National Apprenticeship Awards 2023 – Regional Heats

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Ambassadors take centre stage at awards

For two decades, the National Apprenticeships Awards have been an incredible platform to recognise and reward excellence in our field.

The 2023 honours provided the opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the achievements of unreal apprentices, dedicated apprenticeship champions and committed apprenticeship employers.

Many of the North East champions came from the NEAAN Ambassador ranks, with Apprentice Ambassador Chair, Jess Duff scooping the prestigious Mike Wade Award 2022 (picked up on her behalf by Newcastle building Society colleague Claire Bovill), and Paula McMahon, from Sir Robert McAlpine named Apprenticeship Champion 2023.

Expertly compered on the evening by Channel 4 marketing exec and public speaker Taf Muchenje, the awards were presented by NEAAN Co-Chairs, Jenienne Hinchcliffe and Prof Ian Green, who were super impressed by the high standard of this year’s winners.

“Every year we say it and every year we mean it, but the calibre of entries for these awards is incredible,” said Jenienne. “One of the best parts of the night for us as Chairs was being able to congratulate so many of our Ambassadors who were recognised for their outstanding contributions this year.”

Ian added: “This is more than an awards night, it’s more akin to a party where we celebrate the achievements of friends and colleagues. I’m so proud of our fantastic winners and highly commended entries, but also everyone else who applied because there were some fantastic stories from people and businesses, who I expect to see leading the charge next year.”

Award Winners:

Mike Wade Award: Jess Duff

SME Employer of the Year: Tees Components Ltd

Highly Commended: Hat trick

Large Employer of the Year: Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy

Highly Commended: Sterling Pharma Solutions Limited

Macro Employer of the Year: Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Highly Commended: Northumbria Police

Social Justice Award: Learning Curve Group

Highly Commended: Hays

Rising Star: Jonathan Fortescue, Newcastle University

Highly Commended: Katie Withers, Durham County Council

Intermediate Apprentice of the Year: Aaron Jones, Nissan Motor Manufacturing

Highly Commended: Jessica Oliver, Hays Travel

Advanced Apprentice of the Year: Joseph Reed, Newcastle Building Society

Highly Commended: Luke Skaife, GSK (GlaxoSmithKline)

Higher or Degree Apprentice of the Year: Francesca Hume, GSK

Highly Commended: Scott Napier, Stonegate Group

Apprentice Champion: Paula McMahon, Sir Robert McAlpine

Highly Commended: Paul Dixon, Sterling Pharma Solutions Limited

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