Dorset mature student named ‘Apprentice of the Year’

Mature student Jake Stanley (34) from Bournemouth, Dorset has been named ‘Apprentice of the Year’ in the Weymouth College Awards 2023.  

Jake started a four-year Gas Engineer apprenticeship with Aster Group in 2021, after deciding there was no opportunity for career progression in the removals industry he was working in at the time.

Spending his time split between studying at Weymouth College and working on the job with Aster, Jake was nominated for the award by his assessor, Anthony Cowburn, Apprenticeship Training Coordinator at Weymouth College.

On the nomination, Anthony said: “Jake is a pleasure to work with, a real asset to his company. I have no doubts that he will fully succeed on this programme, and I look forward to working with him for the remainder of the course.”

Jake said: “It’s an honour to not only be recognised by someone I respect but to actually win feels amazing. Since starting my apprenticeship I feel like my career is heading in the right direction and I have lots of opportunities in front of me. I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship to anyone who might be interested. You get to learn on the job and get paid at the same time. I have been fully supported throughout my apprenticeship both at work and from the College.”

Jessica Scull, Apprenticeship Partner at Aster Group said: “It’s incredibly rewarding to see our apprentices excel. We know just how much apprenticeships can change lives but to see it in front of our eyes is incredible. We look forward to continuing to offer apprenticeship and upskilling opportunities to both existing and new colleagues.”

Aster is committed to helping those looking to start their career or upskill in other areas through its apprenticeship programme. With a range of apprenticeships available from Customer Services to Electricians over a period of one to four years, there’s something for everyone. The business currently has 23 full-time apprentices and 149 existing employees upskilling.

You can find out more about Aster’s apprenticeship programme at

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