Apprentices and employers from across the country joined together in Sheffield yesterday for Learning Unlimited’s very first ever National Apprenticeship Awards.

During a glittering ceremony at Pond’s Forge in Sheffield, awards were presented to businesses and individuals in recognition of their dedication, work and commitment to developing a skilled workforce though apprenticeships.

TV personality and journalist, Helen Fospero, presented the awards to those who had been chosen from the hundreds of nominations received from peers and managers as well as staff at Learning Unlimited.

One of the winners was chartered accountants and business advisors, Wilson Howe. The Sheffield based business was the winner in the Small Employer of the Year category for demonstrating an outstanding commitment to developing apprentices in the company. Wilson Howe see apprentices as an investment for the future and provide them with clear progression routes to long term employment.

Mark Bennington, Vice Principal Commercial Services and Enterprise at the Chesterfield College Group, said: “The Learning Unlimited National Apprenticeship Awards provided us with the opportunity to recognise the value of apprenticeships and the employers who are invested in the apprenticeship model.

“Each award presented during the evening represented the positive impact on each and every one of those individuals and businesses. We look forward to working with our apprentices and businesses over the coming year and look forward to next year’s Apprenticeship Awards!”

The full list of winners:

Newcomer of the Year (sponsored by the Heathcotes Group) – Winner – Bumbles Day Nursery. Finalists were: Tameside Radio and Briggs of Burton

Investment in Apprentices (sponsored by The Lilypad Café and Restaurant) – Winner – Read Roper Read. Finalists were: MVIS, Accrofab, and Alphaweld.

Partner of the Year – Winner – Bakers, Food and Allied Workers’ Union. Finalists were: Slack and Parr, NTAR, and Tulip Ltd.

Small Employer of the Year – Winner – Wilson Howe. Finalists were: Sherwood Electronics, and DOR Electrical.

Medium Employer of the Year – Winner – Graphoidal Developments Ltd. Finalists were: Ashgate Hospicecare, and Refresco.

Large Employer of the Year – Winner – Heathcotes. Finalists were: Bombardier, and Tarmac.

Employer of the Year – Derbyshire Constabulary.

Outstanding Contribution to Delivery (sponsored by Skills & Education Group) – Winner – Stef Monks. Finalists were: Jennifer Dyke, Helen Payne, Mark Dixon, Fliss Shaw, Jonathan Price, Martin Thomas, James Lund, Wendy Taylor, and Kate Barker.

Chesterfield College Group’s Principal’s Award: Winner – Stef Monks

Intermediate Apprentice of the Year (sponsored by Looks Salon) – Winner – Tanilla Woolliscroft (MVIS), Finalists were: Jessie Lambkin (David Mason Design), and Jake Banton (Bombardier).

Advanced Apprentice of the Year – Winner – Luke Bunting (Bombardier). Finalists were: George Sheldon (MVIS), and Polly Oakes (Fifteen).

Higher Apprentice of the Year – Winnner – James Bateman (Derbyshire Constabulary). Finalists were: James Marshall (Royal Mail), and  Cameron Landa (Bombardier).

Dedication to Apprenticeship – Winner – Amy Flint (Blackwell Primary School). Finalists were: Liam Quinby (Bombardier), and Sian Jones (Royal Mail)

AND the Apprentice of the Year (sponsored by Bombardier) – Kyle Stewart of DEB Chemicals.