AAC Awards 2019 winners crowned

The country’s best apprenticeship providers, employers and champions have been honoured at the Annual Apprenticeship Awards 2019.

More than 500 people celebrated the winners at a glittering gala dinner at the Annual Apprenticeship Conference, held in Birmingham. This is the second year of the awards.

Organised by FE Week and the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, there were two types of awards: Route Apprenticeship Provider of the Year, and National Awards.

A new award to recognise employers and providers who increase diversity in apprenticeships, as well as working with apprentices who have special educational needs and disabilities, were introduced this year.

After assessing 350 entries, judges named the Royal Air Force as the Apprentice Employer of the Year, while In-Comm Training took home the Apprenticeship Provider of the Year award.

Martin Dunford OBE, chair of the AELP, received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Shane Mann, managing director of FE Week’s publisher Lsect, congratulated the winners for their “outstanding work”.

“These awards are a brilliant opportunity to demonstrate and celebrate the importance of apprenticeships in England and the incredible hard work that employers, providers and individuals put into them,” he said.

“The calibre of applications was tremendously impressive this year and deliberations were tough in the extreme. The volume of entries we’ve received was overwhelming and showcased just how much talent there is in the sector.

“A huge congratulation to all our winners, who are truly making a difference through their work in apprenticeships.”

Mark Dawe, chief executive of the AELP, said: “The second year’s entry nominations for these awards underlined why it was totally right for FE Week and AELP to team up and shine a spotlight on the work that employers and providers are doing to promote apprenticeships.

“It never ceases to amaze me what fantastic training is being delivered to young people and to existing employees who need to enhance their skills in the face of current economic uncertainty.

“Providers, employers and the apprentices themselves never fail to rise to fresh challenges and tonight’s awards winners perfectly illustrate why.”

Look out for FE Week’s AAC supplement next week which will report on the winners in full.

Apprentice Employer of the Year – Royal Force 

Royal Air Force took home one of the most anticipated awards of the evening. Being one of the largest employer-providers, it has 2,900 apprenticeships spanning 24 different trades, from police officer to air traffic controller or dog handler. It rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, and has a completion rate of 97 per cent across all of their apprenticeships.

In 2016, it achieved and retained Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer status and won the Macro Employer category of the 2017 National Apprenticeship Awards.

Apprenticeship Provider of the Year – In-Comm Training

In-Comm Training was recognised for the way its apprenticeships are delivered by pioneering an employer-led approach involving 450 companies across the UK.

It has placed engineering and manufacturing firms at the heart of its delivery, having an impressive 40 per cent uptake in starts over the last twelve months.

The provider said the award will help its plans to take its employer-led model to a national scale.

Lifetime Achievement Award – Martin Dunford

Over the last 20 years, Martin has been chief executive of two national training providers which have secured jobs and provided high quality skills training to thousands of young people and adults across the country.

The judges said he is truly a champion of social mobility in that he and his team deliver on it as well as promote it.

Throughout most of this period, Martin has voluntarily served with distinction as chairman of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, overseeing its growth from an organisation that started off as representing about a dozen national training providers in 2002 to about 900 work based learning providers of all types and from all sectors today.

 

Full list of winners:

Agriculture, Environmental & Animal Care Apprenticeship Provider of the Year: Haddon Training Ltd

Apprenticeship Diversity Award: Lookers Plc

Business & Administration Apprenticeship Provider of the Year: Seetec

Care Services Apprenticeship Provider of the Year: Qube Qualifications and Development Ltd

Catering & Hospitality Apprenticeship Provider of the Year: Lifetime Training

Construction Apprenticeship Provider of the Year: Fareham College

Digital Apprenticeship Provider of the Year: Arch Apprentices

Education & Childcare Apprenticeship Provider of the Year: Interserve Learning & Employment

Engineering & Manufacturing Apprenticeship Provider of the Year: Uniper Engineering Academy

Hair & Beauty Apprenticeship Provider of the Year: Milton Keynes College

Health & Science Apprenticeship Provider of the Year: Gower College Swansea

Legal, Finance & Accounting Apprenticeship Provider of the Year: CILEx Law School

Outstanding contribution to the development of apprenticeships (Employer): Thatchers Cider

Outstanding contribution to the development of apprenticeships (Individual): Steve Williams

Promoting Apprenticeships campaign of the year: Umbrella Training Ltd

SEND Apprenticeship Champion Award: Weston College

Transport & Logistics Apprenticeship Provider of the Year: Outsource Training and Development

Outstanding contribution to the development of apprenticeships (Provider): Skills Training UK

Apprentice Employer of the Year: Royal Air Force

Apprenticeship Provider of the Year: In-Comm Training

Lifetime Achievement Award: Martin Dunford OBE