SOME of Cheshire College – South & West’s most diligent and hard-working apprentices got the star treatment when they attended the annual Apprenticeship Awards.

Hosted in the rotunda at the college’s Ellesmere Port Campus and coinciding with National Apprenticeship Week, the event is a college tradition which rewards apprentices. It also educates guests about the continued importance which apprenticeships play across multiple sectors and industries.

Accepting her award for Retail and Commercial Enterprise Apprentice of the Year, 22-year-old Hairdressing apprentice Leah said: “I’m so happy!

"I’ve always wanted to work in the hairdressing industry and an apprenticeship has allowed me to do that. I’ve had loads of amazing experiences through my apprenticeship, including working on celebrity clients and doing hair for PrettyLittleThing, so it’s been a massive achievement for me.”

As well as family and friends of the winners, Cheshire College also welcomed several of their employer partners to the event.

Employers such as Greif (an industrial packaging products and services leader) and Unipart Rail (experts in new technology and supply chain solutions for the Rail Industry) were recognised for their ongoing support for apprenticeship programmes and commitment to upskilling their workforce.

One of the employers honoured at the event was The Senate Group, who won the SME Employer of the Year Award.

Speaking of the company’s nomination, Janet Keeling, one of the directors, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have won this award; we passionately believe in the benefits of apprenticeships, not just for the individuals but for the wider business too.”

Chester and District Standard:

Jasbir Dhesi OBE, Principal and CEO of Cheshire College said that the evening’s ceremony had been a great success and a perfect demonstration of why apprentices are so important.

He said: “The past few years have been difficult for everyone, but upskilling young people is vital to the UK’s long-term recovery. We are passionate about apprenticeships here at Cheshire College and we have seen the change which they can make to individuals, companies and communities first-hand.

“All tonight’s winners should be very proud of the themselves and they will no doubt go on to make significant contributions to their respective industries.”

Full list of the 2024 Apprenticeship Award winners:

  • Claire Morrell (Business Administration and Law Apprentice of the Year)
  • Harley Moreton (Construction, Planning and Built Environment Apprentice of the Year)
  • Kelly Pinches (Education and Training Apprentice of the Year)
  • Jake Lynch (Engineering and Manufacturing Apprentice of the Year)
  • Gemma Harrison (Health, Public Services and Care Apprentice of the Year)
  • Eloise Mitchell (Partner Apprentice of the Year)
  • Leah Jones (Retail and Commercial Enterprise Apprentice of the Year)
  • James Sambrook (Cheshire College – South & West Apprentice of the Year)
  • Mark McKenna (Award for Exceptional Contribution)
  • Danielle Kidd (Award for Outstanding Progress)
  • Greif (Employer of the Year)
  • Unipart Rail (Apprentice Employer of the Year)
  • The Senate Group (SME Employer of the Year)

To find out more about becoming an apprentice, join Cheshire College for an Open Evening on March 20 at the Crewe, Ellesmere Port, or Chester Campuses. Alternatively, apprentice hopefuls can visit

If you are an employer interested in benefitting from an apprentice, email or call the employer hotline on 01244 656 555 or 01270 654 654.

Visit to find out more.