The nominees, who were already recognised as the best in their cap badges, were nominated for one of four categories; Intermediate, Advanced, Chartered Management Degree level and Apprentice Champions, reflecting all stages of the Army Apprenticeship.
The commander of the Army's Home Command, Lieutenant General Tyrone Urch CBE, said: “The Army Apprenticeship programme is comprehensive, offers more than 40 programmes across 13 Army cap and has seen a staggering 5,500 soldiers successfully complete apprenticeship programmes in the last academic year alone. The MOD is proud not only to be a member of the 5% club alongside leading companies, but really proud that 95% of our soldiers are offered an apprenticeship programme when they join up."
He went on to say: “The apprenticeship programme is a key foundation to develop and maximise the talent we've got.”
This was the first year that the Army has recognised those taking part in the degree programme, which demonstrates how far soldiers in the Army can progress with qualifications alongside their day job.
We were delighted to be joined by inspiring guests including formed soldier, author and TV personality Phil Campion as well as NHS apprenticeship ambassador Jane Hadfield. Both Phil and Jane were asked to present the awards to some of our winners.
The Army Sergeant Major who formed part of the judging panel and is a great advocate for the apprenticeship programme said; “I believe that the Army Apprentice Awards are a celebration of the high-level accreditation that we can gain through our Army. Your efforts will demonstrate, to everybody in our Army, just how much the Army invests in us as people.”
We spoke to a few of the winners to find out what they took from their apprenticeship experience so far:
Lance Corporal Ralston, winner of the Army Intermediate Apprentice, said: “Overall, I benefitted hugely from being on the Apprenticeship scheme. It was the culmination of all my learning, and it gave me a massive confidence boost knowing I could not only do my job, but do it well.”
Lance Corporal Galloway, winner of the Army Apprenticeship Champion, said: “I believe in the value of the Apprenticeship Scheme to everyone, not just the apprentices, but the wider chain of command as I believe it can be a great way of improving motivation in the junior soldiers.”
Warrant Officer Class 2 Stafford, winner of the Army Chartered Management Degree Apprenticeship, said: “I feel really honoured to have been selected for the programme. The benefits are huge in terms of self-confidence, self-belief and professional development.”