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National Apprenticeship Awards shortlist revealed

The UK’s top apprentices and their employers have been revealed by the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS).

Finalists for this year’s National Apprenticeship Awards include an engineer for defence firm BAE Systems and a museum in the West Midlands.

The shortlist for the awards, which are now in their seventh annual year, closely follows the government’s announcement to increase the number of Apprenticeship places by 50,000.

Simon Waugh, chief executive of the NAS, said: “This year we received a record 1,300 nominations from across England in a range of industry sectors, showing the breadth and opportunities available through Apprenticeships.

“An additional 50,000 places will offer more people the chance to succeed and give more employers the chance to come on board and find out what Apprenticeships have to offer.”

Finalists for the National Apprenticeship Awards are:

Young Apprentice of the Year

  • Jack Hall, work placement with Gateshead College, North East


  • Luke Jennings, work placement with Burlington’s New ID Hairdressers, West Midlands


  • Todd Lowndes, work placement with Grosvenor Pulford Hotel and Spa, North West

Apprentice of the Year

  • Holly Manley, Superdrug, National Employers Service finalist


  • Joel Dowse, City of Lincoln Council, East of England


  • Kirstie Woodford, Stormont Truck and Van Ltd, East of England

Advanced Apprentice of the Year

  • Melinda Leishman, Commercial Utility Brokers Ltd, East of England


  • Philippa Wilson, BAE Systems Ltd, National Employers Service finalist


  • Sunè Brunton, Martins Foods Limited, North West

Micro Employer of the Year

  • Contemporary Flowers, South East


  • Cox of Torbay, South West


  • Cutz Both Ways, East of England

Small Employer of the Year

  • Michael & Margaret Naylor & Associates, Yorkshire & Humber


  • M.K Wildin & Sons Ltd, South West


  • Royal Airforce Museum Cosford, West Midlands

Medium Employer of the Year

  • Kawasaki Precision Machinery (UK) Ltd, South West


  • Rosy Apple Childcare Ltd, North West


  • Shearline Precision Engineering Ltd, East of England

Large Employer of the Year

  • Bramall Construction, Yorkshire & the Humber


  • City of Lincoln Council, East Midlands


  • Skandia UK, South East

Macro Employer of the Year

  • Barchester Healthcare Ltd, National Employer Service finalist


  • Rolls- Royce, East Midlands


  • Sellafield Ltd, North West

On being a finalist for Macro Employer of the Year, Graham Schuhmacher, head of learning services at engineering group Rolls-Royce, said: “Our Apprenticeship programme is extremely successful, attracting a high calibre of applicant. One of the things that makes this possible is the work of our incredible team – people from across the business who invest time and effort to help our apprentices thrive at Rolls-Royce. Our apprentices are a strong advertisement for the company and bring a wide range of benefits.

“We are thrilled to be recognised through the Apprenticeship Awards and are looking forward to the final ceremony.”

The winners will be announced at the Park Plaza Hotel, Westminster, on July 15.

Susannah Fairbairn

(Pictured: L-R: Chris Keane and Steve Mitchell of Rolls-Royce)

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