West Yorkshire Apprenticeship Awards 2023: Every apprentice and provider to have scooped an award

After months of anticipation, the winners of the West Yorkshire Apprenticeship Awards 2023 have been unveiled.
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From young apprentices to inspiring mentors, the talented individuals and providers that bring apprenticeships to life were celebrated in style during a glitzy ceremony in Wakefield last night. The awards were held in the brand new Tileyard North creative industries hub, with the winners across 11 categories announced.

The West Yorkshire Apprenticeship Awards were set up by the Yorkshire Evening Post, in collaboration with Halifax Courier and Wakefield Express, in 2022. They celebrate those who have excelled in their chosen fields and inspired others to consider embarking on an apprenticeship scheme, as well as top apprenticeship providers in the county.

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Tasked with judging the entries were Annette Hobson, regional membership manager for Make UK, Delroy Beverley, regional chairman for IoD Yorkshire and North East, Bradley Longford, graduate business development manager at Henry Boot Construction and Nick Garthwaite, founder of Bradford Manufacturing Week and vice chairman of West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce.

The winners of the West Yorkshire Apprenticeship Awards 2023 (Photo: Gerard Binks)The winners of the West Yorkshire Apprenticeship Awards 2023 (Photo: Gerard Binks)
The winners of the West Yorkshire Apprenticeship Awards 2023 (Photo: Gerard Binks)

Annette said: “It was a very difficult process, the standard of entries was incredibly high. It was lovely to see the passion from the apprentices. The judges didn’t always agree and there was a good bit of debate and discussion, but the winners are very deserved.

“My big recommendation would be for any business that isn’t working with apprentices at the moment to really explore that option. For both the employer and for the apprentices, it’s a wonderful relationship. It issues that pipeline of talent.

“An apprenticeship is such a good way to come out of learning and into the working world, still being supported and still learning on the job. You’re giving so much to the employer and you’re earning while you do it.”

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Hosted by former ITV Calendar presenter and journalist Gaynor Barnes, the 2023 ceremony was a spectacular night of celebration. Guests enjoyed a welcome drink at Tileyard North and tucked into a three course meal, before the ceremony began.

Former ITV Calendar presenter and journalist Gaynor Barnes hosted the ceremony at Tileyard North in Wakefield (Photo: Gerard Binks)Former ITV Calendar presenter and journalist Gaynor Barnes hosted the ceremony at Tileyard North in Wakefield (Photo: Gerard Binks)
Former ITV Calendar presenter and journalist Gaynor Barnes hosted the ceremony at Tileyard North in Wakefield (Photo: Gerard Binks)

Winners include FDM Group, which scooped the Diversity & Inclusion Programme award for the second year running, and Bradford Teaching Hospitals and Bradford College Partnership - who together scooped Training Provider/Programme of the Year.

And the awards celebrated the rising stars of the business world who are excelling in their apprenticeship schemes, including Aaron Clegg of Yorkshire Housing, who won Higher Apprentice of the Year.

Collecting his award, Aaron said: “It’s a massive achievement, I’ve been in college for five years and it’s my last year now. Winning something like this shows it’s all worth it.”

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Michelle Wooton, operations manager of Conservatory Outlet, scooped Mentor of the Year for her tireless work supporting the company’s apprentices.

Michelle said: “25 years ago was when I did my apprenticeship. That’s how I’ve moved forward with my career, to where I am now as operations manager. I want to get my apprentices to that point and I was already a winner before I got here tonight.”

The event was sponsored by FDM Group, Yorkshire Housing, Leeds Trinity University, West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges, Appris, Bradford College, Haribo, Zenith, Yorkshire and Humber Apprenticeship Ambassador Network, Leeds City College and the Royal Navy.

Here is the full list of winners

Advanced Apprentice of the Year

Danielle Aylward - Yorkshire Housing

Construction Apprentice of the Year

Dan Voke - En:able Futures

Degree Apprentice of the Year

Tegan Hinch - Labcorp

Diversity & Inclusion Programme

FDM Group

Engineering & Manufacturing Apprentice of the Year

George Akton - Bekaert

Higher Apprentice of the Year

Aaron Clegg - Yorkshire Housing

Large Business Apprenticeship Employer of the Year

Bagnalls

Mentor of the Year

Michelle Wooton - Conservatory Outlet

SME Apprentice Employer of the year

EN:able Futures

Technology & Digital Apprentice of the Year

Eliot Ferrier - Intelligency Group

Training Provider/Programme of the Year

Bradford Teaching Hospitals & Bradford College Partnership

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