The South West Apprenticeship company Director Clare was both shocked and delighted when at the annual Bristol and Bath awards last night (23rd May) she was awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Apprenticeships for Bristol and Bath.

After winning the same award for Gloucestershire in March 2019.This was a huge surprise for her and a massive achievement and thoroughly deserved recognition for Clare who has spent years dedicating her time to the improvement and development of apprenticeships across the South West.

For someone who promotes apprenticeships purely through her own passion, these awards support the work Clare does to continuously share the benefits of apprenticeships to employers across the South West.

Clare, through her work and with the SWAC team has supported over 2000 businesses with her knowledge and impartiality across the South West and also provided valuable advice to thousands of young people who have been looking for work and want to know about the next steps for their careers.

As well as this Clare works very closely with training providers and colleges across the region to support the increase of apprentice take up and is a familiar face at networking events all across the South West.

Specifically working alongside City of Bristol college, and Miriam Venner, Vice Principal Apprenticeships and Skills said:

“We are really pleased to see Clare win this award as it shows that her commitment to apprenticeships is recognised across the region. Clare works tirelessly to support apprentices and their employers and has expertly steered the SWAC team to become a leading force in the sector. Her energy and enthusiasm is infectious and its great to see that this is highly valued.”

The apprenticeship reforms meant a big shake up in the industry and Clare ensured that she was at the forefront of these changes and has ensured that her knowledge is always up to date so that she can continue to provide that all important impartial advice and guidance to potential apprentice employers at a time when there was a lot of confusion around. Who better to share their thoughts on this help than the people she has worked with closely over the last few years…

“Clare is incredibly passionate about helping young people and her knowledge of apprenticeships is second to none. I have always found her to be approachable, motivating, creative and thought-provoking. She is a natural leader and was a pleasure to work with.”  Lee Spicer – National Employer Partnership Manager, Seetec

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“And who is Clare Vertigen is the most common question I get over the last 6 years when someone wants to know more about apprenticeships. Whether that person is an employer just starting to consider a possible apprentice or trying to find a particular type/provider, or an individual of any age considering an apprenticeship; for me it’s simple Clare is my go-to-person for practical information relevant now. And after I’ve made the email introduction, all I have to do is to wait for the thanks that usually comes after the discussion from my contact.” Andrew Callard – Director Aimed Business helping individuals and businesses realise their goals through coaching, innovation and marketing

“Clare is my absolute go-to person for help, advice and information about apprenticeships. Whilst my own business is not big enough to have apprentices, I have been able to confidently refer clients to Clare in the past, whether they have needed a bit of information, something explained, or help in setting up apprenticeships in their business. Clare is always approachable and more than happy to help in any way that she can. It has always been a complete pleasure liaising with her and I am extremely happy to have her within my network of trusted colleagues.” Miranda Jenkins – Business Coach

“Clare is amazing! Her knowledge and skills are second to none and she is always willing to help. Clare has a passion for learning and education and getting the best out of people. She is friendly, compassionate and always working in the interests with her learners, clients and colleagues. It is a joy to work with Clare as she is so dedicated and positive. She makes you want to always achieve more. I enjoy meeting with Clare as she is a font of all knowledge and just an all round lovely person.” Danielle Lucas – Executive Assistant to CEO & Directors, HFMA

And more good things from the people who know her best… The SWAC Team! 

“I have worked with Clare for the past 12 years and in that time we have witnessed the lowest of lows and also the highest of highs! We have both worked at SWAC since its conception and it has become almost like a child to us. Clare’s passion for apprenticeships, young people and the up-skilling of businesses within the region is infectious and inspiring. SWAC is the success it is because of the people that work here and specifically Clare’s enthusiasm and knowledge.” Shelley Mills – Operations Manager

“Clare initially interviewed me when I was only 19 and leaving college with the ambition of finding an apprenticeship. Clare employed me as the Recruitment Officer Apprentice and 3 years later, Clare has continued to help me develop my knowledge and skills and is continuously supportive of my progression within my role.” Alice Loveday – SWAC Apprenitceship Recruitment Officer

“I originally got a job working with Clare at Triangle Fusion nearly 10 years ago and we immediately got on like a house on fire, I was only there through an agency and did not stay too long but it was a working relationship that was not over! A few years later, lots of networking events and cups of coffee I finally got the job at SWAC I had wanted. Clare has been the most supportive of managers and has allowed me to really explore my skills and allowed me to develop in areas where my confidence would not let me before!” Sally Conlon – Business Development Manager

“Clare is the kind of boss that inspires you to do your very best. She leads by example, she get’s stuck in and does everything a good leader should do. She is one of the team and gets involved in anything from being our strategic lead to making you a cup of tea when you feel a bit low! She is passionate about apprenticeships and the future of our newly hatched work force – she is a true ambassador for SWAC and for apprenticeships. She has great taste in music, but can also give you that look that means you’re in trouble and I truly respect and appreciate our friendship and her belief in me to get better and better in my role”  Shelley King – Learner Account Manager

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