Award Categories


The Kickstart Scheme / Apprenticeship

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This scheme was designed to create high quality 6-month work placements for young people aged 16-24, who were claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term employment.

This award seeks entries from either the apprentice or employer for anyone who has joined the Kickstart scheme since inception.

We would like to hear about your journey to date and also if you were successful in securing an apprenticeship or employment on completion of the 6 month placement.

COVID Hero

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Many businesses have been required to make fundamental changes with their products, service and staff to meet the demands of the market, whilst facing a time of economic uncertainty.

This award recognises apprentices who have adapted to business during the global pandemic, to assist their company through the crisis.

Who do you know that has shown incredible spirit in adapting and overcoming challenges?

SME Employer of the Year

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Open to a business with (1-249) employees offering apprenticeships. Firstly give an overview of the apprenticeship programme(s) you offer, the number of apprentices you employ and the apprenticeship training pathway within your organisation or training provider.
  1. Provide evidence of the benefits that the apprenticeships have brought to the organisation as well as how the apprentices benefit from training with your organisation.
  2. Detail what you think makes your apprenticeship programme(s) better than the rest.
  3. Demonstrate your on-going commitment to providing opportunities to apprentices and plans for the future of the apprenticeship programme(s).

Rising Star

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The Rising Star Award seeks to recognise apprentices that have made impressive progress in their career to date and have the potential to go even further.

To be eligible the apprentice being nominated must either:

  • Be on an apprenticeship scheme before June 2020 at any level
  • Completed their apprenticeship within the last 3 years since June 2018

Large Employer of the Year

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Open to a business with 250+ employees offering apprenticeships. Firstly give an overview of the apprenticeship programme(s) you offer, the number of apprentices you employ and your partnership with the training provider.
  1. Provide evidence of the benefits that the apprenticeships have brought to the organisation as well as how the apprentices benefit from training with your organisation.
  2. Detail what you think makes your apprenticeship programme(s) better than the rest.
  3. Demonstrate your on-going commitment to providing opportunities to apprentices and plans for the future of the apprenticeship programme(s).

Diversity & Inclusion Award

Open to employers who embrace equality and diversity in their Apprenticeship programme.
We are searching for the excellent commitment an employee has made to actively develop an inclusive workplace for apprenticeships – where fairness, respect, equality, dignity, and autonomy are at the forefront of their values and promoted as part of their everyday goals and behaviour.
  • Provide evidence of how your organisation embraces equality and diversity with their apprentices
  • Entries should include testimonials from apprentices

Training Provider/Programme of the Year

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The winner of this category can be a college, organisation or business that provides apprenticeship training courses. Entries should include details of how they meet the criteria below:
  1. Show how your organisation effectively works with a range of employers (if applicable) to offer quality training courses.
  2. Demonstrate ways in which apprentices can gain qualifications and develop skills through the schemes that you offer.
  3. Entries should include testimonials from apprentices or employers that have used your services.

Mentor of the Year

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This category is for an individual who has helped and inspired apprentices in the first steps in their careers. Mentors can be the line manager or someone within the organisation that has contributed to the individual’s development. Entries should be completed by either the apprentice or the mentor and should include information on how they meet the criteria below:
  1. Mentors will have had a positive impact on the personal and professional development of the apprentice.
  2. Judges will be looking for evidence of the commitment the mentor has to aiding personal development.
  3. Mentors will be approachable and accessible and understand how best to support their mentee.
If the entry is completed by the mentor, an additional 300 word testimonial from at least one apprentice should also be submitted detailing the support and guidance they have received.

Higher or Degree Apprentice of the Year

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Degree apprenticeships are offered by some universities. The aim is for students to achieve a full bachelor's or master's degree as part of their apprenticeship. Higher apprenticeships provide an opportunity to gain Level 4 qualifications or above, with most apprentices gaining an NVQ Level 4, HND, or foundation degree. Some offer the opportunity to progress to Level 7 (which is postgraduate degree level). Higher and Degree apprenticeships are employed throughout the programme, and spend part of their time at studying and the rest with their employer
  • Provide evidence of qualifications gained and/or aiming towards
  • Demonstrate your commitment to working with an employer whilst studying

Intermediate Apprentice of the Year

Intermediate/advanced apprenticeships are designed to train a school leaver for work. There is a focus on imparting key employability skills, as well as more specific training for a job within a company. Apprentices will be enrolled on an apprenticeship scheme before June 2020. An intermediate will be studying for a NVQ level 2 or 3 apprenticeship, is the first level of the modern apprenticeship. Intermediate apprentices work full-time with an employer, and spend time studying towards qualifications at a college or training provider.
  • Provide evidence of your training either in-house or with an external training provider
  • Provide evidence of qualifications gained and/or aiming towards
  • Demonstrate our commitment to working with an employer and study

Business & Law Apprentice of the Year

Open to apprentices working within either the Business Professional or Legal/Law sector. The entry should be completed by either the apprentice or their employer and have been been enrolled on an apprenticeship scheme before June 2020.
  • Judges will be looking for the contribution that the individual has made throughout their apprenticeship showing their commitment and attitude to the role.
  • Entries should also detail the qualifications that the apprentice is working towards achieving.
  • Entries should show evidence of outstanding achievement through the quality of work carried out, such as quotes from clients and staff, statistics and performance reviews.

Health & Public Service Apprentice of the Year

Open to apprentices working within either the Health or Public Service Sector The entry should be completed by either the apprentice or their employer and have been been enrolled on an apprenticeship scheme before June 2020.
  • Judges will be looking for the contribution that the individual has made throughout their apprenticeship showing their commitment and attitude to the role.
  • Entries should also detail the qualifications that the apprentice is working towards achieving.
  • Entries should show evidence of outstanding achievement through the quality of work carried out, such as quotes from clients and staff, statistics and performance reviews.

Engineering/Manufacturing Apprentice of the Year

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Open to apprentices working within the Engineering or Manufacturing sector. The entry should be completed by either the apprentice or their employer. Apprentices will be enrolled on an apprenticeship scheme before June 2020.
  • Judges will be looking for the contribution that the individual has made throughout their apprenticeship showing their commitment and attitude to the role.
  • Entries should show evidence of outstanding achievement through the quality of work carried out, such as quotes from clients and staff, statistics and performance reviews.
  • We would also like to hear about the qualifications that the apprentice is working towards achieving or achieved to date.