In the first ceremony of its kind, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council honoured 70 local young people who had successfully completed their Higher and Advanced Apprenticeships.

The event, which was supported by the National Apprenticeship Service and the Association of Colleges, was held at Stockport Town Hall, and attended by the Mayor of Stockport, Councillor Andrew Verdeille.  Over 200 people attended the graduation ceremony including the families of the apprentices, their employers and training providers.

The successful apprentices all had their photographs taken wearing caps and gowns to emphasise the value of their achievements.

Councillor Shan Alexander, Stockport Council’s Executive Councillor for Lifelong Learning and Achievement, said: “We are delighted to be hosting this event, which celebrates the enormous success and achievement of Higher and Advanced Apprentices across Greater Manchester.”

“Every single person who has completed an Apprenticeship can be proud of what they have achieved.  It is important that success is rewarded to encourage others to aspire to greater things, and that is what this ceremony will do. This event will also help to raise the profile of Apprenticeships and highlight how undertaking an Apprenticeship can lead to a successful future.”

Mike Blackburn, chairman of the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership, and North West Regional Director of BT gave the keynote speech, in which he stressed the importance of Apprenticeships to the health of the Greater Manchester economy, and encouraged the audience to spread a positive message about Apprenticeships to all those they have dealings with, both within the workplace and outside.

Skills Company apprentices who were honoured at the event were:

  • Jack Aspin of P H Jones Ltd – Gas Utilisation and Maintenance
  • Declan Comerford of Dodd Group - Heating & Ventilation Planned and Reactive Maintenance
  • Wayne Flynn of Associated Compressors – Enterprising Skills in a Business Environment
  • Charlotte Lee Hamilton of Creamline Dairies - Enterprising Skills in a Business Environment
  • Jenny Liversidge of GMLPN - Marketing