#AZAwards2024 - A Night of Celebration

Article summary: Relive the excitement of our 2024 Apprentice and Employer of the Year Awards, held at Portsmouth Guildhall. With nearly 300 attendees, the evening celebrated the outstanding contributions of apprentices, employers, and PETA staff, introducing new awards and honouring top achievers.

Last Friday, 28th June, we welcomed just shy of 300 guests to the Portsmouth Guildhall for the second year in a row to celebrate our Apprentice and Employer of the Year Awards. It was an incredible evening where apprentices, employers, and a number of special guests came together with the PETA team to celebrate a year of outstanding achievements and dedication.

New for this year was our red-carpet experience, hosted by Lily Thurling (L&D Coach) and Sophie Murray (Marketing Officer), which captured the excitement and anticipation of the evening from guests on arrival.
After a warm welcome reception, guests took their seats in the main auditorium and enjoyed a 3-course dinner and an inspirational talk from our guest speaker, Mimi Nwosu, an award-winning presenter and civil engineer at Heathrow Airport. Mimi shared her journey, told stories about where her career has led her to, and gave tips on how to reach your potential in the workplace.

Then it was time for the main event, the awards presentation. We started with our Apprentice Awards, before moving on to our Employer Awards and PETA Staff Awards. A representative from each of our sponsor partners was welcomed to the stage to announce the shortlist and winners. However, before announcing our Overall Apprentice of the Year winner, we had a few surprises in store….

For this year’s 2024 AZ Awards we were so excited to introduce 2 new, secret awards, to honour individuals who have made outstanding achievements and demonstrated unwavering commitments to the continuous learning that apprenticeships embody.

First, we presented PETA’s Paragon of the Year. Designed to recognise an individual who represents the qualities that all apprentices should aspire to achieve. A true role model, the recipient of this award has shown relentless dedication to their learning journey, even after significant achievements, and actively supports the next generation of apprentices following in their footsteps.

We were thrilled to award this to Scott Burgess, who has previously won PETA Rising Star of the Year 2022 and GTA Apprentice of the Year 2023. To mark the occasion, we played a video where Charlie Avens, Managing Director at Runfold Plastics, and Connor Cooper, one of Scott’s apprentices, explained why Scott deserves this accolade.

Watch the Paragon of the Year announcement video here: https://youtu.be/f25oucddjAQ?si=mbbMJWcFAUnvJo6Y

Our second surprise award was the AZ Award for Excellence, in memory of our founder, Alex Zemenides. This award honours an individual who has shown incredible commitment to supporting apprenticeship programmes and integrating apprenticeships into a company's DNA.

We were so proud to present this award to Ian McCrindle, who has consistently demonstrated dedication by participating in initiatives that promote the value of apprenticeships. Ian's continuous support, both to us and his apprentices, ensures that apprenticeships remain a vital part of the company's growth and success.

Watch the AZ Award for Excellence announcement video here: https://youtu.be/QNOmKyEy8to?si=X3oo1Nvcti-za5jJ

Before the DJ and dancing commenced, we welcomed Megan Newton, last year’s Apprentice of the Year, to the stage to announce this year’s winner. We were thrilled to announce Ellis Batchelor as this year’s overall winner, one of our ICT Apprentices who has just completed her apprenticeship with a distinction!

Thank you to everyone who came and supported the event, and a special thank you to our sponsors.

Full list of our winners below, congratulations to you all!


#AZAwards2024 – The Winners!

Overall Apprentice of the Year - Ellis Batchelor


IT Apprentice of the Year - Ellie Batchelor

Business Apprentice of the Year - Gabriella Campbell

Management L3 Apprentice of the Year - Colin Williams

Management L5 Apprentice of the Year - Kirby Mandziej

Engineering Apprentice of the Year - Aaron McEvoy (Highly Commended - Matilda Tucker)


Apprentice Employer of the Year (SME) - Zinq IT

Apprentice Employer of the Year (Corporate) - Prysmian

Rising Star of the Year - Anthony Morley

Mentor of the Year - Charlie Sinacola

PETA L&D Coach of the Year - Simon Elliott

PETA Trainer of the Year - Joe Stretton


Paragon of the Year - Scott Burgess

AZ Award for Excellence - Ian McCrindle