Asian Apprenticeship Awards 2016
Last Thursday, the Asian Apprenticeship Awards held their first ceremony in Birmingham. This unique event is a recently-founded endeavour that celebrates the successes of apprentices and employers, recognising and thanking their contributions to the community. The evening was a delightful opportunity to forge connections and socialise with inspiring individuals, with a warm reception from host Holiday Inn and excellent catering provided by Payal.
The night was one to remember, with plenty of entertainment between the presentation of the awards. A dramatic opening from Eternal Taal (a professional female Bhangra dancing and drumming group) and amusing commentary from the evening’s hosts (Guz Khan and Suzi Mann) perfectly captured what the Asian Apprenticeship Awards represents: a bold, lively celebration of Asian talent.
The ceremony, which doubled as a valuable networking event, has been highly-praised for its celebration of the Asian apprenticeship community. Creative and Digital category winner Lubna Suleman, who is part of the Creative Alliance team, expressed her thoughts: “The event was great. It’s nice to see some focus on the Asian community, especially when it comes to apprenticeships.” A view expressed by presenter Guz Khan and echoed by other speakers throughout the night was how it can be difficult to broach the topic of apprenticeships with Asian families. Suleman agreed that, “Asians aren’t given the opportunity to explore apprenticeships because it’s all about university. Trying to explain it to an Asian parent can be difficult, so I feel that I’ve been quite lucky that I didn’t face any objections from my family.”
The prize ceremony kicked off with the “School or Academy of the Year” award, presented to Washwood Heath Academy for the incredible support they provided to their students regarding apprenticeships. Heather McLachlan (Head of Academy) expressed how excited the school was to have received the award, explaining, “This is recognition of the work we’ve begun to do… it opens doors for all the children within our communities, and it means that they’ve got an opportunity to believe in themselves.”
The final award was the “Apprentice of the Year” award, which went to Sanna Shabir, apprenticing with Atkins Global. During her short speech, she explained how she was “a very big fan of hands-on learning” and felt she was getting “the best of both worlds by studying and working at the same time”.
The night was a huge success and gave much-needed representation to an under-appreciated group of talented individuals and organisations. A powerful quote to sum up the spirit of the event came from honourary guest speaker, Dr Rami Ranger CBE: “An apprenticeship is not the end. It is the beginning of your career.”
From the team at Creative Alliance, we would like to thank the Asian Apprentice Awards for this fantastic opportunity to showcase so much talent within the apprenticeships community and for a wonderful evening of food, entertainment and networking.
We are so proud of Lubna Suleman for winning the Creative and Digital Apprentice Award! Read more about her achievement here.
To find out more about apprenticeships, visit our website here and view our current vacancies here.