The seventh annual Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards will once again shine a spotlight on our county’s apprentices - and the businesses and organisations, training providers and schools that support their journey - recognising the huge contribution they make to our county’s economy at a special awards ceremony on Thursday 18 May 2023 at Williams F1 Conference Centre.
We're honoured to introduce The Fiona Wheeler Charitable Foundation as a sponsor of the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards 2023. The Foundation was established in memory of Fiona Wheeler, co-founder of west Oxfordshire based boutique client law firm The Burnside Partnership. Fiona sadly died in December 2019 aged only 35 after a long and courageous battle with illness.
Fiona believed passionately in supporting young people in their careers and was instrumental in establishing The Burnside Partnership's apprenticeship programme. The firm won the Small Apprenticeship Employer of the Year at the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards in 2019 and went on to sponsor the category. Their first Apprentice Chloe won the inaugural Apprentice of the Year in 2017, attending the ceremony with Fiona and subsequently becoming an Apprenticeship Ambassador with OxLEP Skills. The Foundation was the headline sponsor of the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards 2022.
Tell us why you’re supporting the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards and what it means to you to be a sponsor
We are supporting the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards on behalf of the Fiona Wheeler Charitable Foundation.
Fiona was very supportive of apprenticeships and was a huge fan of the awards, having attended the Oxfordshire Apprenticeships first ever awards evening. Fiona along with Anna Burnside nominated Chloe (their apprentice at the time) for the Advance Apprenticeship of the Year. Chloe went on to win this and also the Apprentice of the Year award in 2017. Therefore, this means a lot to both our firm and also the Foundation as Fiona was a key part of this.
Being a sponsor in the name of Fiona’s charity means that we can continue to support brilliant apprentices as Fiona would have loved to have done that. The awards are a great way of celebrating great apprentices and spotlighting all of their achievements and hard work.
What would you say to anyone thinking about entering or nominating?
We would encourage anyone thinking about entering or nomination someone for the awards to go for it. Entering the awards or being nominated is a great way of celebrating you or any apprentice who you think deserves to be recognised for their achievements and exceptional work.
It is also a brilliant opportunity to acknowledge an individual’s development during their apprenticeship and their potential to exceeding in their future of learning and work.
Tell us about your organisation’s experience of Apprenticeships
Our joint Founder, Fiona Wheeler, was a great believer in the potential of youngsters to shine in the legal professional and was instrumental in establishing us as an Apprenticeship employer. Her faith was rewarded when our first Apprentice won Oxfordshire Apprentice of the Year. That Apprentice continues with us as a very successful and highly valued trainee Legal Executive. In 2019 we were delighted to be named as Oxfordshire Apprentice Small Employer of the Year. Paralegal Apprenticeships offer a great career path through the Law and we love the energy, enthusiasm, up -to-date legal knowledge and professionalism that Apprentices bring to their roles at The Burnside Partnership.
About the Awards
The awards will be open for entries and nominations until midnight on the evening of Friday 17 February 2023. Finalists will be announced during Oxfordshire Apprenticeships Hour (hashtag #OAHour) on Twitter @OxonApprentice from 13:00 on Thursday 20 April 2023. Winners will be announced at a special awards ceremony on Thursday 18 May 2023.
Join us for Oxfordshire Apprenticeships Hour (#OAHour) on Twitter @OxonApprentice from 13:00 every Thursday for latest on the Awards and join in the conversation using the hashtag #OAAwards2023.
If you would like the opportunity to support the Awards, please get in touch.
Pictured above is Fiona Wheeler with Chloe Penniston, Oxfordshire Apprentice of the Year 2017.