The Heart of Yorkshire Education Group marked National Apprenticeship Week 2023 with its Annual Apprenticeship Awards – recognising the exceptional achievements of its apprentices and the contributions of its employer partners.
Finalists, sponsors, distinguished guests and members of the Heart of Yorkshire Education Group gathered at Darrington Golf course, in Pontefract, on Thursday 9th February 2023.
Lorraine Cross, Executive Director for External Relations and Development at the Heart of Yorkshire Education Group, started proceedings by welcoming nominees and their loved ones, as well as apprenticeship providers.
Lorraine said: “Our Apprenticeship Awards are a celebratory occasion as we come together to acknowledge the hard work and commitment of apprentices and their employers. There have been some fantastic nominations for this year’s awards, which demonstrates the significant value apprentices bring to their workplaces. Apprenticeship providers are also fundamental to this success and I’m so pleased that we are also able to recognise employers’ significant contributions to Apprenticeships with these awards.”
“A huge thank you also goes to Sigma, TIP, Skills Connect, Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation, Wakefield First and the Business Scale Up Programme, who have generously sponsored tonight’s awards,” added Lorraine.
11 awards were presented in total throughout the evening, including an ‘Apprentice of the Year’ Award for a range of sectors. A number of accolades were also awarded to local and national businesses, including:
- New Apprenticeship Employer of the Year 2023 (Sponsored by Sigma): Fairfield Homes (Northern)
- Small Apprenticeship Employer of the Year 2023 (Sponsored by Wakefield First): Kim’s Kiddicare
- Large Apprenticeship Employer or the Year 2023 (Sponsored by Wakefield First): Burberry Ltd
Callum Brooke, Maintenance Engineer at Burberry Ltd, said: “I’m delighted that Burberry’s commitment to promoting and delivering Apprenticeships has been recognised with this award. Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to earn whilst you learn and can create incredible career prospects. As a former apprentice myself of Wakefield College, I’m a big advocate of Apprenticeships and I’m extremely appreciative of the opportunities that my Apprenticeship gave me and how it kickstarted my career in Engineering.”
The winners of the individual Apprentice of the Year awards, were:
- Construction Apprentice of the Year 2023 (Sponsored by Skills Connect): Leon Sae Tan
- Professional Apprentice of the Year 2023 (Sponsored by Business Scale Up Programme): Michelle Hutchinson
- Health & Education Apprentice of the Year 2023 (Sponsored by Collaborative Apprenticeship Programme): Nina Borowik
- Engineering & Automotive Apprentice of the Year 2023 (Sponsored by TIP – Leeds and Knottingley sites): Madi Virr
- Business & Enterprise Apprentice of the Year 2023 (Sponsored by Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation): Adeela Afzal
- Heart of Yorkshire Education Group Apprentice of the Year 2023 (Sponsored by the Heart of Yorkshire Education Group): Chloe Smith
Chloe, a Business Administration Apprentice at the Heart of Yorkshire Education Group, said: “I’m over the moon to have won the Apprentice of the Year award for the Heart of Yorkshire Education Group. The thing I enjoy most about my Apprenticeship is working within a team of people who are supportive and that I can learn from. It’s also giving me experience of working in an office environment and in marketing and events planning, which I have really enjoyed. I hope to progress to a career in marketing following my Apprenticeship.”
Engineering Apprentice at Yorkshire Laser and Fabrication, Lucas Moon, was awarded the Special Recognition Award which acknowledges those who go above and beyond to promote Apprenticeships. Lucas was presented the accolade for the hard work and determination he showed during the WorldSkills UK Skills Weld 2022 competition, in which he finished 4th place.
Lucas said: “I was surprised when I heard that I had been nominated for the Special Recognition award. Doing an Apprenticeship is the best thing I’ve ever done, and I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to take part in the WorldSkills UK competition without it. I learnt a lot taking part in the competition including how to stick weld, which I can now apply day-to-day in my Apprenticeship. I hope to continue my career in Fabrication and Welding once I’ve completed my qualification this year.”
Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust was also presented with a Special Recognition Award, based on its track record of delivering successful Apprenticeship programmes with the Heart of Yorkshire Education Group.
This comes as the Group and the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust recruited their 100th Apprentice during National Apprenticeship Week.
Attendees of the awards enjoyed a two-course meal, whilst Higher Education Performing Arts student Jessie-Jo Logan performed a number of songs.
As part of its other activities throughout the week, the Heart of Yorkshire Education Group delivered Apprenticeship talks to schools across the region, including Barlby High School, Castleford Academy, Snaith High School, Madni Academy, Outwood Academy Freeston and The King’s School.
The talks aimed to promote the benefits of Apprenticeships to school pupils, prior to making their post-16 choices.
Find out more about the Heart of Yorkshire Education Group’s Apprenticeship offer here.