Apprentices from across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent are invited to attend a special graduation ceremony to celebrate their achievements.
Apprentices from over 15 sectors, from Accounting to Mechanical Engineering will come together with their family and friends for the celebration at the County Showground in Stafford on Wednesday 17 July.
Now in their fifth year, the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Apprenticeship Graduation Awards help highlight the quality and range of Advanced and Higher apprentices and their contribution to the local economy.
Grace Holford is one apprentice looking forward to the graduation ceremony. The 26-year-old is a Level 3 accountancy apprentice with Staffordshire County Council. Grace said:
“Apprenticeships are really brilliant and offer an alternative route to studying.
“Achieving a high standard qualification takes a lot of hard work and dedication so having a graduation ceremony is a fantastic way to celebrate people’s efforts and achievements. Gaining a qualification through an apprenticeship should be celebrated the same as if you went to university to study. I’m really looking forward to the graduation.”
Philip White, Cabinet Member for Learning and Employability at Staffordshire County Council said,
“Once again we’re delighted to be hosting our apprenticeship graduation ceremony, which will celebrate the enormous success and achievement of all our Higher and Advanced apprentices.
“Apprentices remain key to growing our economy and it’s vital we have a good supply of talented workers with the skills that our employers need. It’s also important that we promote the benefits of apprenticeships to encourage others to aspire and over the years our ceremonies have done just that.”
Alun Rogers, deputy chairman of the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Local Enterprise Partnership added:
“Apprenticeships give people the opportunity to start their chosen career and to get on the ladder in industry with established businesses.
“They are also important for businesses as they help to build a skilled and talented workforce.
“In Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire we have made great progress in recent years by increasing the number of apprentices but we want to see further growth and ensure businesses are aware of the value of apprenticeship programmes.
“Developing a skilled workforce will be an integral part of our Local Industrial Strategy and will include apprenticeship support.
“Our business support apprenticeship helpline also continues to provide employers across the county with the advice they need to realise the benefits of taking on an apprentice.”
Apprentices continue to play a key role in strengthening the Staffordshire economy with around 7,000 completing an apprenticeship over the past 18 months.
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.