With this year’s National Apprenticeship Weekwell underway, the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership Skills Team (OxLEP Skills) are today encouraging businesses, apprentices, and training providers to highlight their great work ahead of a key deadline for this year’s Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards.
Created and led by OxLEP Skills, the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards offers individuals and organisations from around the county the opportunity to highlight the positive role apprenticeships have had on them.
Now in its eighth year, the awards have become an established occasion in the county’s business calendar, seeing dozens of inspiring individuals, businesses and training providers showcase their excellence in the field of apprenticeships.
Those looking to make a nomination for this year’s awards have until midnight on Monday 19 February to complete the process.
Since its first event in 2017, the awards have created a significant platform to highlight the importance of apprenticeships within the Oxfordshire economy and its wider labour market, as well as the opportunities that such schemes can bring to young people and those looking to re-engage with employment opportunities.
This year’s Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards will take place on Thursday 16 May at the spectacular Williams F1 Conference Centre in Grove, with many key Oxfordshire business leaders set to attend the event.
Previous awards have taken place at venues including Jurys Inn Oxford and Blenheim Palace.
There are 12 categories open to entries from apprentices, businesses and training providers, with a thirteenth award – an overall apprentice of the year, sponsored by headline sponsor Oxford North – announced at the awards night itself.
Below is a list of the 2024 award categories and their respective sponsors:
Intermediate Apprentice of the Year – sponsored by Grundon
Advanced Apprentice of the Year – sponsored by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust
Higher/Degree Apprentice of the Year – sponsored by Blenheim & Pye Homes
Special Recognition Award – sponsored by Milestone Infrastructure
Rising Star Award – sponsored by Abbott Diabetes Care
Shining Star Award – sponsored by IST INTECH
Apprenticeship Ambassador Award – sponsored by Hill
Apprenticeship Employer of the Year (less than 250 employees) – sponsored by Assure UK
Apprenticeship Employer of the Year (250 or more employees) – sponsored by Owen Mumford
Inspiring the Future Employer of the Year – sponsored by Oxford Professional Education
Careers Champion Award – sponsored by The Engineering Trust
Training Provider Individual Award – sponsored by NielsenIQ
Other sponsors for this year’s awards include: Darke & Taylor, High Spec Composites, South East Apprenticeship Ambassador Network, Williams Racing, Abingdon & Witney College, Activate Apprenticeships, Jonas Software, Olamalu Web Technology Experts, Oxfordshire Advanced Skills, Oxfordshire County Council, Siemens Healthineers and University of Oxford.
Sally Andreou – Skills Hub Manager at OxLEP – said: “The Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards continue to offer apprentices, businesses and training providers a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate the positive role apprenticeships have had on them and we would encourage as many individuals and organisations as possible to complete their nominations as soon as they can.
“Through the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards, we hope that we can continue to show businesses the value of apprenticeships, as well as demonstrating that there has never been a better time to engage with such opportunities, given the level of support and advice available.”
The awards represent just one part of OxLEP Skills’ commitment to supporting apprenticeship provision in Oxfordshire.
The Social Contract programme is a £1.7million programme of activity funded by the government’s Contain Outbreak Management Fund via Oxfordshire County Council and led by OxLEP Skills.
The programme aims to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic related to the impacts of health and wellbeing through unemployment, barriers to employment, education and training.
Sally added: “Our apprenticeship levy pledge scheme as part of our ‘Social Contract’ programme is just one example of where businesses can access support and funding to take on an apprentice – or for bigger organisations currently under-utilising their levy, play a part in pledging their unused funds to support apprenticeships elsewhere within the county.
“We would encourage any businesses who have yet to engage with apprenticeships to get in contact with our skilled Apprenticeship Advisors.”