A GRADUATION ceremony, only the second of its kind in York, has been held to celebrate the hard work of a group of apprentices.

Some 30 apprentices have graduated from Ebor Academy Trust’s educational training programmes, at a special celebration event held at the trust’s business and training centre in Osbaldwick, York.

Chief executive Gail Brown addressed the apprentices, who achieved success in courses including Teaching Assistant, Early Years Educator and Higher Level Teaching Assistant, saying that apprenticeships were: “The future”.

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“Apprenticeships have been recognised in playing a key role in the growth of the economy,” Mrs Brown told the audience.

“They are easily accessible to people from all walks of life and from all ages and offer a personalised and flexible learning experience to fit in with busy people’s lives.

“In the education sector, this kind of professional development hugely benefits everyone involved but primarily it further improves the quality of provision and learning experience for the children at our schools and beyond.”

All companies over a certain size have to pay into an “apprenticeship levy” which covers the cost of the training, so for the learner and their employer, the apprenticeship is normally free of charge.

Ebor, which operates 25 primary schools in York, Selby, on the Yorkshire Coast and in Hull and the East Riding, was awarded an Ofsted “good” rating for the quality of its apprenticeship provision.

Director of Apprenticeships, Sue Hinchcliffe, said: “Research tells us that improved provision leads to better attainment for our children, and this in turn leads to improved life chances, opportunities and outcomes. So we say a big well done to all our apprentices and hope they feel justifiably proud of all they have achieved – they are making a positive difference to children’s lives.”