Julie visited the Carillion training centre at Deptford today to meet apprentices and present them with awards recognising their achievements.
The visit was organised as part of National Apprenticeship Week and Julie saw first-hand the training facilities and chat to apprentices and their tutors about their courses.
The centre offers apprenticeships in carpentry and joinery, groundworks, bricklaying, and painting and decorating and recruits around 90 new apprentices every year.
Julie presented awards to the top performing apprentices. Seventeen-year-old Rhys James from Houghton Le Spring received the Apprentice of the Year accolade. Rhys, who is due to complete his carpentry and joinery course in May 2015, was recognised for his overall attitude and attendance and always being pro-active about his learning.
In addition, 18-year-old painting and decorating apprentice Liam Devine was presented with the Most Improved Apprentice. Liam received his award for attendance and his performance on his work placement.
Gareth Pugh Carillion Centre Manager said: “We were thrilled to welcome Julie Elliott to the centre and were delighted that she was able to play a part in recognising the achievements of our apprentices by presenting the awards.”
Julie said: “Many school leavers today are looking to complete an apprenticeship rather than continue onto higher education, as they can see how gaining an apprenticeship can lead to a skilled, well paid career. Research released last week confirms this by highlighting that graduate apprentices can earn up to £4000 more than their university graduate peers in their first year of work.
“I welcome the work Carillion is doing to provide high quality apprenticeships in Sunderland. I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting Carillion’s apprentices today and hearing their enthusiasm and dedication to their apprenticeship courses. I wish them the best of luck in their future careers.”