Apprentices of Yr Laura Gunnel (Intermediate) Sofy Ellison (Advanced)1

A head girl at a dressage and livery yard and a dairy herd manager took the top titles at a Reaseheath College awards ceremony in Nantwich which honoured apprentices.

Laura Gunnell, 18, who works for Juwel Equestrian in Winsford, was crowned Level 2 Apprentice of the Year.

And Sofy Ellison, 22, who manages a dairy herd at Marton Hall Farm, Macclesfield, for Grassland Farming Ltd, was awarded Advanced Apprentice of the Year.

The event marked the achievements of 157 apprentices and trainees who gained their qualifications at the Nantwich specialist college in the past year.

Also selected for special awards were Best Construction Plant Maintenance Apprentice Harry Hughes, who works for Keltbray Aspire Ltd, Crewe.

Alex Bebbington, a chandlery apprentice at Church Minshull Aqueduct Marina, took the title of Best Vehicle Parts Apprentice.

Best Animal Care Apprentice was Sophie Anderson, who works for the Wuff Wash dog grooming parlour in Wallasey.

Vehicle Parts Alex Bebbington best apprentice
Vehicle Parts Alex Bebbington best apprentice

And Best Level 3 Equine Apprentice was Bethany Gerrard, Yard Manager at Denstone Stud, Uttoxeter.

Laura Gunnell was Best Level 2 Equine Apprentice.

Peter Lewis, a groundsman at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake, was awarded Best Horticulture Apprentice.

Best Construction Apprentice went to James Lewis, who is employed by MSL Contracts, Stockport.

Best Agricultural Apprentice was Sam Potts, an Assistant Unit Manager with Brookfields Farm, Siddington, Best Food Apprentice was Daniel Ryan, a trainee baker with Hurst Village Bakery, Wirral, and Best Engineering Apprentice was Mark Smith, a trainee food technician with Aimia Foods Ltd, Warrington.

Construction Plant Maintenance Harry Hughes best apprentice
Construction Plant Maintenance Harry Hughes best apprentice

Kristian Yoxall, a vehicle technician at Astbury Garage, Congleton, received a Certificate of Excellence in Motor Vehicle and Light Vehicle Maintenance.

Employer of the Year went to Bombardier Transportation of Crewe, which has 14 apprentices currently enrolled at Reaseheath.

Reaseheath Principal Meredydd David said The Reaseheath Group, which includes DART Training in Derbyshire, was the largest provider of land-based apprenticeships in the country.

The college has 1,500 apprentices in training and has successful completion rates more than 10% above the national average.

Mr David said: “An apprenticeship is a wonderful qualification which has been identified as the training of choice by companies.

“Employers say they value apprenticeships because they produce skilled, qualified and capable people who are work ready.

“It is good to see the Government has made them a national priority by adopting a new funding approach.”

The awards were announced by Christine Middleton, Reaseheath Training Business Development Team Leader.

Guest speakers were Craig Hallworth of Hallworth Construction, Northwich, whose apprentices have been attending Reaseheath for the past 11 years, and Katie Stanley, an agriculturist who was last year’s Advanced Apprentice of the Year.

More information for apprentices and employers is at

Employer of Yr Bombardier Transportation Training managers and apprentices
Employer of Yr Bombardier Transportation Training managers and apprentices

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