Pictured: Finalists from the 2019 awards, this year's awards took place digitally.
Dozens of business leaders, apprentices and education providers gathered around their laptops and tablets earlier today (3 November) for the online launch of the 2021 Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards, just weeks after the rescheduled 2020 event took place.
The launch – which was held digitally due the current COVID-19 pandemic – was led by event organisers the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP Skills) and saw previous winners, apprentices, businesses and education providers from right across the county come together to celebrate the value of apprenticeships.
The breakfast event witnessed a guest panel share their experiences and advice on apprenticeships, as well as highlighting where previous investment – secured by OxLEP in recent years – has supported the provision of such schemes.
Guest speakers included the 2020 Oxfordshire Apprentice of Year, Teya Agnese – an Apprentice Clinical Trial Support Officer from the University of Oxford – as well as further contributions from Thames Valley Police, Ignite Sport UK, Oxford BioMedica and event sponsor High Spec Composites.
Further details of the 2021 event will be announced by OxLEP in due course.
Accolades scheduled for next year’s awards include:
- Intermediate Apprentice of the Year
- Advanced Apprentice of the Year
- Higher Apprentice of the Year
- Special Recognition Award
- Shining Star Award
- Apprenticeship Champion Award
- School Award
- School Engagement Employer Award
- Apprenticeship Employer of the Year (less than 50 employees)
- Apprenticeship Employer of the Year (less than 250 employees)
- Apprenticeship Employer of the Year (250+ employees)
Ahead of the awards launch, the chief executive of OxLEP reflected upon the importance of celebrating apprenticeships success – despite the severe challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic – not only highlighting to young people what an apprenticeship could bring to them, but also, why it’s vitally important to continue to garner business support across Oxfordshire for such schemes.
Nigel Tipple – Chief Executive of OxLEP – said: “We are delighted to be able to launch the 2021 Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards so soon after the 2020 event, despite the ongoing impact of COVID-19.
“Clearly, Coronavirus has created an unprecedented situation for our business community, but it’s still important that we encourage businesses to consider creating apprenticeship schemes and inform them of the support that is available. “Discovering young talent through apprenticeship schemes can really help organisations to ‘stay ahead’ of competitors and – in-turn – support young people to gain great qualifications too.
“Back in July, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that companies would be encouraged to create apprenticeship schemes, being awarded £2,000 per placement, with companies also able to receive £1,500 per apprentice for those over the age of 25.
“We hope the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards can help to show businesses the value of apprenticeships and that it has never been a better time to engage given the support that is available to them.”
The 2021 edition of the awards will be the fifth time the event has been held, with previous events taking place at locations such as Blenheim Palace and Jurys Inn Oxford.
Watch the launch event: