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Family Business of the Year Award for Learning Unlimited partner Smith of Derby

Smith of Derby Ltd, an established and long-time employer partner of Learning Unlimited, has scooped three awards at the national Family Business United – Family Business of the Year Awards 2020, including the top award.

Family Business United celebrates family owned businesses across the UK, recognising the contribution they make to the economy as well as the thousands of jobs they support.

In the ‘virtual’ awards ceremony held live across the internet, Smith of Derby were awarded Manufacturer of the Year, Regional Winners for the Midlands, and Supreme Champion – Family Business of the Year 2020.
For this Derby based company, in family ownership since its beginning in 1856, and now under the leadership of the 5th and 6th generation of the family, the evening was filled with lots of emotion.

‘Who we are’ – a tribute to heritage

A short film ‘Who We Are’, made by one of the 6th generation family members, celebrates the life and times of this family company. It is a fitting tribute to its past leader for many decades, Mr Nicholas Smith. He was fondly known at the works as ‘Mr Nick’, following the Midlands manufacturing tradition. Nick died just over two years ago, having served the family company since childhood, and the awards recognise all of his hard work in bringing the company safely into the twenty first century.

An award-winning apprenticeship programme

In July of this year, one of the company clockmakers, Jon Lee, celebrates 50 years of continuous service with the company, from school leaver to now. In addition to keeping hundreds of public clocks to time, he helps to coach an enthusiastic and growing band of talented young clockmakers as part of their award-winning apprentice programme, delivered by Learning Unlimited.

On winning this treble, Heather Whitworth, Mr Nick’s daughter, and a Director of the company, said:

“This is such a special moment for the company. It is a fitting tribute to the whole team who have worked incredibly hard not just in 2020 but over decades. The team have worked tirelessly to maintain and develop the company, and to continue to cherish our customers and win new friends across the world. These awards are accepted on behalf of the whole team who deserve all the recognition and our thanks”

Heather Whitworth, Director, Smith of Derby

All of the staff at the Learning Unlimited Derby office would like to offer our congratulations to Smith of Derby on their well-deserved awards and look forward to working with you for many more years. Engineering Tutor, Jason Glennie, was particularly pleased with the win. He said:

“I am very pleased for the team at Smith of Derby this is a great achievement. I enjoyed watching the video and seeing Mitchell, my first apprentice at Smith of Derby and now a qualified and skilled engineering clockmaker. The current apprentices, Joe, Jack and Ethan, are all making good progress with their apprenticeship and are a credit to the team in the way that they conduct themselves and represent the company, both in the workplace and at college.”

Jason Glennie, Engineering Tutor, Learning Unlimited