‘Nation of Champions’ is announced at National Apprenticeship Awards 2016 ceremony

Top apprentices and employers rewarded for their commitment to apprenticeships

Top apprentices and leading employers from across the country gathered at a prestigious ceremony in London last week to be recognised for their commitment to apprenticeships in the 13th year of the National Apprenticeship Awards.

The ‘Nation of Champions’ showcases individual and employer success stories, with businesses and apprentices beating tough competition from across the country to win or be recognised as highly commended in their category.

Winners in the employer categories for 2016 are:

  • Unilever Small Employer of the Year: Ebsford Environmental Ltd
    (Highly commended: ISO Quality Services Ltd and Blu Sky Tax)
  • British Gas Medium Employer of the Year: Troup Bywaters + Anders
    (Highly commended: Metalcraft and Michael and Margaret Naylor and Associates)
  • BAE Systems Award for Large Employer of the Year: Mercedes-Benz UK
    (Highly commended: John O'Conner Grounds Maintenance Ltd and Yorkshire Housing)
  • EON Award for Macro Employer of the Year: Mitie Group Plc
    (Highly commended: Whitbread and Lloyds Banking Group)
  • Santander Award for Newcomer SME of the Year: Craggs Energy Ltd
    (Highly commended: Great Annual Savings Group and APTCOO – A Place To Call Our Own)
  • Rolls-Royce Award for Newcomer Large Employer of the Year: Bond Dickinson LLP
    (Highly commended: Pickfords Move Management Limited and Softcat)

This year’s apprentice winners are:

  • The I-Can Qualifications Award for Intermediate Apprentice of the Year: Charlotte Blowers, Exceed
  • EAL Award for Advanced Apprentice of the Year: Adam Sharp, Sellafield Ltd
  • The Nuclear Decommissioning Site Licence Companies Award for the Higher or Degree Apprentice of the Year: Holly Broadhurst, J C Bamford Excavators Ltd

Apprentices from employers including Siemens, Rentokil, Glaxosmithkline Pharmaceuticals and Rolls-Royce were also highly commended across the categories.

The Apprentice Champion Award, sponsored by Premier Inn, went to John Clarke, a technical manager with BT. John was recognised for his commitment to apprenticeships, which includes working evenings and weekends to organise career seminars and educational visits to inspire BT apprentices to make the most of their programme. John is also chair of BT’s Apprentice Alumni, supporting 4000 former apprentices with their post-apprenticeship journey.

Law firm Bond Dickinson LLP was announced as winner of the Rolls-Royce Award for Newcomer Large Employer of the Year. On accepting the award, Sam Lee, head of recruitment at the firm said: “Recruiting apprentices as paralegals allows us to attract smart, enthusiastic and engaged people into law – people that never previously would have thought a career in law was for them, or even possible. We’re committed to continuing our apprenticeship scheme and building on it in the years ahead.”

Skills and Apprenticeships Minister Robert Halfon MP said: “Apprenticeships work. They give people of all ages and all backgrounds the ladder of opportunity to get paid experience in work and a top class qualification at the same time.

“The National Apprenticeship Awards ensure apprenticeships get the prestige they deserve, while shining a light on the fantastic work that both apprentices and their employers do. Congratulations to all the winners – they are champions showcasing how apprenticeships give everyone the chance to get on.”

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