Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards 2022 set to launch this week, as Local Enterprise Partnership insist ‘Apprenticeships are more crucial now than ever’

The Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) have announced that the prestigious Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards are set to launch later this week, ahead of the 2022 awards – set to take place next May.

The awards will be launched and announced officially open for entries via @OxonApprentice on Twitter, as part of OxLEP Skills’ #OAHour (Oxfordshire Apprenticeships Hour) this Thursday (18 November) from 1pm.

The launch of the awards is set to engage previous winners, supporters and sponsors of the awards – alongside future winners – in celebrating the value of apprenticeships and the opportunity to recognise further success stories from around the county. 

The awards are set to take place as a live virtual event on Thursday 19 May 2022, following the success of the 2021 event – with a drinks reception for winners, sponsors and supporters of the awards to follow a week later. 

This year’s headline sponsor is The Fiona Wheeler Charitable Foundation, which was established in memory of Fiona Wheeler, co-founder of The Burnside Partnership. 

Fiona believed passionately in supporting young people in their careers and was instrumental in establishing The Burnside Partnership’s apprenticeship programme, which won the organisation the title of ‘Small Apprenticeship Employer of the Year’ at the 2018 awards. 

The Burnside Partnership’s first apprentice, Chloe Penniston, also won the inaugural Apprentice of the Year Award in 2017, attending the ceremony with Fiona. Chloe has joined the awards committee this year and will announce the winner of the overall ‘Apprentice of the Year Award’ at next year’s event. 

Accolades scheduled for the 2022 awards include: 

  • Intermediate Apprentice of the Year – sponsored by Abbott Diabetes Care
  • Advanced Apprentice of the Year – sponsored by NielsenIQ
  • Higher Apprentice of the Year – sponsored by Oxfordshire Advanced Skills
  • Special Recognition Award – sponsored by Blenheim & Pye Homes
  • Shining Star Award – sponsored by Integration Technology Ltd
  • School/College Engagement Employer of the Year Award – sponsored by Harwell Science and Innovation Campus
  • Apprenticeship Employer of the Year (less than 250 employees) – sponsored by Assure UK
  • Apprenticeship Employer of the Year (250+ employees) – sponsored by Oxford North
  • Careers Champion of the Year – sponsored by The Engineering Trust
  • Training Provider Individual of the Year – sponsored by Owen Mumford

Further official event sponsors and supporters include: Abingdon & Witney College, Darke & Taylor, High Spec Composites, JDE, Oxfordshire County Council, Oxford University Developments, Reaction Engines, the South East Apprenticeship Ambassador Network (SEAAN) and The Hill Group. 

Further details of the 2022 event will be announced by OxLEP in due course. 

Ahead of the awards launch, the chief executive of OxLEP has reflected upon the importance of celebrating apprenticeship 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 2022 Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards after the success of the 2021 event, despite the unprecedented impact of COVID-19.

“Eighteen months on, Coronavirus continues to have a tremendous impact on our business community, but it’s still important – perhaps now more than ever, 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.

“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 2022 edition of the awards will be the sixth time the event has been held, with previous events taking place at locations such as Blenheim Palace and Jurys Inn Oxford. 

To keep up with announcements surrounding the launch of this year’s Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards, follow @OxonApprentice and @OxLEPSkills on Twitter and look out for this week’s #OAHour from 1pm on Thursday (18 November), along with the official launch hashtag #OAAwards2022.  

Find out more about the 2022 Oxfordshire Apprenticeship award

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