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National apprenticeship awards 2011

The National Apprenticeship Service confirmed that submissions were remarkable this year, making the competition decisions extremely difficult. Story Groups entry progressed well, being one of a small percentage making it through the initial assessment stage and on to the regional judging panel. Their entry certainly impressed the judges as they were then selected as a regional finalist in the Large Employer of the Year category (250 – 4,999 employees).

To be considered for the award the local company had to demonstrate its commitment to training its workforce and plans for future development of their Apprenticeship scheme, benefits their scheme had brought, examples of how staff had benefited from training and why they considered themselves an exemplar employee.

Story Group has supported the training of Apprentices since at least 2002 and despite difficult trading conditions and along with their subcontractors, recently recruited around 20 Apprentices/Trainees for their new housing development at Magellan Park in Whitehaven. They then challenged them to build a luxury, £225,000 house – in a year. The apprentices are being filmed by local company Brilliant Trees Media for an ITV4 documentary to be aired in Spring 2012. This project is part of the Groups strategy to support local communities and it is hoped that their commitment to the 700-homes on this housing development will secure long term careers for the Apprentices and will lead to further opportunities as the build goes forward. The Group also employs apprentices in their Plant, Motor Vehicle and Buying departments and financially support the majority to attend College to gain formal qualifications. Continued Professional Development is fundamental to the organisation and several schemes are run to develop staff and add to their skills/ qualifications.

Fred Story, Chief Executive of the Story Group commented “As a company we are fully supportive of our apprentices as we recognise that they bring many benefits to our organisation. I would recommend them to any business as a practical and cost effective option for developing employees and equipping them with the skills to do the job. I hope that the success of our apprentice scheme will inspire others to look for a career in the construction industry and that we will see many of them successfully progress throughout the business. I am delighted that we are filming a documentary which highlights the progress of our apprentices as they build one of our luxury homes. Theyve certainly got off to a flying start.”

Representatives from Story Group will attend the North West Apprenticeship Awards celebrations on 17th May at Haydock Park Racecourse where one winner and two highly commended awards will be made in each category.

For further information please contact Catherine Cannon, Marketing Manager, Story Group on 01228 590444 or email: catherine.cannon@storygroup.co.uk

Notes for Editors:

In 2008 one of Story Groups apprentices, 16-year old John Shead, was named Young Apprentice of the Year at the Excellence in Cumbria awards, and LSC North West Young Apprentice of the Year.

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