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Apprentice graduation set to lead the way in sustainability

The Apprentice Graduation Ceremony at Rochester Cathedral to be held on Friday 4 October is set to be the first fully sustainable graduation ceremony in Kent, according to its organisers. 

More than 150 apprentices will graduate in front of hundreds of friends, family and supporters at the event organised by the Federation of Small Businesses, Kent Association of Training Providers, Kent Further Education, Wirebelt, Careers and Enterprise Company, Medway Council, The Education People and The Leigh Academies Trust.

“Big events like this can leave a heavy carbon footprint,” says Event Manager Amanda Flanders of Evexio Ltd. “We’re delighted to be working with Graduation Attire, an experienced gowning company who have gowns made from fully-recycled materials.

"Our printers, Buckland Media, are also making sure that our 800 event brochures are printed on FSC approved paper and with vegetable dye ink. We are making sure that we leave nothing behind in the cathedral apart from a wonderful atmosphere and some great memories!”

The graduation gowns are made entirely from post-consumer polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic waste. Each gown made using PET plastic results in 28 bottles being utilised, eliminating the impact on landfill.

Kent County Council (KCC) are supporters of the ceremony. KCC Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education, Roger Gough says: “Apprenticeships represent a major opportunity for the County Council to develop talent within our organisation and set young people on course for successful careers. We also have responsibility for ensuring that young people across the County have good destinations after school, and apprenticeships are an important and growing option for them.” 

VIP business reception

120 businesses and stakeholders will be attending a pre-ceremony reception in the cathedral crypt hosted by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). Guests will hear from guest speakers Brian Woods, FSB South East Regional Chair; Kelly Tolhurst MP for Rochester and Strood and Christian Brodie, South East LEP Chair. 
Alison Parmar, FSB Development Manager says; “We are very pleased at how this event is shaping up. We could not have done it without the collective input from the many Kent and Medway partner organisations, and of course, from the supportive Kent sponsors. A graduation ceremony is a fantastic way to highlight the positive impact apprenticeships can make on small businesses and the wider community.” 

Sponsor Lorraine Rose, ECITB for EDP and South England says; “The ECITB is delighted to be sponsoring this exciting event to support apprenticeships throughout Kent.  We wish all the graduates a successful future and progression in whatever industry they have decided to enter. Apprenticeships are the most popular route into engineering construction careers. It is vital that the ECITB recruits new talent into the UK industry, which is set to deliver £600bn-worth of infrastructure projects by 2028.”