A group of Kent and Medway partners is delighted to invite businesses and apprentices to the first Kent Apprentice Graduation Ceremony at Rochester Cathedral on Friday 4 October 2019.

Thousands of organisations are now employing apprentices. With the desire to recognise and celebrate apprentices’ achievement akin to that of a University graduate, work is underway to bring this prestigious event to fruition.

Paul Winters, Chair of Wirebelt and project team member says; “Apprentices can be such a positive addition to many businesses. We want to celebrate this and highlight the fact that learning on the job is a great way to build a successful career in a local company.”

Alison Parmar, FSB Development Manager says, “Neighbouring counties have been celebrating the success of apprentices for some time through a graduation ceremony like this. We are really pleased to be working together to be able to invite businesses and apprentices to this new event. It is going to showcase the breadth of companies who already hire apprentices, and surely encourage other firms to do the same.”

Patrick Cantellow, an Apprentice in Digital Marketing, says “Businesses, schools and young people are finally realising the massive potential in apprenticeships. For a young person, you are given the opportunity to learn while earning and leave a mark in a business that will no doubt help your career later on. For a business, you can access young talent who not only bring a fresh perspective to work, but a loyal employee who is mouldable to your way of working.”

Patrick continues: “My plan was to go to university and become a Geography teacher, however, an Apprenticeship in Digital Marketing gave me the taste for the workplace in an exciting sector. Thanks to an apprenticeship, I’ve a new car and I’m about to rent my own flat, I’ve only just turned 20.  My school friends say I “dropped out”, but in fact, I think I took a couple of steps ahead of them, and now they’re the ones playing catch up. Having an Apprentice Graduation Ceremony is a great way to show this success.”

What is this event?

This awards celebration is specifically for apprentices who have successfully completed their qualification between 1 January 2018 and 31 August 2019. Each apprentice will be able to invite their employer and family to share in the special occasion. The afternoon will include a full graduation ceremony with graduate gowning and photography, as well as a VIP business reception in the cathedral crypt.

Who can be nominated?

Any apprentice who has completed their qualification, at any level or discipline, between 1st January 2018 and 31st August 2019 and is either Kent and Medway-based or has a Kent and Medway-based provider.

Who can nominate apprentices?

Applicants can be nominated by their employer, apprenticeship provider or can self-refer. Applications will be verified and places are available on a first come, first served basis. When nominations are made it’s essential that all parties involved, apprentice, employer and provider are informed.

Book your place

To nominate an apprentice for the Graduation, book here: https://www.kato-training.org/apprenticeship-graduation-ceremony/

If you are a business owner and wish to attend, please book here: https://bit.ly/2W1nZ7Z

The Kent and Medway partners who are organising and funding this event are:

Careers and Enterprise Company; The Education People; The Education and Skills Funding Agency; Federation of Small Businesses; The Leigh Academies Trust; Kent Association of Training Organisations, Kent Further Education; Kent County Council and Medway Council.

  • The event aims to attract a minimum of 600 guests.
  • Kelly Tolhurst MP and Minister for Small Businesses is booked as keynote speaker.
  • Paul Andrews, CEO of Jobs in Kent and Nicola Everitt of KMFM will co-host the awards ceremony.

Media Contact

Alison Parmar Alison.parmar@fsb.org.uk 07917 628 904