Businesses, apprentices, and training providers are being encouraged to nominate their work ahead of a deadline for this year’s Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards.

Now in its eighth year, the awards have cemented their place in the county’s business calendar, with a multitude of talented individuals, businesses, and training providers demonstrating their success in the field of apprenticeships.

The Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership Skills Team (OxLEP Skills) created and leads the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards.

The awards deadline for this year is midnight on February 19.

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Since the inaugural event in 2017, the awards have shone a light on the importance of apprenticeships within the Oxfordshire economy, labour market, and the opportunities they offer to young people and those seeking to re-enter the job market.

The Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards is set for May 16 at the Williams F1 Conference Centre in Grove.

Many Oxfordshire business leaders have confirmed their attendance.

The awards have been hosted at several notable venues in the past, including Jurys Inn Oxford and Blenheim Palace.

12 categories will be accepting entries from apprentices, businesses, and training providers, with the ‘Apprentice of the Year’ title, sponsored by Oxford North, to be unveiled on the awards night.

Sponsors for the different 2024 award categories include Grundon, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, Blenheim & Pye Homes, Milestone Infrastructure, and more.

Sally Andreou, Skills Hub manager at OxLEP, said: "The Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards continue to offer apprentices, businesses and training providers a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate the positive role apprenticeships have had on them and we would encourage as many individuals and organisations as possible to complete their nominations as soon as they can.

"Through the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards, we hope that we can continue to show businesses the value of apprenticeships, as well as demonstrating that there has never been a better time to engage with such opportunities, given the level of support and advice available."

The awards have introduced the Social Contract programme, a £1.7million initiative funded by the Government’s Contain Outbreak Management Fund via Oxfordshire County Council, which aims to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on employment, education, and training.

Ms Andreou added: "Our apprenticeship levy pledge scheme as part of our ‘Social Contract’ programme is just one example of where businesses can access support and funding to take on an apprentice – or for bigger organisations currently under-utilising their levy, play a part in pledging their unused funds to support apprenticeships elsewhere within the county.

"We would encourage any businesses who have yet to engage with apprenticeships to get in contact with our skilled apprenticeship advisors."