The Awards will celebrate the achievements of the county’s Apprentices and recognise the huge contribution they make to the local economy across a wide range of organisations and sectors. They will also recognise schools, who play a crucial role in inspiring young people to consider and start an Apprenticeship, as well as training providers, who support and guide them through the programme.
Two new employer categories have been introduced for 2018 to champion large and small employers who offer exceptional Apprenticeship schemes locally.
Chloe Penniston, a Legal Services Apprentice at private client law firm The Burnside Partnership, was named Apprentice of the Year at the inaugural Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards in March this year. She has since become an Apprenticeship Ambassador, visiting schools and talking to young people and parents about the benefits of taking the Apprenticeship route into a legal career.
Chloe says: “Winning Oxfordshire Apprentice of the Year 2017 was such a fantastic experience, which I will never forget! The Burnside Partnership has helped me overcome so many fears and given me so much confidence in my work. I feel as though I have achieved so much over the course of my Apprenticeship and have learnt so many valuable lessons. Winning means the world to me and I cannot explain how happy and grateful I am. I believe the award is a true reflection of how great my Apprenticeship has been and I would honestly recommend Apprenticeships to everyone!”
Fiona Wheeler, Partner at The Burnside Partnership, said: “We were absolutely thrilled to have Chloe’s hard work recognised at such an amazing event. Chloe is an outstanding Apprentice and has worked tirelessly to build on her skills and knowledge and to contribute to our team. She has been such an excellent Apprentice that a number of the firm’s professional contacts who have met her are investigating taking on an Apprentice themselves.”
Witney-based Liga College, one of the UK’s leading Apprenticeship and skills providers, are headline sponsor of the awards, with Apprenticeship employers NatWest, Clarkson Evans, SST Technology, Barclays, Nielsen, The Apprenticeship & Training Company, Darke & Taylor and High Spec Composites also lending their support as category sponsors.
Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP), also a major sponsor of the awards, is encouraging local organisations to enter both themselves and their Apprentices.
Chief Executive Nigel Tipple says: “Apprenticeships offer young people the fantastic opportunity to earn whilst they learn; developing skills and putting them to use in a workplace environment as they work towards a specific, nationally recognised qualification. For businesses – it is a superb way of attracting fresh, new talent which may otherwise be lost to competitors. As a county we need to invest in skills to ensure we are equipped to maximise economic opportunities and continue to attract business to the county.”
Mr Tipple added that the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards will continue to play an essential role in raising the profile of Apprenticeships to both young people and the business community across the county.
He added: “The Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards highlights the excellent work performed by Apprentices, schools, training providers and employers, as well as their overall contribution to our local economy.
“We want everyone to know about the amazing experiences of Oxfordshire’s Apprentices and the exemplary work being done by employers to equip their workforce with essential new skills and qualifications.”
See www.oxfordshireapprenticeships.co.uk/awards for details of how to enter. The closing date for entries is midnight on Friday 1st December 2017.