College celebrates the work of apprentices

Some of the winning apprentices and their bosses
Some of the winning apprentices and their bosses

APPRENTICES from across Hastings were joined by their bosses at an awards bash celebrating their achievements.

Held to coincide with Apprenticeship Week, staff at Sussex Coast College Hastings organised the college’s first ever apprentice awards - with representatives from more than 50 local firms joining parents and students for the ceremony.

Also among the guests was local MP Amber Rudd, who was on hand to dish out a trio of top prizes and speak to the audience about the importance of apprenticeships to the current Coalition Government.

Apprentice of the Year was won by Lydia Ripley, who works at Crest House Care Home, with Ben Salmons being named runner-up.

Tom Irwin, based at Stevens Rowsell and Co Ltd engineering firm, was named Advanced Apprentive of the Year, with Tom Waring runner-up, and Dan Bridger named Outstanding Apprentive of the Year for his work at Mears Ltd building company.

Several local firms was praised for their contribution to apprenticeships, with Crest House Care Home, Stevens Rowsell & Co Ltd, Mears Ltd, Frandanol Developments Ltd and Danny Salmon all being invited on stage to receive a certificate.

The college’s executive director for skills, Dr Mohan Chana, thanked local firms for getting involved, saying: “Our employers give people the opportunity to fulfil their potential.

“We would like to publicly thank them all for giving someone the chance to move forward with their career.”

And Janak Patel, principal at the town centre campus, revealed that, buoyed by the successes, the college was trying to expand the scheme.

He told the Observer: “The college currently has 200 apprentices earning a living in and around Hastings, while achieving professional qualifications.

“It’s a number we’re looking to increase as apprenticeships are a key part of the economic regeneration of Hastings and St Leonards. They can change people’s futures.”

Anyone interested in either studying an apprenticeship or taking on an apprentice should contact Hayley Robertson on 01424 458317 or by email on