bristol are doing a cracking job at linking people with employment and training, offering up the chance to develop knowledge and talents that the construction industry rely upon.”
On Site Bristol currently have 270 apprentices working and learning with over 300 employers. The programme also works closely with a range of education partners including schools, the Construction Industry Training Board and local training colleges and centres. Their focus is to develop the skills of the trade young people need to excel in the construction industry and to also build life skills that will support apprentices in and out of the work environment.
Councillor Claire Hiscott said: “Apprenticeships are vital to the long term success of many sectors in Bristol. We work hard through programmes such as On Site Bristol to create opportunities to bring young people and employers together whilst developing the skills the city needs to continue to grow our economy. The achievements of these young people are testament to their hard work and the contribution they make to the continued success of their industries. As a Learning City we promote learning in work and the programmes like this that support talent development and resilience for employers.”