Samantha Prichard, who graduated last month from the QinetiQ Apprentice School at Boscombe Down, has won the Thames Valley Regional Award for Advanced Apprentice of the Year.
The finalists and winners were announced at a high profile joint awards ceremony organised by the National Apprenticeship Service, which was held at the Holiday Inn Filton, Bristol on the 4 October.
She was presented with the award by Philip Taylor from the TV series “The Apprentice” and by John Chudley, apprenticeship at QinetiQ I have learnt a variety of life changing skills that can help me for a great future career in engineering. Whilst continuing an education I have had a salary with great support and guidance throughout my four years of training. This developed me along the way to be entered into this well established event and I am looking forward to a long career at QinetiQ.”
Since graduation Sam has moved into a role in Air Division of a mechanical technician working on fixed wing aircraft in the Base Maintenance hangar at QinetiQ Boscombe Down.
Leo Quinn, Chief Executive of QinetiQ offered his congratulations and said that it was a fantastic recognition of all her hard work.
The National Training Awards recognise organisations that have delivered outstanding training programmes and the National Apprenticeship Awards celebrate the achievements of the country’s most outstanding Apprenticeship employers and their apprentices. Both awards are organised by the National Apprenticeship Service, said:
“This year’s awards were a terrific showcase of the outstanding wealth of talent that we have across the Thames Valley. Given the volume and high calibre of entries we received, I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate Sam and QinetiQ for this superb achievement. They are a testament to the many benefits Apprenticeship training bring to businesses, allowing employers to tap into new raw talent, up-skill their staff and grow.”
All the Thames Valley winners will proceed through to a final national judging stage and the highest scoring Apprenticeship employer entries nationally will have the additional honour of featuring in the acclaimed England’s Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list, which will be produced by the National Apprenticeship Service in partnership with City & Guilds. The Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers and the national award winners will be revealed during the opening ceremony of the UK’s largest national skills and careers event, WorldSkills UK - The Skills Show, at the NEC in Birmingham on 14 November.
QinetiQ is a great supporter of the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) which was officially launched in April 2009. The service was created to bring about a significant growth in the number of employers offering Apprenticeships.
There were 279,700 Apprenticeship starts in the 2009/10 academic year in England, compared to 239,900 in 2008/09. Completion rates – which once indicated severe problems with recruitment practice and quality – have been transformed. 171,500 people successfully completed an Apprenticeship in 2009/10 compared to 143,400 in 2008/09; completion rates were 74% in 2009/10 compared to 37% in 2004/05.
Notes for Editors:
A FTSE250 company, QinetiQ uses its domain knowledge to provide technical support and know-how to customers in the global aerospace, defence and security markets. QinetiQ's unique position enables it to be a trusted partner to government organisations, predominantly in the UK and the US, including defence departments, intelligence services and security agencies.
Britain has a long history of Apprenticeships, which stretches back to the guilds of the Middle Ages. In 1563 the system became more prescribed and regulated: the Elizabethan Statute of Artificers set out terms and conditions for training (including a duration of seven years and for the master–apprentice relationship). Apprenticeships expanded in the following two centuries, with new legislation on working conditions, environment and the conduct of apprentices in their leisure time.
Another milestone of legislation was passed in 1802 – the Health and Morals of Apprentices Act, whose provisions included a 12-hour working day and a requirement that factory apprentices were taught reading, writing and arithmetic. These developments led to the repeal of the 1563 Statute in 1814. After that year, practising a skill although un-Apprenticed was no longer illegal. The new act also loosened statutory controls over Apprenticeships, by removing the requirement for a minimum of seven years to be spent on one.
By the late nineteenth century, Apprenticeships had spread from artisan trades such as building and printing to the newer industries of engineering and shipbuilding – and later to plumbing and electrical work. Although there were approximately 240,000 apprentices by the mid 1960s, there were growing concerns about the effectiveness of Apprenticeship training. It was criticised for its exclusivity, for being male-dominated, for focusing on serving time rather than on outcomes, and for a failure to embrace new and expanding occupations. Numbers had decreased to some 53,000 (‘average in learning‘ figure) by 1990 – the decline was exacerbated by rising post-16 participation in full-time education, a lack of public funding for Apprenticeships, and the effect of the Youth Training Scheme and Youth Training programme. These initiatives catered for young people who might otherwise have done an Apprenticeship, but the quality of provision was often questionable and both programmes contributed to a poor perception of vocational training generally.
Since the mid 1990s, various Governments have been rebuilding the programme in an adjusted economic and institutional context. in 1993 the Government announced plans for a new Apprenticeship scheme at Level 3 – Modern Apprenticeships. Prototypes were introduced the following year and the scheme became fully operational in 1995. The Modern Apprenticeship was focused almost entirely on occupational competence, and did not require specific technical learning.
The Thames Valley Apprenticeship and National Training Awards cerebration were also supported by:
Intercontinental Hotel Group, Lotus F1, MAN Truck & Bus UK Ltd, OXETA, Pera Training, S & B Automotive Academy and Wiltshire Council.
For further information, please contact
QinetiQ Press Office on Tel: +44 (0) 1252 39 3500