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Home > News > December 2006 > 13 December 2006

LSC launches Apprenticeship Awards

The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) has launched the 2007 Apprenticeship Awards.

Now in their fourth year, the Apprenticeship Awards are designed to recognise and applaud employers who are committed to developing the skills of their workforce through excellent Apprentice training programmes, and apprentices who have exceeded their employers' expectations by producing exceptional and measurable benefits or have overcome personal difficulties to succeed through their Apprenticeship.

Minister for Skills, Phil Hope MP, will officially opened the awards for entries by unveiling a film and photography exhibition about apprenticeships at the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) in London.

Speaking at last week's launch, Stephen Gardner, director of apprenticeships at the Learning and Skills Council said: "Today's exhibition is the perfect way to launch the 2007 Apprenticeship Awards as it illustrates just how far vocational education has come since the days when apprentices 'belonged' to their master. Today's apprentices are valued members of the workforce whose skills, effort and ideas are contributing directly to their employers' success.

"Recognising excellence is vital if investment in skills is seen as benefiting the nation. The calibre of entrants last year, 1100 in total, reinforces that Apprenticeships are now viewed as a highly respected alternative route to a successful career by young people and employers alike. The Awards provide us with the opportunity to recognise the outstanding contribution apprentices and employers are making, raising our country's skills levels and supporting our ability to compete on a global stage."

On launching the awards, minister for skills, Phil Hope MP said: "The Awards are a wonderful opportunity to celebrate what young people around the country are achieving every day. I congratulate all of last year's winners every one of whom achieved not just a qualification but have shown that when you put your mind to it you can achieve anything you want. Apprentices who complete their training successfully are likely to earn more, stay in their jobs longer and also make the successful leap into management.

"Apprenticeships are a huge success story, with numbers of apprentices up three and a half times since 1997, from 75,000 to over a quarter of a million today. This Government wants to go further so that in future all school leavers who meet the criteria will be entitled to an Apprenticeship place. Apprentices are their own best advertisement and these Awards will continue to showcase brilliant examples of young people who have developed the skills they and their employers need."

Employers are eligible to enter one of four categories depending on their company size; Micro (1-9 employees), Small (10-49 employees), Medium (50-249 employees) and Large (250+ employees). The LSC says employers are assessed on a number of criteria including implementation of the Apprenticeship programme, clear demonstration of the way Apprenticeships have benefited their business and the level of support provided to their apprentices.

There are three apprentice categories that are designed to recognise those whose contribution to the workplace has exceeded their employer's expectations by producing exceptional and measurable benefits; Apprentice of the Year, Advanced Apprentice of the Year and Young Apprentice of the Year.

A Personal Achievement award will also be awarded to an apprentice who has overcome a barrier or obstacle - personally or in the workplace - to achieve their goals and exceed expectations.

The LSC says there are currently over 259,000 apprentices working in over 130,000 organisations in England alone, across 80 different sectors of industry.

External link

To enter the Awards, or for more information, visit: www.apprenticeships.org.uk/awards. The deadline for entries is Friday 23rd February 2007.

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