Worcestershire LEP Chair, Mark Stansfeld 30 Nov:

As I have mentioned over the last few weeks in my column, last week we held the Worcestershire Apprenticeships Awards after a yearlong break.

For those who are not aware of the Worcestershire Apprenticeships Awards, they are the creation of the Worcestershire LEP and County Council to celebrate all those involved in making apprenticeships a success in the county. The awards also help to promote the success available through the apprenticeship route, encouraging other people and businesses to utilise apprenticeships.

The awards have been held on a yearly basis, but in 2020 this was not possible due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year however, the team delivered the awards in a new virtual format, split across three evenings.

This new approach took place last week and I am delighted to say that the feedback we have received has been fantastic. We currently have over 600 views across the three broadcast videos making this year’s awards the most engaged with Worcestershire Apprenticeships Awards ever.

Part of this year’s new format was the theme of struggling to recruit, with sections of the three celebration broadcasts used to discuss how businesses and people can use apprenticeships as a long-term solution to the recruitment challenges they are facing or may face in the future. Our finalists were key examples of how organisations can use apprenticeships as part of their succession planning to create their future workforce and avoid these challenges in the future.

Special congratulations to our two overall winners of the Worcestershire Apprentice of the Year award, Eleanor Steel and Worcestershire Apprenticeship Employer of the Year, Platform Housing Group.

However, I would like to take this moment to also say congratulations to all of our finalists, this is a remarkable achievement and you all should be proud of the work you are doing to promote that apprenticeships work.

If you are interested in the Worcestershire Apprenticeships Awards and would like to catch-up on this year’s awards or would like to find out more about becoming or hiring an apprentice, visit their website. – www.worcsapprenticeships.org.uk