BirminghamLive and the Ladder for Greater Birmingham have partnered up to celebrate the rising stars of tomorrow with the launch of a new apprenticeship awards.

The Ladder for Birmingham Apprenticeship Awards 2019 will recognise apprentices, their employers and educational institutions across 12 different categories including crowning our overall Apprentice of the Year.

They are open now and ready to receive nominations - click through here to enter.

The launch coincides with National Apprenticeship Week which celebrates the impact of apprenticeships on individuals, employers and the economy this week.

The award categories are:

- Outstanding Apprentice of the Year (Construction)

- Outstanding Apprentice of the Year (Digital & Creative Industries)

- Outstanding Apprentice of the Year (Engineering & Manufacturing)

- Outstanding Apprentice of the Year (Financial & Business Services)

- Outstanding Apprentice of the Year (Health, Education & Care - Private or Public Sector)

- Outstanding Apprentice of the Year (Public & Charitable Sector)

- Birmingham  Apprentice of the Year (chosen from the six category winners above)

- Small Employer of the Year (1-50)

- Medium Employer of the Year (51 -249)

- Large Employer of the Year (250+)

- Birmingham Apprenticeship Training Provider of the Year

- Schools Engagement Award

The awards are part of our Ladder for Greater Birmingham campaign which launched last summer and is aiming to create 1,000 new apprenticeships in Birmingham and Solihull.

The Ladder initiative is run by community development group The Vine Trust and training provider Performance Through People with funding from the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP (GBSLEP) and Birmingham and Solihull Training Provider Network, with BirminghamLive as media partner.

It has already enjoyed successful campaigns in London, Staffordshire, the Black Country and Shropshire and is now creating new jobs and opportunities in Greater Birmingham.

BirminghamLive editor Anna Jeys said: "Apprenticeships have moved on a long way since the 1980s and now small companies and major corporations alike see them as a vital way to recruit and train the next generation of their staff.

"These awards will celebrate the stars of tomorrow and those companies and organisations helping them achieve their career aspirations."

How to enter

- The deadline to enter is Friday April 26, 2019 and the shortlist will be announced week commencing May 13.

- The individual sector awards are open to anyone aged 16 or over who is currently taking part in an apprenticeship programme or has recently completed one.

- To apply, you must have started your apprenticeship before October 26, 2018 or have completed your apprenticeship after January 1, 2018.

- The remaining categories are open to organisations and institutions providing and supporting apprenticeships.

- The awards are eligible to people whose main place of work is situated in the GBSLEP post codes including Birmingham, Solihull, East Staffordshire, Lichfield, Tamworth, Bromsgrove, Cannock Chase, Redditch, and Wyre Forest.

- All applications must be submitted via our online form here where you will also find a full list of terms and conditions and entry criteria so please take a few minutes to read them.

- The award ceremony takes place Thursday July 4 at Edgbaston Stadium, in Birmingham.

- To buy tickets or find out more about our other awards visit www.reachplcevents.com.

- For more information about the Ladder Awards, please email kate.evans@reachplc.com or call 0121 234 5025.

- To discuss sponsorship opportunities, please email hayley.pearce@reachplc.com or call 0121 234 5785.