Sussex Apprenticeship Awards 2021: organisations and individuals celebrated at Hilton Brighton Metropole

Apprentices from across the county were celebrated at the Sussex Apprenticeship Awards 2021

The event, which took place at Hilton Brighton Metropole, celebrated and recognised the individuals and organisations involved in apprenticeships across Sussex.

Of the ten awards handed out on the night (December 9), two were won by Davies Learning Solutions, a professional education service in financial services.

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The organisation, which runs 23 apprenticeship programmes across Sussex, won the Diversity and Inclusion Award and Training Provider/Programme of the Year

All the winners and nominees from this year's award ceremony.

Carolyn Blunt, Director of Davies Learning Solutions, said: "It's lovely to be up here twice in one evening, but I cannot take credit for this award, its down to this fabulous team and another 100 people behind them doing work every single day to ensure that we bring apprenticeship opportunities to young people of all backgrounds and give them the best possible opportunities for their careers ahead.

"I'm so proud of our coaches, clients, employers, apprentices and learners at home, thank you so much for everything that you do every single day to ensure that people continue to learn and pursue their careers no matter what."

The headline sponsor of the awards was the Sussex Masonic Charitable Foundation CIO.

Michael Harris, chairman of the Sussex Masonic Charitable Foundation CIO, addressed the audience at the start of the event and said: "We've seen some pretty amazing people put forward as nominees.

Carolyn Blunt giving an acceptance speech for the second time after Davis won another award.

"It's been a very difficult decision I can promise you, but those that have won the awards are well deserving of it and I must congratulate you all on your very fine achievement as apprentices.

"It's so enlightening to see young people coming through a community that work hard and enjoy themselves. As Sussex Freemasons we are delighted to be able to support our young individuals and their employers in this way and its a pleasure to welcome you all here tonight."

Two apprentices from the pharmaceutical company Roche Diagnostics picked up awards on the night. James Hinton won the Rising Star Award for his 'seamless transition' to working and studying at home. While Adam Hawes, an engineering apprentice and Crawley College student, won in the Engineering and Manufacturing Apprentice of the Year category.

Fiona Wilson, a support time recovery worker within the Forensic Healthcare Care Delivery Service, thanked everyone who supported the NHS when she collected her Health and Public Service Apprentice of the Year Award.

Keith Ridgely hosted the award ceremony.

Fiona said: "I work in police custody with people with mental health concerns once they have been arrested to keep them safe. Thank you to everyone who supports the NHS and the work that we do."

Thea Fox, an apprentice at Drusillas Park Zoo, was an outright winner in the Intermediate Apprentice of the Year category – adding to the Top Practical Student Award she won at Plumpton College back in July.

The judges said that Thea had showed 'magnificent passion' for the apprenticeship and was to be commended for her 'dedication and commitment during a very difficult time'.

Thea said in her acceptance speech: "I want to say a massive thank you to Drusillas Park. Without them I wouldn't be here and to the zoo team because they are just amazing and don't get enough recognition."

The Sussex Masonic Charitable Foundation CIO said it was proud to be a headline sponsor of the Sussex Apprenticeship Awards 2021.

Mentor of the Year was won by Anna White, who was nominated by her apprentice Lucy Salvage for providing emotional support throughout her apprenticeship – something which had been crucial for her mental health.

Anna said: "It's an amazing privilege to win this and its also an amazing privilege to be a mentor of apprentices, I have thoroughly enjoyed my three years.

"I would like to thank Lucy Savage, my ex-apprentice, who nominated me without me knowing. I would also like to thank the PRCA [Public Relations and Communications Association], who are the training employers I work with, and also Creative Process Digital.

"Finally, I would like to thank all the great apprentices out there who are all fantastic employers, without you I wouldn't have a job."

Beach Tree Childcare won the SME Employer of the Year, while Kelly Freestone and Kate Baldwin of the Domiciliary Care Agency won the Covid Hero Award.

Joseph Turner, an apprentice at Cowdray Park Golf Club, won the Kickstart/Apprenticeship Award.

More photos from the event can be found here