Work-Based Learning Celebrated at Regional Awards Ceremony.

Thursday, 12th April, saw The Lawn in Lincoln opening its doors for the third consecutive year to the prestigious Lincolnshire and Rutland Skills Awards, a celebration of the successful commitment of individuals and organisations passionate about learning and skills development.

With more applications than ever to consider, the judging proved to be 'both a success and a challenge', according to Geoff Middleton, Chairman of the Lincolnshire and Rutland Work Based Academy. Teenagers and young people were applauded for their achievements in Young Apprentice and Apprentice of the Year categories throughout a wide range of industrial sectors, while the enduring advantages of apprenticeships were proven through the Alumni Category. Schools and employers were also recognised for their contribution to proactive schemes of learning, with many tales of personal growth and support being told to a large and appreciative audience.

Hosted by Craig Collinson of Totem Training, local inventor - and Dragon's Den success story - Andy Harsley acted as Keynote Speaker, drawing on his own experience in business as ambassador for the Princes Trust to hi-light many of the illuminating and fulfilling aspects of learning within a workplace environment. His entrepreneurial success with a 'Rapstrap' invention certainly proved inspiring in demonstrating how invaluable key skills and determination are in personal achievement, qualities very much demonstrated by all awards nominees.

Herman Kok, Chairman of the Lincolnshire and Rutland Employment and Skills Board, said: "Our organisation is proud to support the celebration of the fantastic efforts and successes achieved by employer-sponsored learning in Lincolnshire and Rutland. This type of education/skills based learning deserves a much wider public recognition and the Annual Skills Awards are an excellent way in which to promote its achievements. The Awards celebration is made possible through support from a wide-range of sponsors, partners and volunteers who get involved to raise awareness of the outstanding achievements of our local learners, employers, schools and training providers."

Geoff Middleton, Chairman of the Lincolnshire and Rutland Work Based Academy said: "I continue to be delighted by the commitment of all our partners in making the Lincolnshire and Rutland Skills Awards a success [...] The finalists and the winners seen tonight are the cream of a very talented crop. They deserve recognition and warmest congratulations."