The Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards were held on 24th April in the beautiful Orangery at Blenheim Palace, a fitting venue for the fantastic achievements that were to be celebrated.
This year, Darke & Taylor sponsored the Large Apprenticeship Employer of the Year Award. This award was open to organisations with 50 or more employees, who have management autonomy in Oxfordshire, and employ apprentices that work in Oxfordshire. Entries were received from a wide range of organisations and, after some tough interviews, site visits and much deliberation, a strong shortlist was announced.
The three finalists came from a diverse range of industries namely Wellers (Accountancy), Williams (Grand Prix Engineering), and Beard (Construction), and it was with great pleasure that Darke & Taylor announced Wellers as the winners of the Award. Wellers is an Oxfordshire based firm with a strong track record in delivering apprenticeship opportunities across its business. Tanya Webb, Operations & Compliance Manager at Darke & Taylor said: “Being on the judging panel was an inspiring experience. Wellers have an excellent and well-executed apprenticeship programme which delivers real value for both the apprentices and the company. They serve as a tremendous example to businesses not only in Oxfordshire but across the UK.”
As the evening progressed, Darke & Taylor was delighted to hear its apprentice electrician Mat Thomas announced as one of the winners of the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Ambassador Award, alongside Olivia Buckingham, Youth Ambition Apprentice at Oxford City Council. In his role as an Apprenticeship Ambassador, Mat typically attends at least one Oxfordshire LEP event a month, ranging from presenting at a school assembly, attending a careers fair, or taking part in a human library event at a school. Simon Newton, Commercial Director at Darke & Taylor, said: “The feedback we have received from Oxfordshire LEP is that Mat is a real natural at talking to groups of people, with his enthusiasm and knowledge engaging whatever audience is in front of him. Raising the profile of apprenticeships is crucial to ensure businesses attract the best candidates, and Mat plays a key role in this within our local area. Well done Mat!”
Full details of all the winners can be found here: https://www.oxfordshireapprenticeships.co.uk/content/shining-stars-oxfordshire-apprenticeship-awards-2018