The selection process for the awards involves an impartial panel of industry experts who generously volunteer their time to evaluate submissions. These individuals are chosen for their expertise and experience.

Judges review entries, ensuring a fair and unbiased evaluation. In cases where judges have conflicts of interest within specific categories, they abstain from participating in the assessment of those particular entries.

Upon the submission deadline, judges receive all entries in a uniform format, ensuring compliance with data protection regulations. Each entry is then scored by the judges based on the defined criteria for each category.

Judges meet to discuss their assessments and collectively reach a final decision on a single day, solely based on the content provided in the written entries.

It is crucial to note that the entire judging process is conducted confidentially, and all decisions reached during this process are considered final.

Jan Richardson-Wilde

CEO - Occupational Awards Limited

Jan is the CEO of Occupational Awards Limited, a Director of the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink and FE College Governor. She has over 35 years’ experience in the education sector in strategic and operational management of training programmes with colleges, private training providers, local authorities the voluntary sector and not for profit organisations. Jan has previously been a board member of the Learning and Skills Council, chair of the North Yorkshire Training Provider network and Vice-Chair of Yorkshire Coast College and a Governor of the Grimsby Institute for Further and Higher Education. She has extensive experience of education policy, apprenticeships, qualification, and curriculum development as well as business improvement.
Jan joined OAL in 2019 a leading non-profit industry-focused Awarding and End-Point Assessment Organisation, supporting a wide range of employers and of key stakeholders to succeed and surpass expectations. Jan is committed to continuous improvement and enthusiastic about improving the effectiveness, impact and quality of apprenticeships, education, and training in the UK and internationally. She has a wide range of experience of working in a collaborative context with employers and training providers to develop End Point Assessment, apprenticeships, and a wide range of vocational programmes.

Katie Rankin

Co-chair of the Yorkshire & Humber AAN - Emerging Talent and Careers Manager at Jet2/Jet2 Holidays

With over 10 years’ experience of managing qualifications and apprenticeship programmes within several industries, Katie now leads on the development of early careers and future talent programmes at Jet2.com and Jet2holidays. This includes schools’ engagement, work experience, apprenticeships, graduate programmes and further education/talent development. She enjoys developing new standards to support industry development and best practice sharing to promote apprenticeships as a way of supporting business development.

Nick Garthwaite

Vice Chair - West & North Yokshire Chamber of Commerce

Nick started his working life in the 1970’s as an Apprentice Engineer at David Brown Gear Industries in Huddersfield and has been a huge advocate of apprenticeships during his career with Flender, Siemens and Christeyns. He is immensely proud of coming up with the initiative of “Bradford Manufacturing Week”, which is a Bradford Chamber of Commerce activity to bring students aged 14 – 18 years old into Bradford manufacturing companies and get a taste of what the modern world of manufacturing looks like today, a very successful initiative which has been run 4 times.
his other roles including Vice Chair of West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, Chair of Bradford and Airedale Manufacturing Alliance and Chair of Bradford Manufacturing Weeks.

Annette Hobson

Regional Membership Manager - Yorkshire & Humber Make UK

Annette Hobson, Regional Membership Manager for Yorkshire & the Humber at Make UK, the Manufacturers’ Organisation. Having joined the company in 2012 Annette is alive to the vital contribution the manufacturing sector has on the local, regional and UK economy. Living in the region and currently in her final year of an Apprenticeship Degree at Sheffield Hallam University in Leadership and Management Annette uses her industrial and academic insight to represent and optimise outcomes for manufacturers based in Yorkshire & the Humber.


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