Apprenticeship and Employer of the Year Award winners crowned!

We celebrated our Apprenticeship and Employer of the Year Awards 2022 on Friday evening and what a fantastic celebration it was!

The event, which was held at the Royal Maritime Club in Portsmouth on Friday 24 June, saw an exceptional turn out, with over 200 people attending on the night.

The judging panel, which was made up of members of the PETA senior management team, had a tough job on their hands to select the winners from an extremely impressive shortlist of finalists for each category.

This was our first award ceremony since 2019, as the pandemic has meant that these ceremonies have not been able to take place for the past two years. We went all out for 2022 by adding four business awards to the event in addition to our usual apprenticeship awards.

The evening kicked off at 7pm with drinks and all the finalists being welcomed to the venue by the PETA management team and staff. A delicious three-course dinner followed with the award presentations after the meal. Each of the winners received a certificate and trophy to mark their achievement. 

The guest speaker was Musharaf “Mushy” Asghar, well-known for his part in the Channel 4 documentary series Educating Yorkshire. Mushy has visited PETA before and we were pleased to welcome him back to speak at the awards. He delivered a great talk about how he has lived with a stammer for his whole life and how this has impacted him and his education. He was not doing well at school until one teacher vowed to help him with a combination of musical and breathing techniques, like those used in The King’s Speech. This enabled Mushy to improve his stammer to such a point that he now is able to talk publicly to share his personal journey with others.

Who were our 2022 winners?

BUSINESS APPRENTICE OF THE YEAR 2022: Kirsten-Leigh Corbett – Safran Helicopter Engines UK

ENGINEERING APPRENTICE OF THE YEAR 2022: Kairon Robb – Lewmar Marine

ICT APPRENTICE OF THE YEAR 2022: Anthony Morley – Zinq IT



PETA’S APPRENTICE OF THE YEAR 2022: Anthony Morley – Zinq IT (photographed with PETA CEO Huw Chapman [left] and guest speaker Musharaf Asghar [right])



RISING STAR OF THE YEAR 2022: Scott Burgess – Runfold Plastics

MENTOR OF THE YEAR 2022: Sarah Godley – Biscoes Solicitors

We would like to express our appreciation to our Gold Sponsors -  Eaton Ltd, Safran Helicopter Engines UK, Partnering Health Limited (PHL), DP World and Pall Corporation - for sponsoring an apprentice category each, to all the employers who supported the event, to the team at the Royal Maritime Club who facilitated such a great event and to the whole team at PETA, who are pivotal to making events like these such a privilege to be part of.

Liz Ferguson, Contracts Manager at Eaton Ltd, won the Management Apprentice of the Year Award (Level 3). She said: “Every aspect of the apprenticeship has benefited me and helped me to decide on my career path and led to me gaining a promotion. Having a coach that supported me throughout really helped keep me on track and point out areas to focus on more; the coaches really are an incredible asset to PETA and the course. 

“Being nominated for the Management Apprentice of the Year was a huge honour, winning was a complete shock and I’m so incredibly excited to continue using the skills I’ve learnt to take my career further.  I’d never been to an awards ceremony before and I was blown away by the effort that PETA put in to make the evening so special.”

Scott Burgess of Runfold Plastics, won the Rising Star Award. He said: "The awards evening was a brilliant opportunity to stop and recognise the success of all the apprentices from Runfold Plastics and really celebrate their successes. The nominations for the awards, along with the award I fortunately received, has positively boosted moral across the organisation. After the positivity from the awards evening, we hope to enrol some new apprentices for the coming year.

"I feel very fortunate to be recognised and valued for all my hard work and commitment to my CPD journey and the apprenticeships I have undertaken over the years with PETA. I left school early, with no formal qualifications and now I have many and I have risen through the ranks at Runfold, from a floor sweeper to the Operations Manager. The Rising Star Award now sits proudly in my office to remind me of all my hard work and success."

Stephen Wilde​, MD of SBR, winners of the Best Apprenticeship Employer of the Year Award, said: “A very big thank you to the PETA team and the great apprentices that I had the pleasure of meeting on Friday. We’re still in a state of shock that we won the SME award, but it was a great event and an honour to have been a part of the evening. Many thanks to all!”

Nick Earl, CEO of Safran Helicopter Engines UK Ltd said: “Safran was delighted to participate in PETA’s Apprentice and Business Awards 2022 and we were particularly pleased to sponsor the Engineering Apprentice category.  Growing your own talent is critical in the current challenging market, particularly in technical roles, so the fantastic apprenticeship scheme we run with PETA’s support is more important now than ever.  We were very proud to have three nominees shortlisted in the business apprentice category and one in the mentor category but the highlight of the evening was seeing Kirsten-Leigh Corbett win the Business Apprentice of the Year Award! Thanks to PETA for a great evening.” 

PETA’s Director of Operations, Dawn Halfacre said: “People were absolutely blown away with it all and it really couldn’t have gone any better! The atmosphere was great, the meal was lovely and the reactions of the winners was fantastic to see. All so well deserved.”

PETA’s CEO Huw Chapman said: “Our mission at PETA is to provide great education that enables individuals to excel and be work-ready. Our key belief is that everyone should ‘Aspire to Learn and Apply to Advance’ and this evening's awards are testament to how many employers embrace apprenticeships as a positive strategy for building skills in their businesses. Being supported by our guest speaker Musharaf Asghar, offered a tremendous example of why every individual should be equipped to succeed, through securing individualised support that is right for them.  

“Of the 500 apprentices enrolled with PETA at present, 25 shortlisted through to the apprentice category awards.  Whilst there is only one main winner for each category, without doubt, every nominee should feel justifiably proud of being in the top 5%  - they are all winners! The amazing journeys our apprentice nominees have travelled and the tremendous support and commitment they have received from their employers is an absolute honour to recognise.

“I take great pride in the purpose of PETA and the commitment and professionalism of the PETA team who are driven by a passion to support people in being the very best they can be.  What has been even more amazing is the wide scope of roles and age groups this year, showing that apprenticeships are inclusive and accessible to all.  We look forward to next year’s event, which will be held at the Portsmouth Guildhall on 16 June 2023.”

Please get in touch to find out more about our apprenticeship programmes and how you can get started on your apprenticeship journey with PETA…



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