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.

Nick Garthwaite


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 5 times and hopefully will run for many years to come.
Now retired from full time employment, he sits on one of the Regional Advisory boards for the Canal and River Trust Charity, is also a volunteer Lock Keeper for the Canal and River Trust on the Leeds Liverpool Canal. And a trustee for the Canterbury Imagine charity.

Suzie Bell

Project Manager - Ahead Partnership

Suzie Bell has spent the last three years establishing and leading the award-winning Growing Talent Digital Leeds programme, an Ahead Partnership innovation that brings together digital and tech businesses in the city to inspire the next generation into digital careers. Suzie is passionate about social mobility and adding social value through her work. She has extensive experience in the third sector, where she specialises in building strong networks between private sector businesses, public sector bodies, and education providers to strengthen partnerships through a common purpose.

Suzie grew up in Manchester and has lived in Yorkshire for 20 years after moving here to study at university. She is married to a Geordie and mum to a 8-year-old Yorkshireman. She spends most of her free time cooking, reading, walking her dog and browsing the local library.

Katie Rankin

Co-chair of the Yorkshire and 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.


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