WARRINGTON Council leader Terry O’Neill visited Warrington Collegiate for some ‘hands-on ‘experience to help celebrate National Apprenticeship Week.
First stop was the Construction Training Workshop where Cllr O’Neill proved he was a top pupil at bricklaying following instructions from 19 year old, apprentice, Daryl Delooze from Orford.
Following this, Councillor O’Neill moved to the Plumbing workshop to develop his skills even further with encouragement from apprentices, 19 year old Tom Spencer and 25 year old Kelvin Hampson.
He was given a tour of the Renewable Energies facilities, the latest green initiative by Warrington Collegiate with Jem Morris, Curriculum Manager for Construction and Building Services and Sustainables, accompanied by Angela Perry, Director of Property Services Golden Gates Housing Trust and 17 year old apprentice, Jack Hodgkiss from Risley.
 After his hard work Councillor O’Neill enjoyed a spot of relaxation, meeting North West Apprentice of the Year 2008, hairdresser Alisha Cooper who started her career as an apprentice with Warrington Collegiate and now manages Lisa B’s salon in Warrington.
Peter Metcalf, Director of Human Resources at Brooksons Accountants and 19 year old accountancy apprentice, Jack Wright, from Westbrook discussed the benefits and development of apprenticeships over coffee with Councillor Terry O’Neill.
Employers who work with the college were also on hand to tell Councillor O’Neill about the benefits of apprenticeships from their point of view, joining him for a lunch in Buckley’s Training Restaurant. They enjoyed lunch cooked and served by students studying hospitality and catering at Warrington Collegiate  including apprentices, 18 year old Daniel Whittles from Whitecross and 20 year old Daniel O’Donnell, from Orford, who demonstrated his flambé skills, making Crepe Suzzette for dessert.
Commenting on his experience Cllr  O’Neill said: “It’s been a real pleasure visiting Warrington Collegiate today and meeting some of the young people undertaking apprenticeships. Their enthusiasm for the work they are doing is tremendous and the skills and knowledge they are gaining here will be invaluable for their future careers.”
The college has added reason to celebrate its young apprentices as it has trained three national award winners.  Ashley Terron aged 19, from Appleton, won Bronze in the UK SkillBuild finals and is waiting to hear whether he will be selected for Team GB at the WorldSkills Championships in Leipzig, Germany, 2013. After three years at Warrington Collegiate, Ashley is now studying at the University of Salford for an HNC in Construction and Property Management.
Plumbing apprentice, Kristian Poyner , 22 from Higher Whitley, Warrington won the Heating Engineers, Installers and Plumbers (HIPS) UK Apprentice of the Year 2011 and has now started  his own business.
Meanwhile Gareth Williams, 23 from Warrington, who works for Bramall Construction, was awarded the UK Contractors Group, Apprentice of the Year, 2011, reflecting his dedication to the role and outstanding work with one of the country’s leading community regeneration specialists, Keepmoat.
Picture:  Warrington Collegiate Bricklaying Apprentice Daryl Delooze with Councillor Terry O’Neill, Leader of Warrington Borough Council