The search is now on to find the country’s top apprentices and Apprenticeship employers.

The Awards, which are run by the National Apprenticeship Service, are now open for entries to compete to be named ‘the best of the best’ on a regional and national level.

Skills and Enterprise Minister, Matthew Hancock said: 

“Apprenticeships are vital because they encourage ambition, help individuals develop fulfilling careers, drive competitiveness and fuel economic growth.

“The National Apprenticeship Awards are a real opportunity for employers and individuals to gain the recognition they richly deserve for their commitment to Apprenticeships, and the hugely positive example they set for other individuals and organisations to follow.”

Last year winners included former IT apprentice Chloe Gailes from Barclays, who was crowned City & Guilds National Apprenticeship Champion of the Year 2013.

Chloe said:

“The Barclays Apprenticeship has proved to be an excellent platform for the progression of my career, allowing me to join a company where progression opportunities are abundant.

“Over the course of the Apprenticeship I have done as much as I can to spread the word about how you can earn while you learn on an Apprenticeship.

“I am very proud to have done an Apprenticeship and I want to pass on my experience and knowledge to others.

“Winning this title means I can build on the fantastic job the 2012 champion, Jenny Westworth from BAE Systems has done, and it will enable me to support the growth of Apprenticeships, becoming a role model for other apprentices.”

Walter Smith Fine Foods, from Birmingham, scooped the Nuclear Decommissioning Site Licence Companies Medium Employer of the Year 2013 accolade.

Paul Cadman, HR Director of Walter Smith Fine Foods said:

“Apprenticeships bring a myriad benefits to our business.  By training apprentices on and off the job we are able to mould and shape them in the ways we want and need them to behave.  They become Walter Smith people who know our business and all of our shop managers were once apprentices themselves.”

For the fourth year running the very best employer category entries will also have the additional bonus of featuring in the annual Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list, which is produced by the National Apprenticeship Service in partnership with City & Guilds.  The 2014 list will be announced at the prestigious National Apprenticeship Awards ceremony in November.

The apprentice categories for the 2014 awards are:

  • Intermediate Apprentice of the Year
  • Advanced Apprentice of the Year
  • Higher Apprentice of the Year
  • City & Guilds Apprenticeship Champion of the Year

The employer categories for the 2014 awards are:

  • Small Employer of the Year
  • Medium Employer of the Year
  • Large Employer of the Year
  • Macro Employer of the Year
  • Newcomer – Small to Medium sized employers
  • Newcomer – Large employers

To find out more about how to enter the National Apprenticeship Awards visit the Awards section of the website.

Entries close on Friday 28 March 2014