National Apprenticeship Award winners 2016 announced
Apprentices and employers from around the country gathered at a ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House last night to recognise the nation’s top apprentices and apprenticeship employers.
There were over 1200 entrants competing for the awards at this year’s National Apprenticeship Awards; six companies, three apprentices and one former apprentice received recognition last night.
Skills minister, Nick Boles, said, “Congratulations to each and every one of the National Apprenticeship Award winners. Apprenticeships truly are set to be one of the great success stories of the decade, and tonight’s winners and finalists are worthy ambassadors.”
Employment minister, Priti Patel, said, “Apprenticeships offer a fantastic way for many young people of all backgrounds to earn as they learn while providing employers with the transferable skills needed to take their business from strength to strength. We currently have record-breaking levels of employment – and this is boosted by prospects like apprenticeships. I want to see this continue.”
Nadhim Zahawi MP, the Prime Minister’s apprenticeship adviser, who presented the awards, said, “The Prime Minister has set a commitment of 3m apprenticeship starts by 2020 and I am excited to have a role in helping to deliver this goal, while pushing to revolutionise the skills of our workforce in Britain. Good quality apprenticeships create a fairer society by giving hard working young people the chance to aim for their dream job whilst playing their part in building a stronger economy for Britain.
The Awards, which are now in their 12th year, are run by the National Apprenticeship Service and recognise excellence in two areas: businesses that grow their own talent with apprentices and apprentices who have made a significant contribution to their workplaces.
Jade Aspinall, a manufacturing engineer with MBDA UK and winner of the Nuclear Decommissioning Site Licence Companies Higher Apprentice of the Year award, said, “As an apprentice I am able to earn whilst I learn, gaining degree level qualifications whilst gaining the practical experience at the same time. I believe in learning through experience and my apprenticeship allowed me.
“I`m very ambitious about my future. I started university in September, studying a B.Eng in Computer Aided Engineering. I cannot have enough passion and enthusiasm for apprenticeships. Without mine, I wouldn`t be the confident, mature, challenge-driven individual I am today: greatest decision of my life. Since starting my apprenticeship my confidence has increased significantly.”
Martin Farrow, managing director of Buckinghamshire Care, winner of the EDF Energy Newcomer SME of the Year, said, “We are bringing young people into our workforce, giving vibrancy and enthusiasm to a workforce where 70% are over 40. This also supports us gain new business through clients who are excited by the prospect of a young and fresh thinking workforce.
“Having people with disabilities working and visible in the organisation really brings our values to life. The training we offer gives marginalised people paid employment, vocational skills, increased social status, positive health benefits, visible community presence and enhanced self-esteem. And our apprentices are making an impact - positive customer feedback, particularly in our catering services increased by 27%.”
The night also saw the publication of the prestigious Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer list, which is compiled annually by the National Apprenticeship Service in partnership with City & Guilds and recognises excellence in businesses that employ apprentices.
The list features the most exceptional apprenticeship employers from all National Apprenticeship Awards employer categories and showcases the breadth of employers who now offer apprenticeships.