Inaugural Kent & Medway Apprentice Graduation Ceremony 2019
The first-ever Kent & Medway Apprentice Graduation Ceremony took place on the 4th October 2019 at Rochester Cathedral. There were over 600 people in attendance, including 97 graduates, their friends and families as well as 120 distinguished guests. The prestigious event was hosted by Paul Andrews, CEO of Jobs in Kent and Nicola Everett of KMFM and the ceremony celebrated apprentices who had successfully completed their qualification between 1st January 2018 and 31st August 2019.
KATO, together with the event organisers and sponsors, brought this event to life with the aim of celebrating the apprentices’ achievements in the same way as a university graduate is recognised.
Kelly Tolhurst, Conservative Member of Parliament for Rochester & Strood, was a special guest and speaker at the ceremony. She delivered a welcome address and, together with Brian Woods, South East Regional Chair, FSB and Christian Brodie, Chair, South East LEP, hosted a VIP Business Reception.
David Ward, Chief Executive Officer of Ward Security gave an impassioned speech in which he reinforced the importance of investing in training of staff. Ward Securities provides a range of apprenticeships as part of its people strategy and currently employs 22 active apprentices within its business.
The graduation ceremony was the culmination of months of hard work of a dedicated working group who have met frequently over the past 12 months to plan the event down to the smallest detail. The overall aim was to make it a day to remember for all the apprentices, supporters and businesses involved and it we are congratulating ourselves on a great success!
Without our cross-sector working group it would be difficult to deliver such a large event to such a wide audience, in such a prestigious location. We would therefore like to offer our sincere thanks to the representatives from the organisations who helped make it happen.
Some statistics from the inaugural event in 2019
people in attendance
partners & sponsors
The event received some fantastic media coverage, particularly from the Kent Messenger Media Group, with a video report shown in the evening news programme on the day.
Some more media coverage of the day:
College apprentices celebrate at their graduation
Kent and Medway’s 1st Apprenticeship Graduation Ceremony 2019
Success celebrated at the inaugural Kent and Medway Apprentice Graduation Ceremony
“I never thought I would be able to graduate as I decided to take the apprenticeship route rather than progressing onto university. I am so grateful to KATO Network who hosted an apprenticeship graduation ceremony, as myself and many others finally got to have their graduation cap and gown moment. It is nice to see that people are starting to recognise apprentices hard work and I hope that this event continues to take place every year, so more people can celebrate on their academic achievements”.
Many thanks to Graduation Attire for their gowning expertise, and Chapel Down for their contribution to the Business Reception refreshments as well as to all sponsors and everybody involved.
The Kent and Medway Apprentice Graduation Ceremony will be back for 2020!
Once again, KATO will be the organisation coordinating with partners for the 2020 event.
Are you an Apprentice or have you got an Apprentice employed with you who will complete their qualification between 1st September 2019 – 31st August 2020? Would you love to celebrate your/their success? Register interest by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.