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National Training Awards – top winners announced, how to apply next year!


The annual National Training Awards competition was brought to a conclusion yesterday with the presentation of awards to the 15 top winners this year.

In the last few months, regional presentations have been taking place for the 48 National winners and four Threshold winners who were recognised for the quality of the training they had created or undertaken. The final presentation in London, attended by Education and Employment Secretary David Blunkett, saw the 15 of these winners recognised as having demonstrated 'outstanding excellence in training'.

Five individuals and 10 employers received the special award, including Coca Cola Enterprises Ltd and Fox's Biscuits for the employers awards and NIE Powerteam with Sx3 Training Solutions and Scottish Enterprise Edinburgh with QMcD Management Consultants for the partnership awards. This year there were 683 entries, with 123 finalists attending the ceremonies.

Speaking at the awards ceremony at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in London, Mr Blunkett said: "It is truly inspiring that the National Training Awards continue, year after year, to find people and organisations who are achieving extraordinary goals through learning new skills and ways of working. It is extremely encouraging to see such excellent examples of lifelong learning in action. We need to help everyone fulfil their potential and respond to the changing world economy. The key message today is that there is a real economic need for people to upgrade skills throughout life. We know from research for the National Skills Task Force that if we each raise our productivity by just one tenth of one percent above the current trend we would generate £10bn more output over the next ten years."

Turning to individual award winners, Mr Blunkett singled out two examples to praise: "Vera Stevens began her career course after 25 years as a housewife and mother of four. She graduated with honours in History and English and now works as an enterprise development officer for Springboard, involved in the development of young people. Her new career has seen her take up outdoor activities including exploring mines, rock climbing and she has even abseiled off Wearmouth bridge (for a fundraising initiative) – all this, at 61 years old. Westwind Air Bearings won their award for measures taken to overcome their skills shortage. They trained their existing staff but also invested heavily in a new apprentice training facility to ensure that future generations of staff would be trained in a multi-skilled environment."

National Training Awards have existed since 1987 to promote and highlight the benefits of high quality training to business or personal goals. If you have an example of training good practice you've worked on which you think deserves an award, the application process for the National Training Awards 2001 is now open. The website says that "the judges are looking for training which has proven exceptionally effective in meeting business or personal needs. They want clear evidence that the objectives set at the beginning of the training have been met and how this training has helped you or your organisation to meet your goals." Any training method is eligible but an application needs a clear description of why it was used, how it was used and what the results were.

National Training Awards will also be running a series of advisory workshops for potential applicants to give guidance on what the judges will be looking for. Details will be available in the new year. The closing date for entries is 18 May 2001.

You can download an entry form at


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