National Apprenticeship Awards 2021 national winners unveiled

The 18th Annual National Apprenticeship Awards took place last night, Wednesday 1st December.

For the first time ever a hybrid event was hosted with finalists, sponsors, Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi and Minister for Skills Alex Burghart in attendance at 30 Euston Square, London. The event was also live streamed with family, friends and supporters from across the apprenticeship community able to join in the celebrations online.

Strictly Come Dancing and BBC star Dan Walker returned to host the Awards for a second year.

Apprentices, at all levels and from sectors including retail and commercial, digital and manufacturing, alongside employers from the science, public services and engineering and manufacturing sectors were announced as winners. Ten winners and 18 highly commended finalists were recognised from across all nine English regions.

The National Apprenticeship Awards shine the spotlight on business and individual success in apprenticeships, and how apprenticeships can boost business success and lead to dream careers.

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said:

I would like to pass on my personal congratulations to all the award winners and highly commended entries.

It was a pleasure to attend the ceremony, and to have the opportunity to take part in a celebration which recognises the very best apprenticeship employers and their dedicated and driven apprentices.

Apprenticeships are key to supporting the country to level up skills and opportunity, and recognising the commitment of these employers and individuals further highlights their importance.

The National Apprenticeship Awards 2021 winners and two highly commended in each category are:

National ResultCategoryEmployerRegion
WinnerThe BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT Award for SME Employer of the YearLander Automotive LtdWest Midlands
Highly CommendedThe BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT Award for SME Employer of the YearHiggins PartnershipsEast of England
Highly CommendedThe BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT Award for SME Employer of the YearMcCarrick Construction Co LtdNorth East
WinnerThe British Army Award for Large Employer of the YearWakefield Metropolitan District CouncilYorkshire and the Humber
Highly CommendedThe British Army Award for Large Employer of the YearGreat Ormond Street NHS TrustLondon
Highly CommendedThe British Army Award for Large Employer of the YearFlagship Housing GroupEast of England
WinnerThe Maersk Award for Macro Employer of the YearJ.C. Bamford Excavators LimitedWest Midlands
Highly CommendedThe Maersk Award for Macro Employer of the YearLloyds Banking GroupYorkshire and the Humber
Highly CommendedThe Maersk Award for Macro Employer of the YearRoyal NavySouth East
WinnerThe NCFE Award for Recruitment ExcellenceLabCorpYorkshire and the Humber
Highly CommendedThe NCFE Award for Recruitment ExcellenceGo-Ahead GroupLondon
Highly CommendedThe NCFE Award for Recruitment ExcellenceRoyal NavySouth East
National ResultCategoryRegionNameEmployer
WinnerThe Marshall Award for Intermediate Apprentice of the YearEast MidlandsGemma SmithWaitrose and Partners
Highly CommendedThe Marshall Award for Intermediate Apprentice of the YearSouth EastBen GraySlough Borough Council
Highly CommendedThe Marshall Award for Intermediate Apprentice of the YearSouth WestHenry PowellBarratt Developments PLC
WinnerThe BT Award for Advanced Apprentice of the YearLondonJessica LiddyGoogle
Highly CommendedThe BT Award for Advanced Apprentice of the YearWest MidlandsGavin ArcherJCB Earthmovers Ltd
Highly CommendedThe BT Award for Advanced Apprentice of the YearNorth EastEden McGlenUnipres (UK) Limited
WinnerThe Royal Navy Award for Higher or Degree Apprentice of the YearEast of EnglandAdam HearnBraintree Precision Components
Highly CommendedThe Royal Navy Award for Higher or Degree Apprentice of the YearNorth EastKate Todd-DavisRolls-Royce plc
Highly CommendedThe Royal Navy Award for Higher or Degree Apprentice of the YearNorth WestKhadija Al-SeliniIBM
WinnerThe Lloyds Banking Group Award for Rising StarWest MidlandsNihal DhillonJCB Excavators Ltd
Highly CommendedThe Lloyds Banking Group Award for Rising StarNorth WestCameron AckroydBentley Motors
Highly CommendedThe Lloyds Banking Group Award for Rising StarEast of EnglandErin MaciejewskiGlaxoSmithKline plc
WinnerThe Royal Air Force Award for Apprenticeship Champion of the YearNorth EastIan GreenNissan Motor Manufacturing
Highly CommendedThe Royal Air Force Award for Apprenticeship Champion of the YearEast of EnglandClaire WrightRose Builders
Highly CommendedThe Royal Air Force Award for Apprenticeship Champion of the YearSouth WestBecca ThurstonWessex Water

The National Apprenticeship Awards 2021 also recognised how employers and apprentices are contributing to business recovery and highlighting those who have shown their ongoing resilience as we move toward a post Covid-19 world through ‘Apprentices in Action’.

Apprentices submitted their stories, verified by their employer, as entries for this years’ Special Recognition Award in association with EY – with the winner announced as Paige Orwig from AstraZeneca.

When COVID-19 pandemic was declared and the UK went into lockdown, Paige Orwig was part of a team of Drug Metabolism Pharmacokinetic scientist’s whose work was considered by the government to be essential research for cancer research and as such, when lab work was required, scientists made the exceptional effort to continue to visit the site and carry out their work under extraordinary circumstances.

In April 2020 it was announced that AstraZeneca, GSK and the University of Cambridge would be collaborating to build a lighthouse COVID-19 testing lab. Paige immediately volunteered for this opportunity, willing to put her time, effort and expertise into the fight against this global pandemic.

Within her main role in sample preparation Paige quickly established herself as an organised, professional and extremely capable scientist and within weeks was assigned as deputy team lead for her sample preparation room.

Paige adjusted her study time around her new role, and through all the adversity was successful in her Chemistry Foundation Degree in Chemical Sciences at the University of Kent as well the SIAS Laboratory Scientist Level 5 Apprenticeship with a distinction.

Paige’s exceptional and voluntary support of the Cambridge COVID-19 Test Centre shows her passion for science and improving the lives of patients across all disease areas. Paige quickly became an integral member of the team at the test centre and her hard work posed as an inspiration to her colleagues and fellow apprentices.

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