News story

National Apprenticeship Awards 2016 winners announced

The nation’s top apprentices and apprenticeship employers have been recognised at a ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House.

National Apprenticeship Awards 2016

Six employers ranging from small employer Ebsford Environmental Ltd to macro employer Mitie Group Plc and three apprentices were recognised for their commitment to apprenticeships in the 13th year of the National Apprenticeship Awards.

The ‘Nation of Champions’ showcase 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.

This year’s apprentice national 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

And two highly commended in each category:

  • The I-Can Qualifications Award for Intermediate Apprentice of the Year: Cameron Baker, Rentokil Initial and Ashley Haslam, Wilson’s Autos
  • EAL Award for Advanced Apprentice of the Year: Becky King, National Physical Laboratory and Emma Goulding, Siemens
  • The Nuclear Decommissioning Site Licence Companies Award for the Higher or Degree Apprentice of the Year: Melissa Loonam, Rolls-Royce Plc and Jack McCarthy, Glaxosmithkline Pharmaceuticals (Ware) Ltd

The Premier Inn sponsored Apprentice Champion Award went to John Clarke, a Technical Manager with BT. John was recognised on the night 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 BT’s Apprentice Alumni, supporting 4,000 former apprentices with their post apprenticeship journey.

National Apprenticeship Awards 2016 finalists
National Apprenticeship Awards 2016 finalists.

This year’s employer national winners are:

  • Unilever Small Employer of the Year: Ebsford Environmental Ltd
  • British Gas Medium Employer of the Year: Troup Bywaters + Anders
  • BAE Systems Award for Large Employer of the Year: Mercedes-Benz UK
  • EON Award for Macro Employer of the Year: Mitie Group Plc
  • Santander Award for Newcomer SME of the Year: Craggs Energy Ltd
  • Rolls-Royce Award for Newcomer Large Employer of the Year: Bond Dickinson LLP

And two highly commended in each category:

  • Unilever Small Employer of the Year: ISO Quality Services Ltd and Blu Sky Tax
  • British Gas Medium Employer of the Year: Metalcraft and Michael and Margaret Naylor and Associates
  • BAE Systems Award for Large Employer of the Year: John O’Conner Grounds Maintenance Ltd and Yorkshire Housing
  • EON Award for Macro Employer of the Year: Whitbread and Lloyds Banking Group
  • Santander Award for Newcomer SME of the Year: Great Annual Savings Group and APTCOO – A Place To Call Our Own
  • Rolls-Royce Award for Newcomer Large Employer of the Year: Pickfords Move Management Limited and Softcat

Winner of the Rolls-Royce Award for Newcomer Large Employer of the Year was Bond Dickinson LLP. On accepting the award, Sam Lee, Head of Recruitment the law firm said:

We took on apprentices because it was the right thing to do; for social mobility, improved staff retention and for the future of our business. But what’s amazed us most is how well the apprentices have performed, they still surprise us every day.

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 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 to give everyone the chance to get on.

Skills and Apprenticeships Minister Robert Halfon with some of the Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers.
Skills and Apprenticeships Minister Robert Halfon with some of the Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers.

Also announced was the Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list 2016, featuring the most exceptional apprenticeship employers from all of the National Apprenticeship Awards employer categories. The list shows the breadth of employers offering fantastic apprenticeship opportunities.

Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer List 2016

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Ulf Bengtsson, Group Head of Learning and Development, Centrica said:

I am thrilled for all of the organisations recognised this evening as part of the Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers in 2016. Helping develop skills and capabilities in communities is incredibly important to building the reputation of UK industry. At Centrica we are immensely proud of the role our apprenticeship schemes have played in developing a capability that sets many industry benchmarks, and are excited to be in the company of so many organisations who are committed to the same cause.

Sue Husband, director, National Apprenticeship Service, concluded:

The National Apprenticeship Awards have highlighted once again the magnificent range of apprenticeships on offer - with leading employers in exciting industries - and the skills that apprentices gain when taking on these roles.

Every year this event gets bigger and better, bringing to the forefront of our minds the importance of apprenticeships to local, regional and national economies. Apprenticeships are for everyone and I personally thank each and every employer and apprentice here tonight, for their commitment to apprenticeships.

Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers 2016 at the National Apprenticeship Awards ceremony at The Grosvenor House Hotel, London
Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers 2016 at the National Apprenticeship Awards ceremony at The Grosvenor House Hotel, London.

To find out more about the benefits of apprenticeships or to find out more on the apprenticeship awards search on GOV.UK. Alternatively call 08000 150 600 or follow @apprenticeships on Twitter or National Apprenticeship Service on LinkedIn.

Published 20 January 2017