Please find attached a picture of the winners of this year’s Skills for London 2008 Awards, along with Skills Minister David Lammy MP, Fearne Cotton and LSC Regional Director for London, David Hughes. Press release is below. If you would like any individual shots of any of the winners, please contact me on the number below.


Many thanks,



‘You’re Hired!’ 13 of London’s top candidates beat off competition in the ‘real life’ apprentice



Fearne Cotton and Skills Minister David Lammy congratulate best of London’s apprentices, employers and education providers



Date of issue

6 June 2008



Publication number




Embargo until





You may think that Wednesday night’s episode of the Apprentice on BBC 1 put the contestants through their paces, but that’s nothing compared to the hurdles that this year’s competitors for the 2008 Skills for London Awards have overcome. 


Being a real-life apprentice is tougher than the reality-TV version and  this year’s winners of the Skills for London Awards proved that they had more than just the ‘gift of the gab’ or the ability to sell wedding cake.


Over 100 candidates from across London battled it out to win today’s accolades which recognised the top apprentices, businesses, and skills providers from across the capital.


Unlike Sir Alan Sugar’s apprentices, these contestants have completed gruelling training courses and will not get a six figure salary straightaway, but they have all secured qualifications which will enable them to get higher paid jobs and move up the career ladder. Top businesses also slogged it out to prove that they provide the best on-the-job training available for their staff to help their businesses succeed.


TV presenter Fearne Cotton and Skills Minister David Lammy MP revealed the 13 ‘hired’ contestants to a packed audience of over 350 people from the education and skills sector.


The 13 winners of this year’s ‘real life’ apprentice competition included single parent Julianna Alli, who supported her three and a half year old son on just £80 a week whilst taking an Apprenticeship in Business Administration. She won the much feted Personal Achiever of the Year Award and her teacher said of her: “Julianna is a real inspiration to young people and is able to be a shining example to them through her line of work at Connexions in Woolwich”.   


Julianna said:  “Winning this award it means everything. Up until today, I didn’t think I would win it until they called my name and I realised that Wow! I’m just going to go forward and tell everyone about it, especially the people I know that work with young people in Connexions to tell them that they can do it, because I’ve done it”.


Another candidate for the Train to Gain Learner of the Year Award, Diana Bruce-Chin, is still learning at the ripe old age of 70 and walks 4 miles to and from the St Michaels Day Nursery each day, where she helps care for young babies. She is living proof that it really is never too late to learn.


Diana said:  “I would like to thank my assessor, my director and my manager. I feel great about being a finalist because it’s not only for me it’s for the nursery. It’s given me more commitment to the children and I’ve learned a lot through the training”.


Contestants such as these were pitted against the big guns like BT who won the Apprenticeship Large Employer of the Year Award for the second year running for their Apprenticeship programme through which they train 10% of their workforce.  Also, Axima Building Services, who won Apprenticeship Medium Employer of the Year Award. 


Brian Woodcraft, Managing Director of Axima Building Services based in Docklands said:

“This prize is hugely important and I feel very proud. We put a lot of time and effort into our training programmes, particularly Apprenticeships but also other training for older staff. We have to bring skilled people through the industry, we like to think that we bring through some of the best and ultimately it reflects on our bottom line because we have some of the best skilled tradesmen in the industry”.



Candidates like the RoyalHospital for Neuro-Disability, Coffee Snobs and building firm Leary Brothers were recognised for the outstanding work they do to develop bespoke learning solutions for their staff.


Two Polish women, Katarzyna Brzezinska and Iwona Zamojska overcame language barriers to learn English whilst also gaining NVQ’s in Health and Social Care and Skills for Life qualifications respectively.


Katarzyna said:  “I am very proud about this award. I feel great, I didn’t expect to win. I am very happy about it. My company has given me a lot of support and I’ve learned a lot from them so it’s great that they have got acknowledgement like this”.


This year, for the first time, training providers were also recognised.  Sue Gidman from TBG Learning, Provider of the Year said:  “We are absolutely delighted, it means so much to all of our staff and to all of our learners which are 30,000 in a year and we are providing services for people that perhaps wouldn’t have ordinarily have achieved without the help of people like us”.  


LSC Regional Director for London, David Hughes, said:

“Sir Alan Sugar would be impressed by our award winners and candidates; he might even want to hire some of them. They are all bright, intelligent and highly motivated people who have gained vocational skills which will stand them in good stead in today’s competitive business world. This year’s contestants prove that Further Education is now really the training ground for creating the skilled workforce England needs to remain competitive”.


Speaking at the event, Skills Minister David Lammy MP said: 

“I am pleased to see so many talented, self-motivated people here today.  It shows how much can be achieved when employers provide individuals with opportunities to reach their full potential.  Through Apprenticeships and Train to Gain we are giving employers and individuals the support to find the right training to meet their business skills needs. The new skills that these learners bring to their organisations will not only improve their business but the economy as a whole.”


Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:

“I am pleased that there is a general consensus across business and government that training and skills development are essential to both tackling worklessness and developing smooth running efficient organisations. That is why these awards are so important to recognise and showcase what excellent work is being undertaken at all levels and encourage all employers to ensure skills and training are at the top of the list of business objectives.”


The events key sponsor was Knapp Goodwin, a marketing design and events company that applies a wide range of skills to client projects. Chairman Geoff Knapp was very vocal in his support for training:


“With the right encouragement and teaching we can all turn potential into success and make an impact on any business” he said. The winners of the 2008 LSC awards have demonstrated a commitment to developing their people and we are proud to help recognise those achievements.”


The Skills for London Awards 2008 were held at London’s Royal Opera House in Covent Garden today. The awards, organised by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) celebrate the achievements of learners and businesses across London, who have undertaken Apprenticeships or other further education skills training. 


Full details of all the finalists and winners are available along with photography from the event. 




Notes to Editors


The winners of the 2008 Skills for London Awards are:

Apprenticeship Employer of the Year (sponsored by LearnDirect Business)

§         Small Employer - George Fraser

§         Medium Employer  - AximaBuilding Services

§         Large Employer  – BT

Young Apprentice of the Year (sponsored by Full On and Loud Magazine) - Luke Power

Apprentice of the Year (sponsored by Choice e-prospectus) - Asad Ahmed

Advanced Apprentice of the Year (sponsored by XL Magazine) - Aline Cornu

Personal Achiever of the Year (sponsored by Kiss 100) - Julianna Alli

Train to Gain Employer of the Year (sponsored by Knapp Goodwin)

§         Small Employer - Leary Brothers & Ream Partnership

§         Medium Employer – Coffee Snobs Ltd

§         Large Employer – The RoyalHospital for Neuro-disability

Train to Gain Learner of the Year (sponsored by Kiss 100) - Katarzyna Brzezinska

Skills for Life Learner of the Year (sponsored by Get On) - Iwona Zamojska

Training Provider of the Year (sponsored by Prevista) - TBG Learning Ltd


The judging panel comprised:


·            Rod Kenyon, Director, Centrica

·            Ali Kaye, Director, Work Based Learning Alliance

·            Chris Heaume, Chief Executive, Central London Connexions

·            Stephen Evans, Director of People, Skills and Employment, LDA

·            Tony Evans, Policy Advisor, GLA

·            Sue Parker, Regional Director, AOC London

·            Ruth Lomax, Assistant Director – Marketing and Communications, HackneyCommunity College

·            Ann Lines, Head of Olympic Delivery Team, Jobcentre Plus

·            Tristan Wallace, Skillset



Learning and Skills Council (LSC)

The LSC exists to make England better skilled and more competitive. It is responsible for ensuring the availability of high-quality education and training for everyone. It has a single goal: to improve the skills of England’s young people and adults to world class standards. Its vision is that young people and adults in England have knowledge and skills matching the best in the world and are part of a truly competitive workforce. It works nationally, regionally and locally to deliver this ambition on behalf of learners and employers www.lsc.gov.uk/london

Skills for London

For more information on skills or the awards visit www.skillsforlondon.org


Train to Gain

Train to Gain is a service from the Learning and Skills Council, helping businesses get the training they need to succeed. For more information visit:  http://www.traintogain.gov.uk/



Apprenticeships are nationally designed training programmes for those who have already left full time education or are already in employment. They provide a combination of on and off-the-job training whilst being paid.  For more information visit http://www.apprenticeships.org.uk/



Media Enquiries


For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact:


Lynn McSweeney                                                          EmilyTowers

Learning and Skills Council                                            Learning and Skills Council

020 7904 0663                                                               0207 904 0784  

07810757172                                                                 07917 246 016

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                                        This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




Emily Towers
Communications Manager

Learning and Skills Council
London Region
Centre Point
103 New Oxford Street

T: 020 7904 0784
M: 07917 246 016
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The LSC, the organisation that exists to make England better skilled and more competitive

Skills for London Awards 2008, Royal Opera House, 5 June 2008

Celebrating Apprentices, Trainers, Employers and Learners.

Closing date for nominations, 29 February 2008 CLICK HERE for a nomination pack



P Please consider the environment before printing this E-mail.


You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

Educating yourself in Prison: an inside job

Educating yourself in Prison: an inside job

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter yesterday

RT @NCFE: ‘For as long as humans have worked, and whatever industry they may have worked in, success has always been predicated on having t…
View Original Tweet

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page