Preston College’s Exceptional Employer and Apprentice Awards 2024: A Night of Celebration and Inspiration

Preston College proudly hosted its fifth annual Exceptional Employer and Apprentice Awards on Monday 25 March, making it yet another momentous occasion in celebrating the outstanding achievements of employers and apprentices.

The event, held at the College, saw the atrium and theatre enjoy full attendance; setting the stage for an inspiring evening of appreciation and celebration.

Employer partners, apprentices, their parents and carers, staff and tutors, gathered to celebrate the exceptional apprentices who are making a real difference in their workplace, and have shown great commitment to their studies, as well as support for their peers and colleagues. The evening also allowed us to celebrate ten exceptional employers (five small to medium employers and five large employers), all of which had been shortlisted from nominations, with the finalists being chosen by the College’s Executive Leadership Team.

Simon Nixon, Principal and Chief Executive at Preston College, says: “Monday night’s Exceptional Employer and Apprentice Awards exceeded all expectations. It was heart-warming to see such overwhelming support as we came together to celebrate the dedication and hard work of our employer partners and apprentices. They all have such a crucial role to play in shaping the workforce of future, and the talent on display at our Awards will contribute massively to bridging skills gaps.

“As the economy continues to evolve and grow, the role of skilled workers and employers becomes increasingly critical. The Exceptional Employer and Apprentice Awards serve as a platform for Preston College to acknowledge their contributions and encourage continued excellence.”

Linzi Monks, Head of Apprenticeships and Employer Engagement at Preston College, expressed her thanks, saying, “It was an honour to celebrate the outstanding achievements of our employers and apprentices. Their commitment to excellence serves as an example of inspiration for us all. We are immensely proud of their achievements and the positive influence they have on our College and society.”

She adds: “Preston College is fortunate to work with so many employers who contribute significantly to our college and to our learners, whether that be through curriculum design, guest lecturing, industry placement or employing apprentices – we genuinely couldn’t ‘transform lives’ without their continual support and collaboration.”

Preston College would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who attended the event, including our guest speaker, Dan Houseman, Learning and Organisational Manager at ACG Chemicals Europe, who gave an insightful speech about apprenticeships and the value that apprentices bring into the workplace.

The night was ‘exceptional’, and we look forward to continuing this tradition of celebrating excellence for years to come.

For more information about Preston College and its educational pathways within apprenticeships please visit

The Exceptional Employer and Award Winners 2024 are:

Exceptional Employer Awards

Small to Medium Employer Winners:

1) Croston MOT Centre

2) Bethany House

3) Seventy One Dental
4) William Monks (Longridge)

5) GOS Heating Ltd

Large Employer Winners:

1) Great Places Housing Group Ltd

2) The Spa Hotel at Ribby Hall Village

3) Mersey and West Lancashire Teaching Hospital NHS Trust
4) Zebra Technologies Europe Ltd

5) Eric Wright Group Ltd

Exceptional Apprenticeship Award Winners:

1) Above and Beyond Award Winner: Aaron Miller (Associate Project Manager at Holiday Inn Preston)

2) Breaking Barriers Award Winner: Ciera Bayley (Property Maintenance Operative at GOS Heating Ltd)

3) Invaluable Contributor Award Winner: Harvey Woof (Bricklayer at MWB Residence Ltd)
4) Against All Odds Award Winner: Sasha Mahomet (Hair Professional at Alchemy Hair and co.)

5) Innovation and Ideas Award Winner: Adam Cox (Business Administrator at Preston College)

6) Rising Star Award Winner: Shaun Gaskell (Engineering Technician at BDR Thermea (BAXI)


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