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Apprentice Employer Award

The IOP Apprentice Employer Award enables the IOP to recognise employers that demonstrate their commitment and contribution to scientific and engineering apprenticeship schemes, and the positive outcomes their apprentices bring to the organisation. 


The Apprentice Employer Award recognises and acknowledges physics-powered businesses who are demonstrating excellence in their approaches to ensuring apprentices receive an outstanding experience in the workplace.

As a result of the 2023 IOP Awards review we have made some changes to simplify and streamline the process from 2024 onwards. The Apprentice Employer Award sub-categories have now been consolidated into a single award which is open to physics-powered businesses of all sizes.

The winning employer organisation will receive a trophy, a certificate and an invitation to a celebratory event.


Eligible organisations:

  • employ science and engineering apprentices ranging from level 3 to level 7 for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, level 5 to level 9 for the Republic of Ireland and level 6 to level 11 for Scotland 
  • are physics-powered businesses located in the UK and Ireland. Physics-powered broadly describes sectors or organisations that are underpinned by physics as an enabling discipline, including education and research. This encompasses sectors including engineering, manufacturing and green energy, including sub-sectors using cutting-edge physics-derived technology such as quantum, nuclear and aerospace
  • employ apprentices in a technical role for at least one year. Apprentices may be, for example, helping to collect and analyse samples, planning and preparing experiments, recording or presenting data, or building or maintaining infrastructure and laboratory equipment, including software to support research and innovation

Eligibility criteria

  • nominees, nominators and referees do not need to be members of the IOP
  • nominees, nominators and referees cannot be members of the IOP’s Council or IOP employees
  • nominees should have been employing apprentices for at least 12 months on the closing date for nominations, which is Friday 19 April 2024
  • an organisation cannot receive the Apprentice Employer Award more than once for substantially the same body of work
  • only one entry is allowed per employer organisation
  • entries will only be accepted from employers that are based in the UK and Ireland with apprenticeship frameworks or standards that have been approved by the relevant nation’s approving body
  • a subsidiary company may apply on behalf of the parent group, but this then excludes the parent group from applying. More than one subsidiary of the parent organisation may apply for the awards, as long as the application references only the apprenticeship programme that is delivered wholly by that subsidiary. Any winning recognition will go to the subsidiary and not the parent group

The IOP reserves the right to rescind IOP Awards should there be evidence of a significant breach of the Code of Conduct.

Nomination process

Nominations are now closed.

Nominators must submit

  • a short statement of no more than 500 words highlighting:
    • details of the company and its purpose
    • how the company views apprenticeships as part of their workforce strategy information about who delivers the “off the job” training element of the apprenticeship programme, e.g. in collaboration with a further education college, independent training provider etc.
  • and an impact statement (maximum 500 words) that highlights:
    • an explanation of what makes the apprenticeship scheme considered exceptional. The judging panel will look for clear and tangible evidence of how the organisation perceives itself to be an exemplary employer, how it recruits a talented and diverse apprenticeship workforce, and how it makes apprenticeships accessible to those from a diverse range of backgrounds
    • the benefits that apprenticeships have brought to both the organisation and individual apprentice(s). For instance, the judging panel will look for evidence of how the organisation supports its apprentice(s) beyond the baseline requirements of the relevant apprenticeship framework or standard, e.g. training, mentoring and ambassadorial activities
    • the thinking behind the science or engineering workforce development strategy. For instance, the judging panel will want to see a clear rationale for why the organisation employs apprentices, what the objectives are, and the plans for developing and enhancing the apprentice experience in the workplace

If you have any questions about this award please email [email protected].

Previous winners

Find out more about our 2023 winner, British Airways (Emerging Talent Team).