Apprentices and employers honoured at Leeds Apprenticeship Awards 2014

Caption: Winners of the Leeds Apprenticeship Awards on stage last night with Councillor Judith Blake (far left), deputy leader of Leeds City Council, Cllr Lucinda Yeadon, the council's executive member for leisure and skills, and Cllr Ron Grahame, lead member for employment and skills for the Inner East Area Committee (both far right)

Apprentices and employers enjoyed a night to remember at the Leeds Apprenticeship Awards.

At last night’s (Tuesday's) prestigious ceremony, held at Leeds Civic Hall, ten local apprentices and four employers were recognised for the outstanding contribution they have made to the Leeds economy.

Now in their third year, the council-run awards welcomed His Royal Highness The Duke of York KG, who met a number of the nominees at a special reception ahead of the main ceremony.

The reception was part of The Duke’s visit to the Leeds City Region, which was organised to encourage more small businesses to recruit apprentices.

Both the awards and The Duke’s visit took place during National Apprenticeship Week, which runs from March 3-7.

Among last night’s award-winners was 20 year-old Jasmine Cawkwell, who was named Higher Apprentice of the Year.

Jasmine, who works at local law firm Gordons LLP, was praised by the judging panel after her appointment to the Leeds Junior Lawyers division, a role which has never been performed by a non-solicitor before.

Joining Jasmine among the winners was Graham Walters, 22, an apprentice at engineering, IT and facilities firm NG Bailey, who was named an Advanced Apprentice of the Year.

Judges highlighted Graham’s ability to take on tasks usually associated with more senior staff as well as his “fantastic personal skills”.

Winners of the Intermediate Apprentice of the Year awards included Leeds City Council’s Nathan Stevens, 20, who judges said had made a positive impression on everyone around him, and Sandinista Ltd’s Tamsyn Barker, 21, who was recognised for her commitment and determination.

The awards also saw the city’s small, medium and large employers honoured.

The Bright Screw Company Ltd were named Small Employer of the Year, along with Nexus Telecommunications Ltd.

Arena Group were awarded the tile of Medium Employer of the Year while Large Employer of the Year went to BAE Systems.

Speakers at the awards ceremony included Councillor Judith Blake, deputy leader of Leeds City Council, and Cllr Lucinda Yeadon, executive member for leisure and skills.

Speaking after the awards, Cllr Yeadon said:

“Once again these awards have given us a chance to celebrate the vital contribution apprentices and their employers make to our city and its economy.

“All our award-winners are shining examples of how hard work, passion and dedication can see young people accomplish their goals and be successful in whatever career they choose.

“I hope seeing what our apprentices and employers have accomplished here will encourage even more businesses and individuals in Leeds to get behind the apprenticeship programme both now and in the future.”

For details about apprenticeships and opportunities in Leeds, visit www.leedspathways.org.uk/work


A video highlighting the benefits of apprentices for businesses in Leeds is available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qj5RaVM1mc

Full list of award-winners:

Intermediate Apprentice of the Year

-Holly Buxton

Gordons LLP

Training Provider - Chartered Institute of Legal Executives

-Paul Atkinson

Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust

Training Provider - Leeds City College

-Tamsyn Barker

Sandinista Ltd.

Training Provider - Leeds City College

-Edward Green

New Wortley Community Centre

Training Provider – ESG

-Jessica McCulloch

Professional Creations Ltd.

Training Provider -Leeds City College

-Nathan Stevens

Leeds City Council

Training Provider - Harrogate College

Advanced Apprentice of the Year

- Graham Walters

NG Bailey

Training Provider - Leeds College of Building

-Lucy Paine


Training Provider - Partnership Development Solutions Ltd.

-Jacob Saunders

Sulzer Pumps UK Ltd.

Training Provider – Appris

Higher Apprentice of the Year

Jasmine Cawkwell

Gordons LLP

Training Provider - Chartered Institute of Legal Executives

Small Employer of the Year

-The Bright Screw Company Ltd.

-Nexus Telecommunications Ltd.

Medium Employer of the Year

-Arena Group

Large Employer of the Year

-BAE Systems

For more details, contact:

Stuart Robinson

Communications Officer

Leeds City Council

Tel: 0113 224 3937

Email: stuart.robinson@leeds.gov.uk