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Celebrating apprenticeship success

Skills Minister Nick Boles said, “Our ambition is for it to become the norm for young people to achieve their career goals by going into an Apprenticeship or to university or, in the case of some Higher Apprenticeships, doing both.

“These graduation ceremonies will recognise and reward the success of our apprentices and by doing so, will raise the profile and quality of Apprenticeships.

“Apprenticeships are thriving in England, and it’s not hard to see why. They offer ambitious young people and adults unrivalled career prospects and give businesses an exceptional route to grow a highly qualified and motivated workforce.”

Some &pound400,000 of Government funding has been awarded to the graduation ceremonies project. Two pilot ceremonies and four trailblazers have taken place in the last two years. A further 19 Apprenticeship providers have just been awarded the remainder of the funding to enable them to roll the awards out nationally and to plan and host the ceremonies.

The grant is a one-off pot of funding. One of the criteria the successful bidders were judged on was the ability to continue and improve the events into the future, working with partners to gain funding and sponsorship. Central to the success of the ceremonies will be the need for local authorities, colleges, private training providers and employers to work together in organising and hosting the events both now and in the future.

Winning bidders also had to show their events would engage with employers who haven’t previously employed an apprentice and with potential apprentices and their influencers.

Boles added, “These graduation ceremonies recognise the best of the best and are an excellent opportunity for individuals and employers to gain the credit they richly deserve for investing in their own futures. They will provide the opportunity for everyone involved in the success of Apprenticeships - parents, influencers and employers - to come together with a real feeling of pride in what the apprentices have achieved in their learning and work.”

“I congratulate all the successful bidders. They should all be extremely proud of their achievements.”

The graduation ceremony grants have been managed by the Association of Colleges and Association of Employment and Learning Providers, through the Skills Funding Agency. Grant amounts account for around 60% of total event costs with the shortfall to be made up through sponsorship and local area funding. The successful bidders are:

City College Plymouth and Plymouth University

Gloucestershire College

Skills CFA

Derby College

Norfolk County Council

South Devon College

Myerscough College

Croydon Council

Bedford College

Leicester City Council

Work Based Learning Alliance Ltd.

Dorset and Somerset Training Provider Network

City of York Council - York Apprenticeship Hub

Staffordshire County Council


Uxbridge College

West Yorkshire Learning Providers

ALPS Partnership Ltd.



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