Inspirational Tresham College staff member scoops top education prize

Keith centre with Alan Davies left at TES Awards NNL-180226-105534005
Keith centre with Alan Davies left at TES Awards NNL-180226-105534005

A long-serving apprenticeship assessor at Tresham College, which has campuses in Kettering and Corby, has won a top educational prize.

Keith Haynes, 67, took the accolade in the Times Educational Supplement Awards ahead of National Apprenticeship Week (March 5).

Keith is the engineering work-based assessor at Tresham College (now part of The Bedford College Group) and has worked in further education for more than 43 years, both in the UK and abroad.

He is described as so genuinely passionate about engineering that he continues to work part-time managing the engineering assessors’ team, with more than 100 apprentices and 70 employers, and has been instrumental in reigniting the Weetabix company apprenticeship programme with great success.

Keith was presented with his prize at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London ahead of the very best of the rest of the further education sector.

Julie Hoult, head of business development at Tresham College, said: “Keith is an exceptional assessor.

“He is great to work with and, even though he’s been in the engineering industry for over 40 years, he is always open to learning more and improving.”

In April 2016, Keith began working with Weetabix to help design the maintenance engineering and manufacturing apprenticeship programmes and recruit and induct their apprentices.

Keith ensured the manufacturing apprentices successfully achieved their Level 2 apprenticeships and they are now progressing on to their Level 3 qualifications.

The maintenance engineering apprentices are on schedule to complete their Level 3 apprenticeships by July 2018.

At the end of the first year, Weetabix were so delighted with the success of the new apprenticeships that they doubled the number of apprentices, taking on another four - representing a 100 per cent increase – and they intend to grow by similar numbers for the next few years.

Weetabix also awarded Keith and the Tresham College Apprenticeship team with their ‘Winning With Weetabix’ accolade in 2017. They have been nominated again in 2018.

Giles Turrel, Weetabix CEO, said: “Tresham College have worked really hard to make our apprenticeship scheme a success.

“They are proactive and have quickly become trusted partners.”

Keith is also involved in assessing apprentices at other companies who also speak highly of him.

Iain McCormick, a Level 3 Engineering Maintenance Apprentice at TetraPak said: “Keith has gone above and beyond to help me progress toward the start of my new career.”

Catherine Pell, an apprentice at Meter Mix Systems Ltd said: “Keith’s motivation and encouragement has allowed me to complete my course and continue onto the HNC Engineering I have always wanted to do.”

Keith’s commitment to his professional development is illustrated by his recent nomination by Debbie Houghton, director of apprenticeships at The Bedford College Group, to represent the college at the national Education and Training Foundation for the introduction of the new standards for engineering and manufacturing.

Keith has also pioneered the introduction of the first Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship in Engineering for Tresham College.

The college had not previously offered this qualification but Keith saw that it would meet the needs of local employer Prosaw much more than the existing NVQ and proactively set about developing the new qualification.