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Story Group named as top Apprenticeship employer

July 2011

The Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers is an exciting new initiative to recognise excellence in businesses that employ apprentices. By celebrating their outstanding achievements, NAS and City & Guilds hope to raise the profile of Apprenticeships and promote their benefits to learners and employers alike.

With increased funding for Apprenticeships and new frameworks being developed there has never been a better time for learners to consider alternative paths to employment, such as Apprenticeships. The Government has announced it will increase funding for Apprenticeship programmes and they will play an integral role in providing the skills required to grow Britain’s economy.

In 2010 Story Group, along with their subcontractors, 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.

After a rigorous selection process the most outstanding Apprenticeship employers from all four National Apprenticeship Awards employer categories went forward to feature in the list. Speaking about achieving the Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer, Fred Story, Chief Executive, Story Group said: “We are delighted to receive such an accolade. I believe there were around 1,600 applications nationally for the apprentice awards so this is a fantastic achievement and honour for our company. Our apprentices are doing really well and they are a great bunch of lads who are keen to learn and progress within the construction industry. I would fully recommend apprentices to other companies as they can bring many benefits as well as a fresh approach to a business.”

Simon Waugh, Executive Chairman of the National Apprenticeship Service said, “I am delighted to be celebrating the success of the first Top 100 Apprenticeship employers; they represent the very best Apprenticeship programmes across the country. The list includes organisations of all sizes, from a wealth of industry sectors and this highlights the benefits that Apprenticeships offer to all types of employers including increased productivity and improved staff retention”. Meanwhile, CEO and Director General of City & Guilds, Chris Jones said, “City & Guilds is committed to creating a more proficient and sustainable economy through vocational education whilst encouraging learners to discover their talent and unlock their potential. Apprenticeships will be integral to this, providing the workforce of tomorrow with the skills they need to succeed.

“In line with National Apprenticeship Week in February, City & Guilds launched Million Extra – our mission to help ensure one million people start an Apprenticeship by summer 2013. As part of Million Extra, we want to celebrate those employers who are already helping us achieve this. They set an exceptional example to other businesses and we hope they will inspire others to take on apprentices and put themselves forward for next year’s Top 100.”