West Suffolk College among finalists for the Apprenticeships4England Awards

West Suffolk College, which has been named as a finalist in the Apprenticeships4England Awards

West Suffolk College, which has been named as a finalist in the Apprenticeships4England Awards - Credit: Archant

West Suffolk College has been named as a finalist in the annual Apprenticeships4England Awards.

The Bury St Edmunds-based college, which currently has more than 1,400 apprentices, is a finalist in the Colleges category which attracted so many entries that it has been split into two.

West Suffolk is one of four finalists in the small apprenticeship provision section, for colleges with fewer than 1,500 apprentices.

Lindsay McCurdy, chief executive of the Apprenticeships4England, said: “We are delighted with the quality and standard of entries for this year’s award. We have never had so many colleges apply in the five years we have been running the awards.”

West Suffolk College principal Dr Nikos Savvas said: “We are very pleased to be a finalist in this year’s awards, particularly when more colleges have entered than in previous years.

“We work very closely with employers to provide them with the very best skills and training they need to boost the region’s economy. Apprenticeships are becoming more popular as people realise they can learn and earn while they work and develop their skills.”

West Suffolk College currently works with more than 1,200 employers, both locally and nationally, across a wide range of sectors and is one of the largest providers of apprenticeships in the eastern region.

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In September last year Apprenticeship and Skills Minister Robert Halfron visited the college and said he was “inspired” by the apprentices and the positive impact they are having.

Phil Stittle, director of business development for the college, said: “It’s brilliant to be shortlisted. We work extremely hard to be very responsive to employers and deliver high quality training to apprentices.

“Many more employers are engaging with us, wanting to commence apprenticeship training, which is great to see and will tackle skills shortages across the region, allowing the economy to prosper.”

The Apprenticeships4England awards ceremony will take place on March 7, during National Apprenticeship Week, at The Grange Tower Hotel in London