Apprentices from a range of sectors were joined by family, friends, employers and training providers for the Staffordshire Apprenticeship Graduation Ceremony.
And the stars of the day included Staffordshire County Council apprentices Libby Wordley-Smith, Megan Millard, Mark Wilson and Hilton Vasey, who all completed their apprenticeships this year.
The event, sponsored by KMF, Newcastle and Stafford College Group (NSCG) and Acacia Training, helps highlight the contributions that thousands of apprentices make to the county's economy each year and to promote the importance of skills and lifelong learning.
Libby Wordley-Smith, from Cannock, is a database assistant with the county council and was fundamental in helping businesses get the funding they need to take on their apprentice.
The 19-year-old, who has just completed her Level 3 digital support technician apprenticeship, said: "I am really happy I chose to do an apprenticeship because it has really helped me to achieve my goals and grow my confidence. I have had so much support throughout my apprenticeship from the team and tutors and I can’t thank them enough.
“It’s funny, I’m part of the skills team and spent some time as part of the Staffordshire Means Back to Business team. This was easy for me. As an apprentice myself, I was well aware of the opportunities it gives to both employers and to people doing them. It has been amazing to be able to help Staffordshire businesses get back up and running after Covid-19.
“I would definitely recommend the apprenticeship route to anyone as it is an amazing way to learn and develop new skills whilst working in an organisation. I can’t wait to progress here at the council and see where I go next!”
Councillor Philip White, deputy leader and cabinet member for learning and employability at Staffordshire County Council, said apprenticeships remain key to increasing skills levels across all sectors and jobs.
“We have a booming economy here in Staffordshire and apprenticeships continue to play a major role in this success. Key to this is having a good supply of talented people with the skills that employers need," he said.
“Having a highly skilled workforce and the concept of lifelong learning remain vital for not only employers and individuals but to the successful growth of economies like ours. We want to see even more young people opting for an apprenticeship and more employers taking on apprentices and realising the many benefits. I would like to congratulate everyone who graduated and wish them well in their future careers.”
The graduation ceremony was held on June 28 at Staffordshire County Showground.