Wychavon share apprentice success stories to mark 50 years of investment in future talent - The Droitwich Standard

Wychavon share apprentice success stories to mark 50 years of investment in future talent

Droitwich Editorial 6th Feb, 2024   0

WYCHAVON is celebrating the impact their trainees and apprenticeships have made to mark this year’s National Apprenticeship Week (5 to 11 February).

For 50 years Wychavon has invested in and trained promising talent. They include Tracy Perkins, who joined on a youth opportunity scheme in 1983 and is now an important part of Wychavon’s engagement team.

Jack Williams is another of Wychavon’s success stories having joined 17 years ago as a planning apprentice.

After temporarily helping support the engineering services team during the 2007 floods, he joined the department full-time as a trainee and went on to gain a range of qualifications in civil engineering.

He is now assistant engineer for projects and designs everything from footpaths to car parks, but his biggest achievement is the design of the world-class Evesham VeloPark.

“I’d had enough of education and the idea of an apprenticeship appealed to me because I could earn money while getting qualifications,” Jack said.

Jack has been able to offer support to engineering assistant Joe Jones who joined in 2017 and has now completed BTECH, NVQ and HNC qualifications.

Accountancy assistant Armin Gniwotta is a key part of Wychavon’s finance team and has already ticked off qualifications in Accountancy Levels 3 and 4 and is currently working towards a post-graduate level 7 qualification.

“After Sixth Form I knew I didn’t want to continue in full-time education. Wychavon seemed genuinely interested in investing in me and I haven’t looked back since,” Armin said.

Katie Hellaby started off as a Level 2 Customer Services apprentice in Wychavon’s HR department.

She won the Commerce Personal Development Award from the Hereford & Worcestershire Group Training Association and was shortlisted for Worcestershire Apprentice of the Year.

She is now part of the electoral services team studying for a Level 3 Business Administration qualification.

Gemma Ranford launched her career as a communications and marketing apprentice and is now Droitwich Spa Place Projects Officer.

Over the last six years, Gemma has done everything from supporting our town centres to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic to creating the Droitwich in Bloom trail.

“I love the opportunities my role offers me. I’m able to lead on and develop lots of creative projects,” Gemma said.

“There is a lot of pressure to go to university but don’t rush into it as it may not be right for you.”

Wychavon doesn’t just support in-house apprenticeships but provides funding and support to help businesses take on trainees to grow and upskill their workforce.

Bursaries are also available to help apprentices with travel, clothing and to purchase tools or equipment.

Councillor Richard Morris, executive board member for economic growth and tourism on Wychavon District Council, said:

“I congratulate all those who take the apprenticeship route and employers offering apprenticeships.

“Apprenticeships open doors to a range of opportunities, as the experiences of our own staff shows.

“If you’re a young person considering your next step, or a business looking to grow your workforce, then I urge you to explore the opportunities apprenticeships provide.”



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