The University of Huddersfield celebrated the achievements of apprentices and their employers at its Apprenticeship Awards 2024.

Held annually the awards are designed to recognise those apprentices that have made an outstanding contribution to their job or workplace, as well as employers that have been pivotal to the university’s apprenticeship programme.

Prof Andrew Ball, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research Innovation and Knowledge Exchange, congratulated each of the six winners as they stepped on stage to claim their prize.

Prof Ball, along with the university’s Director of Apprenticeships, Brian Culleton, presented the awards at a special ceremony that was held on campus in the Oastler Building.

Prof Ball said: “The University of Huddersfield Apprenticeship Awards acknowledge the incredible achievements of our apprentices, their employers, and to name our apprenticeship ambassador for the year.

“Our teaching colleagues, professional services apprenticeship teams, student services, and our employers have all played a vital part in changing the lives of so many people.

“As a result, I’m so very proud of our collaborative efforts which are centred on providing the best possible experience for each apprentice.”

The winners were: Level 5 Apprentice of the Year – Michelle Radford of the University of Huddersfield; Level 6 Apprentice of the Year – Laura Davies of Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust; Level 7 Apprentice of the Year – Olivia Sykes of Kirklees Citizens Advice and Law Centre; Apprenticeship Ambassador of the Year – Rebecca Farrell of East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust; Small Employer of the Year – WomenCentre Kirklees and Large Employer of the Year – Yorkshire Ambulance Service.

The University of Huddersfield offers a number of higher and degree apprenticeships, which are a way for employers to support their staff to study for university qualifications.

Apprentices spend part of their time at the university and the remainder at their place of work, benefitting from on-the-job training, enhanced by their degree education.

They are able to earn while they are learning, and their training and qualifications are fully funded by their employer.

Mr Culleton congratulated all six winners and said: “I’m extremely proud of the remarkable success of our apprenticeship provision.

“Last October Ofsted graded us as ‘outstanding’ which is an incredible achievement because only one other university has been graded as ‘outstanding’ in the past four years. Thank you to everyone involved for being part of building such a successful apprenticeship provision.

“Our apprentices’ commitment to their own growth and development, coupled with the encouragement and guidance provided by their employers, has been instrumental in making the University of Huddersfield apprenticeships a resounding success.”

This is the third year that the University of Huddersfield has held its Apprenticeship Awards. It currently offers a total of 14 higher and degree apprenticeship courses within the Human and Health Sciences and Business schools.

The success of the programme saw the university receive an Ofsted outstanding rating for its apprentice provision in 2023 – only the second university to do so in the last four years.

The university will also be launching a Teacher Degree Apprenticeship in September 2025.