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 delighted to introduce Oxfordshire Advanced Skills (OAS) as sponsor of the Training Provider Individual Award. Located at Culham Science Centre near Abingdon, OAS offers high quality training for apprentice engineers and technicians at technology businesses in the Thames Valley.
Here, Emma Johnstone, Operations Manager at OAS, explains why they have chosen to sponsor this award and what apprenticeships mean to OAS.
Why are you supporting the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards and why you have chosen to sponsor your particular category?
OAS is supporting the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards because we’re passionate about championing local talent, and it’s a great opportunity to celebrate some of the amazing skills we have right here in Oxfordshire!
This year we’re sponsoring the Training Provider Individual Award, which recognises staff working for local apprenticeship training organisations who go the extra mile to support and encourage learners and enable individuals to achieve their potential. We chose this category because, as an apprenticeship training provider ourselves, we know how much time and dedication it takes to deliver truly inspirational programmes that help learners at all levels to progress their careers and become the very best versions of themselves. We’re also committed to working collaboratively to help close the UK’s skills gap, so this felt like a great opportunity to help showcase the fantastic work of our fellow apprenticeship training providers in upskilling and reskilling the next generation of top talent in Oxfordshire.
Our learners tell us time and again that it’s the team around them that inspires them to exceed even their own expectations, so we’re excited to celebrate some of the people who are responsible for making such an important difference.
What are you looking for in the winner of your category?
We’re looking for someone who can demonstrate how they’ve really gone the extra mile to support and encourage apprentices at all stages of their programme, enabling them to fulfil their true potential. The person might be a tutor, a mentor or an assessor who has taken an innovative approach to keep apprentices and employers engaged, provided additional support to assist apprentices with specific needs, or really stepped up to help learners to successfully overcome a particular barrier or challenge.
Apprenticeships offer amazing benefits, but we know also know that lots of our apprentices say they couldn’t have achieved their goals and qualifications without particular people supporting them along that journey. If you’re one of those people, then we’d love to hear your story!
What would you say to anyone thinking about entering or nominating?
Successful apprenticeships depend on the skill, commitment and dedication of the teams who deliver them, day in and day out – we think it’s just as important to celebrate the people who are passing on their skills as it is to recognise and applaud the achievements of the apprentices that they’re training.
If you’re thinking of entering yourself, it’s a great opportunity to showcase your skills and achievements, get some recognition for your hard work and celebrate your successes, as well as providing you with a springboard to further your career.
For anyone considering nominating a colleague, you’ll be showing how much you have valued and benefitted from their contribution to your organisation. It’s also a great way to let other potential talent know that you’re a company that appreciates and invests in your employees.
And if you’re an apprentice, then there’s no better way to say thank you to someone whose support has made a difference to your learning journey than by telling the world how they’ve made your apprenticeship a better experience or helped you to achieve something you didn’t think you could.
Whichever camp you’re in, if you know someone who deserves to be recognised and celebrated for going the extra mile, then we say go for it!
Tell us about your organisation’s experience of Apprenticeships
The OAS training facility was specifically established to deliver the apprenticeships that will help to secure the future of the UK’s technology, engineering and manufacturing sectors, so we’re very vocal ambassadors for the amazing benefits they offer! We’re currently training over 200 apprentices who work for a huge range of employers throughout the Oxfordshire area and beyond, and we couldn’t be prouder of the positive impact each and every one of them is having on their teams and businesses. We also employ apprentices ourselves, and it’s a privilege to support and witness their journeys to become fully-fledged members of the team as they gain the skills and confidence they’ll need to be both professionally and personally successful.
Apprenticeships really are helping us to build the next generation of talent both within our own business and across some of the fastest growing sectors in Oxfordshire too. It’s a very exciting network to be part of.
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.
If you would like the opportunity to support the Awards, please get in touch.
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.