The commitment and hard work of apprentices in East Sussex was celebrated at a special graduation ceremony recently.

Importance of apprenticeships

Apprenticeships offer a wonderful opportunity for people to take the first steps onto the career ladder, change career paths, or develop new skills in a current role, earn money while training and gain qualifications from entry level to the equivalent of a master’s degree.

The evening, held on the evening of Wednesday, October 19, underlined the importance of apprenticeships to the local economy and celebrated the contributions of apprentices, local businesses and educators to the programme.

Celebrate achievements

The event at the Welcome Building in Eastbourne was attended by those who completed an apprenticeship in East Sussex between September 2019 and October 2022.

As well as highlighting the key role local businesses and education partners play in the successful apprenticeship programme in East Sussex, the ceremony was also an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of local apprentices, training providers and apprentice employers.

Special Awards

During the event four special awards, based on nominations received from employers, colleagues, apprenticeship providers, and apprentices were presented to celebrate the outstanding achievements of all those involved in the apprenticeship journey.


Overall Contribution to the Business Award

Sponsored by East Sussex County Council, this award celebrated the outstanding contribution made by an East Sussex apprentice to their employer during their apprenticeship.

Nominees: Emily Wright, Bryany Simmons and Kaveri Sharma

Winner: Kaveri Sharma, East Sussex County Council

Amazing Colleague/Apprenticeship Employer Award

Sponsored by the Sussex Council of Training Providers, this award celebrated the contribution of employees who either championed apprenticeships within their organisation or have offered exemplary support.

Shortlist: Graham Marley, Henry Clayson and Lesley Baker

Winner: Lesley Baker, East Sussex NHS Podiatry Service

Best Progression Award

This award, sponsored by NCFE, recognised the exceptional determination and efforts of an apprentice in the achievement of their apprenticeship through challenging times.

Shortlist: Marigold Lawson, Emily Wright, Particia Groome and Kate Williams

Winner: Emily Wright, Let’s Do Business Group

Tutor/Trainer of the Year

Celebrating the contribution of a tutor or trainer who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to support an apprentice(s) during their apprenticeship, this award was sponsored by the South East Apprentice Ambassador Network.

Shortlist: Becca Saiet, Maria Wheeler, Clare Westbury-Tong

Winner:  Clare Westbury-Tong, East Sussex County Council

Congratulations to all the nominees, those shortlisted and of course, the winners.

Find out more

Anyone interested in becoming an apprentice can find out more by calling 0800 0150 400 or by visiting the government’s apprenticeship website.

Young people aged 16-18 who needs help getting into further education, training, apprenticeships or employment can contact the Youth Employability Service (YES) for 1-1 support on 01323 368390 or 01424 311890, via email at or message them via their facebook page.

Apprenticeships play a vital role in helping businesses in East Sussex find the talent they need to grow. Organisations looking for more information about apprenticeships, including information on how to access funding that could cover apprenticeship training costs, can visit the Sussex Council of Training Providers website to access the free and impartial Transform skills support service.

The Transform programme is funded by the European Social Fund and led by East Sussex County Council, and aims to help small and medium sized enterprises access apprenticeship advice and funding.

The graduation event was organised by Sussex Council of Training Providers with support from co-headline sponsors East Sussex County Council and East Sussex College Group, and sponsors NCFE, the South East Apprenticeship Ambassador Network and OHM Energy.