ST HELENS Chamber has toasted the “exceptional accomplishments” of the apprentices they train and the businesses who employ them.

An awards night, sponsored by Parkside LLP, was held at Saints, where winners were handed certificates by the club’s captain Jon Wilkin.

Five awards were presented to the apprentices and businesses for their commitment and success throughout 2016.

Joanne Abraham, workforce development manager at St Helens Chamber, said: “Last year more than 300 people completed Apprenticeships delivered by St Helens Chamber, employed at over 200 businesses, so all the shortlisted nominees fought off stiff competition.

“Reading all the nomination forms and finding out about what a valuable contribution the apprentices make in their businesses was a real privilege for both me and the rest of the judging panel and it certainly made our decisions very difficult.

“As a Chamber we are delighted to be able to host the awards and really celebrate Apprenticeships.”

Awards were presented to:

n Olivia McGilvray from Parish Primary School – Winner of Apprentice of the Year in the 16-18 age category

n Sarah Mea from Brown’s Short Break Respite – Winner of Apprentice of the Year in the 19+ age category

n Steven Marsh from Ruskin Leisure – Winner of Learner Journey of the Year

n Doris Melling from Berkley House – Winner of Mentor of the Year.

n Fibre Drums Ltd – Winner of Business of the year

Rordon Douse, Operations Director at Fibre Drums Ltd said; “We were delighted to receive the Business of the year award.

“Working in partnership with the Chamber over the last few years has been extremely rewarding, particularly in developing both new and existing staff.

“During the last five years, we have been able to introduce six Apprentices from the Chamber all of whom remain with our business to date. During this period, we have worked together and developed both their academic and vocational skills through the programmes available from the Chamber.

“I would like to thank the staff from both Fibre Drums and the Chamber who have mentored our employees throughout our relationship. We will be looking to build on this success over the coming years.

“Our congratulations go out to the four other companies who were nominated for this prestigious award. We would also like to congratulate the other award winners on the night. I’m sure they will join us in thanking everyone who was involved in making the awards evening a very special occasion.”

St Helens Chamber’s Apprenticeship Awards evening celebrates the local businesses who grow their own talent through Apprenticeships, and the Apprentices who have made a significant contribution to their workplaces.

Apprenticeships are a great way for people at any point in their careers to gain formal qualifications and new skills, whilst in paid employment.

They can offer a fantastic start to a career, providing practical skills from the workplace that can be taken forward into a future career. They are also a highly effective way to develop skills, and available right up to degree level, are an excellent way to enhance career prospects.

St Helens Chamber’s Apprenticeship programme is open to people of all ages and career progression for their Apprentices is excellent!

St Helens Chamber offers Apprenticeships, Traineeships and Study Programmes in a wide range of subjects, including Business Administration, Health & Social Care, Management, Manufacturing, Warehousing, Marketing, Construction, Hairdressing, IT, childcare and much more.

For more about apprenticeships contact the Chamber on 01744 742333.