days to deadline of 20th May 2011

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Celebrating success


Once again, London´s Royal Lancaster Hotel was the venue the spectacular National Training Awards gala ceremony on 13 December. Hosted by Chris Humphries CBE, Chairman of UK Skills, and presented by Sue Barker, the UK´s leading female sports presenter and host of A Question of Sport, the evening celebrated the achievements of 54 winners from the commercial and public sectors across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Chris Humphries described the importance of a highly skilled workforce as: "an economic necessity, not an optional extra. But developing our skills base is about more than competing in the global economy. It´s also the most effective way of tackling family poverty, of encouraging people to strive for a better life and enhancing social mobility. For this to happen we need to bring about a step change in the UK´s attitude towards training and skills."

The ceremony marked a new award for the Broadcast Sector as part of a sector pilot programme run for the first time this year. From three finalists ITV was declared the UK Winner.

The final award of the evening was the 2007 Linda Ammon Award, given to commemorate the name of Linda Ammon CBE, Chief Executive of UK Skills between 2001 and 2004. Chris Humphries said of Linda, who died from cancer in 2004: "Linda worked hard to ensure that these awards were universally recognised as the number one accolade for training and development and she succeeded." Acknowledged as an individual who has shown tireless dedication in providing opportunities for individuals as they seek to develop their careers and make their contribution to society, the winner was Liz Chandler from Merseytravel.

Individual Category

Jacqueline Adusei - Greater London
Jacqueline Adusei has suffered a fragmented education, health problems and personal obstacles but has undertaken a learning journey that has transformed her life. Over 15 years she has studied hard, gained a raft of qualifications and is now Chief Executive of Slough YMCA. She is a champion of self-development and proof that if you have belief in yourself you can achieve anything you want!

Christine Borsah - Greater London
This courageous woman moved to the UK after the death of her husband and son. Despite depression, she signed up for a 6 month course to help her set up her own organisation to advocate people´s rights. Further study and volunteering led her to set up the African Children´s Club, which has helped more than 5,000 young people and their parents find their voice through creative outlets.

Claire Bowes - Northern Ireland
Claire has shown exceptional personal qualities and resilience to overcome trauma and to go on to follow a training career path characterised by growth and development. Claire has not only completed training to enable her own career progression but has also undertaken training to be able to help others. Claire´s approach has been driven by a positive attitude and in her own words ´life gave me an obstacle and with it an opportunity to see what I could achieve despite it´.

Anne Brammer - Yorkshire and the Humber
Anne is a woman who dedicated herself to using learning and training to improve her own prospects, and is now sharing her knowledge and experience to help inmates of the prison where she is now Education Manager. She began back in 2000 as a parttime Basic Skills Tutor, and worked to get the qualifications she needed to eventually win her current post. And the prisoners she teaches have been inspired: last year they got more than 2000 accreditations, the highest number in 20 years!

Keith Copeland - North East
Keith gained an apprenticeship in a shipyard, only to be out of a job within a year. He then had the foresight to specialise in the new Information Technologies that were beginning to revolutionise manufacturing. He has won a raft of qualifications that have benefited not only his employer - Nissan - but also the whole country. He´s using his expertise in IT to help the Regional Development Agency, One Northeast, and has so far advised over 750 companies and trained nearly 2,700 people!

Denise Hannibal - West Midlands
Denise is a mother of five who left school with no qualifications, but has now become a Local Education Authority Manager with Sandwell Council. After the death of her mother, she embarked on a learning journey that saw her master childcare skills, child protection issues and behaviour management, as well as dealing with children with special needs. Denise has co-written a parenting manual and now has a rewarding career, whilst inspiring her children to continue their learning journeys at university.

Andrew Hoskins - Wales
In the 1990´s Andrew fell victim to the drugs and rave scene. But he turned his life around through training and learning. He ditched drugs, found Faith, and began to work harder. He moved from being a line operative in a factory to its Production Supervisor. He then studied to be a Health and Safety Officer, achieved difficult national qualifications, and decided to fulfil a long standing ambition and start his own business. He now runs Hoskins Consulting Limited specialising in health and safety.

Andrew Ramroop - Greater London
Andrew turned a low paid apprenticeship in to an international success, through a passion for tailoring and training. He has progressed from being a cutter to a highly trained tailor, has been made Professor for Achievement and Distinction in the field of Tailoring by the University of the Arts London, and has now set up a Savile Row Tailoring Academy, to give other young hopefuls a head start!

Amelia Shemilt - North West
Ameila was born with brittle bone disease and confined to a wheelchair, but with determination and hard work, fulfilled her ambition to work in the travel business. She studied hard for her school qualifications and then won a raft of others to equip her for a rewarding career. She turned an HND into a degree, leaving with first class honours in Business and Tourism and is now helping other disabled children embark on a path to success.

Dorothy Spry - East of England
Dorothy had a very difficult childhood and thought she had no chance of a fulfilling her career aspirations. But when she gave birth to her son 19 years ago she was determined to be a positive role model through learning. She started out by gaining 2 A Levels and then an honours degree in psychology. Dorothy then went on to specialise in occupational psychology, open her own consultancy, co author of ´The Psychometric Testing Pocketbook and will in 2008 realise her dream of becoming a Chartered Psychologist. Employer Category - Sponsored by CIPD

AMEC Group Limited - Industrial Division - North East
This energy company used training and learning to overcome a skills gap that was hampering its efforts to develop and grow as a business. They created their own training course and training centre to develop a team of staff charged with maintaining a vast network of overhead electricity lines. Trainees came from their own ground workers, the unemployed and even young offenders looking for a fresh start. Trainees have gained NVQ qualifications and the company has won a new multi million pound contract!

Aramark Ltd - Greater London
In the highly competitive catering market, tight margins are a fact of life and success comes only when you manage costs efficiently. Aramark Ltd has achieved success through training over 700 unit and operations managers and chefs in the fine art of financial control. Managers hit profit and cost reduction targets and everyone is working to the same objectives and speaking the same language!

Ballyclare High (Grammar) School - Northern Ireland
This school has embraced technology and has implemented an effective training programme to produce strong results. A strategic unit was formed to drive forward the training programme which had clear objectives. These included building infrastructure, stimulating and exciting management and staff as well as managing the learning outcomes and sharing effective practice. The organisation is now recognised as a leader in the field of educational technology and is an ICT specialist school.

Bentley Motors Limited - North West
A leading luxury car manufacturer has created a training Academy. Bentley Motors Limited wanted to develop a new generation of managers, who could take the company forward as it launched a series of new, and very important models. The ´Becoming a Bentley Manager´ programme has been undertaken by 85 candidates so far, who have achieved their first line manager position. They are now able to fill three quarters of management posts internally, which is delivering continuity and leadership to the business.

Choices Housing Association Limited - West Midlands
This company pioneered the provision of small, self contained homes set in local communities for people with learning difficulties. They were suffering a lack of skilled staff when they decided to create a training programme to attract and retain the right people. The training was targeted at developing registered managers and support workers and 245 have been through the programme in the last few years. The results have been amazing - employee retention is up and support workers now look forward to training events!

City Service, Newcastle City Council - North East
This council gave staff in its revenues and benefits section, the chance to learn new skills, cope with a new omputerised document managed system and most importantly, add value to the council, by being more customer focused. 167 staff went through a rigorous programme over the course of just over a year and managed to learn and keep the department functioning. And the results have been amazing: with customer satisfaction up, staff costs down and productivity greatly improved.

INVISTA Textiles (UK) Ltd - Northern Ireland
This organisation has successfully implemented a company wide training programme that was essential to and instrumental in, its survival. Key goals were to become more profitable and to compete better in a global market. The response was a training programme that touched all levels of the organisation including operators, trainers and managers. This has resulted in a highly skilled, productive and multi-skilled workforce and a plant that is operating at full capacity. The company is now the most effective site within any of the group´s global operations.

Jaysons Pharmacy - East Midlands
The pharmacy business in Britain is dominated by the chains, and the number of independents has dropped dramatically. But one local business has bucked the trend by training its staff to be more efficient and to work in innovative ways. A training strategy using internal systems and external qualifications was devised. Structured learning gave staff the chance to get formal qualifications. And it´s worked - the business is thriving, staff have excelled and they will continue their success when they open a third branch.

Kier Building Maintenance - East of England
A building firm that cares about the buildings people live in and the society they create too. Specialising in repairing council homes, often in difficult areas, this firm decided to do something to help the disaffected youths that lived there. Called First Start, it´s a programme aimed at 14 to 19 year olds and provides basic training in construction as well as health and safety and first aid. Over the last four years 116 young people have taken part, many graduating and gaining professional references!

Land Rover - West Midlands
This automotive producer has created ground breaking training to drive up quality levels. The programme was developed by the plant´s management and trade union, who shared a vision for the plant. ´Living the Vision´ was delivered by 17 trainers to an amazing 950 staff from all areas and levels of the business, in under a year! In a fiercely competitive world, they have differentiated themselves and are driving quality to new levels. Morale has been lifted and they are competing on the world stage!

Merseytravel - North West
Merseytravel are a public transport organisation that used training to meet the challenges of the city´s place as 2008 European Capital of Culture. A programme targeted 949 employees, from ferry captains, to strategic transport planners. Using a wide range of delivery methods, it tackled a high level of customer complaints and poor levels of service. It´s been so popular there´s now a waiting list to get onto the learning programme. And customer satisfaction is up by 50%!

Office Depot - East Midlands
Office Depot overcame the problem of retaining their van drivers through an innovative training programme that´s binned the ´white van-man´ image for good! The company didn´t want to outsource its deliveries, so it created it´s own Transport Academy, to train drivers and reduce costs. Over 200 drivers learned about subjects like safer driving and fuel efficiency and also improved their customer service skills. As a result, a well qualified team has delivered increased efficiency, a 25% hike in productivity and greatly reduced staff turnover. Pride of Bridlington - Yorkshire and the Humber
This business set up a two year training programme and not only became the best fish and chip shop in its town but one of the ten best in the whole country! They ensured staff took pride in their work and had the right skills through training. The small team worked hard to master fish frying, customer service, health, hygiene, safety, first aid, and got management NVQs at levels three and four. They have built a positive reputation for quality staff and customer service!

Scottish Police College - Probationer Training Programme - Scotland
Today´s social challenges require greater team working than ever before and police officers in Scotland are being trained for just that. Over a three year period, 2,564 officers have been through a Probationer Training Programme, with as much emphasis put on the ´soft skills´ of communication, community relations and partnership working as on knowledge of the law. Officers are now armed physically, mentally and emotionally for policing in the 21st century.

Somerfield Stores Limited - South West
This national supermarket chain was dismayed when research found that customers rated their competitors more favourably in fresh produce. Knowledge and standards were inconsistent. So, they created a training programme called, ´Passion for Produce´ which increased knowledge and targeted the way staff dealt with customers. Training covered care and handling of produce, as well as knowledge on the 5-a-day Department of Health´s initiative. 2,700 staff did the training in just five months and the stores prospects are now looking up!

Southern Group Environmental - Health Committee - Northern Ireland
This initiative offered training to key individuals which subsequently enabled them to provide training to much larger groups. An initial group of trainers were trained and they have evolved into highly skilled professionals who have now delivered training to over 6,000 employees of staff across private and public sector organisations. Local communities have benefited from the introduction of pollution control measures and businesses reported increased competitiveness, cost savings and increased ability to tender for work.

St Columb´s College - Northern Ireland
St Columb´s College has made the integration of technology central to its day to day work. Many staff were initially hesitant about the changes but a carefully designed training programme and sensitivities to the issues concerned, overcame any early reticence. The programme took into account the needs of staff, recognised their interest and sought to support innovation. The training has empowered staff to use technology within their daily work and evaluation has shown the training programme has had a significant impact on pupil performance.

Sunfield - West Midlands
This school serves over 70 pupils with severe and complex learning needs, which not long ago was on the verge of closure. It was saved with the implementation of an innovative training programme for staff. The training was aimed at transforming the way staff viewed the pupil´s families and interacted with them, and the kids themselves. Now families take part in activities and communication is constant and rewarding. Training is being copied by similar schools worldwide, and the future of the school is assured.

The Bank of New York Mellon, Manchester - North West
This leading financial services company operates in 37 countries and services more than 100 markets. When they decided to build a major new operation in Manchester, they created a training programme to up-skill a diverse range of individuals, with no existing experience in their field. 350 school leavers and graduates were recruited through an advertising campaign and underwent a 15 day induction programme. A new Advanced Apprenticeship Qualification was also developed to provide a growing pool of talent for the future.

The National Maritime Museum - Greater London
This is a museum that used training to effect a culture change and turn its Gallery Assistants, from a team that simply safeguarded the museum, to one that engaged with visitors. They did it by creating a new paperless qualification which has been gained by all 140 initial trainees. The results have been striking, with visitors noticing the difference and job satisfaction increasing!

TNT Express Services - UK and Ireland - West Midlands
TNT are a leading player in the international courier market and handle over 66 million items each year! It´s a fast moving business in a fast moving marketplace and training is vital to raising standards and staying competitive. The company created a training programme that reached almost 8,000 staff in just three years and focused on improving service, reducing staff turnover and reducing claims for lost or damaged consignments. Staff turnover costs are down by a million pounds, and pre-tax profits up almost 40%.

TRB Limited - Wales
This automotive parts manufacturer needed champions to help them meet the high standards expected by its parent company. They sent selected staff to Japan and the Philippines on a three month intensive course, to learn a range of skills that would help deliver the high standards needed to succeed. They returned armed with knowledge, enthusiasm and a new role as Champions to transform the productivity of their own plant.

Welsh Assembly Government - Wales
The Welsh Assembly Government decided to use training and personal development to help boost its effectiveness. Each member of staff was encouraged to become an ´Ambassador of Change´ and to gain skills that enable them to deliver tangible improvements in the way the Assembly operates and to take real-life business issues and tackle them head on. That experience can then be put to use to help others to make a difference right across the organisation.

Partnership Category - Sponsored by City & Guilds

ADR Consulting Ltd and NG Bailey - South East
When procurement costs make up almost 70% of a company´s turnover there´s always room for improvement, which can have a direct impact on competitiveness and profitability. These two companies got together to achieve just that outcome through training. A construction company needing better procurement methods and procedures, and a training consultancy that created a programme to achieve it. They have greatly improved the knowledge and skills of over 700 staff, 16 of whom now possess an NVQ in Procurement. The company is thriving!

Balfour Beatty Utilities Ltd / North West Gas Alliance - and Trafford College - North West
Training can help deliver major infrastructure projects so that entire regions can benefit. This partnership between a further education college and a leading engineering group, was tasked with delivering new gas mains to everyone in the North West. The college put its technological expertise and facilities to good use by enabling 250 learners, with an average age of 50 and most without any formal education, to achieve qualifications and improve their technical and team working capabilities.

Blue Sky Performance - Improvement and EDF Energy - South East
This National Winning partnership between one of the UK´s leading energy companies and a training specialist, invested in a leadership development programme, to develop the skills and behaviours of a 70 strong management team. The programme called ´Turning up the Volts´ consisted of workshops - with a skills audit undertaken before and after. Results have exceeded targets with an increase in competence across the board of over 27%! Staff and management turnover is down and sales are up.

Blue Sky Performance Improvement, National Savings and Investments (NS&I) and Siemens IT Solutions and Services - Greater London
This partnership was between a leading financial player and a training specialist. Significant trading losses were tackled with a training programme designed to develop 209 customer service representatives, to build stronger customer relationships and promote new offers and services. A ´sales through service´ culture is now in place, employees feel they have more power and sales are up!

Boxwood Ltd and Marks and Spencer plc - Greater London
One of our best loved high street retailers placed training at the core of a turnaround strategy, when performance dropped. With expert help from a training specialist, they created a General Merchandising Academy and have so far trained 650 people in buying, design, merchandising and technology. Staff are committed, customer satisfaction has risen and the share price has almost doubled!

Buonacorsi Consulting and Southern Railway - Greater London
This partnership between a train operator and a training specialist took on a neglected franchise and turned it in to a highly successful business. They created a leadership programme and placed it at the heart of a culture change. 150 managers were coached on how to inspire their teams to deliver top customer service. Staff turnover has fallen and customer survey ratings are at their highest!

Cordie Ltd and Rok Plc - South East
This leading construction company used training to cut costs and improve the supply of materials to its many building sites. With over 250 different projects on the go at any one time, the company´s supply chain was suffering from duplication and delay, and that cost money. So, they brought in a training specialist to improve supply and purchasing skills amongst staff. In 2006 they saved over one and a half million pounds, a figure that´s set to rise to five million by next year!

CragRats Ltd and Rok Plc - Yorkshire and the Humber
This is a partnership between a leading construction firm and a group of culture change experts, who aimed to improve levels of health and safety and cut the number of accidents on building sites. Innovative theatrical events complemented workshops and high level facilitation techniques to get the message through to 1,221 staff. Following training, accident frequency reduced by an incredible 87 percent. The company have replaced a blame culture with a praise culture and now have a workforce committed to working safely.

Derby City Council Corporate and Adult Services and Handling Movement and Ergonomics Ltd (HME) - East Midlands
This council that took an often overlooked aspect of delivering care in the community very seriously. They created a training programme to ensure that staff could move and handle often very vulnerable people safely. It was vital that the needs of the client and the staff were taken into account. So, the council brought in a specialist in handling movement and ergonomics, and 1200 staff have been trained successfully, three quarters of whom have already been on a refresher course.

Ernst & Young, MJC Associates and Swan HR Solutions Limited - South West
An alliance between a leading business consultancy and two training specialists created a programme that helped young trainees develop their confidence, self-awareness and communication skills. The aim was to give them the power to build their own careers and forge a bond with clients that reaped business rewards for both sides. The key to the training was a two day workshop, followed by real life business experience working for charities. 800 trainees attended the development workshop and many described the experience as life changing!

First Group plc UK Bus Division and Topaz Consulting Group - South West
This bus company was faced with a high staff turnover, losing 49% of drivers within their first twelve weeks of employment. Leavers are a wasted investment, so they chose to act by creating a new induction scheme with the help of Topaz Consulting Group. They created Driver Trainers, Buddy Drivers to shadow them and appointed NVQ Assessors. In total 635 staff have been trained and the results speak for themselves and retention rates have improved by almost 30%!

Kaisen Consulting and M&S Money - North West
This National Winner is a partnership between a financial services call centre and a training specialist. Following a takeover and employee survey, they realised they needed to address poor staff morale and develop a training programme, to maximise career progression opportunities and motivation. 200 Team Leaders and Section Managers completed eight days of training, designed to improve skill sets. High potential managers have been identified, cross departmental working has improved and profits in 2006 almost doubled!

May Gurney and TIPS for Good Management Ltd - East of England
Training and learning can change the culture of any organisation, and these winners proved the point. When a leading integrated support and construction services company needed to move from a task driven past to a more relationship based future, they partnered with a training specialist to create a Management Development Programme. The course, based on 12 competencies, included coaching, workshops, work-based assignments and monitoring. Now accredited by the Chartered Management Institute, it has already seen 98 staff gain a certificate. They even have their own internal award ceremony.

Westin Turnberry Resort in partnership with Training Matters Management Development SVQ Programme - Scotland
The Westin Turnberry Resort tackled high staff turnover, reducing occupancy levels and increasing guest complaints, with a management development programme that is now being used by other companies in the hospitality industry. The 18 month programme includes a pioneering online support system, coaching and mentoring. It aims to ensure that managers can develop productive working relationships, increase employee engagement and increase ownership of personal growth through continuous professional development. They now have a reputation for producing high quality managers!

Training Provider Category - Sponsored LSC

Ashfield School - East Midlands
Ashfield school works hard to contribute to the community by giving its students, and other local youngsters, the best chance of finding a job. They created a Centre for Enterprise, forged a programme of literacy and mentoring support for the over 16´s, and are working with teenage mums to help them stay in education. They also run contact centres and train people to work in them. 200 people have taken advantage of what´s on offer and 85% of those have found jobs!

Barnardo´s Parenting Matters Project - Northern Ireland
A training programme that has been devised for the benefit of others rather than the organisation delivering it. Many within the local community have benefited from the programme and evaluation of it has shown clearly that the objectives set for the training have been achieved. Outcomes of the project have included employment, volunteering and the establishment of a support network. The training project has provided a high quality service which had not previously existed in an area of social need.

Drug Solutions Birmingham, Swanswell Charitable Trust - West Midlands
Helping drug users to reclaim their lives is vital work and this trust used learning and training to overcome a shortage of skilled drug workers. The programme fast-tracked suitable trainees, not always with experience, so that they could learn about Class A drugs, how to communicate with users and methods of intervention and treatment. The 12 week course has been a great success, with new staff able to handle their own cases and push up the treatment retention rate to 88%.

Institute of Practitioners in Advertising - Greater London
This industry body created a new qualification, to counter the fragmentation within the advertising agency world, and ensure new entrants to the industry have a good all round knowledge. Nearly 2,000 people have completed the on-line course and taken the written exam, and another 2,380 have accessed the learning resource. It´s making a regular appearance on CV´s around the country!

Intercomm - Northern Ireland
Intercomm is a project which offered training to those living in an area with high levels of unemployment and deprivation together with low educational attainment. The objective of the programme was to target women in particular and to create an opportunity for them to benchmark their skills, retrain and maximise current and emerging opportunities. The delivery of business training has enabled disenfranchised women to seize opportunities and develop skills that increase their employability and self employment prospects.

The NØW Project - Northern Ireland
This project is an exemplar of how the quality of life for people can be enhanced through training which provides essential skills, improves behaviour, reduces statutory involvement and promotes greater freedom and independence. Learners gained nationally recognised qualifications in numeracy, literacy and money management amongst others. That has allowed them to become more confident and develop a range of core employment skills such as searching for work, interview techniques and so on. The project can demonstrate many examples of individuals whose lives have been greatly enhanced.

Upper Cut Training - South West
This hairdressing business set up a training academy, not only to ensure that it could benefit from skilled staff, but so their competitors could too! The scheme trains people to NVQ levels two and three and provides a work experience programme that attracts young people from a host of schools. Over 50 qualified apprentices are working at the cutting edge of the business. The academy has received recognition from the former DfES, the Adult Learning Inspectorate and City & Guilds as a national model.

UK Skills remit is to champion vocational skills and learning for work through awards and competitions. One of UK Skills key roles is to organise the UK team entry to WorldSkills, the biggest skills competition in the world. This year we recognised our 2007 WorldSkills team at the National Training Awards ceremony. To find out more about WorldSkills, visit www.worldskillsuk.org. It could be one of you´re your young apprentices, students and learners currently benefiting from your commitment to skills and training that could be standing on the podium in 2011 when the competition comes to London.