OAL is investing in apprenticeships for all ages and supporting the North Yorkshire Apprenticeship Awards

Apprentices are at the heart of everything that industry leading Occupational Awards Limited (OAL) does – which is why the not-for-profit organisation is the headline sponsor for the 2023 North Yorkshire Apprenticeship Awards. Find out how to enter and what makes OAL one of the top 10 apprenticeship end-point assessment organisations in the country.


Apprenticeships, like people, come in all shapes and sizes and you’d be wrong if you thought they were just for young school-leavers at the start of their career. Occupational Awards Ltd CEO Jan Richardson-Wilde explains: “Apprenticeships are not just for the young but can be used to improve your job prospects and advance your career, as you move up through higher levels.” She adds: “The depth and breadth of work and educational opportunities that apprenticeships offer can provide many alternatives. We are passionate about showing the value of apprenticeships, both for employers and their apprentices.”

Working from its headquarters in York, OAL is a leading, not-for-profit, End-Point Assessment and Awarding Organisation which has earned its reputation since starting to work with the food and drink industry in 2015. As an Ofqual-recognised business with a reputation for reliability, responsiveness and service, it has built its following of loyal customers who rely on OAL to provide the most up-to-date information and advice on qualifications and apprenticeship standards.

Many employers and providers have been with OAL since day one and the business works collaboratively with them as trusted partners. Their client list includes household names such as Haribo and Nestlé UK.

What Apprentices Say

Joe Hughes chose to do an apprenticeship at Nestlé UK instead of taking a degree course, and recently completed his End-Point Assessment (EPA) with OAL.

Joe says: “I wasn’t passionate about any subjects I could study as part of a degree and wanted the opportunity to earn a wage as soon as possible. An apprenticeship offered me the opportunity to earn and learn all while being part of a recognisable business. “I got to meet a wide range of people and make long-term friends and connections. Every role I was given was a full-time job, I was given real responsibilities like a standard full-time employee. This allowed me to develop very quickly.”

Jonathan Scott, the inbound/outbound section leader at Bakkavor Meals Wigan, also recently completed his EPA in warehousing with OAL after being encouraged by his area manager. He says: “The area manager was keen for us to enhance our skills across the department . . . I’ve gone from supervisor to a team manager of dispatch, then team manager of stock control which under the new structure have now merged and I manage both.”

Investing in food industry passport

OAL has invested in the Food and Drink Industry Careers Passport, which was recently launched by the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink. An audience of MPs, civil servants and some of the biggest food and drink manufacturers in the UK gathered to support the new passport, which provides the essential knowledge needed to work in the industry. It also offers an access route for new workers joining the food and drink industry, while rewarding them with the entry level qualifications which businesses need.

Enter North Yorkshire Apprenticeship Awards

With close to a million active apprenticeships across England, apprenticeship schemes have fast become a route to future employment. The North Yorkshire Apprenticeship Awards recognise and reward both the apprentices and their employers that are excelling across North Yorkshire. Not only does winning mean recognition for the apprentice, but is also a major morale boost for the company and workforce that supports them.

Award categories include apprentices studying for level two, three, four and five qualifications or a degree, as well as those specialising in technology and digital sectors, agriculture, construction, engineering and manufacturing, health and public services. The closing date for entries is May 12. Dress to impress and join shortlisted apprentices for the inaugural North Yorkshire Apprenticeship Awards, to celebrate and recognise the hardworking individuals and organisations involved in apprenticeships and how they shape our future.

To nominate an apprentice or book tickets for the awards dinner at York Racecourse on June 29 click here.

Find out more

To discover more about OAL, its End-Point Assessments and how it can help with qualifications, endorsements and accreditation, visit www.oawards.co.uk, email customerservice@oawards.co.uk or call 01904 236 483 and arrange to meet them at The Catalyst, Baird Lane, York YO10 5GA.