HUNDREDS of people who have successfully completed an apprenticeship in the past 12 months are due to celebrate their achievements at a graduation ceremony this week.
The ceremony – now an established annual event – will take place at De Montfort Hall, on Friday, 17 June. Each apprentice will be called up onto De Montfort Hall’s stage to be congratulated by Leicester Lord Mayor Cllr George Cole, head of customer support for Volvo Trucks UK Ltd Mark Palin, and acting pro-vice chancellor for enterprise at De Montfort University, Helen Donnellan.
The event is hosted by the city council’s employment hub, which works directly with employers and job seekers to offer pathways into apprenticeships, training, work placements and employment.
More than 200 businesses which support apprentices have also been invited to attend, along with family and friends of the graduates.
Awards will include the Intermediate Apprentice of the Year, Advanced Apprentice of the Year and Higher Apprentice of the Year (all sponsored by Woodhead Group), along with Employer of the Year (sponsored by Leicester College).
The ceremony itself will be opened by the Leicester Taiko drummers, with an exhilarating performance of Japanese taiko drumming. Guest soloist, Millie Hancock, is also due to perform the song Hallelujah during the ceremony in celebration.
Leicester City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “As a council, we recognise the importance of apprenticeships as a key part of supporting the city’s economic growth.
“The growth of Leicester’s economy must achieve two things, combining a robust, innovative response to the climate emergency while also boosting the city’s economy, creating a skilled local workforce and bringing better paid work to the city.
“I’d like to congratulate all of the apprentices who will be graduating at this ceremony on their hard work, and thank the businesses who have done so much to support them.”
Volvo Trucks UK Ltd was among the firms working to provide apprenticeships. Its head of customer support, Mark Palin, added: “We find ourselves in very demanding times where skills along with the high level of competencies required are not so easy to come by. Volvo Trucks UK recognises the value that apprenticeships can bring to the business.
“Now more so now than ever it is a great time to be emerging into industry as we move into new and exciting technologies, including in our industry the introduction of vehicles powered by electricity or hydrogen cell, as well as the continuous fuel saving advancements in diesel combustion engines and automated transmissions.”
Tracey Waterfield, council employment hub manager, said: “This is our sixth annual graduation ceremony for apprentices, where we have been able to demonstrate to employers the value of skills delivered through employing apprentices.
“This year is especially significant following two years of lockdown as remarkably all of those graduating have shown incredible resilience, not only to start an apprenticeship but to complete it successfully in challenging circumstances.”
For more information on Leicester Employment Hub, visit www.leicesteremploymenthub.co.uk
Media opportunity: You are invited to send a reporter/photographer to the apprentices’ graduation ceremony, which takes place from 3pm-4.30pm on Friday, 17 June, at De Montfort Hall, Leicester.