Whole nation celebrates at National Apprenticeship Awards

The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) recently recognised the country’s most exceptional apprentices and apprenticeship employers, with multiple award ceremonies hosted across the country.


Celebrating the nation’s young workforce

The government’s apprenticeship department held a number of award ceremonies in the middle of October, with apprentices from 11 different regions meeting up throughout the month.

Now in their twelfth year, the awards recognise excellence in businesses that grow their own apprentice talent and apprentices who have made a significant contribution to their workplace. The 200 regional finalists fought off competition from over 1000 other entries made to NAS.

There are a number of different categories during the awards, including:

Employer categories

  • The Unilever Award for Small Employer of the Year.
  • The E.ON in partnership with the National Skills Academy for Power Award for Medium Employer of the Year.
  • The BAE Systems Award for Large Employer of the Year.
  • The BT Award for Macro Employer of the Year.
  • The EDF Energy Award for Newcomer SME of the Year.
  • The Rolls-Royce Award for Newcomer Large Employer of the Year.

Apprentice categories

  • The McDonald’s Award for the Intermediate Apprentice of the Year.
  • The EAL Award for the Advanced Apprentice of the Year.
  • The Nuclear Decommissioning Site Licence Companies Award for the Higher Apprentice of the Year.
  • The City & Guilds Award for the Apprenticeship Champion of the Year.


And the winner is…

In London, James Manning from ASDA Home Shopping Centre won the Intermediate Apprentice of the Year, as did Adam Huddleston from Dr Oetker in Liverpool, Meghan Callaghan from L J Boyce Ltd in the South West and Karolina Polniaszek from Superdrug in Yorkshire and Humber.

Large Employer of the Year awards went to the likes of Breyer Group, Silentnight Brands and South West Water Limited.

Talking about the ceremony in London, skills minister Nick Boles explained the importance of celebrating apprentices.

‘‘A big congratulations to all the apprentices and employers in London who impressed the judges today. From local businesses to large household names, from intermediate to degree apprentices, all of today’s winners truly deserve this recognition,’’ said Boles.

‘‘The success of each winner reminds us of how crucial apprenticeships are in supporting our workforce, our businesses and our economy. This is why we are committed to delivering 3 million apprenticeships by 2020.’’

Fresh from his exploits in Japan, Mayor of London Boris Johnson talked about what apprentices bring to UK business.

‘‘For businesses, apprentices offer a way to fill skills gaps with a motivated and qualified workforce. I am pleased to pass on my congratulations and thanks to this dedicated group and their employers. I hope they will inspire even more employers to sign up to providing these important placements,’’ said Johnson.

‘‘It is hugely inspiring to hear the stories of a talented group of young people who are helping to shape London’s future economy as well as equipping themselves with new skills to make their own prospects brighter.’’