Last chance to enter the apprenticeship awards 2009

Now in their sixth year, the Learning and Skills Council’s (LSC) national Apprenticeship Awards are designed to recognise employers who are successfully using Apprenticeships to improve business performance and the key role apprentices play in today’s world.

The awards celebrate the achievements of employers of all sizes, from all sectors of industry.
 
This is a fantastic opportunity to stand out from the crowd – winners will be announced at a prestigious national awards ceremony at the Old Billingsgate, Central London on 16 July.

This is set to be the best awards to date and the LSC is calling for more entries before the deadline on 27 February. This falls during Apprenticeship Week, which will highlight the benefits of Apprenticeships and encourage more employers to get on board– what better time to get involved yourself?

The Awards demonstrate the popularity of Apprenticeships amongst employers in all industries and of all sizes, previous winners have included businesses as diverse as a ship builder, a nursery, an IT firm and a veterinary practice.

Talking about their Apprenticeship programme, Jill Carr, Training Manager, at Large Employer Winner 2008, Pendennis Yacht Building, says: “One of the main benefits of our Apprenticeship scheme is that the apprentices inject skills, youth, longevity, and flexibility into our niche business.  Apprenticeships help us to mould employees, through training and on the job experience, thus providing us with the right level of skills and discipline.  To get the best people you need the best training and that’s what we do.”

Chris Banks, Chair of the Learning and Skills Council said:

“In the current economic climate, it is crucial to recognise the importance of training programmes such as Apprenticeships.
“These awards offer companies a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate the business benefits of employing apprentices. Entries to the Awards have increased year on year and we have received well over 4,000 entries since the first Apprenticeship Awards in 2004.”
 
Employers are eligible to enter for one of five categories depending on their company size; Micro (1-9 employees), Small (10-49 employees), Medium (50-249 employees), Large (250-4,999 employees) and the new Macro size category that will cover businesses with over 5,000 employees – levelling the playing field for businesses of all sizes. 

They are assessed on a number of criteria including implementation of the Apprenticeship programme, clear demonstration of the way Apprenticeships have benefited their business and the level of support provided to their apprentices. 
 
In addition to the Employer Awards, companies can encourage their apprentices to enter the awards too. There are three categories open to apprentices – Apprentice of the Year, Advanced Apprentice of the Year and Young Apprentice of the Year. The Awards’ Premier Sponsor for the fifth consecutive year is City & Guilds.

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