Higgins Partnerships wins East of England SME Employer of the Year and Recruitment Excellence Award at National Apprenticeship Awards

Posted 03/11/2021

Higgins Partnerships has won two prestigious awards at the East of England regional finals for the National Apprenticeship Awards 2021.

The company was awarded SME Employer of the Year and Recruitment Excellence Award recognising its commitment to providing apprenticeship and training opportunities for those looking to have a career in the construction industry.

The awards, which are in their 18th year, highlight the benefits apprenticeships bring to individuals, businesses and local communities and celebrates the success of those that have gone above and beyond to make a difference.

Steve Leakey, Managing Director of Higgins Partnerships comments, “We are thrilled to be awarded these two prestigious awards which recognise the commitment and value we place on our apprenticeship programmes.

“From the appointment of our first apprentice in 1974, who stayed with us until his retirement last year, we have been committed to providing career opportunities for all, with many of us, including myself, have undertaken an apprenticeship throughout our career progression.

We ensure they are supported from day one, with ongoing mentoring programmes and we offer a range of apprenticeships from level 2 to level 7, including our annual Management Trainee Programme, for both direct entrants to the business and for existing employers to support their ongoing development.”

Nine regional awards have taken place across England and the final overall winner will be announced on Wednesday 1st December at a virtual ceremony.  

Alex Burghart, Minister for Skills said: “As the new Minister for Skills, I’m a major believer in what apprenticeships can do for employers, the economy and the apprentices themselves, so a huge congratulations to everyone taking part in these regional finals.  

“These awards recognise those employers who continue to invest in skills through apprenticeships, and those who have achieved great success. Just as importantly, they also showcase those fantastic apprentices who are already having a significant impact in their chosen field." 

Over 1,000 entries from apprentice employers, apprentices, and apprenticeship champions have been received this year from all over England. The breadth of industries and sectors recognised highlights the broad appeal of apprenticeships, and how employers and individuals are continuing to build business and career success through apprenticeships.

Annette Allmark, Head of Apprenticeships at BCS who sponsored the SME Employer of the Year category said: “At a time when there’s a shortage of skilled people across many sectors, apprenticeships are a great way to start or progress a career.  

“There is now greater awareness about the availability of a much wider range of employer designed apprenticeships, including those in digital roles, as well in the more traditional sectors such as retail, hospitality, and construction. 

“Apprenticeships are increasingly seen by employers of all sizes as a fantastic way to develop staff and build their talent pipeline. The National Apprenticeship Awards are so important as they put a spotlight on the achievements of apprentices and their employers, who deserve to be applauded and celebrated.”