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Apprenticeship Awards Finalists Announced


The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) has announced the finalists for this year's national Apprenticeship Awards.

Over 1,000 entries were received from employers and young people across seven different categories. Reflecting the range of organisations involved in the Aprrenticeships programme, this year's finalists are engineering company, BAE Systems Plc, Somerset-based small business Upper Cut Hair Salons Ltd and The Anchor Inn pub in Devon.

The awards ceremony will take place at the Hilton Park Lane in London this Thursday (16th June) where four-time Olympic Gold medallist Sir Matthew Pinsent and Gold medal-winning cox Garry Herbert will announce the winners.

Stephen Gardner, Director of Work Based Learning at the Learning and Skills Council offered his congratulations to all the finalists.

"The Awards provide us with a great opportunity to recognise the crucial contribution businesses in the UK are making to raising skill levels, and improving productivity and competitiveness nationally," he added. "I look forward to increased take up of Apprenticeships by employers and apprentices nation-wide as this years finalists - the best of the best - act as our role models for the future."

John Burrows, proprietor of Upper Cut, is a also firm advocate of Apprenticeships: "Apprenticeships are a win-win for employers and apprentices. The apprentices gain valuable, business-specific skills through on-the-job, paid training. As for employers, Apprenticeships ensure they have a highly skilled workforce which we all know guarantees business growth.

"We pride ourselves on making all our staff feel valued and Apprenticeships are a mark of our commitment to their career development. The fact that staff retention rates at Upper Cut are well above the industry average is a testament to this."

Alison Saunders, partner at The Anchor Inn, said: "Because of the secure staff base that Apprenticeships and other training programmes have given us, our business and reputation has grown considerably and our staff have stuck with us, winning awards for small business of the year 1999, Pub Food of the Year in 2000 and Seafood Pub of the Year 2004.

"The bottom line with anything is you get out what you put in: this couldn't be more true than with Apprenticeships. We now have a really good team."

The Employer Award category finalists:

Employer - 250 plus employees
* Kesslers International
* Metsec Plc
* BAE Systems Plc

Employer - 50-249 employees
* Goodmarriott & Hursthouse Ltd
* Dukeries Building Co Ltd
* WM Armstrong (Longtown) Ltd

Employer - Less than 50 employees
* Craig Hambling Ltd
* The Anchor Inn
* Upper Cut Hair Salons

Employer - Less than 9 employees
* Beere Electrical Services
* A Padgett Authorised Plumbers
* Carpeting Merseyside


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