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It is with great delight we announce that WorldSkills UK and The Asian Apprenticeship Awards have agreed to become strategic partners for the forthcoming awards on the 10th of November.

The very best in Asian apprentices will be celebrated at a gala event in November that will be the first of its kind. Apprentices from all over the country and their employers will get the chance to compete for 22 different awards.

The Government has recognised the vital importance to future economic prospects of apprenticeships that provide people with a chance to earn and learn. But the Asian community is underrepresented when it comes to taking the apprenticeship route into training and learning. Figures from the Skills Funding Agency show that just 4.1 per cent of apprentices are Asian and the Government has set a target of 20 per cent by 2020. An important objective of the Awards is to raise awareness of apprenticeships in this important part of the Minority Ethnic community.

“Traditionally, Asians going into further education take an academic route through colleges and universities,” said Safaraz Ali, one of the organisers of the event. “As a result people are missing a great opportunity. However, we want to celebrate the very best of young Asian apprentices and those that employ them.”

Judges drawn from all over the country will begin the task of assessing the entries by the end of the summer. There are eight sector categories with awards for both apprentice and employer. In addition to this there are six individual awards culminating in the accolade of Asian Apprentice of the Year.

The partnership with Asian Apprenticeship Awards seeks to raise the profile of apprenticeships within the Asian communities across England. Part of the partnership will see the ‘Apprentice of The Year’, a headline sponsored award, be showcased at The Skills Show 2016 which takes place from 17th to 19th November at the NEC Birmingham.

Dr Neil Bentley, Chief Executive, WorldSkills UK said:  “I strongly believe that more needs to be done to showcase the fantastic opportunities that an apprenticeship can offer all young people and that is why I am excited to be working with the Asian Apprenticeship Awards.  I hope that by showcasing the Apprentice of the Year at The Skills Show we can unravel some of the myths that exist and inspire more young people, from all backgrounds, to consider an apprenticeship as a route to a successful and rewarding career.”

The awards ceremony will be at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Birmingham on Thursday, November 10 with nearly 500 guests.

To nominate an apprentice, employer or learning provider, please go to the nomination page.  To get involved as a sponsor or partner call Isa Mutlib, telephone 0121 707 0550.