2020 Virtual Event Triumph

The Kent & Medway Apprentice Graduation Ceremony 2020 is only the second incarnation of this special event, which marks the incredible achievement of the county’s apprentices during 2019-20.

The original intention as in 2019, was to hold a prestigious ceremony at Rochester Cathedral and celebrate the apprentice graduates with their friends, parents and employers, as well as with VIP guests including dignitaries, key business organisations and education and training provider leaders.


The Covid 19 pandemic almost resulted in the event, like so many others, being cancelled for 2020. However, rather than cancel, the members of the Apprentice Graduation Ceremony Working Group and their representative organisations decided that marking apprentices’ achievements and the support of their employers during such a challenging year was more important than ever.

Therefore, organising and delivering a virtual ceremony, which is the first of its kind in England, became the focus of the working group from April. Making it happen has involved an enormous amount of work behind the scenes. So whilst the virtual event may not present the same variables and stresses as a traditional event it has still been a leap in the dark with a whole new set of risks. Despite the risks the rewards certainly outweigh them.

Working Group

Some statistics from the virtual event in 2020



training providers

views of virtual ceremony

A huge thank you to our host Nicola Everett.  Nicola has been a part of both Kent and Medway Apprenticeship Graduation Ceremonies. Nicola’s bright personality and confident public speaking brought the Graduation from screen to your front garden during the virtual event.

Many thanks to Gillian Keegan MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Apprenticeships and Skills, for addressing the Graduate Apprentices and sharing your experience as an apprentice. Your words are inspiring to our current and future apprentices.


Choosing to do an apprenticeship allowed me to get out of my own comfort zone, allow me to meet new people and learn something new, all the while being able to learn more about myself whilst doing it, being able to push myself further, to continue to grow and be someone who is more confident in myself and the knowledge I have gained from my apprenticeship.

Mark Jones

Business & Administration Apprentice Level 2, Medway Council

I would recommend anyone who is thinking about further learning, either after school or sixth form that if they want to learn and get a trade then an apprenticeship is by far the best way to go.  Not only do you get all the qualifications needed but you also get to work at the same time and get paid for doing so. It’s a fantastic scheme and I highly recommend anyone to do an apprenticeship.

Chris Rae

Rail Traction and Rolling Stock Engineering Apprentice, Southeastern

I’m incredibly proud and honoured to endorse the Kent and Medway Apprentice Graduation Ceremony.  Not only to celebrate the amazing achievements of the graduates but also to support and extend huge thanks to the plethora of employers who have taken such positive and innovative steps to embrace the importance of apprenticeships within their employment settings.

Pauline Smith

Chief Executive, CXK


Well done – a really tight and interesting event – sections were spaced well to allow the reading of names without becoming too repetitive – the talks were very good and Anthony Impey was his usual inspired self! Great exposure for FSB as first logo in the sponsor section. Congratulations to you and all involved!

Terry Lockwood

Director, FSB

Really professional and great shots of Rochester Cathedral. Everyone came across really well and so good to acknowledge all the apprentices. Really fab event – leading the way.

Louise Aitken

Skills Lead, SE LEP

It looked really slick and presenters came across excellently!

James Wilkinson

Digital Skills Partnerships, SE LEP

Our Sponsors

The Careers & Enterprise Company work to inspire and prepare young people for the fast changing world of work, The Kent & Medway Virtual Apprenticeship Graduation Ceremony allows people to see the large amount of opportunities within the world of apprenticeships.

KFE colleges provide apprenticeships to the whole county, from Level 2 to Higher Level across a wide range of industry sectors and subject areas, annually to over 2,500 young people and adults. Kent and Medway’s FE colleges are extremely proud of their role in delivering apprenticeships and the role they play in the technical skills agenda. The FE colleges engage with thousands of employers every year who know that Apprenticeships are a high quality and highly valued solution for businesses, and apprentices seeking the best way to develop their skills, careers and employability now more than ever.

Medway Council place huge value on apprenticeships and we were delighted to support the first celebration which was held at Rochester Cathedral last year. We are excited that although we are working through unprecedented times, a virtual event will go ahead this year. It is extremely important to continue to demonstrate the importance of apprenticeships, their importance to our economy and the hard work and resilience our apprentices have demonstrated throughout the year.

As a member of the working group, CXK has engaged in the planning and development of the Apprenticeship Graduation. We understand, at CXK, the importance and benefits of apprenticeships to both the apprentice entering the work place and the employer recruiting and training staff. The Apprenticeship Graduation 2020 is a fantastic way to celebrate the success of recent apprentices completing their apprenticeships and recognise the role employers have contributed. We would like to congratulate all the apprentices graduating today along with their employers and training providers.

As a leading education provider in Kent & Medway, Leigh Academies Trust grasped the opportunity to be on the steering group for the Kent & Medway Apprentice Graduation Ceremony. It is vital that all education and employment pathways are clearly signposted, recognised and celebrated by both our young people and employers which is why we chose to get involved.

Megger has been a leader in electrical test and measurement globally for 130 years. From power generation to the power outlets in homes, Megger products cover almost every application within the Electrical Supply Industry. With our headquarters based in Dover, Kent we are part of a multinational company with manufacturing sites in various locations within Germany, USA, Sweden, UK and sales offices across the globe.

The Education People are passionate about apprenticeships and wants to recognise the value apprenticeships bring to young person and showcase their achievements. It’s also important to acknowledge the employers who are committed and support their apprentices in achieving their goals.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is a proud sponsor of the Kent and Medway Apprentice Graduation Ceremony 2020. Area Leader Deborah Turner says, “We know that for so many small businesses, apprenticeships are a great way to preserve important skills, transfer knowledge and keep key trades and professions alive and prospering. Recruiting an apprentice makes good business sense. It gives firms a way to find raw talent that can be shaped to the organisation and add value to the business. Without question, the future success of the apprenticeship continues to lie with the UK’s smaller companies. We would like to congratulate each apprentice on their completion and wish them all the best in their careers.”

The Wire Belt Company has been recruiting apprentices since 1978 and have built our long-term employment strategy using this, the foremost method for work-based training. We are delighted that for the first time our successful employees are being acknowledged with a formal graduation ceremony. This accolade acknowledges the hard work and commitment to learning that are the essential elements to graduate as an apprentice. This is why the Wire Belt Company Ltd. is pleased to both sponsor and be an active member of the organising committee

As we all know, COVID-19 has affected events across the globe, especially Graduations.  Being an innovative organisation, Graduation Attire couldn’t bear to think that the Class of 2020 were not going to experience the momentous occasion that is Graduation and so they created Graduations.LIVE, a new, intuitive and content-driven celebration platform, allowing students to celebrate digitally and safely.

Martin Lewis, Managing Director of Graduation Attire, said “We built the Graduations.LIVE platform so no achievement would go unmarked and were thrilled to bring the virtual graduation to life in 2020 with students being able to create videos and photos to include in the ceremony. This year, we’ll be looking to bring more live elements into the ceremony to make it a truly special event for everyone involved.

For more information about the platform and to book a FREE demonstration, go to www.graduations.live