The North East Apprenticeship Ambassador Network

NEAAN was created to serve the people and businesses of the North East, promoting, championing and creating apprenticeship opportunities.

We work with companies and organisations to help raise the profile of apprenticeships and encourage firms of all sizes to engage in the apprenticeship agenda.

We also work with young people considering apprenticeships and those who have already embarked on their apprenticeship journey, offering the opportunity of utilising our own national and regional platforms to speak about why they chose an apprenticeship and why it works for them.

We also work with people who are returning to work, retraining for a new career and support those who have lost employment and are looking to start another career.

Part of a rapidly growing UK network, NEAAN works with employers and young people to celebrate apprenticeships and inspire the next generation of apprentices.

Meet our region’s top former apprentices

Kevin Fitzpatrick, former Vice President UK Manufacturing Operations
Nissan Motors UK

“Apprenticeships offer an excellent opportunity for young people to enter industry, gain valuable vocational skills and qualifications which will allow them to progress down whichever career path their ability and ambition allows.”

NEAAN Experiences 2021

Bake Off – Apprenticeships Week 2022


Ellie Fraser

“My professional life began as an apprentice and I passionately believe in the difference apprenticeships can make to careers.

I witnessed and eventually oversaw the process of training and moulding individuals to excel in a variety of roles, while the business enjoyed the benefits of fresh ideas, enthusiasm and skill.

NEAAN is proud to work with companies dedicated to creating quality apprenticeships and training quality apprentices. These individuals then go on to fill a variety of roles across all sectors – people making a difference to the performance of their organisations.

We want to shine a spotlight on the firms growing their own people, recognising good practice and sharing it across our network.

The North East has a wealth of fantastic apprentices and organisations doing incredible work to enhance their apprenticeship offer – we see it as our job to recognise, celebrate and share their continued success.”

Prof, Ian Green MBE
NEAAN Co-Chair Learning Specialist, Britishvolt

Connor Moir

“As Co-Chair of the North East Apprentice Ambassador Network, I enjoy a position where I’m lucky enough to observe some of the finest apprentices in the country and a group of employers who share the desire and passion to see people succeed.

The North East is a beacon for the rest of the country – a region full of businesses and organisations who recognise that to grow and prosper, they must continually invest in training staff for the future.

Our members are as passionate about apprenticeships as we are and recognise that apprentices can make such a significant contribution to achieving success.

NEAAN, like our members, always has one eye on the future. And that
is why we need more Apprenticeships Ambassadors and Apprentice Ambassadors, regional cheerleaders to help us shine the spotlight on what is going on in the North East.

We’re always looking for more employer Ambassadors…maybe you could be our next one?”

Jenienne Hinchcliffe
NEAAN Co-Chair, Learning & Organisational Development Coordinator (Talent & Leadership Development) at Northumberland County Council

Our vision

Vision icon


The Apprenticeship Ambassador Network inspires and influences people to choose apprenticeships, as a route to create business and individual success across the country.

Mission icon


The Apprenticeship Ambassador Network is the movement championing apprenticeships to raise awareness and increase engagement to meet the needs of employers, communities, and individuals across the country.

Objectives icon



Growing influence and relevance.


Tell our story.


Nationally significant/Locally relevant.


Ellie Fraser

"It’s a real honour to be Apprentice Ambassador Co-Chair and carry on the great work the network does in promoting, championing and educating people and businesses about the vital role apprenticeships play in the workforce.

It is something I am incredibly passionate about and I’m focused on growing the network by recruiting some talented and enthusiastic new Ambassadors.

Like many, my employment journey was unique. I thought I’d complete my GCSEs, do A Levels, take a gap year, then head to university and into work, but the pandemic changed those plans. My travels were put on hold, as I didn’t want to waste time waiting for the world to open up again, so I began looking at my options, which led me to apprenticeships.

It turned to be one of the best decisions I’ve made, learning on the job as I developed skills and earned qualifications that helped secure a role in cybersecurity, working alongside colleagues in all departments of the business.

That’s what apprenticeships do – they open doors for individuals to flourish and realise their potential and for businesses to develop and shape the employees they need to succeed. And what we need are for more Apprentice Ambassadors to speak about their experiences and inspire others to explore the options available to them and ultimately fulfil their professional ambitions."

Jess Duff
North East Apprentice Ambassador Co-Chair

Connor Moir

"Apprenticeships offer the opportunity to learn skills in a professional environment – for me, it has provided a valuable experience that I could not have received elsewhere.

My aim was always to develop myself professionally, working closely with knowledgeable skilled experts. Theory takes you so far, but there’s nothing like first-hand experience and I’m now responsible for communicating with mortgage customers and broker partners to build and maintain relationships. I also lead the roll out of a huge events programme for our Intermediary business.

The best thing about apprenticeships is the exposure you get to various people across your industry and others with interest in apprenticeships. I have learned so much from industry experts across the country through the opportunities I’ve had to meet and network with them. My knowledge base has built up more than I could ever have expected.

As Vice Chair, I want to help demystify apprenticeships and promote the incredible benefits they offer for not only professional development, but personal growth and confidence building.

As a network, it’s vital we continue to explore innovative ideas and opinions to promote apprenticeships as an opportunity to people of all backgrounds and ages, while building on an already supportive network for existing apprentices and employers across our talented region."

Jake Richardson
North East Apprentice Ambassador Vice Chair

Meet our region’s top former apprentices

Mike Matthews, Consultant
Former European Operations Officer
Nifco Europe and Managing Director Nifco UK

“Apprenticeships offer a fantastic opportunity for employers AND employees.”

Become an

Employers, trainers, managers, director, apprentices, former apprentices... if you have a passion for apprenticeships, you could be an Apprentice Ambassador.

Apprenticeship reforms in recent years have encouraged many new and exciting businesses and sectors to be more actively involved in apprenticeships. We want our NEAAN to reflect this dynamic.

If you are interested in joining as an Employer Ambassador please email [email protected]

For more information visit:

If you are interested in joining as an Apprentice Ambassador please email [email protected]. If you have any questions about the role but have not yet decided if you would like to sign up, please email: [email protected] and we can answer any questions you may have.

For more information visit:


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