Hosts and judges announced for North East Apprenticeship Awards

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Nominations are also open for the awards this year.

The Sunderland Echo, South Shields Gazette, Newcastle World, Northumberland Gazette and News Post Leader are delighted to announce the Inaugural North East Apprenticeship Awards to celebrate and recognise the hardworking individuals and organisations involved in apprenticeships and how they shape our future.

Not only does winning an award mean recognition for the apprentice, but it’s also a major morale boost for the company and workforce that supports the apprentice.

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Guests will enjoy a formal sit down meal, as well the awards themselves which promise to have you on your feet as we celebrate the Apprenticeship Stars of the North East.

The host and judges have been announced for the 2023 North East Apprenticeship Awards.The host and judges have been announced for the 2023 North East Apprenticeship Awards.
The host and judges have been announced for the 2023 North East Apprenticeship Awards.

Nominations are now open. The closing date is Friday 9th June 2023 and the ceremony will take place at Newcastle United’s St James Park on Thursday, July 13.

The host

Katie Katie Bulmer Cooke will be hosting the night. Fitness and property entrepreneur, Katie, is a former UK Personal Trainer of the Year, UK Fitness Professional of the Year and Wearside Role Model of the Year. Always remembered for her down to earth approach to all that she does, Katie also appeared on BBC1's The Apprentice, making it to week 10 of the show.

Looking ahead to the awards, she said: “It’s fantastic to have an event like this taking place in the northeast to celebrate those doing an apprenticeship and to shine a light on how successful we are as a region. I can’t wait to see everyone picking up their awards on the night!”

Meet the judges

Ruth Chester - Head of Professional Apprenticeships

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Ruth works with industry partners to understand the current landscape in relation to regional and national skills gaps and where apprenticeships could be a solution in these areas. A key part of her role is driving forward the apprenticeship offer to ensure delivery of the right solutions for employers and industry.

Before joining Teesside University, Ruth was a Workforce Development Adviser, managing an internal corporate apprenticeship programme, working closely with internal and external partners to deliver apprenticeship solutions. Ruth is passionate about apprenticeships as an alternative to the standard learning route, enabling employers and individuals to identify and develop talent through work-based learning.

Alan Wallace - North East Apprenticeship Ambassador Network

Alan has been involved in Apprenticeships since 1986. He has had many roles in the private, voluntary and public sector. He headed up the Apprenticeship Service in the North East of England and was a member of the senior management team at the National Apprenticeship Service.

He passionately believes that apprenticeships when delivered will make a huge difference for both Employers and Individuals. Alan now supports the North East Apprenticeship Ambassador Network in promoting Apprenticeships to both Employers and Individuals across the region.

Dr Ann Thanaraj - Assistant Director Teesside University

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Dr Ann Thanaraj is Assistant Director leading the digital transformation of the learning and teaching portfolio at Teesside University, having led a university-wide strategic and change transformation project in Online Learning. Ann is also founder and host of Lawyering in a Digital Age, an international initiative which brings together a global interdisciplinary audience to shape the direction of legal education.

Ann works nationally with various organisations and sector leaders to support the education sector to transform their online learning practices, and in reimagining models of law degrees fit for the digital age.

Cited by the House of Lords, and in recognition for her strategic leadership in online learning with impact across the sector, Ann has been awarded National Teaching Fellow and Principal Fellowship of AdvanceHE. Ann is co-author of Digital Lawyering, the world’s first textbook in this field, and is co-author and co-editor of Teaching law: Future readiness and digital empowerment of law students.

Ann has co-led the development of the Digital Learning Design Framework and Toolkit (supported by Jisc and published by EDUCAUSE), a freely available resource for use across the education sector, which has had global reach for learning design.

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