Further education and skills – press release

The West Midlands celebrates the success of its apprentices and apprentice employers at prestigious apprenticeship awards

The West Midland’s top apprentices and apprentice employers have been announced in the regional final of the National Apprenticeship Awards.

The National Apprenticeship Awards, now in their 12th year, celebrate the success of the country’s most exceptional apprentices and apprenticeship employers. The awards challenge top apprenticeship employers and apprentices across England to come forward and show how apprenticeships have made a real difference to their organisation and careers.

The West Midland winners and highly commended entries were announced at a high profile awards ceremony on October 8th organised by the National Apprenticeship Service, which was held at Edgbaston Cricket Ground, Birmingham.

Businesses and apprentices fought off tough competition to win this year’s coveted awards.

This year’s winners for the West Midlands are:

  • McDonald’s Award for Intermediate Apprentice of the Year: Kathleen Sandford, The Community Housing Group. Highly commended: Ryan Shemwell, Green Lighting Ltd.
  • EAL Award for Advanced Apprentice of the Year: Joshua White, IBM United Kingdom Limited. Highly commended: Bethany Griffin, Sanctuary Housing Association.
  • The Nuclear Decommissioning Site Licence Companies Award for the Higher Apprentice of the Year: Stephanie Palmer, Fujitsu. Highly commended: Hannah Scott, Jaguar Landrover; Andrew Morley, Jaguar Landrover.
  • Unilever Small Employer of the Year: ISO Quality Services Ltd. Highly commended: Green Lighting Ltd.
  • BAE Systems Award for Large Employer of the Year: Redrow Homes. Highly commended: The Community Housing Group; The Landscape Group
  • BT Award for Macro Employer of the Year; Compass Group UK & Ireland. Highly commended: Jaguar Land Rover ltd.
  • EDF Energy Award for Newcomer SME of the Year: eTech Solutions Ltd.
  • Rolls-Royce Award for Newcomer Large Employer of the Year: Highways England; Highly commended: Halfords Ltd (Retail); Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Sue Husband, Director of the National Apprenticeship Service, said:

Apprenticeships deliver for businesses, individuals and the economy. They enable people to gain the skills and knowledge they need to succeed, in some cases up to degree level, while working and earning. And for businesses, hiring apprentices is a productive and effective way for them to grow their own talent by developing a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce.

The National Apprenticeship Awards enable talented apprentices and committed employers to receive the recognition they richly deserve. They not only help celebrate the achievements of apprentices and businesses, allowing them to gain the credit for investing in their own futures, but they drive up quality and encourage others to get involved.

Today’s winners are the best of the best in the West Midlands and I would like to congratulate them on their achievements. They deserve to be rewarded for their efforts. There has never been a better time to become an apprentice or employ one.

This year’s sponsors for the West Midlands awards are: Dudley College, First4Skills, OCR and Walsall College.

Following the regional ceremonies, the winners from each category in all 11 areas of England will have their entries sent for national judging, and three from each category will be selected as national finalists.

The apprenticeship employer entries that were judged to be the very best of the best will have the additional honour of featuring in the Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list.

The national award winners and Top 100 Employers will be revealed at a ceremony held in January 2016 at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

Search for apprenticeships on .GOV.UK or call 08000 150 600 to find out more about apprenticeships.

Note to editors

The National Apprenticeship Awards

Now in their 12th year, the National Apprenticeship Awards are an opportunity to highlight the many success stories and the benefits of apprenticeships. There are six employer categories ranging from Small to Macro, and two newcomer categories. Categories are open to employers of all sectors. For the fifth year running the very best employer category entries will have the additional bonus of featuring in the prestigious annual Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list. There are four apprentice categories, which are: intermediate, advanced and higher apprentice of the year, and the hotly contended Apprenticeship Champion of the Year.

The National Apprenticeship Service

The National Apprenticeship Service supports the delivery of apprenticeships and traineeships in England. It offers free impartial advice and support to employers looking to recruit for the first time or expand their apprenticeship and traineeship workforce. This includes simplifying the process of recruiting an apprentice or trainee through the support of employer focused teams and Find an apprenticeship and Find a traineeship recruitment sites on GOV.UK where employers can advertise their vacancies and potential apprentices or trainees can apply. Call 08000 150 600 or search for apprenticeships on www.gov.uk to find out more.