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Awards ceremony celebrates apprenticeships in Derbyshire

Apprentices and employers from across Derbyshire were recognised for excellence at Learning Unlimited’s awards ceremony held at Pride Park in Derby last night.

There were 30 shortlisted apprentices and employers across the 11 categories of awards. The award categories were designed to celebrate the dedication and drive of apprentices at all levels of study, including those working towards university level qualifications. They also recognised large and small companies who had shown a huge commitment to developing their workforce through apprenticeships.

The Employer of the Year award went to packaging solutions company, Ardagh, who has incorporated several apprentices into their business and shown a keen interest in providing bespoke learning plans to cater for apprentices’ individual needs. The fact that they also regularly visit apprentices in their learning environment to show their support and encourage learners to build their knowledge, confidence and competence helped them to stand out in the category.

Employer of the Year, Ardagh with Gill Parkes, Vice Principal Curriculum Learning and Skills of the Chesterfield College Group

Megan Byrne from DCAS won the Apprentice of the Year award. Her employer nominated her for going above and beyond what is expected and the big impact she has with the young people she works with at the youth arts facility. Megan is working towards achieving  a Level 3 diploma in Social Media for Business. Her dedication, talent, infectious enthusiasm and phenomenal teamwork stood out to the judges.

Apprentice of the Year, Megan Byrne and Julie Richards, Vice Principal and CEO of the Chesterfield College Group

Julie Richards, Principal and Chief Executive of the Chesterfield College Group, which Learning Unlimited is part of, said:

“These awards give us the chance to celebrate the success of our apprentices and the employer partners who provide such outstanding support. I want to congratulate everyone who was nominated as well as the winners. We have heard so many fantastic examples of the benefits apprenticeships are providing for local employers and learners tonight and I hope they help to inspire others to see where apprenticeships can take them.”

Other award winners were:

Apprentice Awards

Level 2 Intermediate Apprentice of the Year  – Lewis Stott, Business and Administration Apprentice at Simply Morzine

Level 3 Advanced Apprentice of the Year – Josh Smith, Digital Marketing Apprentice at Fifteen

Higher Education Award – James Taylor, Mechanical Engineering Apprentice at Accrofab

Dedication to Apprenticeship Award – Max Buxton, Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Bowers Electrical

Employer Awards

Newcomer of the Year – Portobello Engineering

Investment in Apprentices Awards – BPI Recycled Products

Small Employer of the Year – Darley Dale Medical Centre

Medium Employer of the Year – T-Musk

Large Employer of the Year – Balfour Beatty


To see more photographs from the event take a look at our awards night photo album on our Facebook page