Orange ICT Apprentice Wind Top Award

e-skills UK has congratulated the achievement of an ICT Advanced Apprentice who scooped top honours at the 2006 National LSC Apprenticeship Awards. John Vickery, who works as a Technical Operations Engineer for Orange in the West Midlands beat over 1,100 young people from a wide range of sectors, to win the top award of Advanced Apprentice of the Year 2006.

BT was also recognised with a commendation in a separate award within the large Employer Category for its outstanding commitment to learning and skills through Apprenticeships.

As the Sector Skills Council for IT and Telecoms, e-skills UK actively supports and encourages employers to establish successful Apprenticeship programmes to improve the performance, productivity and profitability of their companies. Working with companies including BT, Orange, O2, Fujitsu, EDS and telent, e-skills UK operates specific initiatives to promote Apprenticeship uptake, including hosting the ICT Skills Action Group (ICTSAG), which provides employers with the opportunity to share best practice and participate in the development of apprenticeship frameworks.

Karen Price, Chief Executive, e-skills UK commented: “It’s very encouraging that an Apprentice from the ICT industry has won a national competition covering a broad range of sectors. The recognition is testament to the strides that IT and Telecoms businesses have taken to introduce dynamic Apprenticeship programmes. We urge more businesses to follow their example and take advantage of the public funding that exists, as well as the support that we can provide, to ensure that they are equipped with people who have the right skills relevant to modern business. Apprenticeships also offer a unique mechanism to enhance job satisfaction and company loyalty among recruits.”