First apprentice graduation for West Sussex

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Ann Swain, chairman of Horsham FSB, with the Olympic-style torch and representatives from the businesses employing the apprentices

ks16000520-1 Ann Swain, chairman of Horsham FSB, with the Olympic-style torch and representatives from the businesses employing the apprentices

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An Olympic-style torch arrived in West Sussex this week, ahead of the county’s first graduation ceremony for apprentices.

The achievements of more than 100 higher and advanced apprentices were celebrated at Chichester Cathedral on Tuesday in an event organised by West Sussex County Council and the Federation of Small Businesses.

The torch, engineered by apprentices to symbolise the passing of knowledge from one generation to the next, appeared at a business reception in The Novium ahead of the ceremony.

It began its journey at the National Apprenticeship Awards in London in January and made an appearance at the launch of National Apprenticeship Week in London on Monday.

Louise Goldsmith, leader of West Sussex County Council, said: “We hope that our Apprenticeship Graduation Ceremony will help raise the profile of apprenticeships, putting them on an equal footing with a university route to success.

“Our ambition is for an apprenticeship graduation to become the norm for young people to achieve their career goals by going into an apprenticeship or to university or in the case of some higher apprenticeships, doing both.

“Apprenticeships bring considerable value to organisations, employers, individuals and the economy. Businesses across the country are increasingly realising the enormous benefits that apprenticeships create, not only in terms of developing a highly-skilled workforce but also by boosting productivity and staff retention.”

The apprentices came from Babcock, Care Learning Centre, Central Sussex College, Chichester College, Northbrook College, Look Fantastic, Rewards Training, Sigta, Sir Richard Collyer and Worthing College.

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