Caps off to apprentice graduates at countywide event

THE COMMITMENT and effort of more than 50 apprentices was celebrated at an East Sussex graduation ceremony – the first of its kind in the county.

The event, organised by the Sussex Council of Training Providers, marked the importance of apprenticeships to the local economy and the contributions of apprentices, local businesses and educators.

Certificates were presented to attendees who had completed their apprenticeships between September 2018 and August 2019, by Cllr Rupert Simmons, lead member for economy at East Sussex County Council – one of the event’s supporters.

Cllr Simmons said: “I was delighted to be able to offer my congratulations to the apprentices who have worked extremely hard as they have embarked on careers in adult social care, engineering, administration and hospitality, among others.

“While celebrating the achievements of apprentices, it was wonderful to see local businesses and education partners being recognised for their contribution to a successful apprenticeship programme in East Sussex.”

He added: “Apprenticeships offer a wonderful opportunity for people to take the first step onto the career ladder or change career paths, earn money while training and gain qualifications from entry level to the equivalent of a master’s degree.”

During the event, held in the Devonshire Quarter complex in Eastbourne, four special awards were presented to apprentices who had overcome challenges to achieve success.

Based on nominations received from employers, colleagues, apprenticeship assessors and family members, the following awards were given;

• Amazing College award, sponsored by East Sussex County Council: Isobel Goatcher, digital marketing at Wightman & Parrish

• Best Progression award, sponsored by Sussex Council of Training Providers: Gerald Jenks, kitchen staff with East Sussex College Group

• Magic Moment award , sponsored by Greater Brighton Metropolitan College: Robia Begum, joint community rehabilitation team at East Sussex County Council

• Overall Contribution to Business, sponsored by The Federation of Small Businesses: Emily Wright at Locate East Sussex

Vanessa Potter, Executive Director of event organiser – The Sussex Council of Training Providers, said: “This is an exciting time in the world of apprenticeships, as skills come into increasing focus, and new opportunities for apprentices and employers arise in ever-diversifying sectors.

“The event not only recognised the great achievement of graduating apprentices, but also positive contribution and investment that the local authority, training providers and businesses make to the local economy and skills landscape of East Sussex. A huge thank you from SCTP to all who supported this event.”

Headline sponsors of the event on Wednesday, September 25 were Kier Group and Sussex Skills Solutions, with support from East Sussex College Group, South East Apprentice Ambassador Network, Eastbourne Borough Council, Locate East Sussex, Genie Design and Print Solutions, The Federation of Small Businesses, Greater Brighton Metropolitan College, Wealden District Council and East Sussex County Council.

Anyone interested in becoming an apprentice can find out more by calling 0800 0150 400 or visiting

Anyone aged 16-19 who needs further support, can contact the East Sussex Youth Employability Service (YES) on 01323 410803 or 01424 722045, or message them at

Businesses interested in hiring an apprentice, can call the National Apprenticeship Service on 0800 015 0600 for information and advice. Alternatively visit

More information about the Sussex Council of Training Providers visit