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Weston College Business Awards Back with a Bang


Weston College toasted the outstanding success of learners and employer partners for the first time in three years, at the Business Awards on Thursday (June 30).

Winners from a range of categories were presented with awards at the Oscars-style event at the Winter Gardens.

Guests – including students, employers and local dignitaries – enjoyed a three-course dinner and heard an inspirational keynote talk from former international rugby referee, Nigel Owens MBE, who over a long and distinguished career, has refereed in the Six Nations Championship and the Rugby World Cup.

Principal and CEO of Weston College Group, Sir Paul Phillips, who hosted the awards, said: “This year we received a record number of nominations and, while this made judging an unenviable task, it highlights the wealth of talent among our learners and the level of dedication and expertise within our employer network.   

“It was fantastic to celebrate the many successes of our work-based learners, who show outstanding commitment to their programmes. They are truly a credit to the College and their employers.   

“Working with key employers is key to us in supporting the region to level up, and it was a pleasure to recognise so many brilliant businesses.   

“I would like to say congratulations to all of our winners, who we are delighted to work closely with.”

There were winners from a range of levels, with trainees being recognised, along with industry professionals who have upskilled via apprenticeships.

Degree apprentice, Jack Kitsell, was named as the Overall Learner of the Year and Engineering Apprentice of the Year, for his selflessness, exceptional work, and willingness to take on additional roles outside of work to continually improve and develop his skills.

Jack said: “This is the culmination of 5 years of study and work for me. It's a really good opportunity to have that moment to reflect and celebrate those who have helped me through this journey.

"Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to get your foot into industry, whilst maintaining that academic side that is essential to the job profiles that people are for looking for in the long-run. The opportunities that have been afforded to me as an apprentice are simply things that I would not have had as a regular university student. I've been able to do, see and achieve things that would not have been an option otherwise."

Employers from across the region were also recognised, for the important role they play in developing future talent. Abatec Recruitment won Medium Employer of the Year, for their commitment to Weston College’s new Career Excellence Hubs, and the opportunities they provide for learners.

Robert Dyer, Business Development Director at Abatec Recruitment, said: “Working with Weston College is a privilege, the collaboration, ideas, and delivery of engaging young adults is so important, and I'm delighted Abatec Recruitment contributes to some of the amazing initiatives that Weston College runs, ultimately, giving young adults opportunities.”

It was an evening to remember for University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust, who were named Overall Employer of the Year. The award recognised their dedication to apprenticeships, with over 140 Weston College apprentices, across a wide level range, in a number of different departments across University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust. 

Business Award winners list:


  • Accelerate Participant of the Year – Bethan
  • Business and Finance Apprentice of the Year - Ryan
  • Construction Apprentice of the Year - Connie
  • Digital Apprentice of the Year - George 
  • Early Years and Teaching Assistant of the Year - Karen
  • Engineering and Manufacturing Apprentice of the Year - Jack
  • Hair and Beauty Apprentice of the Year - Ella
  • Health and Social Care Apprentice of the Year - Keely
  • Hospitality and Catering Apprentice of the Year - Samuel
  • Industry Placement Learner of the Year - Brandon
  • Into Work Student of the Year – Shauna
  • Leadership and Management Apprentice of the Year - Andrew
  • Motor Vehicle Apprentice of the Year - Luke
  • Pre-Employment Learner of the Year - Liam
  • Professional Services Apprentice of the Year - Charlie
  • Sport and Community Apprentice of the Year - Georgia
  • Traineeship Learner of the Year - Lillie


  • Small Employer of the Year - Busy Buddies
  • Medium Employer of the Year - Abatec Recruitment
  • Large Employer of the Year - MBDA
  • Career Excellence Hub Employer of the Year - Thatchers Cider
  • Disability Confident Employer of the Year - Café At The Pavilion
  • Industry Placement Employer of the Year - Sense IT
  • New Apprentice Employer of the Year – Rotamec Engineering Solutions
  • Pre-Employment Employer of the Year – Apache Construction
  • Traineeship Employer of the Year - Burnham Plastering and Drylining
  • Work Experience Employer of the Year - Gold Dust Training

Overall Learner of the Year - Jack

Overall Employer of the Year – University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust



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