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Apprenticeship award is icing on cake

22 July 2010

A food technology apprentice who invents cakes and biscuits for major UK supermarket chains was among the winners at the Apprenticeship Awards

Sunè Brunton, who works for Merseyside-based Martins Foods, championed in the Advanced Apprentice of the Year category.

Within 18 months of starting at Martins Foods, she’d worked her way up from the production line to team leader. She now develops new bakery products for supermarkets including Asda, Sainsbury’s and Co-op. Her work has included the ‘Cinnabun’, which now earns her employer thousands of pounds a year.

Sunè was among eight winners at the awards ceremony, which was organised by the National Apprenticeship Service. Other stars on the night included: Contemporary Flowers, a Canterbury florist that has competed at the Chelsea Flower Show; Cumbria-based energy firm, Sellafield; and the RAF museum in Cosford that triumphed for its work with aircraft restoration apprentices.

John Hayes, Minister for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning, said: “Apprenticeships play a huge role in providing the skills we need to build an advanced economy. They help get young people into work and boost productivity and improve competitiveness.

“I am just about to take on an apprentice myself, so I know the benefits they can bring to the workplace. The Apprenticeship Awards recognise and celebrate these benefits as well as the hard work of individuals and the commitment of employers to invest in their workforce.‪

“For this Government, skills are a priority and apprenticeships are at the heart of our determination to produce a new generation of craftsmen capable of building a highly skilled, competitive economy.”

Simon Waugh, Chief Executive of NAS, said: “Apprenticeships make a positive contribution to businesses of all sizes and from all sectors and it’s been great to celebrate this through the awards. I hope the success stories highlighted by the awards encourage many more organisations and individuals to find out more about Apprenticeships.”

Chris Jones, Director General and CEO, City & Guilds said: “The Apprenticeship Awards celebrate the best of the nation’s students and employers from across the country, showing the breadth and quality of Apprenticeship programmes available.

“It is humbling to hear our winners’ inspirational stories, some of whom have achieved extraordinary results against all odds. At a time when the country is preparing for an upturn, it is talented and motivated people like them who will contribute to future economic growth and prosperity.”

Rosy Apple Childcare from Preston picked up the Medium Employer of the Year Award, City of Lincoln Council won the Large Employer of the Year Award and Holly Manley was awarded Apprentice of the Year for her work at Superdrug. Todd Lowndes, from Cheshire, was the youngest winner of the evening, picking up the title of Young Apprentice of the Year.

Other award sponsors include: Unilever UK, sponsor of Young Apprentice of the Year; EDI, sponsor of Apprentice of the Year; EAL (EMTA Awards Ltd), sponsor of Advanced Apprentice of the Year; Skills for Care, sponsor of Micro Employer of the Year; BT, sponsor of Small Employer of the Year; NDA/Sellafield, sponsor of Medium Employer of the Year; and BAE Systems, sponsor of Large Employer of the Year; Cable & Wireless, sponsor of Macro Employer of the Year; Southampton Solent University, VIP reception sponsor; BPP, Finalist Awards Films sponsor.

The award winners enjoyed a reception and ceremony at the Park Plaza Hotel, Westminster. All of these winners have previously triumphed in regional heats.


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