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Award Winners 2021

The 18th Annual National Apprenticeship Awards took place on Wednesday 1st December 2021.

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.

You can find out more about our 2021 national winners below.

Your Winners

Lander Automotive Ltd
The BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT Award for SME Employer of the Year

Lander Automotive Ltd are an automotive and commercial vehicle components manufacturer based in Birmingham. They employ 241 people, including 75 apprentices undertaking Advanced, Higher and Degree apprenticeships in various disciplines.

Recruitment of apprentices has been critical for planning the future of the business and counteracting an aging workforce. Now 53% of employees are under the age of 40, and they are attracting growing numbers of young people into manufacturing from the local area through their provider, local schools and other organisations.

Gemma Smith
The Marshall Award for Intermediate Apprentice of the Year

Gemma Smith has just completed her Level 2 Apprenticeship in Butchery and currently works as Meat Specialist for Waitrose in Towcester, Northamptonshire.

She is committed to developing her professional skills and learning new things, and has been self-driven in completing her apprenticeship. Gemma’s passion is in talking with her customers, helping them with their choices, and discussing how they can cook them. Her aim is to continue building an enthusiastic ‘foodie’ culture, and growing knowledge and skills amongst the team.

Wakefield Metropolitan District Council
The British Army Award for Large Employer of the Year

Situated in West Yorkshire, Wakefield Council has 4,879 employees including 419 apprentices across multiple levels and disciplines: including Administration, Horticulture, Social Care and Leadership and Management.

Apprenticeships provide career progression for employees at all levels within Wakefield Council, complementing succession planning processes and helping them recruit hard-to-fill positions. As a council with areas of substantial deprivation, apprentices give Wakefield Council the opportunity to offer young people opportunities they would not usually have, whilst helping the local economy along the way.

Jessica Liddy
The BT Award for Advanced Apprentice of the Year

Jessica Liddy is a London-based marketer currently undertaking a level 3 Digital Marketing Apprenticeship at Google.

Jessica’s apprenticeship has presented a wealth of opportunities and she is dedicated to becoming an apprenticeship ambassador, excelling within her scheme and progressing in the company. Her self-confidence and ability to step outside her comfort zone have grown significantly, particularly in public speaking. She plans to continue her education by being sponsored to complete a Bachelor’s Degree.

Adam Hearn
The Royal Navy Award for Higher or Degree Apprentice of the Year

Adam Hearn works for Braintree Precision Components in Braintree, Essex and is currently completing a Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship in Manufacturing Engineering.

The apprenticeship has taught him a lot about himself, and helped him progress through the company into his current role in Production Engineering. Now a critical part of the team, he is using the skills he has learned to continuously improve himself, and set up and run a new Explorer Scout group in the local area. Teaching and Training Level 3 qualification.

J.C. Bamford Excavators Limited
The NCFE Award for Macro Employer of the Year

A proud British company, JCB is the world’s third largest construction equipment manufacturer.

With 6,500 UK employees, its 260 apprentices are integral in every part of the business with 32 schemes currently in place.

The centre of their staff development since their foundation in 1945, and this commitment to building a bold, innovative, highly-trained workforce in-house remains the bedrock of the business – one that receives £8.3 million investment every year.

Ian Green
The Royal Air Force Award for Apprenticeship Champion of the Year

As a key member of Nissan’s HR team, Ian Green believes that apprenticeships can be the gateway to not just jobs but phenomenal careers.

It’s a passion born from his own apprenticeship, and he remains a huge advocate of the model, working regionally and nationally to help drive up participation.

Most recently, Ian has chaired the creation of a new Level 2 standard and contributed to a wide range of new standards through the Automotive Trailblazer group.

The Maersk Award for Recruitment Excellence

LabCorp is a Contract Research Organisation headquartered in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

Currently 234 apprentices are employed by LabCorp – mainly in the Science Occupational Route – and apprenticeships are hugely important to both the company and the communities they operate in.

Nihal Dhillon
The Lloyds Banking Group Award for Rising Star

Nihal Dhillon works as a Design Engineer at JCB World Headquarters and is studying towards a Level 6 Engineering Degree Apprenticeship.

The apprenticeship will allow him to gain a BEng in Mechanical Engineering alongside four years of priceless work experience.

With plans to become Chartered eventually, Nihal has cultivated the ability to present his ideas to company directors, as well as aid other apprentices/ students in their upcoming or present careers.