The success of apprentices, training providers and employers has been celebrated at the Lincolnshire & Rutland Skills Awards.
The fourth annual Skills Awards, organised by the Lincolnshire & Rutland Employment and Skills Board, celebrate vocational work-based learning and are organised with the support of a range of different organisations and individuals.

Ursula Lidbetter, Chief Executive of the Lincolnshire Co-operative and Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP, closed the evening with a short speech to highlight the importance of leaning and skills development within the workplace.

Emma Ogden, winner of the Retail and Commercial Enterprise category, was also handed the award for Overall Apprentice of the Year 2013. “I was overwhelmed to have won, especially after hearing about all the other nominees in my category and the others,” said Emma (26), from Marshchapel, who earned a role as store manager at Lincolnshire Co-operative and now has the chance to undertake a Foundation Degree in Management. “I’m also really touched that the team at Lincolnshire Co-op took the time to nominate me for the awards; it’s an honour.”

The fourth annual awards were held at The Showroom in Lincoln on Thursday (25th April). The Apprentice of the Year Award was split into to six industrial sectors including business administration, information technology and engineering, with female Toni Clough, who works for Kier, taking home the Apprentice of the Year Award for Construction.

Other winners on the night include Steve Gelder of the Gelder Group, who was awarded the Continued Success Award for his commitment to supporting apprentices, and Sir Robert Pattinson Academy, which was given the School Award for Partnership and Collaboration for work which helps to ensure young people are prepared for the world of work.

The evening was hosted by Craig Collinson of Totem Training, with keynote speaker Jim Brown from Hangar18 Technology giving a talk on the importance of the engineering sector across Lincolnshire.

Eight employer finalists were celebrated for their commitment to learning: Cley Hall Hotel, Martin Manufacturing (UK) Plc, Rodden & Cooper Ltd, Barnsdale Lodge Hotel, Compass Point Business Services (East Coast) Ltd, Wig & Mitre Group, Butlins Skegness and Lindum Group.

Herman Kok, Chairman of the Lincolnshire & Rutland Employment and Skills Board and Greater Lincolnshire LEP board member, said: “We are proud to support the celebration of the fantastic efforts and successes achieved by employer-sponsored learning in Lincolnshire and Rutland. This type of education and skills-based learning deserves a much wider public recognition and the annual Skills Awards are an excellent way in which to promote it.”

Clare Hughes from Lincolnshire County Council has been involved in the awards for the last four years. She added: “The grand finale of the Lincolnshire & Rutland Skills Awards is a fantastic celebration of skills and vocational learning. All of the finalists should feel immensely proud of their achievement.”

A full list of award winners is available here