During COVID-19 Jack Rooke, a Data Analytics Apprentice, participated in a project that was highly valued in the department as we were improving automated processes for Large Enterprise Customers, taking care and enhancing their service at the most difficult times.

Jack proactively participated in the data alignment and data cleansing activities that were key to successfully complete the Customer Automation, not only improving the scripts but providing support to Operational, Business Analysts, Customer Delivery and IT teams.

Jack Rooke’s role is a level 6 data analytics degree apprentice in Vodafone Business. He joined the UCC Service Orchestration & Data team at Vodafone in September 2019. Within the team we provide technical solutions for Vodafone Business products, in the context of Unified Communications and Connectivity. During COVID-19, we aimed to support and maintain our customer solutions, ensuring the service will be preserved at all times since communications are critical at the most difficult times like lockdowns.

Jack Rooke participated in a project that was highly valued in the department as it improves automated processes. It was not directly related to improve customer experience during COVID-19, however it helps to maintain the provisioning service and automatic billing process up and running with no extra consequences nor concerns to be addressed by customers.

Jack took ownership of the developments in a critical time for the team as the rest of engineers were working at maximum capacity, and very quickly became the expert of the scripts, in a way that provided support to Operational teams, Business Analysts, Customer Delivery and IT teams.


Manchester Metropolitan University – City of Wolverhampton Council

Gurdeep Aulakh, a Senior Architect Manager / Digital and Technology Solutions (Masters) Degree Apprentice in response to COVID-19, has been helping support Council staff set-up working from home. Outside work he’s been volunteering to support council services for all at risk groups including the homeless.

Volunteering outside of work, Gurdeep’s been able to contribute as part of the wider effort of the council’s response to COVID-19 and continue to deliver key critical services to residents during this difficult time. He felt this was part of his civic duty to ensure all vulnerable people and those at risk got the help, support and food needed.


Manchester Metropolitan University – Pizza Hut

Aaron Oreschnick, General Manager / Chartered Manager Degree Apprentice worked throughout the pandemic as his restaurant was one of the 47 restaurants that stayed open since the start of lockdown. Supporting the local community with access to food and working with delivery partners as well, Aaron and his team have prepared and donated approx. 900 meals a week to NHS Heroes, St John’s Ambulance, care workers, and charities.

It was important for Aaron and his team to support their local community, including those in isolation or the vulnerable to ensure they had access to food. They were supported in this endeavour by delivery partners; Deliveroo, Uber Eats and Just Eat. Since lockdown, they have innovated in their approach and now offer click and collect and takeaway options so those that those who are struggling to get into the supermarket can get food – but also for those key workers who have worked 12+ hour days can treat themselves to a pizza and a slice of normality.


Manchester Metropolitan University – Youth Elements

Amina Waldron’s, Founder and Managing Director / MBA Degree Apprentice worked with Youth Elements and as a response to the Coronavirus pandemic, the company was able to take ‘Project WOW – Winning on Wellness’ onto a variety of social media platforms.

Project WOW was created in order to empower, inspire and motivate others to allow people to find time to focus on themselves during the difficulties of lockdown.

The company recognised and understood the importance of mental health and wellness during lockdown and how this was going to impact everyone in a variety of ways. Amina’s work during the COVID response has been important as they have focused on supporting people’s mental health and wellbeing.


Manchester Metropolitan University

During the Covid-19 crisis Mark Binks a Technical Officer was undergoing his Chartered Manager Degree Apprentice at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Mark saw a call out on social media for emergency PPE to support local practitioners during the COVID-19 pandemic and decided to act. Upon finding an open source design of a comfortable, adjustable face shield he began to production of this at his home workshop at a rate of 40 units per hour.

A few weeks later, he became a part of a network of makers and industry specialists capable of producing 10,000 units a day. He was told his contribution and that of other makers is helping local practitioners sleep easier knowing they were safe at work.

Mark utilised his skills outside of work to support local practitioners and provide much needed PPE.


Manchester Metropolitan University – Asda

Paige Twidale, a Deputy Store Manager as part of her Chartered Manager (Retail) Degree Apprentice worked throughout the COVID-19 crisis in store.

Part of Paige’s role was to work out how to operate the store differently during COVID to ensure the safety of both staff and customers. Paige limited the number of visitors to the store at one time, coordinated the NHS priority shopping hours, distributed PPE to relevant colleagues and ensured a two metre distance at all times in store.

Paige also ensured she communicated regularly with colleagues to hear their concerns and suggestions so they could continue to feel safe at work.


Bosch Rexroth Limited

Tom Noble usually works in our Electrical workshop, where he is a Repair Technician. During the first lockdown he went to work in our production workshop making trolleys for ventilators, as part of the Ventilator UK challenge. He’s currently working towards completing his engineering degree via an apprenticeship.

During the Coronavirus pandemic Tom moved from electrical repairs, to work in our production workshop (a very different environment with much more physical work) and was a key member of our team making trolleys for ventilators as part of Ventilator Challenge UK. In total, we supplied around 40km of aluminum (15,100 sets) within seven weeks and it was a huge task that required quick, accurate work and a commitment to getting the job done.

At the time Tom was involved in this very important work, he was continuing to complete his college work and had to do so remotely. He has now successfully completed his apprenticeship and embarked a final year of study (again, remotely which is extremely difficult) to achieve his BEng (Hons).

Tom is a great asset to our workforce. He is diligent, calm and determined to succeed.


The Trafford College Group & Oxylitre

Trafford College is marking National Apprenticeship Week by celebrating the vital role of apprentices during the Covid-19 pandemic, five of whom are supporting the delivery of crucial medical supplies for Nightingale hospitals.

With apprenticeships spanning dozens of curriculum areas, many College trainees have been performing essential tasks on the frontline in areas such as teaching and science as well as within the NHS, while studying for their qualifications through successive lockdowns.

Among the unsung heroes are a group of engineering and business administration apprentices who have been helping Old Trafford-based, Oxylitre, meet a 30 per cent surge in demand for its medical devices throughout the pandemic, including oxygen-based alternatives to ventilators. The trainees have been instrumental in performing quality control, production and administrative duties, enabling experienced staff to work round-the-clock in the manufacture, supply and maintenance of critical care apparatus to save lives around the globe.

Oxylitre Group Product, Research & Development and HR Manager, Clive Francis, said: “Apprentices have played a pivotal role in our operations. They’re receptive, keen and have even taught us a thing or two to help streamline our working practices and operate more cost efficiently, with the ideas from their classrooms. I can’t think of anything more rewarding than helping the next generation into the job market and helping them to grow and become confident. We only feel immense pride when we watch someone gain a skill set that they can take with them for the rest of their lives”.

Assistant Principal – Adult Skills and Apprenticeships, Joan Scott, said: “I’m incredibly proud of how our apprentices, their employers and our dedicated team of staff have adapted to the ever-changing circumstances we have all experienced over the past year due to Covid. This National Apprenticeship Week I would like to give particular praise to those performing vital services for our community at a time of great need, these people are real unsung heroes”.



During the COVID-19 pandemic Laura, a Müller Milk & Ingredients apprentice, who works in the creamery department at Müller Milk & Ingredients’ Severnside Dairy, stepped up to cover a shift leader role, swapping her 9-5 hours to shifts working both days and nights. 

Laura started on the Eden apprentice programme in Advanced Dairy Technology in 2017. During her time on the programme, Laura has focused on college work and completing projects, gained experience from two mentors, set herself the challenge of gaining experience within each of the 5 departments across the Creamery at Severnside. Then in her final year, focused on completing her final year project as well as working with the Private Label Flavoured milk team  

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis Müller Milk & Ingredients’ (MMI) has helped to feed the nation and that is all down to colleagues like Laura who stepped up in the face of adversity.  

Due to the pandemic, Severnside’s Creamery department needed a Shift Leader and Laura stepped up. Laura’s manager and mentor Rob, Operational Excellence Lead at MMI Severnside, congratulated her for taking on this challenge:  

“This is a very challenging role, one that is usually reserved for managers with experience in front line leadership. Laura stepped up and impressed everyone with her ability to manage a highly skilled work force. 

This also meant Laura was working full time, across both day and night shifts, all while completing her final year assessment.  

Laura is a real asset to MMI, always ready to jump in to fill gaps where required, and still managing to work on projects that will make the site more efficient.  

Juggling this new role, continuing her final year assessment and working on projects all throughout a global pandemic has paid off for Laura, not only is she more confident, but I’ve seen a will to succeed blossom in her. I’ve no doubt that Laura will go on to do great things in her career starting with her new role as Technical Support Officer.” 


Boulting Ltd

Aaron Pendlebury is completing his Level 3 Infrastructure Technician Apprenticeship using our apprentice levy funding. Aaron joined the company in March 2019, working in our IT department whilst studying for his technical apprenticeship with Warrington and Royal Vale College. Aaron spends 1 day a week studying with the rest of the time spent in work. 

During the pandemic, whilst most of the IT team were placed on furlough, Aaron rolled his sleeves up and got stuck in to help oversee the IT Service Desk.

As a company, traditionally our employees are based at our sites and offices, Aaron was critical in getting them set up for home working so that we could continue to provide critical services to our clients within industrial engineering sectors for key infrastructure. 

Just before lockdown, Aaron helped to roll out over 50 + machines and he set the majority up within a week to enable employees to keep working and supporting the end users. He played a huge part in the mobilisation which has allowed our operations to continue and protected our workers safety.

Aaron has been on the modern day front line, keeping a cool head and positive demeanor whilst tackling / triaging a seemingly insurmountable number of requests, when nearly all staff were switched to remote working for the first time, and all at once.

Amid the growing stressors and uncertainty, Aarons character has remained nothing short of exemplary and I have received both formal and anecdotal praise for Aarons attitude and behaviour.