Published: 09:33, 12 August 2019
| Updated: 09:34, 12 August 2019
The final remaining places for apprentices across the county for a special graduation ceremony honouring their achievements are still available.
Up to 200 places were available for apprentices, with more than 150 already snapped up.
With guests, it is expected more than 600 will attend.
The event is being organised and funded by the Careers and Enterprise Company; The Education People; The Education and Skills Funding Agency; Federation of Small Businesses; The Leigh Academies Trust; Kent Association of Training Organisations, Kent Further Education; Kent County Council and Medway Council.
Rochester and Strood MP, and small business minister Kelly Tolhurst, is expected to appear as a keynote speaker.
Michael Ratcliffe, director of the Kent Association of Training Organisations, explained: "We want to celebrate the apprentices’ achievement in the same way a university graduate is celebrated."
The ceremony will celebrate 200 apprentices who have successfully completed their qualification between January 1, 2018, and August 31, 2019.
Each apprentice will be able to invite their employer and family to share in the special occasion.
A place for an apprentices will include a complimentary ceremonial gown and mortar board. Optional graduation photos can be booked by the apprentice.
Patrick Cantellow, an apprentice in digital marketing, added: "My plan was to go to university and become a geography teacher, however, an apprenticeship in digital marketing gave me the taste for the workplace in an exciting sector. My school friends say I ‘dropped out’, but in fact, I think I took a couple of steps ahead of them, and now they're the ones playing catch up. Having an apprentice graduation ceremony is a great way to show this success.”
Apprentices must be Kent and Medway-based or had a Kent and Medway-based provider. Applications will be verified and places are available on a first come, first served basis.
Business owners who employ an apprentice are invited to a VIP reception prior to the graduation hosted by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).