Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards 2022 finalists announced

The shortlisted finalists have today (14th April) been announced for the sixth annual Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards 2022. Download the Awards Brochure to read all about the finalists and sponsors.

More than 20 apprentices, businesses and education providers from across the county are now eagerly awaiting to hear if they have been named amongst the winners, which will be announced at the special ceremony taking place next month on 19th May.

The awards will once again shine a light on apprenticeship successes from across Oxfordshire, bringing together young people, businesses and those driving-forward apprenticeships in the county.

Organised by OxLEP Skills, the awards will recognise work-based learning excellence across a breadth of sectors – from engineering to education – in a virtual ceremony, broadcast live via the OxLEP website.

Government figures show that there were well over 3,000 apprenticeship starts within Oxfordshire in 2021/22 and over 1,500 apprenticeship achievements. The Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards will spotlight the inspiring stories and people behind these figures.

More than 20 exceptional apprentices or apprenticeship ‘champions’ have been announced as finalists, with over 20 organisations set to be represented across all award categories.

Earlier this month, the Government Minister for Skills emphasised the importance of apprenticeships in addressing the national skills shortage and providing ‘ladders to a good career’. Ahead of next month’s event, OxLEP’s chief executive has reflected upon the vital role of apprenticeships in Oxfordshire’s post-Covid recovery, for young people and businesses alike.

Nigel Tipple – Chief Executive of OxLEP – said: “Apprenticeships have been integral to the UK’s skills system for many years, offering young people an established pathway to a range of compelling vocational careers and ensuring businesses play an active role in training and nurturing this future talent.

“Within Oxfordshire, apprentices are a vital contributor to our capabilities and productivity within key sectors, including health, manufacturing, and the visitor economy to name but a few sectors. As the impact of Covid-19 continues to be felt by the business community, it’s more important than ever that we highlight the positive impact of these schemes, and the support available to businesses.

“The 2022 Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards are the perfect moment to not only celebrate individual successes, but also inspire young people and employers across the county to begin their apprenticeship journey.”

This year’s event is headline sponsored by The Fiona Wheeler Charitable Foundation, which was established in memory of Fiona Wheeler, co-founder of the West Oxfordshire-based boutique client law firm, The Burnside Partnership.

Fiona – who believed passionately in supporting young people in their careers and was instrumental in establishing The Burnside Partnership's apprenticeship programme – sadly died in December 2019, aged 35 after a long and courageous battle with illness.

A full list of award finalists are as follows:

Careers Champion Award: Sponsored by The Engineering Trust

  • Helen Haines, Burford School
  • Debbie Nicholas, Iffley Academy
  • Michael Rafferty, The Warriner School

School / College Engagement Award: Sponsored by Harwell Science and Innovation Campus

  • The Burford Recruitment Company
  • Explosive Learning Solutions
  • Ignite Sport UK

Training Provider Individual Award: Sponsored by Owen Mumford

  • Rob Alderman, Training Officer, The Engineering Trust
  • Kyle Bestley, Tutor, Ignite Training
  • Stephen Whiting, Technical Training Assessor, Birmingham Metropolitan College/MINI Plant Oxford

Intermediate Apprentice of the Year Award: Sponsored by Abbott Diabetes Care

  • Milly Foxcroft, Apprentice Gardener, Blenheim Palace
  • Kelly Huggard, HR Apprentice, Blenheim Palace
  • Wiktoria Pilat, Hairdressing Apprentice, Flawless Finish Hair

Advanced Apprentice of the Year Award: Sponsored by NielsenIQ

  • Jordan Davies, Engineering Apprentice, Abbott Diabetes Care
  • Lauren Hansen, Maintenance Planner, Jacobs Douwe Egberts
  • David Tomlinson, Digital Content Leader, Oxford University Press

Higher Apprentice of the Year Award: Sponsored by Oxfordshire Advanced Skills 

  • Jade Brooker, Assistant Manager, Assure UK
  • Anna Middlemiss, Trainee Civil Engineer, Milestone Infrastructure
  • Nicole Nielsen-Pike, Guest Services Supervisor, Blenheim Palace

Special Recognition Award: Sponsored by Blenheim and Pye Homes

  • Emily Brandish, Trainee Nursing Associate, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Souad Elaroussi, Trainee Nursing Associate, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Daniel Freer, Store Manager, Toolstation

Apprenticeship Employer of the Year (less than 250 employees) Award: Sponsored by Assure UK

  • Ignite Sport UK
  • Priory Cast Products
  • The Oxford Electrical Company

Apprenticeship Employer of the Year (more than 250 employees) Award: Sponsored by Oxford North

  • Blenheim
  • Jacobs Douwe Egberts
  • Oxford Biomedica

Shining Star Award: Sponsored by Integration Technology Ltd

  • Nicole Nielsen-Pike, Guest Services Supervisor, Blenheim Palace
  • Ryan Taylor, Shift Maintenance Technician, Jacobs Douwe Egberts
  • Rachel Townsend, Waste Strategy Project Officer, Oxfordshire County Council

Oxfordshire Apprentice of the Year Award: Sponsored by The Fiona Wheeler Charitable Foundation

  • To be chosen by the headline sponsor, The Fiona Wheeler Charitable Foundation, from the winners of the other award categories.

The Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards takes place on Thursday 19th May from 19:00.

Watch the event live on 19 May and find out more on the awards

You can also follow the awards on social media via: #OAAwards2022.