Article dated 13th May 2020

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Plans for a graduation ceremony for apprentices at Rochester Cathedral are to be moved online as a result of the likely extension of social distancing rules.

The first celebration of apprentices from across Kent and Medway took place last October and organisers had hoped to stage a repeat later this year.

But now it has been confirmed it will return but in a new format.

Paul Winter, a member of the project team and chairman of Wire Belt, explained: “Due to Covid-19 we, like so many other people, have had to take a look at future plans and events.

“Last year we were lucky enough to congratulate 100 apprentices in Rochester Cathedral together with their employers, friends and family but this no longer seems viable.

“We are determined to continue to show our support of apprenticeships so we are pleased to say we will adapt and hold a virtual celebration on Friday, October 2.”

Plans are under way to develop an online event showing the benefits of apprenticeships, with apprentices invited to take part on the day, be personally recognised and receive a certificate of completion. Keynote speakers will also appear.

Any apprentice who has successfully completed their qualification at any level or discipline between September 1, 2019 and August 31, 2020 and is Kent or Medway-based or has a Kent or Medway-based provider can be nominated.

Applicants can be nominated by their employer, apprenticeship provider or can nominate themselves. Applications will be verified. Organisers add that when nominations are made it is essential that all parties involved – apprentice, employer and provider – are informed.

The event is organised and funding by the Careers and Enterprise Company, The Education People, The Education and Skills Funding Agency, Federation of Small Businesses, Kent Association of Training Organisations, Kent County Council, Kent Further Education, Leigh Academies Trust, Medway Council, CXK and Wire Belt.