A project team of local organisations with a vested interested in skills and Apprenticeships organised the first ever Kent and Medway Apprenticeship graduation ceremony last autumn. Held in October 2019, 100 apprentices who had studied Levels 2 – 5 qualifications graduated fully-gowned in front of friends, family, stakeholders and employers at Rochester Cathedral, Kent.

They were individually congratulated on stage and presented with a certificate of achievement by The Minister for Small Businesses Kelly Tolhurst MP and Mike Cherry OBE, National Chair of the Federation of Small Businesses. Click here for more on last year’s event.

This year, due to the current pandemic circumstances The Kent and Medway Graduation Ceremony took place virtually at 12pm on Friday 2nd October 2020. The event was a digital success, it allowed keynote speaker’s virtual films to be shown to all viewers, as well as speeches from employers and Apprentice’s themselves. Our very own Christopher Ray, a Southeastern Railway Apprentice who has completed an IPS Engineering Apprenticeship, spoke about his Apprenticeship Training at IPS, how Apprenticeships benefit all ages and how even in the current circumstances the quality of his training has remained of a high standard. The 125 Apprentice’s individual names were read out by the host and all were congratulated on completing their Apprenticeships during a challenging year. Apprentices were also personally congratulated by keynote speakers The Minister for Apprenticeships Gillian Keegan MP and entrepreneur Anthony Impey MBE.

Paul Winter, Chair of Wire Belt Company Ltd and part of the project team says, “These Apprentices have continued their work and study through a very challenging time. It is right that their efforts are recognised, so I for one will be watching and congratulating them from my home office.”

Nicola Everett kmfm newsreader and this year’s event host says, “This virtual ceremony means that friends, family, employers, training providers – anyone with access to the internet can join in, celebrate and support the Apprenticeship Class of 2020. It is ray of positive light in this stormy year.”

Deborah Turner, FSB Kent Area Leader says, “FSB is a proud sponsor of this digital ceremony. Small businesses from all sectors benefit from hiring an apprentice – improving skills and increasing overall productivity within their firm. With the global pandemic affecting young people’s career options like never before, Apprenticeships offer a positive solution for both a business owner and a young person. Each Apprentice and employer are getting well-deserved recognition through this innovative ceremony and we wish them all the best for the future.”

The ceremony took place on a bespoke platform usually reserved for University Graduates, designed and built by Graduation Attire. Despite it being an online event, Apprentices can order souvenirs including a personal certificate, Apprenticeship badge and celebratory brochure which includes the Apprentice’s individual name, employer and training provider, which will be available to download in PDF format from 6 October 2020 via the website.

The event will be available on the 6th October to watch again: kandmappgrad.org

Lastly, we would like to say a huge well done and congratulations to our 18 IPS Apprentices who graduated on the day:

IPS Apprentices:

Harry Beadle – L2 Business and Administration – IPS International
Deborah Buchan – L2 Adult Care Worker – Avante Care & Support
Rachel Golding – L2 Business and Administration –
Adam Blunt – L3 Engineering Manufacture – BAE Systems
Tom Campbell – L3 Engineering Manufacture – Coca Cola
Peter Cooper – L3 Team Leader – Maidstone Borough Council
Isla Fox – L3 Business Administrator – Swale Borough Council
Luke Glanville – L3 Team Leader – Maidstone Borough Council
Darren Glover – L3 Team Leader – Maidstone Borough Council
Harley Gorse – L3 Engineering Manufacture –  BAE Systems
Ben Jamieson – L3 Engineering Manufacture – BAE Systems
Steven McKenzie – L3 Team Leader – Maidstone Borough Council
Ryan Miles – L3 Business Administrator – Swale Borough Council
Robert Poynter – L3 Engineering Manufacture – BAE Systems
Ben Sinclair – L3 Engineering Manufacture – BAE Systems
Luke Thomas – L3 Engineering Manufacture – BAE Systems
Morgan Tindall – L3 Engineering Manufacture – BAE Systems
David Warren – L3 Business Administrator – Swale Borough Council

Want to download the celebratory brochure?