The winners of the Annual Apprenticeship Awards 2020 have been crowned at a glittering ceremony in Birmingham tonight.

More than 500 sector leaders, staff and apprentices gathered to find out the results of the awards, which are run by FE Week and the Association of Employment and Learning Providers.

Forty-four organisations and individuals had been shortlisted in 22 categories after more than 350 entries were submitted by colleges, training providers and employers.

New apprenticeship and skills minister Gillian Keegan was in attendance to celebrate the winners.

Taking home the provider of the year award was Leeds College of Building.

Judges said it was “clear” from their application and evidence that they “were enthusiastically dedicated to helping apprentices achieve their full potential, and absolutely committed to steering the next generation of innovators”.

Employer of the year was awarded to Hays Travel, which took over Thomas Cook this year.

“Hays Travel is a true believer and champion of apprenticeships,” the judges said. “It was evident from their application that apprenticeships are embedded within their organisations culture and thus valued and supported by stakeholders.”

This year’s special recognition awards were handed to former skills minister Anne Milton, and her former opposite number Gordon Marsden.

And apprenticeships expert and veteran Beej Kaczmarczyk received the lifetime achievement award.

Shane Mann, managing director of FE Week’s publisher Lsect, said: “We were delighted to award Beej with the lifetime achievement award. Beej has given so much to education throughout his career.

“He is also one of the great characters of the FE sector, regularly putting the ‘fun’ into funding analysis and has a magic way of entertaining those who he supports and informs on sometimes the driest of subjects.

“As he nears his retirement, and the possibility of finally realising his aim of getting in more golf, it is perfect timing, and massively well-deserved.”

Mann added: “Tonight we also recognise the contribution made by two former MPs, Anne Milton and Gordon Marsden. As front bench MPs for government and opposition they made significant contributions to the apprenticeships sector in the UK and globally.

“Regardless of whether you agree with their political decisions and positions, it is undeniable that they placed enormous energy into improving the apprenticeship sector. They are both worthy recipients of this year’s awards.”

AELP chief executive Mark Dawe said: “We’ve had another fabulous evening celebrating all that is best about apprenticeships and the hard working people who offer bright futures to learners who embark on our flagship skills programme.

“Congratulations to a great set of winners and it’s really pleasing that Gillian Keegan has been here with us to hear about these wonderful success stories.”

Look out for more coverage in FE Week’s AAC supplement later this week.

Here are the 2020 award winners in full:


Route Apprenticeship Provider of the Year


Agriculture, Environmental & Animal Care

British Racing School


Business & Administration

Derby Business College Limited


Care Services

Lifetime Training


Catering & Hospitality Apprenticeship

Lifetime Training



Skills Group


Digital – Sponsored by BCS

Manchester Metropolitan University


Education & Childcare

Aspiration Training Ltd


Engineering & Manufacturing

Abingdon and Witney College


Hair & Beauty – Sponsored by VTCT

Truro and Penwith College


Health & Science

Performance Through People


Legal, Finance & Accounting

Paragon Skills


Sales, Marketing, Procurement

Remit Group


Transport & Logistics

Performance Through People


National Awards:


Promoting Apprenticeships campaign

Newcastle & Stafford Colleges Group


SEND Apprenticeship Champion Award – sponsored by CognAssist

Eastleigh College


Apprenticeship Diversity Award



Outstanding contribution to the development of apprenticeships (employer)  Sponsored  by City & Guilds ILM

Little Inspirations Ltd


Outstanding contribution to the development of apprenticeships (individual) Sponsored  by City & Guilds ILM

Jane Hadfield, Health Education England


Outstanding contribution to the development of apprenticeships (provider) Sponsored  by City & Guilds ILM

South Devon College


Apprentice Employer of the Year

Hays Travel


Apprenticeship Provider of the year | sponsored by BKSB

Leeds College of Building


Special recognition award

Gordon Marsden

Anne Milton


Lifetime achievement award

Beej Kaczmarczyk

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One comment

  1. Richard Miller

    The announcement of Beej Kaczmarczyk receiving the lifetime achievement award is very well deserved indeed.

    The only question you can ask in relation to the award is why Beej has not received the award earlier.

    Well done Beej very well deserved.