Wiltshire’s apprentice ambassador inspires winners at college’s award event

By Anita Jaynes on 31 December, 2015

Debbie Williams, co-founder of Wiltshire’s John Williams Heating Services and an Apprentice Ambassador for the Skills Funding Agency, was guest speaker at an event to recognise outstanding achievement by young apprentices.

Debbie, who has run her company with her husband and co-founder John in Chippenham for more than a decade, is an advocate of apprenticeships as a fantastic route to a career.

She was invited to become an Ambassador for the national organisation in 2015 because of her commitment to nurturing apprentices within her own business. Currently, the company, based on the Bumpers Farm Industrial Estate in Chippenham, has employed apprentices for several years.

Debbie said: “I was thrilled to be invited to speak to these hard-working young people and delighted to share in their success.

“My main message for the evening was that I absolutely believe apprenticeships are the way to move our economy forward and help fill the skills shortage within the business community.”

The success and talents of Wiltshire College’s best apprentices were celebrated at the annual Apprenticeship Awards last month (Nov 26). A total of 17 awards were handed out before an audience of over 100 guests, all for outstanding achievement in programmes including accountancy, painting and decorating and design support.

The award for Apprenticeship Employer was presented to Beversbrook Medical Centre in Calne and the overall award for Outstanding Apprentice of the Year was presented to Chase Bryce-Rogers, aged 21, who is a Level 3 agricultural engineering apprentice with Beckett Agricultural Engineers Limited in Inglesham, near Highworth.

Principal Amanda Burnside said: “The future of skills in this country is firmly placed with apprenticeships with an ambitious national target of having three million by 2020.

“Wiltshire College is playing its part in this by being at the forefront of apprenticeship growth in the region with ambitious plans to double our number of apprentices in the next three years.”

Pictured above: Debbie Williams, (centre, back) co-founder of John Williams Heating Services with students at the ceremony.