The mix of architecture in Leeds is one of the many details which makes the city in West Yorkshire unique. The impressive 19th century City Hall stands centrally surrounded by townhouses and banks of a similar era - a nod to a Leeds of old, which rose during the industrial revolution. This is juxtaposed with modern high rise hotels, offices, shops and restaurants- emblematic of the vibrant and forward thinking city that Leeds is today. It was therefore fitting that in late April, QA’s first apprenticeship graduation ceremony was held in a place synonymous with commerce, industry and ultimately hard graft. As former apprentices and their employers gathered at our City Exchange centre there was a tangible buzz in the air, this was a chance to celebrate and look to the future.
Apprentices and employers were joined by esteemed guest Councillor Mohammed Rafique who was on hand to give a rousing speech before apprentices collected their certificates. On the unique path offered by apprenticeships he said: “Leeds has an incredibly fast growing economy with so many opportunities...Apprenticeships fill gaps - and yours have set you up well for life!” A big hit with apprentices and employers alike, the graduation ceremony served as an excellent platform for people who have lived modern apprenticeships to network- talking career progression, sharing experiences and their future plans.
Former digital marketing apprentice, Jade Stanley took to social media with a very positive message: “Almost a year after completing my #digitalmarketing course, today I have officially graduated from my apprenticeship. Never thought I’d get to do the whole cap and gown thing but fortunately, I got to be a part of QA’s first graduation ceremony, celebrating the achievements and success of all the recent apprentices that passed their programmes in the north. So grateful for #apprenticeships and the education and experience they offer - couldn’t have wished for a better way to enter into the working world. BIG UP apprenticeships!”
Hosted by QA’s Apprenticeship Team in Leeds the ceremony lasted two hours with lunch served shortly after a photo opportunity outside the aforementioned, iconic Leeds City Hall. Plans are afoot for similar apprenticeship graduation events to be hosted across the UK in the coming months.