Apprentices from across the Liverpool City Region took to the stage this month to receive certificates and celebrate their achievements. We report on the proceedings of the inaugural Apprenticeship Graduation Ceremony.

Shell Zenner, seasoned radio producer and presenter steps up to the mike as Mistress of Ceremonies on the inaugural Apprenticeship Graduation Ceremony for the Liverpool City Region. Held at the opulent Grand Central Hall hundreds of guests have congregated to watch this year’s Apprentices receive their certificates. By the time Shell welcomes everyone, they have walked the red carpet, enjoyed photographs in their finery and mingled with proud parents and families.

Two special guests addressed the Apprentice graduates, their friends and family. The first, Steve Rotherham, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region is no stranger to apprenticeships. “As a former apprentice bricklayer, I know the value of pursuing this route into the world of work. My apprenticeship on a building site gave me the chance to earn a wage, to travel across the country and further afield for work, and it provided me with a core set of life skills that I still use to this day,” Steve reveals. He went on to highlight the commitment he has and continues to make to apprenticeships across the region. “Last year I launched the Young Person’s Guarantee – a promise of a job, training or apprenticeship opportunity to all our young people. Since I was elected, we’ve created 10,000 jobs and 7,000 apprenticeships. We have halved the price of travel on bus and rail for apprentices to make this a more attractive option for 19 to 24 year olds. And, we created Be More, a UCAS-style apprenticeship portal designed to connect local people with local opportunities,” says Steve. “I’d like to extend my warmest congratulations to each and every one of you graduating tonight. Your family and friends will rightly be proud of you, and I hope you’ll be proud of yourselves. Apprenticeships are no less valuable than a university degree and who knows where it might take you. I certainly never thought, back then, that I’d end up in Parliament or Mayor of the place I love.” concludes Steve.

 

Olympic Gymnast, Beth Tweddle was next to address the Apprentice graduates. In 1997 she moved to the City of Liverpool Gymnastics Club and began her journey to become Britain’s greatest ever female gymnast. She related her journey to winning an Olympic medal from her beginnings being told she wasn’t anything special to the hard work, dedication and ambition that took her to Olympic success. She spoke of all the transferable skills that she had learnt along the way, as apprentices do, that she uses in her successful business helping younger people experience gymnastics, showing them that they can achieve their dreams. “Yes, I learnt to flip and summersault and win Olympic medals, but it’s also about all the other valuable skills you learn along the way. The teamwork the resilience, the perseverance, the determination, all of those skills have allowed me to go on into a business career. Every single day I get challenged with problems and I need to use those skills. If you are willing to work hard, have that perseverance and determination to get up and have a go and not be scared of failure you will make your dreams a reality. I know all the hard work you will have put in to getting your apprenticeships and the support network around you that have helped. Congratulations to all of you,” said Beth.

Apprentice Graduates were then called to the stage to receive their certificates and have their photographs taken with Beth and Steve. First to the stage was Emily Baker, who studied for a Business Administration apprenticeship. Claire Winstanley, who studied for a Housing and Property Management Apprenticeship was the last apprentice to leave the stage. Shell Zenner concluded the presentations and invited everyone to continue the celebrations with refreshments and music from live groups The Jubilee Stompers, The Giant Peach and Angharad Huw.

If you would like further information on apprenticeships and how to apply for them, talk to the Apprenticeship Support by Be More Team They provide impartial information and advice on apprenticeships across the Liverpool City Region.