THE region’s top apprentices and the best companies who take them on have been recognised by awards. The winners of the National Training Awards and National Apprenticeship Awards 2012 were announced at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Durham and will go on to the national final.
They included Sunderland-based Hays Travel which won the National Training Award – Large Employer of the Year thanks to its Rising Stars in-house management programme.
Dale & Valley Homes from Bishop Auckland scooped two awards on the evening; Clair Ord said: “My apprenticeship was an opportunity for me to find a job I was interested in and wanted to progress at.
“It was a new start after I decided to change direction from hospitality into housing. Without the apprenticeship I would not have had that chance, and I want to encourage other young people to consider it as a way into a good job.”
Dale Connell, an apprentice at Natures Landscapes of Newcastle, was named Intermediate Apprentice of the Year. He said: “Winning the award has made me feel very proud and boosted my confidence levels at work as well as home.”
His manager Alan Wear said: “Dale’s brilliant achievement in winning this award highlights the importance of apprenticeships in the workplace. They create skilled, confident and motivated workforces which are long-term assets to the company”.
Sue Price, NAS divisional area director for the North, said: “ Apprenticeships and skills development bring so many benefits, allowing employers to tap into new raw talent, upskill their staff and grow their businesses, and all our finalists are testament to this.”