Meet Ignite Sport UK, Small Apprenticeship Employer of the Year at the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards

The Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards recognised the best talent in the county with a special virtual broadcast on Thursday 1st October 2020.

The Apprenticeship Employer of the Year Award (less than 50 employees) was won by Ignite Sport UK.

Ignite Sport UK is a registered education and training provider, delivering a range of qualifications across sport and leisure. Ignite employs approximately 40 staff, including qualified coaches, Apprentices and tutors. The primary business aims are to inspire more people to be physically active and to help people pursue meaningful careers in the sports sector. Ignite Sport UK currently delivers Physical Education and sport in over 35 primary schools in the county. It also delivers a range of football programmes with its partner organisation, Oxford City Football Club.

Ignite Sport UK have been employing Apprentices since 2008 and currently over 25% of their staff are Apprentices. Apprentices benefit from exceptional mentoring and support at Ignite and are truly part of a team.

Apprentice Sports Coach Matt Williams said: "I am now currently 5 months into my Apprenticeship and feel a part of the team. My workload has been slowly increased to match my suitability. I feel Ignite are inclusive and fun place to work. I feel Ignite will help me get a great future in the sports industry."

The Small Employer Award was sponsored by The Burnside Partnership, a firm of specialist private client lawyers and tax experts and winners of the award in 2019 award. Practice Director Richard Burnside said: "From the recruitment process through to placement in employment or further training, Ignite offers a first-rate package of support and encouragement, tailored to the individual needs of each and every Apprentice. We were very impressed by Ignite’s ethos of social responsibility and the Apprentices we met enthused about the many opportunities available to them. As a provider of Apprenticeships since 2008 and with hundreds of trainees having successfully completed their Apprenticeships, we felt Ignite thoroughly deserves recognition for its great work."

Hannah Bladen, General Manager at Ignite Sport UK said: "We are extremely proud to win the 2020 small employer award; it validates our approach and reaffirms our commitment to giving young people the best possible chance in life. Our recruitment policy is clear; we seek friendly, energetic, and passionate people that love sport!! We work hard to ensure every Apprentice’s journey is bespoke to them and accurately matches their learning preference. This award reflects the hard work put in by all at Ignite Sport UK - every staff member understands their role in supporting junior colleagues and helping them achieve their potential."

Find out what Hannah has to say about Ignite winning the award in this film clip.

See our article for details of all the winning and highly commended entrants.