THE leading government backed organisation for promoting apprentice training in the UK has become a strategic partner in a ground breaking initiative that will culminate in a major awards evening in Birmingham.
WorldSkills UK and The Asian Apprenticeship Awards have agreed to become strategic partners for the forthcoming awards on the 10 November.
The very best in Asian apprentices will be celebrated at a gala event in November that will be the first of its kind. Apprentices from all over the country and their employers will get the chance to compete for 22 different awards.
The Government has recognised the vital importance to future economic prospects of apprenticeships that provide people with a chance to earn and learn.
But the Asian community is underrepresented when it comes to taking the apprenticeship route into training and learning. Figures from the Skills Funding Agency show that just 4.1 per cent of apprentices are Asian and the Government has set a target of 20 per cent by 2020. An important objective of the Awards is to raise awareness of apprenticeships in this important part of the Minority Ethnic community.
Dr Neil Bentley, Chief Executive, WorldSkills UK said that he sees the awards as a way of getting more Asian men and women to undertake apprentice training.
“I strongly believe that more needs to be done to showcase the fantastic opportunities that an apprenticeship can offer all young people and that is why I am excited to be working with the Asian Apprenticeship Awards.
“I hope that by showcasing the Apprentice of the Year at The Skills Show we can unravel some of the myths that exist and inspire more young people, from all backgrounds, to consider an apprenticeship as a route to a successful and rewarding career.”
Safaraz Ali, one of the award organisers says that apprenticeships do not often feature at the top of the list when young Asian people are considering their careers.
“Traditionally, Asians going into further education take an academic route through colleges and universities,” said Safaraz Ali.
“As a result people are missing a great opportunity. However, we want to celebrate the very best of young Asian apprentices and those that employ them.
Judges drawn from all over the country will shortly begin the task of going through the nominations.
There are eight sector categories with awards for both apprentice and employer. In addition to this there are six individual awards culminating in the accolade of Asian Apprentice of the Year.
There are still opportunities for companies and organisations to get involved with the event as sponsors and to encourage young apprentices to enter
The awards ceremony will be at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Birmingham on Thursday, November 10 with nearly 500 guests and linked to The Skills Show at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham between Thursday, November 17 and Saturday, November 19.
For more information about the awards including how to nominate an apprentice, employer or learning provider and opportunities to get involved as a sponsor or partner call Isa Mutlib, telephone 0121 707 0550. The website for the awards is www.asianapprenticeshipawards.co.uk