Taking the apprenticeship route into the world of work

The group of employees from the Vertas Group with Harriet Blake from Easton and Otley (far left), Ka

The group of employees from the Vertas Group with Harriet Blake from Easton and Otley (far left), Kate Harrison from Vertas (second left) and Mark Stead from Easton and Otley (far right). - Credit: Archant

Apprentices graduation ceremony at Otley College

Kate Harrison, Harriet Blake and Ann Jarrett at Easton and Otley College.

Kate Harrison, Harriet Blake and Ann Jarrett at Easton and Otley College. - Credit: Archant

A local college and a catering firm celebrated three years of working together by hosting an apprenticeship graduation ceremony.

The occasion took place at the Suffolk campus of Easton and Otley College where a group of ten staff from the facilities management and catering firm Vertas Group Limited, picked up certificates after successfully completing qualifications.

The Vertas staff were joined by families and friends at an event.

Head of human resources at the Vertas Group, Kate Harrison and head of work based learning at the college, Mark Stead, were on presenting duty.


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Mr Stead, said, “In the last three years, 102 catering staff from The Vertas Group have started an apprenticeship with Easton and Otley College.

“The average age of those studying is 44 years of age. We have achieved a 75pc success rate (which is 5pc above the national average) and we look forward to continuing to work with the Vertas Group in the development of the staff in business, catering, horticulture, leadership and management. Everyone should be very proud of their achievements.”

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Mrs Harrison said, “Taking on a qualification whilst working and having a busy personal life takes an amazing amount of dedication. I’d like to thank the college for their support. All in all, we are keen to invest in our staff and we really look forward to building our relationship with the college in the future.”

A special award was handed out to 42 year-old Ann Jarrett from Woodbridge. She received the Vertas and Easton and Otley apprentice of the year accolade. She said, “It’s been hard but I stuck at it. I was surprised to win the special apprentice of the year award but chuffed. It’s been challenging and fun and I’ve had a good laugh along the way. I might think about studying more in the future.”

Jane Hervey, is 52 and from Ipswich.

She completed a qualification and said, “It’s 40 years since I was in education. I found it very hard. The help of the school where I work and the tutors made me persevere and I got through it. It took about a year to complete. I enjoyed learning again. I’d say to others who are thinking about going back into education again that you should give it a go – keep at it and you will surprise yourself.”

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