84 Kingston apprentices celebrate completing courses at special graduation

Cllr julie pickering mayor of kingston stands with sam burgess head of kingston adult education and a number of the graduate apprentices

84 apprentices from Kingston Adult Education (KAE) were met with cheers and applause as they graduated and collected their certificates on Thursday 22 June at the King Charles Centre, Surbiton.

The Mayor of Kingston, Councillor Julie Pickering, was joined by the Mayoress, Anna, and the Mayor’s Consort, James, as well as local business owner and apprentice employer, Edward Weale.

Edward, who runs the Kingston based graphic design agency ‘Lemon Ribbon’, began proceedings by giving an inspirational speech about the endless possibilities available to apprentices.

Katie McLaughlin, who was awarded the Advanced Apprentice of the Year award, said:

“I really enjoyed the courses at KAE. Everyone I came in contact with at KAE was supportive - you can talk to them and they believe in you and what you can do.”

On giving out the awards, Mayor of Kingston, Cllr Julie Pickering said:

“What a fabulous event and congratulations to all, both graduates and employers. Each and every graduate I met during the evening had worked incredibly hard to achieve their goals with great support from their employers. I hope many more employers support this vital scheme and give start up opportunities such as those seen tonight.”

Cllr Andy Johnson-Creek, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Education at Kingston Council, said:

“We’re dedicated to ensuring young people have as many opportunities to progress into a rewarding career as possible. In fact, the popularity of our apprenticeship scheme is climbing year on year, with a 46% increase in uptake in the last year alone. To add to this, we have just received our second OFSTED ‘good’ report for the service as a whole, including our apprenticeship scheme.

“Well done to all 84 apprentices, as well as our fantastic team at Kingston Adult Education. Here’s to another successful year of apprenticeships in our Royal Borough.”

Apprentices were joined by family, friends and employers at the celebration.

Kingston Adult Education manage the scheme, including recruiting and training apprentices.

To find out more about courses on offer, visit