Top trainers honoured at awards night

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THE best training providers in the region were rewarded at a celebration event in County Durham.

The National Training Awards and National Apprenticeship Awards 2012 were announced at a ceremony held in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Durham City.

Among the winners were Sunderland’s Hays Travel, Caterpillar in Peterlee and TW Plumbing and Heating from East Boldon.

Now, the winners of the regional awards, which were sponsored by a number of organisations, including Nissan and East Durham College, will go through to the national finals in Birmingham in November.

TW Plumbing and Heating was presented with the North East Small Apprenticeship Employer of the Year award, while Hays Travel received the National Training Award’s Large Employer of the Year thanks to its Rising Star’s in-house management programme.

Caterpillar Peterlee, which announced the loss of 300 jobs last week, won the North East Large Employer of the Year Award, coupled with apprentice Andrew Price achieving highly commended in the North East Advanced Apprentice of the Year Award 2012.

Phil Handley, managing director at the Peterlee plant, said: “We are delighted that Caterpillar Peterlee has been recognised as the best large employer of apprentices in the region. We feel we have developed an apprenticeship programme that offers a fantastic opportunity for people to learn a trade and receive first-class education and support.

“Over the last few years we really have proved we can grow our own. We are also delighted that Andrew Price won runner-up in the apprentice of the year award, again fantastic recognition of him and the programme.”

The National Training Awards recognise organisations that have delivered outstanding training programmes and the National Apprenticeship Awards celebrate the achievements of the country’s most outstanding apprenticeship employers and their apprentices and both are organised by the National Apprenticeship Service, NAS.

Sue Price, NAS divisional area director, said: “I would like to congratulate all the talented winners and finalists.”

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