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News & Updates

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General Cathedral Information

Note Graduands arriving for gowning can now do so from 9:30am. You are kindly asked not to bring family and friends into the Cathedral at this time due to the gowning process being quite busy and space being limited. If weather is poor we may adapt this policy.


Guests can arrive from 11:30am via the North or Great West door (facing Rochester Castle) options. Disabled access is via the North Door only.


To assist graduands and guests with directions please use this diagram as a reference. The North Transept is the door facing Rochester high street and can be accessed from the high street through a small memorial garden, some alley points and from College Yard. It can also be accessed via a service path before you reach the Great West Doors.

If graduands or guests have access or other issues that might impact on their enjoyment of the event please contact us using the contact form. There are accessible toilets from the Nave area inside the Cathedral.

Getting to the Cathedral

Note there is no parking at the Cathedral. There are several local carparks nearby and Rochester Train Station is a ten minute walk away. Blue badge parking is available near the Yarrow pub which is close to the Great West Doors. However, wheelchair access is only possible via the North Door.

For up to date information and advice on getting to the Cathedral we recommend you visit the Cathedral's site page at:

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June 06, 2023

2023 Ceremony Registrations Already Breaking Records!

The Organising Management Board of the Kent and Medway Apprentice Graduation Ceremony are delighted to see that on the 1st June apprentices registered for the Rochester Cathedral ceremony on 20th October 2023 have already exceeded the total number of graduates that attended the inaugural 2019 ceremony!

Mark Hill, project manager for the Graduation Ceremony; said, “The volume of registrations at this point is unprecedented, even for the virtual ceremonies we held in 2020 and 2021. It’s a reminder that with the ceremony’s limited places that providers and employers wishing to register apprentices should do so well ahead of the closing date of 1stSeptember.”

The 2023 ceremony will also see a further profile boost, thanks to its support from the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce. At noon, 6th July KICC’s forthcoming Chamber Connections networking event at the Coachworks Ashford, will double up as a more formalised launch of the 2023 event, and as a final push to engage a wider range of employers in the apprenticeship agenda.

For more information check out the June Press Release and for 2023 information and to register go to our registration page.

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July 26, 2022

Record Ceremony Registrations with just 5 weeks to go before reg closes for Graduation 2022

With 5 weeks before registration closes the 2022 ceremony is already setting records with 15% more registrations than for the 2019 inaugural event!

The ceremony organisers have been working hard with providers and employers to promote the 2022 ceremony.

Extensive use of social media and a lot of direct coms with training provider partners and extra promo via KATO has helped boost numbers this year.

Kent and Medway's FE colleges have also added once again with high numbers of registrations coming in during early July.

So far 17 different training providers and 67 employers feature in our prospective registration list!


With registration closing in 5 weeks on 2nd September more registrations from various providers are expected. However, with places limited by a physical location the organising partners are keen to encourage registrations as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Ceremony Project Manage, Mark Hill said, "It's great to see record registrations at this pointing we hope to beat our high level target by September. Don't forget the costs of gowning are free to all apprentices in what will be a unique event celebrating apprentices' achievements!"

For more information check out the registration page and for the latest full story for this news item see press release.

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January 06, 2022

Apprentice Graduation Ceremony to Return to Rochester Cathedral for 14th October 2022!

The Kent & Medway Apprentice Graduation Organising Event Board is pleased to confirm plans to hold this year's ceremony at Rochester Cathedral on Friday 14th October 2022


Planning is already underway and the organising committee has opened its sponsor search for what promises to be a highly prestigious event similar to the inaugural event held in 2019.

A major objective is to ensure all apprentice graduates from Level 2 to Level 5+enjoy a formal gowned event free of any additional gown and mortar board fees. Therefore, sponsorship is critical to ensuring the county's most inclusive celebration of apprentices remains just so.

A new range of 2022 sponsorship packages are in place to ensure all sponsors can enjoy the event and a profile within it that is suitable for them. Plans will also be made to hopefully once again hold a VIP event aimed at promoting to stakeholders the importance of apprenticeships.

Registration will be on a similar basis to 2021 and will open from 13th February 2022 at the culmination of National Apprenticeships Week 2022.

The 2021 event video content can be seen at:


For the latest press release with more details click here.


September 15, 2021

Graduation Tassels for 2021 Graduate Pack!

This year's Kent and Medway apprentice graduation ceremony will feature a post event graduate pack.

This includes a special tassel and year charm, which is in green for 2021 and is intended as a keepsake for graduates. The tassels are a rather American trend that is becoming more popular in the UK.


Tassels are normally part of the famous graduate's mortar board hats, but given that Covid has forced a virtual format for the last 2 years event organisers felt this is an appropriate addition.


For the first time a dedicated graduate pack has been included which will be sent to graduates post event and includes the tassel, an apprenticeships badge, certificate and a special edition printed version of the event programme.


The graduation ceremony will take place live via the Remo Conferencing platform from:12 noon, 8 October 2021.


For our press releases click here. For full details of the partners and sponsors go to our sponsors and partners page.


June 30, 2021

Graduation Ceremony confirms partners, sponsors and compere for October's virtual event.

The Kent and Medway apprentice graduation ceremony is pleased to confirm its spine of partner organisations and sponsors for 2021.

Ten partners now form the event's board and organising committee. The multi-organisational membership ensures a wide reach across both education and training organisations and business representative bodies.

The event board is also able to confirm that once again Nicola Everett will act as the main host and compere for the ceremony. Nicola who works for KMTV and Kent On-line is a well known voice and event host in the county and always adds a touch of professionalism to any event she's involved with.


Seven additional key sponsors are also signed up to support the 8 October event which will use the Remo conferencing platform supported by Digital Leaders, enabling a 'live' dynamic for guests, employers, training providers, parents and apprentices.

The registration process for apprentices via their employers and training providers is open now until September 1st at the event's new website:


For full details of the partners and sponsors read the June press release for more details here.

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October 10, 2020

2020 First UK Virtual Apprentice Graduation Success!

The 2020 virtual event took place on 2nd October and saw 125 apprentices graduate via the first online ceremony of its kind in the UK.

The Covid 19 pandemic almost resulted in the event, like so many others, being cancelled for 2020. However, rather than cancel, the members of the Apprentice Graduation Ceremony Working Group and their representative organisations decided that marking apprentices’ achievements and the support of their employers during such a challenging year was more important than ever.

Therefore, organising and delivering a virtual ceremony, became the focus of the working group from April. Making it happen has involved an enormous amount of work behind the scenes. So whilst the virtual event may not present the same variables and stresses as a traditional event it has still been a leap in the dark with a whole new set of risks.


Despite the risks the rewards certainly outweighed them, as 21 training providers and 54 employers engaged with the event. The live online transmission saw over 300 views. The YouTube video link is here.


October 4, 2019

Inaugural Apprenticeship Graduationfills Rochester Cathedral 

The first-ever Kent & Medway Apprentice Graduation Ceremony took place on the 4th October 2019 at Rochester Cathedral. There were over 600 people in attendance, including 102 graduates, their friends and families as well as 120 distinguished guests.


The prestigious event was hosted by Paul Andrews, CEO of Jobs in Kent and Nicola Everett of KMFM and the ceremony celebrated apprentices who had successfully completed their qualification between 1st January 2018 and 31st August 2019.

Kelly Tolhurst, Conservative Member of Parliament for Rochester & Strood, was a special guest and speaker at the ceremony. She delivered a welcome address and, together with Brian Woods, South East Regional Chair, FSB and Christian Brodie, Chair, South East LEP, hosted a VIP Business Reception.

The graduation ceremony was the culmination of months work by a working group which met frequently over the past 12 months to plan the event. The overall aim was to make it a day to remember for all the apprentices, supporters and businesses involved.

Many thanks to Graduation Attire for their gowning expertise, and Chapel Down for their contribution to the Business Reception refreshments. Check out the galleries for photos.

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February 10, 2023

2023 Ceremony Event Date & Registration Opening Confirmed

As National Apprenticeships Week draws to a close, the organising partnership for the Kent and Medway Apprentice Graduation Ceremony, are pleased to confirm plans for the return of the event to Rochester Cathedral on 20th October 2023.

As in previous years the organisers aim to ensure the ceremony is free to attend for all apprentices from Level 2 to Level 7 Degree apprenticeships. 

Mark Hill, project manager for the Graduation Ceremony; said, “Given the amazing response and support given by our many supporters and sponsors, as well as employers and training providers before the ceremony, we are now confident that we will be looking to deliver an even bigger ceremony in 2023. We are now open to identifying our 2023 sponsors and supporters who can join one of the most rewarding events of the year whilst confirming their support for apprenticeships in the county.”

For more information check out the May Press Release and for 2023 information and to register go to our registration page.


May 31, 2022

Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce to support Apprentice Graduation Ceremony & Host VIP Reception.

The graduation ceremony organising committee is pleased to confirm that the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce will be supporting this year's event and will host the return of our pre-event VIP reception.

The ceremony is already building momentum with several key national and regional organisations giving it their backing or attending as special guests and speakers on the day, including; the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE), the Association of Education and Learning Providers (AELP), the national body that promotes apprenticeship training Amazing Apprenticeships, the South East Apprenticeship Ambassador Network and the Kent & Medway NHS Clinical Commissioning Group.

Jo James OBE, CEO of Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce; said, “The Chamber is proud to support the Graduation Ceremony for the first time in 2022 and is delighted to be central to this year's VIP pre-ceremony reception.


Through its work in supporting the county's businesses the Chamber recognises the key roles apprentices play in so many of our employer organisations and how much they contribute to business continuity. Our recent and on-going work on the Local Skills Improvement Plan consolidates this understanding across so many industry sectors.


The Chamber congratulates all the apprentices graduating at the ceremony this year, confident that they should be proud of their achievements and equally their contribution to the success of their employers' businesses and to the county's economy.”

For more information check out the registration page and for the latest full story for this news item see press release.

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October 30, 2021

Apprentice Graduation Ceremony Virtual Success

The third Kent and Medway Apprentice Graduation Ceremony took place virtually, via the Remo conferencing platform, on 8 October 2021 and proved a great success. The event which aimed to enable a live audience of apprentices, family, employers, training providers and guests, saw 140 people join the live celebration.


The graduation proved to be the most successful to date in terms of record sponsor engagement, nearly 300 apprentices registering to be part of the graduation, and over 170 employers engaged through their apprentices – 140% and 240% increases respectively compared to 2020. The event organising partners believe that the celebration may be the biggest of its kind in the south-east if not England this year.


The ceremony not only put the graduating apprentices centre stage but included inputs from key speakers from stakeholder organisations and those responsible for delivering the apprenticeship strategy in England. 


These included: Christian Brodie, Chair of the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP); Mike Cherry, National Chair of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB);, Jane Hickie, CEO of Association of Employment & Learning Providers (AELP); Pauline Smith, CEO of CXK; Elizabeth Flegg, Chair, South East Apprentice Ambassadors Network (SEAAN); and Rachel Cooper, Strategy Director, Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education (IFATE).


This year’s apprentices had undertaken apprenticeships from Level 2 to higher level university equivalent Level 4 and 5, and came from a wide range of employers covering more industry sectors than ever before. The ceremony was hosted live on-line by compere Nicola Everett of KMTV, KMFM and Kent Online.


The event was also recorded to ensure as many people could see the event at their convenience. The video content can be seen at: For the latest press release with more details click here.

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September 03, 2021

Graduation Registrations for 2021 hit super record of 290+!

The Kent and Medway apprentice graduation ceremony registration closed on 1st September and has reached a huge record of 290+ registrations. That's an incredible 140% increase on 2020, possibly making the event one of the largest if not the largest of its kind in England!

The headline stats are also hugely pleasing with over 170 different employers engaged via their apprentices. These range from many micro businesses to big public sector organisations such as NHS Trusts, local authorities, FE colleges and school MATs. The range of sectors and apprenticeship types is also very wide. 18 different training providers are also engaged. The apprenticeships range from Level 2 to Level 5 reflecting a highly inclusive profile for the event.


Mark Hill, a member of the organising committee and event project manager said, "There's lots of finalising of plans to do for the event itself over the next month, but we are hugely grateful for the support received from apprentices, providers and employers this year. We have an exciting virtual programme for the day and hope that many apprentices and family members, employers and providers attend the live transmission via Remo."


The event partners and sponsors have made a big difference this year and thanks are extended for their support of the graduation ceremony taking place on 8 October 2021.


For our press releases click here. For full details of the partners and sponsors go to our sponsors and partners page.


May 19, 2021

2021 Virtual Graduation Ceremony Website launched and Apprentice Registration opens!

The organising committee of the K&M apprentice graduation ceremony are delighted to this week launch a brand new website to support the event and to announce the opening of the registration process for apprentices via their employers and training providers:

The new website is fully developed and functional in mobile optimised mode. The site details what the event is about as well as profiling partners, sponsors and the two events held to date in 2019 and 2020.

The organising partners are pleased to confirm additional key sponsors for 8 October event which will use the Remo conferencing platform. This will enable more of a 'live' dynamic including guests and potential for employers, training providers, parents and apprentices themselves to be part of the event in real time.

Read the May press release for more details here.

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February 3, 2020

2020 Apprentice Graduation launches at Curious Brewery

The FSB hosted and launched the Apprentice Graduation 2020 at the award winning Curious Brewery in Ashford, amongst a gathering of the event's partnership members, supporters and prospective sponsors.

Guests were welcomed and provided with an amazing hot buffet but most importantly details of the 2020 event and invitation to sponsor flyer.

Key speeches were delivered by FSB and KCC delegates and as part of the event supporters of the 2019 event were awarded special certificates of thanks.

The Sponsor Pack is soon to be released with details of how various sponsor packages and benefits. The pack will be made available in printed form and as a pdf downloadable from this site in April.

Click for the version 1 Sponsor Pack link button

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October 12, 2022

2022 Ceremony Huge Success & Breaks all Records

The Graduation organisers are delighted to confirm the success of the 10th October 2022 ceremony.

A record 153 apprentices (a 70% increase on 2019’s inaugural event) were celebrated on the day. Furthermore, another record was set as 25 training providers and over 80 employers were engaged through the graduation ceremony.

For more information check out the October Press Release and for 2023 information and to register go to our registration page.


February 10, 2022

Apprentice Graduation Ceremony to open registration in National Apprenticeship Week 2022!

To mark and celebrate the NAW22 the Apprentices Graduation registration will open early for 2022 on Sunday 13th February which is the final day of this year's national week marking amazing apprenticeships.

Registration is again via this site using our dedicated portal. The criteria is updated and still will enable apprentices who had their apprenticeship achievement delayed from previous years due to Covid impacts to register and be celebrated at the formal ceremony in October.

As reported the event is planning to revert for its 4th year to Rochester Cathedral. This will mean all validated graduates that register (up to our limit for the event) will enjoy a formal event with gowns, mortar boards and stoles just as in 2019.


Importantly this cost is covered by the event making it a wonderful experience for apprentices from level 2 to level 5+, as well as for friends, family and employers, plus VIPs that attend.

For more information check out the registration page and latest press release.

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October 01, 2021

Record breaking graduation just 1 week away!

It is just one week until this year's Kent and Medway apprentice graduation ceremony!


We are delighted to publish the pre-event programme which features all our speakers, partners & sponsors and of course the graduates, their employers and training providers. This will be updated and provided as a special edition printed version post event.

With a huge 140% increase in graduates and a 220% increase in employers this year the event organisers are delighted with such a positive response after such a challenging eighteen months.

The graduation ceremony will take place live via the Remo Conferencing platform from:12 noon, 8 October 2021 (arrivals from 11:45am). To access the event a special link is provided to all apprentices, employers and training providers registered, plus VIP guests.


For our press releases click here. For full details of the partners and sponsors go to our sponsors and partners page.

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July 15, 2021

Graduation Ceremony organisers mark World Youth Skills Day!

The Kent and Medway apprentice graduation ceremony is pleased mark World Youth Skills Day on the 15th July, by confirming the first of its registered graduation nominations.

The day is a United Nations supported event which truly takes a global view of the huge value of young people and their skills and how these benefit young people individually, their communities and the economies of their nations.


Our partners and event sponsors are all very aware of the contribution apprentices make in this context. The county's employers and training providers are therefore encouraged to keep on registering apprentices for the graduation ceremony taking place on 8 October 2021.

The registration process for apprentices via their employers and training providers is open now until September 1st at the event's new website:


For our press release issued in conjunction with the FSB click here. For full details of the partners and sponsors read the June press release for more details here.

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March 4, 2021

2021 Virtual Graduation Confirmed for 8 October 2021

Following the success of the 2020 virtual event which saw 125 apprentices graduate via an online ceremony, plans are now in place to undertake an even bigger virtual event for 2021.

The virtual graduation event is planned for 8 October from noon to 1:30pm and will provide opportunity to celebrate the amazing achievements of more Kent and Medway apprentices than ever!

With an increased interactive element it is intended that the event will also provide a better profile for apprentices, their employers and training providers, as well as our invaluable sponsors.

Early information about becoming a s sponsor for the 2021 event can be found here.

Read the press release made on behalf of the organisers by the FSB here.

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April 10, 2020

Diary date of 2nd October for 2020 Apprentice Graduation Ceremony

Amidst great excitement the date of the 2020 event has been confirmed as 2nd October 2020.

The ceremony will again be held at Rochester Cathedral which provided an excellent and accessible venue for the inaugural event.

It is expected that a very similar format will be followed in 2020, with priority being to increase the number of graduates attending and employers and providers involved.

Naturally parents will again be part of the celebrations but as registration opens it is recommended to act quickly to ensure graduates wishing and able to attend get a place at the event.

Gowning will again be free as will the inclusion of all levels of apprenticeship. The ceremony itself will also again be preceded by a VIP reception.

For more information on registration for the 2020 event check out the Registration page on this site from April

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