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Congratulations to York College apprentices, Sally Nelson and Jordan Phillips, who won Apprentice of the Year awards at this year's York Apprenticeship Graduation held in the historic surroundings of York Minster.

Sally Nelson - Winner of York Apprentice of the Year 2014 (Over 25s) and Jordan Phillips - Winner of York Apprentice of the Year 2014 (16 - 24) 


At the ceremony, co-ordinated by York Apprenticeship Hub,  one hundred apprentices were recognised for completing their Apprenticeship programmes.  More than 300 parents, employers and training providers attended and other guests included The National Apprenticeship Service, Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, The Guilds and the Civic Party.

During the ceremony five York Apprenticeship Awards were presented.  The winners were announced by Anthony Knowles, Head of Employer & Delivery Services (North East), Skills Funding Agency and Catherine Lunn, Apprenticeship Hub Manager at Leeds City Region.


The winners were:

  • Apprentice of the Year (Over 25s): Sally Nelson (Electrician with Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust)
  • Apprentice of the Year (16-24s): Jordan Phillips (Electrical and Mechanical Engineering with Nestlé)
  • Small Employer of the Year: Simpson
  • Large Employer of the Year: Portakabin
  • Newcomer Employer of the Year: Hethertons Solicitors

Cllr Janet Looker, Cabinet Member for Education, Children and Young People said: “I would like to congratulate all graduates and award winners. The fourth York Apprenticeship Graduation sought to recognise the achievements and progression of young people across the city and the commitment of employers to create jobs for young people. Efforts to celebrate the work of young people in Apprenticeships are crucial for us as a city and this event is part of York’s commitment to support the growth of Apprenticeships in York with businesses, young people and training providers.”

York College Electrical Technical apprentice Sally Nelson was excited to receive with the York Apprentice of the Year (Over 25s) award, she said: "I knew I had been nominated but didn't expect to win .  I felt very proud, especially as both my children were in the minster to see me presented with the award."

Simon Nellar, Managing Partner from Hethertons Solicitors said: “We were delighted to receive the award for the “Newcomer Employer of the Year”. This year, we participated in the Apprenticeship scheme for the first time, employing 3 apprentices in the firm into our Finance, Probate and Wills Departments, as well as our first Paralegal apprentice. We have been delighted by their enthusiasm and commitment and we are looking forward to helping them develop their skills in the legal profession. We believe the scheme offers huge benefits to employers as well as to apprentices, and we are keen to support it. This recognition of our commitment to the scheme came as a complete surprise, but is greatly appreciated”


Jordan Phillips - Winner of York Apprentice of the Year 2014 (16 - 24)

Employer - Nestlé
Apprenticeship - Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (Advanced)

Jordan Phillips joined Nestlé in 2010 to undertake a four year dual skilled engineering Apprenticeship. He has worked tirelessly to get to know his business and he now plays a key role in the company’s Aero maintenance team and as a lead on improvement projects.

Jordan is committed to promoting Apprenticeships externally. He was selected to be the Food and Drink Federation National Apprentice Ambassador and spoke passionately at Westminster to an audience of MPs on the benefits of Apprenticeships. He talked about the importance of schools changing the image of Apprenticeships to be as worthy a progression route as full-time education and University. He continues to promote Apprenticeships at events around York.

The apprentice applications at Nestlé have risen, in part because of Jordan’s enthusiasm and eagerness for the Apprenticeship programme. Having completed his Apprenticeship in the summer of 2014, Jordan is now progressing to a fully funded engineering degree at Sheffield Hallam University, underlining Nestlé’s commitment to ensuring future talent grows to its full potential.


Sally Nelson - Winner of York Apprentice of the Year 2014 (Over 25s)

Employer - Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust
Apprenticeship - Electrical Technical (Advanced)

Sally went to Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust through an initiative led by York College and juggled family life around studying for a new career as an electrician. She is regarded as a valuable member of the electrical team, showing a great willingness and enthusiasm to work in the construction trade. Since qualifying Sally has gone from strength to strength. Currently she assists with the recruitment of a new era of apprentices for the Trust, encouraging people from all backgrounds to pursue a career in the construction industry.

Sally also dealt with significant changes in her college studies at the very last stage of her Apprenticeship which required dedication and an ability to adapt to ensure her qualification was achieved.

Sally works in Social Housing which means her role is completely different to any other she has previously held. She understands the different needs and expectations of customers and has helped to shape the future recruitment of female workers into the construction industry and in particular Social Housing.


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