ASHTON and Failsworth MP Angela Rayner handed out awards to outstanding apprentices at Oldham College.

The Shadow Education Secretary discussed the value of apprenticeships in today’s society as she presented prizes across four categories.

She said: “These awards are great examples of people that are grasping the opportunities of Further Education and Apprenticeships to make something great of their potential.

“We hear a lot about how value is created by innovation, technology and investment, but rarely about the value created by the labour of workers.

“A vocation requires thousands of hours of graft and a dedication to the traditions and knowledge of skilled labour.

“There should be no snobbery about these jobs. You don’t often see an out of work bricklayer or electrician.

“These are jobs with meaningful skills that make a great contribution to their communities, local economy and their family life.”

This is the 13th National Apprenticeship Week and the theme for 2020 was "Look Beyond".

Oldham College – recently shortlisted for FE College of the year at the prestigious TES Awards - marked the occasion by hosting a number of events across all faculties including sessions with visiting employers and past successful apprentices.

Principal Alun Francis said: “It’s time it was universally accepted that apprenticeships can unlock fantastic long-term career options and opportunities across all kinds of sectors, industries and specialisms.

“Apprentices today are all about making an impact. These awards showcase brilliant everyday examples of how the outstanding commitment of our staff, employers and apprentices delivers to everyone – including the wider economy and the community.”

The award winners were High Street Hair (Outstanding Employer), Glodwick Dental (Employer Appreciation), Margherita Bozzerello and Abigail Bramwell (Distance Travelled) and Matthew Cunningham (a barbering apprentice) and Jonathan Sherratt (an electrical apprentice) who shared the Apprentice of the Year accolade.