The National Apprenticeship Awards ceremonies will be broadcast online for the first time in 17 years, it was announced by the Government.
This change, according to Director of Apprenticeships, Education and Skills Funding Agency Peter Mucklow, will enable “an even wider audience” to view and celebrate the success of apprentices in a particularly challenging year. This virtual ceremony system includes both the regional and national ceremonies, according to Gov.UK.
The window to submit entries is open until 25th September, and once the winners have been decided, virtual ceremonies will be held at a national and regional level to recognise and celebrate the hard work of apprentices and employers in particularly complex circumstances.
The categories this year for the awards are separated into Employer of the Year and Apprentice of the Year subcategories.
The Employer of the Year awards consists of four awards, divided by the size of the company, with SME (Small/Medium-sized Enterprises) Employer of the Year (less than 250 employees), Large Employer of the Year (less than 5000 employees) and Macro Employer of the Year (Over 5000 employees) award honours being celebrated.
As well as this, there is a special award for Recruitment Excellence, for companies that have recruited a high quality and diverse workforce of apprentices.
The Apprentice of the Year awards are separated by level, based on the qualification the apprentice is studying towards. There are awards for Intermediate Level (or Level 2), Advanced Level (or Level 3), as well as Higher or Degree Level (Level 4 or higher qualifications).
Along with these, there is also the Rising Star award and the Apprentice Champion. The Rising Star is an award which recognises the potential and excellent progress made by an apprentice to date. Finally, there is the Apprentice Champion, which is awarded to people who champion apprenticeships and is nominated by a colleague or contact.
The National Apprenticeship Awards is in its 17th year and celebrates apprentices and apprentice and employers at all levels and in all sectors from commercial procurement and supply apprenticeships to healthcare, science, engineering and education, who have taken a unique direct path to their chosen career.
This year is a particularly poignant year for celebrating the achievement of apprentices, as they have not only had to face the challenges of learning a new role but have had to do so amidst the current circumstances. All apprentices learning amidst this current landscape have gone above and beyond, and the on-going commitment by both apprentices and employers has been exceptionally encouraging.
The virtual ceremony structure will be particularly interesting, as previously the ceremony coverage has been limited to highlights and reports from the event. This will enable a potential national and international audience to see the amazing achievements of employers and remarkable individuals alike as they are recognised for their diligence and commitment.
To enter a candidate for the National Apprenticeship Awards, please visit appawards.co.uk. Entries close on 25th September, with regional ceremonies taking place on the week commencing 2nd November, and the national ceremony taking place on Wednesday 25th November.