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Candidates have been short-listed for the 2008 QIA STAR Awards now that the first round of judging has been completed.

A total of 100 nominees have been short-listed for the awards which recognise people working in the skills and further education sector. The event aims to reward those who have made an impact to the quality of learning that millions receive everyday across England.

The Quality Improvement Agency for Lifelong Learning, set up by the government in April 2006 to improve the learning and skills sector, has seen a record number of high quality nominations for this year's ceremony.

QIA’s acting chief executive, Kate Anderson, said: “The fact that over 2,500 nominations were made, the highest we have ever received, and of a higher standard than previously, from all parts of our wide and diverse sector, is a clear indication of the high regard in which they are held locally.

“I am delighted therefore that those short-listed for the QIA STAR awards will have the national spotlight shining on them. They are providing the skills that our learners need to help them achieve their full potential and drive our economic success – and they should, rightly, feel valued to have been identified as Stars. I warmly congratulate all of them.”

A panel of independent experts, including representatives from the Association of Colleges and Learning Skills Council, assessed each nomination to draw up a short-list of ten nominations for each of the ten categories. The categories for this year's awards are:
  • Teaching, training and learning practitioner sponsored by the Institute for Learning
  • Skills for Life
  • Response to learners’ needs sponsored by Remploy
  • Engaging employers
  • Workforce development
  • Support role sponsored by Unison
  • Learning support
  • Leadership sponsored by CEL
  • Innovation sponsored by Becta
  • Lifetime achievement 
A number of regional celebration events for short-listed candidates are due to be held in October in London, Liverpool and Birmingham. Overall category winners will be revealed at a ceremony at Old Billingsgate, London, on Monday 24 November.

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