News, events and schools' information for families across Bath and West Wiltshire

Wiltshire College & University Centre’s Apprenticeship Awards made a triumphant return this week with a spectacular ceremony at the Civic Centre in Trowbridge.

The annual ceremony is one of the highlights on the WCUC calendar and caps a week-long celebration of National Apprenticeship Week.

This year marked the return of an in-person ceremony for the first time since 2020 and a range of apprentices and employers were all honoured with prizes on the night.

Awards were presented by WCUC Principal & Chief Executive Iain Hatt alongside guest speaker Paddy Bradley MBE, CEO of the Swindon & Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership. More than 130 guests were in attendance, including apprentices, their guests and employer representatives, as well as WCUC staff and other dignitaries.

Iain Hatt said, “The Apprenticeship Awards is always a fantastic occasion and every year we look forward to celebrating the achievements of our apprentices. Being able to do so in person again made this year’s event all the more memorable.

“Our apprenticeship offering continues to expand and adapt to support the skills needs of employers right across the county.

“I would like to congratulate all of our apprentice winners, whose achievements in the workplace are hugely impressive. And I would like to thank all of our partner employers for whose continued support we are ever grateful. Their dedication to our apprentices and training programmes is the backbone for the many success stories we heard on the night.”

19 apprentices were honoured across different areas, including business administration, construction, hairdressing, engineering, horticulture, catering, health care and early years.

A broad spectrum of apprentices were recognised, from those who are at the start of their employment journey to experienced professionals who have chosen to upskill or change careers through an apprenticeship.

“My apprenticeship has really helped to build my confidence and it has given me a rounded view of things outside of my organisation as well as within it.”

Olivia Coles was amongst the award winners and was named Business Administration Level 3 Apprentice of the Year for her work at Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust. “It is lovely to get this recognition,” she said. “My apprenticeship has really helped to build my confidence and it has given me a rounded view of things outside of my organisation as well as within it.

Wiltshire College National Apprenticeship Week

“My knowledge and skills for my job have really improved and I have actually taken on a different role as a Team Leader since I started it, which I am really enjoying.”

Troy Peach undertakes his apprenticeship at Hook Farm and won Apprentice of the Year for Advanced Apprenticeship in Agriculture Level 3. He commented, “I’m absolutely chuffed, you never expect to win an award. An apprenticeship has been great for me. I find written work quite difficult so a classroom environment isn’t really for me but being on a farm, being hands-on and actually putting my skills to use is perfect.

“Being able to work in an environment that I love and put all of my effort and attention into is great and I have been able to get everything I want out of it.”

In addition to the individual awards, WCUC presented three employer awards, recognising their dedication to supporting apprentices and being advocates for apprenticeships.

The Small Apprentice Employer of the Year Award was won by Newton Farm near Bath, Harnham Infant School won the Medium Apprentice Employer of the Year Award and Cross Manufacturing was named Large Apprentice Employer of the Year.

For more information on apprenticeships at WCUC, visit