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The finalists for the 2005 National Training Awards for the Greater London area where announced last week by Dr Graeme Hall, Chief Executive of UK Skills.

The National Training Awards are recognised as the UK's number one accolade for businesses, organisations and individuals who have achieved lasting excellence and success through training and learning. The finalists in the Greater London area come from a variety of sectors and, according to UK Skills, reflect the diversity of training in the area.

Amongst the 32 entries for the region are Nandos Restaurant, Hartnell Training Ltd, the Metropolitan Police Service, ADR International, Greenwich Leisure Limited and Broadway Homelessness, demonstrating the breadth of training success that it is believed exists in the capitol.

And The Broader Picture"¦

Nationally, 223 finalists from 25 industry sectors, chosen from Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and nine regions across England, will take part in the final stages of the National Training Awards. Prospective finalists are expected to demonstrate achievements across a vast spectrum of activity, whether that activity is based in the workplace or in the community.

All finalists will attend the awards ceremony for Greater London at the Banqueting House, on 27th October, to discover if they have won a Greater London Training Award, a National Training Award or if their entry has been highly commended.

A Step Forward is Just The First

Dr Hall, who runs the National Training Awards on behalf of the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) and feels that the awards help to raise awareness of the socio-economic importance of training in the workplace: "While the UK's workforce has reached an undeniable level of competence, we need to aspire to excellence in order to maintain our position in an increasingly competitive global economy."

Looking ahead, however, Dr. Hall recognises that the skills battle and training war are far from over, saying: "Despite the high levels of achievement, there is still more to do before we truly close the skills gap and have a skills base worthy of the fourth largest economy in the world."

"Training must be seen as a business priority and the link between training and business success must be made," he continued. "The reality is that it is people that make a business work and the skills of these people that make a business flourish. Put simply effective training will help create a more effective, productive and flexible workforce. The message to UK Plc is simple: invest in training to gain a true competitive advantage."

Since the awards inaugural year in 1987 over 16,000 individuals and organisations have entered and there have been nearly 2000 National Training Award winners. FE News would like to congratulate this year's nominees, and wish them ever greater success in improving the skills in their workplace.

Michael Lloyd

Train up your thinking by spreading the news in the FE Blog

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