At NAS we are challenging the nation’s top employers and apprentices to come forward and show how Apprenticeships and training have made a real difference to their organisation.  This is a real opportunity for employers and individuals to gain the recognition they richly deserve for building the national skills base and fuelling economic growth.

For the first time in the history of the Awards, the Award winners will have the honour of celebrating their success together at Europe’s largest skills and careers event; The Skills Show - at the NEC Birmingham on 14th November.  The show, which is set to become an annual event, is designed to shine the spotlight on education and skills.  It is part of a new era for skills which includes improved quality Apprenticeships and recognition of the vital importance of skills in this country.

When speaking with past winners, I have found that there are many benefits associated with winning.  Joe Price from Shropshire based JR Slee Building & Joinery Contractors Ltd, whose training provider was Shrewsbury College, was crowned Advanced Apprentice of the Year at last year’s National Apprenticeship Awards.  Joe, who also represented the UK at WorldSkills, told me that winning the Award was a real honour and gave him a new burst of confidence.

It is not only individuals that benefit from entering Awards.  National Star College, an independent specialist further education college for people with physical disabilities, acquired brain injuries and associated learning difficulties, won the South West Large Employer Award in last year’s National Training Awards for delivering outstanding training programmes.  The College stated the Award recognised and celebrated the team’s hard work and expertise, motivating all staff.  Research from the National Training Awards, which are run in association with Investors in People, also shows that 42% of the winners have seen real bottom line benefits as a result of winning, resulting in new contracts, increased turnover and the acquisition of new clients.

Working in partnership with City & Guilds, the NAS is searching to find England’s best Apprenticeship employers worthy of joining the prestigious Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list.  Following the success of 2011, the list is being produced by the National Apprenticeship Service in partnership with City and Guilds for the second year running. It aims to showcase the companies with the most outstanding and high quality Apprenticeship programmes in the country, proven to deliver tangible benefits for both the business and its apprentices.  To be considered for the Top 100 list, businesses must enter one of the National Apprenticeship Awards’ employer award categories.  The highest scoring entries will have the honour of receiving the Top 100 accolade.

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Jaine Bolton is director of the National Apprenticeship Service

 

To enter the National Apprenticeship and the National Training Awards visit www.apprenticeships.org.uk/awards. The Awards close for entry on Friday 25 May 2012 and we hope to see many of you at The Skills Show.

City & Guilds is the Premier Sponsor of The National Training Awards

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