Apprentice awards launch

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FIRMS across the county are being called upon to enter themselves and their apprentices in the National Apprenticeship Awards.

With just two weeks left to the enter, the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) is encouraging employers to enter the awards and celebrate the nation’s top apprentices and apprenticeship employers.

Last year’s south east regional champions included 12 winning organisations offering apprenticeships as diverse as car manufacturing, care, hairdressing and dentistry.

Rachel McKellar, regional deputy director from the National Apprenticeship Service, said:“Apprenticeships are vital because they encourage ambition, help individuals develop fulfilling careers, drive competitiveness and fuel economic growth across the south east. The National Apprenticeship Awards are a real opportunity for employers and individuals to gain recognition across the south east and the country that they richly deserve for their commitment to apprenticeships and traineeships, and the hugely positive example they set for other individuals and organisations to follow.”

In 2013, Vicky Jones (pictured right), an apprentice at Hastings Borough Council was named as one of the south east’s best apprentices in the regional final.

Vicky said: “Becoming an apprentice completely changed my life. After leaving school as a teenage mum it has given me the opportunity to build a career. Now I want to offer guidance to young people in a similar situation to mine. Receiving this award is a great honour, and hopefully an inspiration for others too, because it shows that anything is possible.”

Winning employers will feature in the annual Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list, produced by the NAS and City & Guilds.

The 2014 list will be announced in November.