Industry links to shine at 2017 Golden Apple Awards

19 August 2017 7:19AM

Businesses and educators are working closer than ever before to ensure young people are ready for the world of work.

And now is your chance to celebrate the partnership that your organisation has with a local school, college, university or training unit.

The Golden Apple Awards, brought to you by CN Group, recognises those close and emerging links which bring together the worlds of education and industry.

Best Industry Engagement Initiative is one of the 20 categories welcoming nominations in this year's awards, which are sponsored by Inspira and the University of Cumbria.

Judges will give the award to a school or training provider which forges relationships with employers and industry and ensures students are prepared for their next step on life's journey.

Many schools hold careers events, usually inviting local employers to set challenges for pupils, and colleges and other post-16 providers enjoy relationships with established and emerging employers to offer work-based training.

Nominations in this category must show how educators and business leaders are working together to provide exciting and inspiring opportunities for learners.

Schemes or partnerships must also show how a range of hard and soft skills are being developed by young people to ensure they are "work ready".

Entries in this category must also demonstrate how learners go on to secure further study, employment and training opportunities as a result of the relationship.

Award sponsors Cumbria University and Inspira know how vital links between business and education are.

Sandra Booth is pro vice chancellor for enterprise, business development and engagement at the University of Cumbria.

She said: "In a competitive market place, it is vital that, on recruitment, employees are fully ready to contribute and be productive.

"This is a boast we can make about many University of Cumbria students particularly in vocational areas such as nursing and teaching as, through our established links and strong relationships with employers in the region, we are able to determine what it is they look for in a new graduate.

"This approach is expanding into other sectors and professions where close links and business engagement are informing course design and delivery."

One area of development for the university is degree apprenticeships, which are being created in conjunction with employers to help meet a need for more highly-skilled workers locally.

Ms Booth said: "This ability to ‘hit the ground running’ in the workplace is such a crucial skill that I believe it is vital to establish connections between education, training and work.

"Increasingly, schools as well as colleges and universities are recognising the importance of collaborating with local industry with the aim of establishing both the mind set and skill set their students and pupils need to be work ready.

"Increasingly the Degree Apprenticeships delivered in collaboration with employers will instil a sound work ethic alongside the appropriate industrial skills required to carry out a specific role and develop a successful and rewarding career."

The Golden Apple Awards will reward and recognise excellence in education, learning and training.

Entries can be submitted before the July 28 closing date.

Shortlisted finalists will be announced in early September.

Finalists will be invited to the awards event taking place at The Cube, at the University of Cumbria's Fusehill Street campus in Carlisle on Friday, October 6.

Anyone can submit nominations and it is free to enter.

Awards for individuals, professionals, volunteers and community awards are available.

To enter go to, email or call Megan Norwood on 01228 612231.

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