Following-on from its most successful year yet, OxLEP has today (16 November) announced that nominations for the prestigious 2024 Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards are now open.
The awards – which has for close to a decade, celebrated all things apprenticeships in Oxfordshire – was launched earlier today as part of organisers OxLEP Skills’ Oxfordshire Apprenticeships Hour (#OAHour), its weekly social media-led focus on apprenticeships in the county and beyond.
Businesses, apprentices, education providers and champions of apprenticeships in Oxfordshire are now being encouraged to make their nominations for next year’s awards, which will – like the 2023 event – be held at the spectacular Williams Racing Conference Centre in Grove, taking place on 16 May.
WATCH: Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards 2023 highlights
The awards – which is now entering its eighth year – saw over 170 people come together in May to celebrate all things apprenticeships. Many more joined the event via a live-stream hosted on OxLEP’s website.
Supported by a business-led committee, the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards aims to champion work-based learning excellence across a breadth of sectors.
For 2024, the event will see nominations collated via a total of 12 categories, each showcasing a particular aspect of apprenticeships and celebrating what they bring to businesses and individuals alike.
The headline sponsor will select the Overall Apprentice of the Year from the winners of the five apprentice award categories.
The 2024 headline sponsor is Oxford North – a new, innovation district for the city, which will deliver one million sq.ft of labs and workspaces, alongside 480 new homes, a hotel, a nursery, further amenities and three new public parks and significant investment in sustainable travel.
The project has, to-date, created more than 450 new jobs and eight new apprenticeships.
OxLEP aims to ensure that the awards act as an ongoing inspiration to businesses, encouraging them to explore what an apprenticeship programme could bring to their company.
In addition to the overall awards sponsorship, each category also benefits from sponsorship via a range of companies.
A full list of the 2024 categories are as follows:
- Intermediate Apprentice of the Year – sponsored by Grundon Waste Management
- Advanced Apprentice of the Year – sponsored by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust
- Higher / Degree Apprentice of the Year – sponsored by Blenheim and 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
- Careers Champion Award – sponsored by The Engineering Trust
- Inspiring the Future Employer of the Year – sponsored by Oxford Professional Education
- Training Provider Individual Award – sponsored by NielsenIQ
- Apprenticeship Employer of the Year (<250 employees) – sponsored by Assure UK
- Apprenticeship Employer of the Year (250+ employees) – sponsored by Owen Mumford
Nominations for 2024 will close on 19 February next year and OxLEP are encouraging as many people to engage with the awards as possible, in particular, those who haven’t taken part in the awards previously.
Finalists will be announced on 18 April with further details of the 2024 event to be revealed by OxLEP in due course.
Ahead of the awards launch, OxLEP has reflected upon the importance of celebrating apprenticeships success, 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.
Sally Andreou – Skills Hub Manager at OxLEP – said: “The 2024 Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards offer the perfect moment to not only celebrate individual success and business success, but also inspire young people and employers across the county to begin their own apprenticeship journey – we therefore want to hear from as many Oxfordshire businesses as possible with wonderful, apprenticeship stories to tell.
“Apprenticeships provide local people with the opportunity to gain new skills and on-the-job experience, whilst earning a fair wage and obtaining an industry-specific qualification. They each offer fantastic training opportunities to talented individuals and benefit businesses too, with new ideas helping companies to stay ahead of their competitors.
“Our awards remain so important and continue to shine a light on the great work happening in Oxfordshire, delivered through apprenticeships.”
To keep up with announcements surrounding the launch of next year’s Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards, follow @OxLEPSkills and @OxonApprentice on Twitter and LinkedIn, and look out for #OAHour, along with the official launch hashtag #OAAwards2024.