National Apprenticeship Awards launched

If every person who started a Construction Apprenticeship this year stood arm-to-arm, they would stretch all the way around the new Olympic Stadium in London over 53 times, according to the National Apprenticeship Service which has launched its seventh annual Apprenticeship Awards.

More than 27,900 people began a Construction Apprenticeship in 2009 – an increase of 29% over the last three years. The Awards celebrate these starters and all of England’s apprentices, along with the businesses that employ them.

Simon Waugh, Chief Executive of the National Apprenticeship Service said: “The Apprenticeship Awards recognise the achievements of individuals engaged in training and the organisations that invest in them.

“Apprentices provide a real boost to Britain’s economy, helping businesses secure a supply of people with the skills and qualities often not available on the external job market. They bring fresh ideas and innovation to organisations and help to increase staff retention.”

Research shows that employers who hire apprentices can recoup their investment in as little as 18 months, with apprentices continuing to make a positive financial contribution to a business if retained. Trade sectors such as hospitality, retail, construction and business administration generally have the shortest payback period, with engineering and social care taking no more than four years.

Kevin Brennan, Minister for Further Education, Skills, Apprenticeships and Consumer Affairs, said: “I’m delighted to support the annual Apprenticeship Awards and have seen first-hand the benefits that apprentices bring to businesses of all different sectors and sizes.

“Let’s reward apprentice employers and young people for their hard work and commitment and I’d encourage anyone who knows an apprentice or organisation that employs one to make a nomination.”

To nominate an employer or apprentice for an award, go to: www.apprenticeships.org.uk/Awards. The closing date for entries is 27 February 2010.

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