The Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards 2022 recognised the best talent in the county with a special live-streamed event on Thursday 19 May, followed by an in-person celebration evening at Williams F1 Conference Centre on 26 May, where finalists were presented with their trophies.
The Careers Champion Award recognises individuals based in an Oxfordshire school or college who go the extra mile to raise awareness of a range of pathways, including apprenticeships and technical qualifications, to students and their parents/carers as part of a wide ranging and inclusive careers programme. It was won by Michael Rafferty, Careers Lead at The Warriner School.
Michael holds a number of roles at the school including Careers Lead – he is also a maths teacher, motivation and community lead and Head of Year 11. Michael was recognised for his commitment and enthusiasm and how he will always go above and beyond expectations to ensure that every individual is supported in their career needs, no matter how challenging this may be.
Michael has transformed the role and the footprint of careers education at The Warriner School. His creativity, tenacity and attention to detail has led to a broad and inclusive programme of advice, guidance, inspiration and, above all, opportunity.
Michael innovated during the pandemic, creating and introducing ‘The Warriner Footpath’ scheme, which saw him create 80 five-minute videos where he interviewed former Warriner students, finding out where their career had taken them after leaving the school. He also adapted the school’s Year 10 work experience week to showcase a range of different careers, led by employers visiting the school and students experiencing several options depending on their aspirations and interests.
The Careers Champion Award was kindly sponsored by The Engineering Trust. CEO Mark Vingoe, who is pictured above wth Michael and judged the award, said: “Michael’s drive and infectious enthusiasm truly sets him apart! His inventive and unique approach to the careers programme at The Warriner School is excellent and he strongly believes that students, their families and their teachers all need to have an understanding of the range of career pathways and the opportunities these can lead to. He engages with each group with the clear objective to educate them with good quality advice and guidance. He has an in depth understanding of the ‘cultural capital’ within the school and the mind-set that drives aspirations amongst his students. His determination to ensure that the students are able to ‘break the mould’ and follow their own path is commendable. Michael brings a massive amount of energy and innovation to his role at The Warriner and for this, has taken the top spot within this category. Congratulations Michael!”
Michael said: “It's fantastic to have even been nominated for this award, especially with such amazing other Careers Leads, who I know I could learn so much from still. I have been very fortunate to have the backing of a school that has let me push the envelope with careers and try out things that are both challenging and new. The careers experience week and footpaths program have both been a huge success because of the school’s backing and I am grateful for that. I know careers can be seen as a box ticking exercise for the next inspection, but it is so much more than that. It is the box in which everything else fits in. It gives students direction and motivation, it can offer a realistic reward to any student who can find their place in this world and offers them a future. I'm humbled to be part of that journey.”
About the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards 2023
The awards will be open for entries and nominations until midnight on the evening of Friday 17 February 2023. Finalists will be announced during Oxfordshire Apprenticeships Hour (hashtag #OAHour) on Twitter @OxonApprentice from 13:00 on Thursday 20 April 2023. Winners will be announced at a special awards ceremony on Thursday 18 May 2023.
If you would like the opportunity to support the Awards, please get in touch.
Join us for Oxfordshire Apprenticeships Hour (#OAHour) on Twitter @OxonApprentice from 13:00 every Thursday for latest on the Awards and join in the conversation using the hashtag #OAAwards2023.