Bedford College to stage apprentice graduation ceremony

Bedford College apprenticeships.
Bedford College apprenticeships.

Bedford College is to stage one of the new UK Graduation Ceremonies for Apprentices.

The Government selected only the top 20 colleges around the country to showcase the successes of apprenticeships.

Bedford College is a leading provider of apprenticeship training in Bedfordshire and has links with 1,000s of employers.

Skills Minister Nick Boles said: “Our ambition is for it to become the norm for young people to achieve their career goals by going into an apprenticeship or to university or, in the case of some higher apprenticeships, doing both.

“These graduation ceremonies will recognise and reward the success of our apprentices and by doing so, will raise the profile and quality of Apprenticeships.

“Apprenticeships are thriving in England, and it’s not hard to see why. They offer ambitious young people and adults unrivalled career prospects and give businesses an exceptional route to grow a highly qualified and motivated workforce.”

£400,000 of Government funding has been awarded to the graduation ceremonies project overall.

Just 19 apprenticeship providers have been awarded part of the funding to enable them to roll the awards out nationally and to plan and host the ceremonies.

One of the criteria the successful bidders were judged on was the ability to continue and improve the events into the future, working with partners to gain funding and sponsorship.

Winning bidders also had to show their events would engage with employers who haven’t previously employed an apprentice and with potential apprentices and their influencers.

The graduation ceremony grants have been managed by the Association of Colleges and Association of Employment and Learning Providers, through the Skills Funding Agency.

Bedford Borough Council is providing the Bedford Corn Exchange for the local event in spring 2015 when hundreds of apprentices and employers will be joining the celebrations.