People & Skills Projects - 29 January 2015

Nottinghamshire Celebrates Apprenticeship Success

A Graduation style celebration is planned for a ceremony on 20 March 2015 at the Albert Hall, Nottingham, for the hundreds of apprentices from across the city and county to come together, along with their parents, employers and training providers, to celebrate the achievement of Higher and Advanced apprentices.

The Nottinghamshire Apprenticeship Graduation Ceremony is being delivered by a Nottinghamshire Consortium after government funding was recently awarded to the EMFEC Group; one of 19 successful organisations in the country to win a grant to plan and host a ceremony.

Paul Eeles, Chief Executive of the EMFEC Group said: “We are delighted to be hosting this event, which will celebrate the enormous success and achievement of Higher and Advanced apprentices across Nottinghamshire.

“Every single person who has completed an Apprenticeship can be proud of what they have achieved. It is important that success is rewarded to encourage others to aspire to greater things, and that is what this ceremony will do.

“This ceremony will also help to raise the profile of Apprenticeships and highlight how undertaking an Apprenticeship can lead to a successful future.”

Calling all Nottinghamshire Advanced and Higher apprentices – if you completed your Apprenticeship between 1 January 2014 and 31 January 2015 and you are either a resident or are employed by a Nottinghamshire business. All eligible Nottinghamshire apprentices have been invited via their training provider but individuals can register direct at

An Apprenticeship Story…

Choosing to become an apprentice after leaving school, rather than following the more traditional ‘A level’ route into HE, has certainly paid off for Danielle Bannister (22), from Central College Nottingham, who  is now celebrating securing her new role with Rolls-Royce. Speaking about her time at Central College, Danielle said “The whole experience was great because I enjoyed what I was learning and then producing. The NVQ 3 qualification and the HNC were run at a pace that enabled me to learn what I’ve needed to know about engineering, as I needed it. The tutors at Central College have all been amazing over the five years I’ve been studying.”

In Nottinghamshire and Nottingham City for 2012/13 there were over 12,000 Apprenticeship starts, a figure that has increased year on year from 2005/6.

Karen Riley, Deputy Director, Skills Funding Agency said: “Apprenticeships are thriving in Nottinghamshire and Nottingham City and it’s easy to see why. Nearly every employer that takes on an apprentice (96%) reports benefits to their business and this is testimony to the important role they have to play in the country’s economic recovery. And after finishing, most apprentices (86%) will stay in employment with two thirds (67%) staying with the same employer.

“These graduation ceremonies highlight the quality and range of Advanced and Higher apprentices. Higher Apprenticeships are available at a range of levels, from the equivalent of a Foundation Degree to a Bachelor’s degree and even Master’s degree level in some sectors. More of these specialised and highly-skilled Apprenticeships are being offered each year, giving individuals the chance to continue their professional development and fully realise their potential.”

The graduation ceremony grants have been managed by the Association of Colleges (AoC) and Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP), on behalf of  the Skills Funding Agency. Grant amounts account for around 60% of total event costs with the remainder made up of sponsorship and local area funding.

The Graduation Consortium members included:

East Midlands Chamber; EMFEC Group; Futures Limited; Nottingham City Council;and Nottinghamshire Training Network.

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