APPRENTICES across the county can apply for the first Worcestershire Apprenticeship Awards which celebrate their exceptional contributions to a company.

There are 12 awards up for grabs in the first Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Apprenticeship Awards which recognises top talent in the county.

Among them are five Worcestershire Apprenticeship Awards which recognise and celebrate the difference apprentices make to the workplace.

Worcestershire Apprentice of the year, sponsored by The Community Housing Group, will be awarded to the overall winner from three categories.

These are High Level Apprentice of the Year, sponsored by 3sdl, Advanced Level Apprentice of the Year, sponsored by Fortis Living and Intermediate Level Apprentice of the Year.

People can also apply for the Pre-Apprenticeship Award which recognises the difference someone makes to an organisation during work experience in preparation for an apprenticeship placement.

Ray Brookes, Group Chief Executive of he Community Housing Group, said: “I am extremely proud of our commitment and achievements in supporting people in their career through our Group Apprenticeship Programme.

"We consider apprenticeships a perfect way to support the local economy, whilst enabling us to develop a skilled, professional and flexible workforce for the future."

By becoming an apprentice, young people gain valuable on-the-job experience and qualifications while earning a wage.

People who could apply for this award may be working towards a Level 2 apprenticeship equivalent to five good GCSE passes, Advanced Apprenticeships equivalent to two A- Levels or Higher Apprenticeships where people work towards work-based learning qualifications such as NVQ Level 4 or a Foundation Degree.

Sophie Allsop, WGTA Accountancy Apprentice at Compco Fire Systems, Worcester, said: “I feel taking the apprenticeship route has been the best decision I have made in my career so far and would highly recommend this route."

Paige Boland, Manufacturing Engineer Apprentice at Worcester Bosch Group, said: “The Apprenticeship has been great for me and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who doesn’t want to go through University.

"You are paid whilst learning, getting qualifications and gaining work experience."

Gary Woodman, Executive Director at Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: "Apprentices gain valuable skills and knowledge that will benefit them for the rest of their working lives. At the same time, businesses are able to nurture and develop the talent that they need for the future.

“These awards recognise the very best apprentices in the county. We hope that if you know someone who deserves to be recognised by an award, you will nominate them via the dedicated web portal”

The closing date for nominations is August 8.