Learner Graduation and Rising Stars Awards


Wednesday 6th October 2021

Arlington Arts Centre

Due to the current restrictions in place, it has been decided that this year’s graduation ceremony will be postponed to Wednesday 6th October.

All apprentices who achieved between April 2019 – 31st March 2020 have been invited to graduate alongside the 2020/2021 learners.

Get more information for graduates and their guests here.

Guest of Honour

Each year we have a Guest of Honour who presents the awards and celebrates with graduates and guests. Details will be released closer to the event.

Rising Stars Awards 2021

These are being presented offline this year, and we are very pleased to announce the winners here.

There are eight award categories with awards for both learners and employers (see the award categories here). These awards are a celebration of the ‘rising stars’ of today and those who are great role models in learning and employment.

See the 2021 Rising Stars Winners here. 

See the 2021 Rising Stars Finalists here. 

The Judges

Our judging panel has many years of experience of working with and employing young people. They are all successful business people with a diverse range of career roles under their belts and we are fortunate that they have accepted the complex role of reviewing all nominations and selecting the finalists.

Alexis Smith – Assistant Principal, Basingstoke College of Technology
Alexis was appointed Director of Student Experience at BCoT in May 2015.  She spent over 10 years working as a Careers Adviser and Team leader in Connexions before joining the FE Sector, initially supporting students in the transition to college, then supporting 14 -16 year old students before moving into the role of ensuring that all students enjoy their time at college. Alexis is also a governor at The Costello School and is on the Exec for the National Association for Managers of Student Services (NAMSS).

Julie Matkin – Training Manager, Tiger Training Centre
Julie joined the Tigers team in 2011 to set up and manage the Tigers Training Centre. Her role is varied and involves developing new projects and ideas. She is also the lead Internal Quality Assurer, organises all short courses and apprenticeships programmes and liaises with WBTC and awarding organisations to maintain direct claims status. She works closely with nurseries, schools and childcare settings across Berkshire, Wiltshire and Hampshire to ensure their training meets the demanding needs of the industry.


Steve Fussey – Trustee
Steve joined the WBTC board in 2018. Now retired, Steve spent the last 32 years of his career working in various roles at AWE, culminating in the role of Infrastructure Director. Steve is Trustee Director of a large pension fund, a Trustee of The Loddon School and the Vice Chair of Governors at Basingstoke College of Technology.


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