A young carer and the founder of the Young Black Professionals Network were among a host of learners recognised for their success at the 2023 Multicultural Apprenticeship Award awards.
The awards were established in 2016 to highlight diverse talent in apprenticeships, and include 30 awards in total across 16 categories. It recognised both firms and individuals for the work in apprenticeships at Birmingham award ceremony earlier this month.
Among the winners was Aymen Belkacemi, a data technician degree apprentice at University College London and young carer. He was praised for his “tireless commitment to supporting others and letting nothing stand in his way”, and won the charity, voluntary and public services award. He is both co-chair of the carers’ truth youth advisory panel and an apprenticeship ambassador at Not Going To Uni and his employer, Multiverse, in his spare time.
Belkacemi was joined on the podium by Joseph Lennox, a civil service policy apprentice from HMRC, who took the apprentice of the year award. At HMRC he is a senior strategy advisor, which has included working on this year’s spring statement. He is also a regional lead for the HMRC apprenticeship network.
Tracy Fearon, an apprentice electrician at Nottingham City Council who studies at Nottingham College was recognised for her efforts in dispelling the myth that construction is a male-only industry”. She won the construction services award for her work as a Women in Construction ambassador, which involves holding monthly workshops at local schools.
Safaraz Ali, founder of the Multicultural Apprenticeship Awards and chief executive of Pathway Group, said seeing so much talent gathered at the awards was both “inspiring and exciting”.
“A warm thank you to everyone who has contributed to making this event an extraordinary success,” he added.
Pathway Group ran the event in partnership with Pearson, at a ceremony hosted by DJ and television presenter Tommy Sandhu.
It also included performances by bhangra dance group Vakhri Tahr, poet and rapper Raza Hussain and the Marshon Dance Company.
Abu Berete, a chartered management degree apprentice at the BT Group, won the award for best apprentice in the creative, media and marketing sector. Berete has led on large projects at work including a customer experience programme worth over £100 million, but also founded the Young Black Professionals network in his spare time.
The awards further recognised Tracy Tran, a degree apprentice at Ravensbourne University, in the digital and technology category. She is a BT Group apprentice in digital and technology solutions. She was described as a “role model for what can be achieved through hard work and determination”, after she grew up in one of the most income-deprived London boroughs, but went from having no IT experience to achieving a first-class honours degree.
Lloyds Banking Group also took the award for large employer of the year – after nearly 40 per cent of its most recent apprenticeship intake were from a multi-cultural background.
Graham Hasting-Evans, chief executive of NOCN Group scooped the award for the overall contribution to apprenticeships, while his company took the leader in diversity award.
Martyn Leader, vice president of Pearson TQ said the awards were a “chance to highlight the impact of apprenticeship programmes and acknowledge and celebrate the diverse range of learners entering the workforce and the employers who champion diversity and inclusion”.
“Each winner has demonstrated remarkable dedication and resilience, and has embraced the opportunity to learn, to adapt, and to excel in their chosen field,” he added.
Winners of the 2023 Multicultural Apprenticeship Awards
|Award name||Sponsor||Winner||Employer (Training Provider)|
|Apprentice of the Year 2023||Pearson||Joseph Lennox||HMRC (Capita Learning)|
|Accounting & Finance (Apprentice Award)||Kaplan Financial||Joseph Lennox||HMRC (Capita Learning)|
|Accounting & Finance (Employer Award)||Kaplan Financial||NatWest Group|
|Management, Legal & Professional Services (Apprentice Award)||Mindful Education||Alisha Kasobya||MBDA (University of Hertfordshire)|
|Management, Legal & Professional Services (Employer Award)||Mindful Education||WTW|
|Charity, Voluntary & Public Services (Apprentice Award)||NCFE||Aymen Belkacemi||Multiverse (University College London )|
|Charity, Voluntary & Public Services (Employer Award)||NCFE||Bolton at Home|
|Health, Medical & Social Care (Apprentice Award)||Royal Navy||Christina Dumitriu Jackson||AstraZeneca (Manchester Metropolitan University)|
|Health, Medical & Social Care (Employer Award)||Royal Navy||Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust|
|Construction Services (Apprentice Award)||Severn Trent||Tracy Fearon||Nottingham City Council Housing Services (Nottingham College)|
|Construction Services (Employer Award)||Severn Trent||HS2 Ltd|
|Engineering & Manufacturing (Apprentice Award)||JTL Training||Alexia Williams||Rolls-Royce (Cranfield University)|
|Engineering & Manufacturing (Employer Award)||JTL Training||Severn Trent|
|Digital & Technology (Apprentice Award)||BT Group||Tracy Tran||BT Group (Ravensbourne University)|
|Digital & Technology (Employer Award)||BT Group||Salesforce|
|Creative, Media & Marketing (Apprentice Award)||Occupational Awards Limited||Abu Berete||BT Group (QA)|
|Creative, Media & Marketing (Employer Award)||Occupational Awards Limited||BBC|
|Retail, Hospitality & Tourism (Apprentice Award)||Lifetime Training||Akwasi Boateng||British Airways (Avado)|
|Retail, Hospitality & Tourism (Employer Award)||Lifetime Training||Compass Group UK & Ireland|
|Transport & Logistics (Apprentice Award)||British Army||Mamadou Kone||Amazon (University of Exeter)|
|Transport & Logistics (Employer Award)||British Army||Go-Ahead Group|
|Intermediate Apprentice of the Year||Skills & Education Grou||Honey Warner||Performance Through People (PTP Training)|
|Judges’ Choice||Lloyds Banking Group||Jainna Bhalla||Leonardo (Coventry University)|
|Small, Medium Employer of the Year||Amazing Apprenticeships||Hockley Mint|
|Large Employer of the Year||NOCN Group||Lloyds Banking Group|
|Learning Provider of the Year (Small Learning Provider)||Association of Employment and Learning Providers||The Development Manager (TDM)|
|Learning Provider of the Year (Large Learning Provider)||Association of Employment and Learning Providers||JTL Training|
|University of the Year||UCAS||Manchester Metropolitan University|
|Steve Lawrence Award for Commitment to Apprenticeships||Pathway Group||Paul Sobers,National Grid|
|Overall Contribution to Apprenticeships||Multicultural Apprenticeship Alliance||Graham Hasting-Evans, NOCN|