Importance of apprentices celebrated in STFC annual awards

Group photo of many of the apprentices from STFC Daresbury Laboratory at the 2022 apprenticeship awards.

STFC has celebrated the successes of their latest cohort of engineering, technical and scientific apprentices at their annual awards ceremony.

Apprentices at the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) are celebrating after their contributions to recent scientific and engineering milestones were recognised at the 2022 annual apprenticeship awards.

Celebrating apprenticeship contributions

STFC’s apprenticeship awards celebrate the contributions that apprentices make to the organisation.

The awards were held at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) and Daresbury Laboratory, where almost 170 apprentices work.

The annual award ceremonies are an opportunity for the apprentices to showcase their achievements and to collect awards which are nominated by their colleagues and peers.

Strong pipeline of skills

For STFC the annual awards are a way to demonstrate our commitment to increasing investment in early career technical staff through expanding our successful apprentice scheme.

The aim is to develop an even stronger pipeline of skills for the UK.

These annual awards are important in both recognising and celebrating the technical and engineering skills our existing award-winning early career and apprentice schemes are bringing to the organisation. And to the wider UK science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) sector.

The events were attended by STFC apprentices, their families and colleagues.

Inspirational keynotes and presentations

Inspirational keynotes were given by:

  • Jayne Price, Head of Continuous Improvement (RAL)
  • Emma Meehan, Senior Science Technician at Boulby Underground Laboratory (Daresbury)

Following the keynotes, some of the apprentices stepped up to give presentations about their own work.

Speakers included:

  • Tony Yarinakis and Darren Mitchard from RAL who talked about their journey to the finals of the WorldSkills computer numerical control milling competition
  • Mel Johnson from Daresbury who shared her experiences as part of the early careers engagement programme
Emma Meehan, Senior Science Technician at Boulby Underground Laboratory, speaking to Daresbury Laboratory apprentices

Emma Meehan, Senior Science Technician at Boulby Underground Laboratory, speaking to Daresbury Laboratory apprentices. Credit: STFC

After receiving nominations from colleagues, a panel of managers and supervisors were brought together to discuss suggestions and choose the winners for each category.

And the winners are…

First year Rising Star Award

Recognising a new apprentice who has made impressive progress and achievement in their apprenticeship so far.

Winner, RAL: Reilly Hewitson, Isaac Allen and Samuel Spencer

Winner, Daresbury: Ben Hool

Outreach Award

For an individual who has made significant contributions towards public engagement and outreach, whilst acting as an ideal ambassador for the STFC apprenticeship scheme.

Winner, RAL: Emma Mawson

Winner, Daresbury: Kit Newens

Highly commended: Max Butcher, Darren Mitchard and Peter O’Donnell

Impact Award

Awarded to an apprentice who stands out from their peers and has made noteworthy achievements in their area of expertise. For someone who has created, adapted or implemented an outstanding piece of work in their area.

Winner, RAL: Darren Mitchard

Winner, Daresbury: Sarah Jackson

Highly commended: Vladimir Garanin, Tony Yaranakis, Edward Shand and Zakia Bilques

Recognition Award

This award is for an individual who has consistently demonstrated a positive attitude towards, and upheld, the UK Research and Innovation values throughout their work.

Winner, RAL: Vladimir Garanin

Winner, Daresbury: David Russell

Highly commended: Daniel Gorman, Matthew Richards and Alex Pilkington

Peer Support Award

Voted for by fellow apprentices, this is awarded to individuals who have given support to other apprentices and were felt to have gone ‘above and beyond’ with their support, advice and, or, guidance.

Winner, RAL: Mika Shearwood

Winner, Daresbury: Oliver Unwin and Will Hawthorn

Highly commended: James Dalton

Apprentice of the Year

For apprentices who started their apprenticeship during the 2021 to 2022 academic year and demonstrated:

  • a considerable increase in experience, knowledge and skills from their apprenticeship
  • noteworthy progress, achievements and a clear commitment to advocating and supporting apprenticeships

Winner, RAL: Emma Mawson

Winner, Daresbury: Cerys Hope

Highly commended: Daniel Gorman, James Dalton, Matthew Richards, Jordan Rigby and Reece Ayres

Daresbury Laboratory Apprentice of the Year 2022 Cerys Hope, pictured with the Head of Daresbury Laboratory, Paul Vernon

Daresbury Laboratory Apprentice of the Year 2022 Cerys Hope, pictured with the Head of Daresbury Laboratory, Paul Vernon. Credit: STFC

RAL Apprentice of the Year 2022, Emma Mawson, pictured with STFC Head of Continuous Improvement, Jayne Price

RAL Apprentice of the Year 2022, Emma Mawson, pictured with STFC Head of Continuous Improvement, Jayne Price. Credit: STFC

Helen Johnson, Head of Apprenticeships at STFC, was delighted that the apprentices were recognised:

The annual apprenticeship awards evenings are the highlight of our apprenticeship year.

Our apprentices are committed and dedicated to the work they carry out, and it is so lovely to celebrate their achievements along with their friends and families.

Award winning scheme

STFC’s apprenticeship scheme is part of a wider early careers strategy to address the STEM skills shortage, not only in the organisation, but across the UK workforce.

Last year, the STFC apprenticeship scheme was awarded gold status as a result of an external assessment for the new Investors in People ‘We invest in apprentices’ accreditation.

The STFC programme offers training and support from experts in their fields, supervised training and additional core skills development opportunities.

Apprenticeships are available in a wide range of fields including:

  • engineering
  • technicians
  • scientific computing
  • project management
  • administration

Apprentices in technical roles, such as engineering and mechanical technicians, work on national and international science and technology projects, making them integral to the success of big science for years to come.

Many of the apprentices from STFC Daresbury Laboratory at the 2022 apprenticeship awards

Many of the apprentices from STFC Daresbury Laboratory at the 2022 apprenticeship awards. Credit: STFC

What’s next?

STFC is looking to more than double the intake of apprentices working at our world-leading facilities in the next few years.

STFC aims to develop a stronger pipeline of skilled engineers and technicians in strategically important sectors.

For more information on the STFC apprenticeship scheme, visit the STFC careers portal.

Top image:  Many of the apprentices from STFC Daresbury Laboratory at the 2022 apprenticeship awards. Credit: STFC

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