A Coventry academy has been shortlisted for a prestigious industry award in recognition of its successful apprenticeship programme.
The Romero Catholic Academy, made up of seven primary schools and one secondary school based across the city, has been announced as a finalist for The Learning Awards’ ‘Apprenticeship Programme of the Year’ award.
The Academy, which includes Corpus Christi, Good Shepherd, Sacred Heart, St Gregory’s, St John Fisher, St Patrick’s and Ss Peter and Paul Catholic Primary Schools and Cardinal Wiseman School, was shortlisted for its IT apprenticeship programme.
The Romero apprenticeships are delivered through Primary Goal, an apprenticeship provider which works with schools across the country.
The programme, which was introduced at the Academy in 2017, not only allows apprentices to gain new skills and qualifications but has also seen external IT costs dramatically reduced, problems solved quicker and projects progressed.
Thanks to its success, the Academy has now launched a sports apprenticeship programme and is looking at other areas where apprentices could be introduced.
The Learning Awards are the highest accolade that can be received in workplace learning and development, with finalists across the categories including leading names in finance, health, retail, communications, education, travel and hospitality.
The Academy will give a virtual presentation on its apprenticeship programme to a panel of judges next month before the winners are announced at the Hilton Hotel, Park Lane London on February 18 next year.
Patrick Taggart, Director of Operations at the Academy, said: “We are extremely pleased to be shortlisted for such a prestigious award which recognises the very best in learning and development.
“We have worked hard on our apprenticeship programme and invested heavily in it, so it is something we are extremely proud of.
“As an academy of schools, we understand the importance of not only taking on talented individuals to help provide our children with the very best education, but also offering young people opportunities in which they can develop their skills and progress in their careers.
“Through working with Primary Goal, we have seen our IT apprentices thrive and make a real difference across the Academy.
“As their expertise has increased we have seen our external IT support costs reduce by £80,000 and projects which were once just pipe dreams come into fruition. These include becoming completely cloud based, new WIFI infrastructures at most of our schools and a staff intranet system and Romero University portal which will help our 500 staff access learning and development opportunities.
“Last year we saw one of our apprentices presented with the Coventry Guild Apprentice of the Year award and it is fantastic to keep the success going with this recognition for our programme.”
Louise Campton, MD at Primary Goal, said: “We have been working with the Romero Catholic Academy since 2017 and are delighted that the apprentices have done so well. The programme supports them over a 15-month period and many have progressed to employed ICT technician roles in the Academy.”