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Award Winners 2023

The 20th National Apprenticeship Awards took place on Wednesday 29th November 2023.

Celebrating the outstanding apprentices and employers who are at the heart of the government’s mission to boost skills and extend the ladder of opportunity to all.

The ceremony was hosted by journalist and TV presenter, Steph McGovern, who started her own career as an apprentice engineer. Steph’s success demonstrates the variety of exciting career paths and serves as an inspiration for current and future apprentices from all walks of life.

You can find out more about our 2023 national winners below.

Your Winners

SJD Associates Ltd
The IfATE Apprenticeship Development Partner of the Year Award

Milton Keynes based SJD undertakes building services engineering projects for local businesses and construction projects. They are a small business that employs 21 people, including three apprentices. SJD’s powerful work is underscored by their recognition in the Regional Finals of the LSC Learning and Skills Awards, as well as winning the MKBAA Small Business 2019, the MK SME Apprenticeship Employer of the Year 2022, and several industry awards. Managing Director Ruth Devine has been involved in developing, supporting and advocating for quality apprenticeships and technical education for more than a decade. In 2012, she joined the pilot trailblazer round to develop the first apprenticeship standard for the electrotechnical sector, ST0152 - the most successful standard in the sector.

Zain Nazar
The Lloyds Banking Group Rising Star of the Year Award

Zain Nazar is a Level 6 Software Engineering Degree Apprentice. Triumphing over multiple rejections after being underestimated and defining his own expectations, Zain emerged as a 5-time award-winning Future Leader and Apprentice of the Year on regional, national and international levels. Working on multi-million and multi-billion projects as well as advising the government, Zain has delivered on the ‘High Reward’ his employer was seeking.

The Specsavers Social Justice Apprentice Employer of the Year Award

Harrogate-based medical research company LabCorp have multiple UK sites. They employ around 2,307 people, have trained 376 apprentices, and offer 24 different apprenticeships between Levels 2-7, specialising in Science, Data and Management. Their dedication to improving health and life propels this company forward, with apprenticeships forming a key part of the company culture and structure. LabCorp believe their apprenticeships help equip the business with skills for the future and empower their employees, helping them reach their full potential.

Derry Building Services
The BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT SME Employer of the Year Award

DBS is a national Mechanical and Electrical contractor operating from Newark, Birmingham and Newcastle. They currently employ 237 people, including 41 apprentices and have been investing in apprenticeships for over 50 years. Apprenticeships form the heart of their organisation with 48% of their people having started as a DBS apprentice. This ‘home-grown’ talent allows them to organically nurture and embed a loyal, motivated and dynamic workforce with many going on to secure more senior roles.

Amy Brown
The Amazon Intermediate Apprentice of the Year Award

Amy Brown is currently working towards achieving her Level 2 Site Carpentry apprenticeship at Tombs Development in Cheltenham.

The benefits of her apprenticeship have been countless, enabling her to gain extensive knowledge of her trade and achieve an industry recognised qualification, whilst getting paid to do so! Her solid support network continues to encourage and nurture her development and the connections she has made both in work and college helped set her up for success from the get-go.

The British Army Large Employer of the Year Award

Labcorp is a Harrogate-based global medical research company dedicated to improving health and improving life.

Apprenticeships are a key part of their company culture and structure, helping to ensure an accessible, inclusive business that has the right skills for the future. They are passionate about making apprenticeships a chosen route for careers and skills development, and are committed to empowering their employees and helping them reach their full potential.

Scott Mcdowell
The BAE Systems Advanced Apprentice of the Year Award

Scott Mcdowell is currently working at Breathworks undertaking a Level 3 Content Producer Apprenticeship through Apprentify and the Juice Academy.

Scott starting his apprenticeship having explored a range of vocations including acting, music, and teaching, but nothing has allowed him to take such a significant leap towards fulfilling the creative career he’s dreamed of than his Content Producer Apprenticeship. He’s made the most of every opportunity that’s come his way, allowing him to develop his skills and thrive in a career that plays to his strengths.

Mitchells & Butlers
The Teesside University Macro Employer of the Year Award

Mitchells & Butlers has 1,592 businesses across the UK, over 45,000 employees, 1,726 current apprentices and over 30 frameworks from Level 2 Production up to Chartered Manager Degrees and Level 7 qualifications. Filling a gap in a sector which has always struggled to attract and retain talent, Mitchells & Butlers are keen to shine a light on the benefits apprenticeships bring to the industry. Playing a vital role in their people strategy to ‘grow their own’ talent, apprenticeships are offered to everyone, from retail and management to corporate populations and support career development and progression.

Daniel McHugh & Francesca Hume
The Royal Navy Higher or Degree Apprentice of the Year Award

Daniel McHugh is a Research apprentice currently completing a Level 6 Digital and Technology Solutions degree at BT’s global Research headquarters in Suffolk.

Exposure to industry leading professionals and pioneering technologies have helped him to develop a wealth of valuable skills across software, networks, and business domains.

Francesca Hume is a Packaging Professional Degree apprentice at GlaxoSmithKline in the North East. Being able to engage with highly-skilled colleagues and teams from different departments has grown her confidence and developed her communication skills, which she uses to inspire young people to follow apprenticeships and careers in STEM.

Paula McMahon
The Royal Air Force Apprenticeship Champion of the Year Award

Paula McMahon, a former apprentice, now works for the leading UK building and civil engineering company, Sir Robert McAlpine.

Since starting life as a Civil Engineering Apprentice, Paula’s had a varied career including significant roles on high profile projects, which she now leverages for her extensive promotion of apprenticeships. As a former apprentice herself, she’s keen to showcase apprenticeships as the route to her success and strongly believes in inspiring our future workforce to work towards a sustainable future.