The annual ‘YMCA National Apprenticeship Awards’ were held once again at the House of Commons on Monday 3rd February as part of National Apprenticeship Week (3rd - 7th February). Apprentices and employers from all over the country were recognised for their hard work and huge commitment to apprenticeships.
The event was held in partnership with MWS Technology - pioneers in vocational training technology, further education and work welfare. Approximately 60 guests attended including MPs, policymakers and employers from a range of sectors.
The Rt Hon. Robert Halfon - Chair of the Education Select Committee, presented the awards as did John Brightwell from MWS Technology. Arvinda Gohil - recently appointed Central YMCA CEO, the Rt Hon. Caroline Nokes - Chair of the Women and Equalities Committee and Rob Johnson - Director of Education and Training, also made short addresses.
- YMCA Apprentice of the Year: 19-year-old Elle from Doncaster
- YMCA Employer of the Year: Catalyst Housing
- YMCA Progression of the Year: 17-year-old Jack from Doncaster
- YMCA Pre-Apprentice of the Year (Study Programme) 19-year-old Iman from Manchester
Climbing the “ladder of opportunity”
YMCA Founder, George Williams, started out as a draper’s apprentice before establishing the YMCA in 1844. For the past 40 years, the YMCA has partnered with a range of businesses to create apprenticeships. Last year, Central YMCA supported nearly 1,700 apprentices and Study Programme learners – 70% of them progressed into further education or employment.
The Rt Hon. Robert Halfon – who has just been re-elected as Education Committee Chair - has been hugely supportive of Central YMCA’s work over the years:
“Apprenticeships provide young people - especially from disadvantaged backgrounds - the opportunity to climb the education and skills ‘ladder of opportunity’. They enable young people to earn while they learn, have no debt and get a good skilled job at the end.
The work of Central YMCA could not be more important as they have a relentless focus on ensuring that those from the most disadvantaged backgrounds have a chance to access this ladder of opportunity.
We have a big skills deficit in this country, but we have a big social justice deficit too. The YMCA has a huge role to play as we build an apprenticeship and skills nation."
Central YMCA is an Ofsted accredited education provider that delivers vocational learning in 11 centres across the UK. Apprenticeships are a cost-effective way of recruiting new talent and upskilling existing staff.