18 March 2019

Apprentices, employers and teaching staff gathered at the University of East London (UEL) to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week with the Rt Hon Anne Milton MP, the government’s minister for apprenticeships and skills.

Attendees included apprentices from UEL, Blue Engineering, the London Design and Technology University Technical College, construction giant Costain, and Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Professor Hassan Abdalla, executive dean of the College of Arts, Technology, and Innovation, said,

It was an honour to welcome the Rt Hon Anne Milton MP to UEL to meet our apprenticeship community drawn from a range of professions including construction, nursing, and digital and technology solutions. 

"Apprenticeships are essential to the present and future of UEL, industry, and society.  We are preparing today’s apprentices by giving them an education that will prepare them for the jobs and challenges of the future. I look forward to meeting the Minister again to discuss policy issues around apprenticeships,"

Professor Hassan Abdalla, executive dean of the College of Arts, Technology, and Innovation, said.

James Nevin, founder and partner of Blue Engineering, was at the event with his apprentices William Wilding and Elijah Sserunjogi. William and Elijah study at UEL on the civil engineer apprenticeship programme. 

Mr Nevin said, "I enjoyed speaking with the Minister, and I was delighted to introduce my high-achieving apprentices to her. She showed a keen interest in their experiences of work and study.

"The event was excellent at demonstrating the collaborative relationship between UEL, apprentices, and employers, which is key to making apprenticeships work for all."

During the session, Ms Milton (pictured above, centre) shared her own experiences as an NHS nurse.

Philip Ojedapo, a second year digital and technology solutions apprentice at UEL and IT department employee, said it was a good opportunity to network with other apprentices.

He said, "I enjoyed talking with apprentices from other apprenticeships across a range of sectors. We had the chance to share ideas and experiences, which was useful. It was good talking with the Minister too, she's clearly passionate about apprenticeships and how they benefit society."

Sadaf Alvi, head of academic and employer partnerships at UEL, also addressed delegates. She said, "This was a key moment for UEL's apprentices and employer partners, to renew and enhance our relationships with them, and recognise the progress we have made in the past few years around providing high-quality apprenticeships. We deeply value these relationships, and I would welcome discussion from potential employers about how we can engage and develop strong partnerships to provide apprenticeships to their employees in the future."

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