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Celebrating Talent and Diversity – BAME Apprenticeship Awards 2020

Cindy Rampersaud, Senior Vice President BTEC and Apprenticeships, Pearson

Last Wednesday evening the sector came together to recognise and celebrate the talent of BAME Apprentices at the UK’s first BAME Apprenticeship Awards, created to showcase the outstanding work and achievement of apprentices from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups to inspire BAME talent to reach their full potential. The Awards also gave us an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the employers and training providers across the UK who are leading the way in championing the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Against this backdrop the celebration of BAME Apprentices has real meaning and resonance – providing an opportunity to showcase talent, creating role models and inspirational leaders of the future. That is why we at Pearson are so proud to be a long-term sponsor of the BAME Apprenticeships Awards; our mission is to provide access and progression for all through learning, helping individuals realise their potential, ambition and aspirations.

We know that there is currently an underrepresentation of BAME apprentices across all levels and sectors in our economy. We also know that careers and skills landscapes were changing before COVID-19 – and, as with so many things, the pandemic has accelerated this. The make-up of the workforce and careers is going to continue to change and evolve in the coming months and years with greater automation, a shift to digital enabled roles and transformation happening across many business sectors. Apprenticeships will continue to play a vital role as we recover from the disruption of COVID and we need to ensure that BAME talent are able to access opportunities as we move forward.

During the awards we heard about the incredible talent and achievement of some of the 100 apprentices who were shortlisted this year across a wide range of industry categories, including Accounting and Finance, Digital and Technology and Transport and Logistics as well as employers and learning providers.

Kimmy Kimani winner of Apprentice of the Year Award 2020

The overall Apprentice of the Year Award went to Kimmy Kimani a L3 Business Administration Apprentice from Milton Keynes College, an award-winning content creator on YouTube and U.N ambassador for U.N sustainable development initiatives. Kimmy will be an inspiration to future BAME talent and it is important we work together as a sector to increase the visibility of BAME success in Apprenticeships and other educational pathways.

The BAME Apprenticeship Awards are a valuable platform to highlight the achievement of employers who are committed to creating a more inclusive environment where all people irrespective of background can flourish, realise their ambition and reach their potential. Thrive Law and Great Ormond Street Hospital, who were awarded Small Employer of the Year and Large Employer of the Year, are leaders in their commitment and approach to championing inclusion, diversity and equality in the workplace.

Huge congratulations yet again to all the participants, the nominees, and winners for taking part in these awards and to Kasim Choudhry and his team at ThinkFest for all of the work in making these awards happen.

Cindy Rampersaud, Senior Vice President BTEC and Apprenticeships, Pearson

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