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Apprentices can book place at graduation ceremony

Published on Wednesday, March 15, 2017

HUNDREDS of people from across the city and county are being invited to take part in an apprenticeship graduation ceremony.

Online bookings are now being taken for the ceremony, which will celebrate the achievements of apprentices in a wide variety of local business and industries.

It’s being hosted by Leicester City Council’s Apprenticeship Hub, which helps people to into employment-based training. Event sponsors include De Montfort University, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, East Midlands Housing Association, Leicester College, LLEP, Leicester Riders and Intraining. 

Attendees will celebrate gaining apprenticeship qualifications ranging from intermediate to degree level.

The ceremony takes place on Friday 23 June at Athena in the city centre. It’s now an established annual event, in its third year, with more than 120 apprentices and trainees recognised last year. About 200 people are expected to take part in the 2017 ceremony.

Each apprentice will be called up onto Athena’s stage to be recognised for their achievement, in front of an invited audience of family, friends and business leaders.

There will also be awards such as Apprentice of the Year and Employer of the Year.

Cllr Sue Waddington, assistant city mayor with responsibility for jobs and skills, said: “Events like this one demonstrate how committed we are to apprenticeship programmes, because we want young people and adults to have a wide range of job options and opportunities open to them.

“We’re now seeing employers of all sizes getting on board with apprenticeships and supporting their employees’ career progression, with apprenticeship training offered at all levels. Foundation and degree level apprenticeships are due to become much more accessible to small and medium-sized business through the plans for the new apprenticeship levy.

“This graduation ceremony is a great way to show recognition for the progression people can make by taking apprenticeships, and demonstrates how this skilled workforce is benefitting Leicester’s businesses.”

The apprenticeship levy is a national scheme being introduced by the Government, which will see very large businesses helping to fund apprenticeship training for all employers. It should make it easier for smaller businesses to afford and recruit apprentices, as the Government will pay 90% of the training fees.

Attendees at last year’s event included Daniel Irvine, higher apprentice at DJ’s Groom Room. He said: “I never thought I would wear a robe and graduate and I was proud to be able to do this in front of my peers, colleagues and family.”

Gemma Chamberlain, an advanced apprentice at LOROS, said: “It was so nice to be recognised for all the hard work that I have done.”

Apprentices who have gained their qualifications since 1 April 2016, or are expected to gain them by 31 March 2017, can book their place at the event online at

The city council’s apprenticeship hub helped at least 134 people into apprenticeships last year. Find out more about the Apprenticeship Hub at