APPRENTICESHIP schemes at two Widnes colleges have been given the seal of approval from inspectors.

On Tuesday, January 29, Riverside College and Cronton Sixth Form were delighted to welcome visitors from the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education, the independent public body which ensures high-quality apprenticeship standards.

During the visit, the team took part in a tour of both campuses and met with current apprentices to gain insight on how the colleges' apprenticeship programmes perform.

Mary Murphy, college principal commented said: "We welcomed the opportunity to host a visit from the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education.

"During the visit they met teachers, students, employers and apprentices allowing them to experience vocational and technical education which will enable them to develop future plans for education."

Nick Mawhinney, head of technical education approval at the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education said: "It was extremely useful to visit the college to witness how some of the apprenticeships that we have helped to develop are delivered, and to have the apprentices share their experiences.

"We were really impressed to see the range of training on offer and the facilities used to replicate the workplace, and by the commitment that was evident from both staff and students."

Level three plumbing apprentice, Mike Cunliffe, who is employed at SC Plumbing & Heating (North West) LTD said: "I feel an apprenticeship is best suited for me as I enjoy learning in a practical, hands-on environment and you also get paid while you learn which is great."