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Bury St Edmunds, Colchester and Braintree winners in National Apprentice Awards’ East of England round

PUBLISHED: 16:13 19 October 2017

Jon Kay, centre, of Bury St Edmunds Canine Creche receives the East of England National Apprenticeship Awards Newcomer SME Employer of the Year trophy from ceremony hosts Zeena Cala  and Matt O’Conner.
Picture: National Apprenticeship Awards/Flickr

Jon Kay, centre, of Bury St Edmunds Canine Creche receives the East of England National Apprenticeship Awards Newcomer SME Employer of the Year trophy from ceremony hosts Zeena Cala and Matt O’Conner. Picture: National Apprenticeship Awards/Flickr

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Bury St Edmunds Canine Creche was among four winners from Suffolk and north Essex in the East of England round of the National Apprenticeship Awards.

Charlotte Hewson and GrahamBriggs of Greene King receive the East of England National Apprenticeship Macro Employer of the Year  trophy from ceremony hosts Zeena Cala  and Matt O’Conner.
Picture: National Apprenticeship Awards/Flickr Charlotte Hewson and GrahamBriggs of Greene King receive the East of England National Apprenticeship Macro Employer of the Year trophy from ceremony hosts Zeena Cala and Matt O’Conner. Picture: National Apprenticeship Awards/Flickr

Jon Kay, managing director at the day care centre for dogs − the first franchised operation of the Canine Creche Group, based at Martlesham, near Ipswich − picked up the Newcomer SME Employer of the Year award.

Bury St Edmunds-based pubs and brewing group Greene King won the Macro Employer of the Year title and Ginger Nut Media from Colchester collected the Small Employer of the Year award.

In addition, Charlotte Hughes from Braintree, an apprentice with pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline which has a site in Harlow, was named Higher or Degree Apprentice of the Year.

The regional winners now go forward to the national awards, which are due to be announced in January.

The East of England event, sponsored by Cambridge Regional College and West Suffolk College, was held at Newmarket Racecourse. The ceremony was hosted by Zeena Cala, head of employer accounts at the National Apprenticeship Service, and Matt O’Conner, chair of the Hertfordshire Apprenticeship Ambassadors Network.

Jon Kay from Bury St Edmunds Canine Creche said: “We are thrilled to be acknowledged by the National Apprenticeship Service with this wonderful accolade and recognition for our apprenticeship programme. Apprenticeships are at the very heart of the company and have been vital to the growth of our young business, helping us exceed all targets in our first year.

Lewis Fordham and Ryan Partridge of Ginger Nut Media receive the East of England National Apprenticeship Small Employer of the Year  trophy from ceremony hosts Zeena Cala  and Matt O’Conner.
Picture: National Apprenticeship Awards/Flickr Lewis Fordham and Ryan Partridge of Ginger Nut Media receive the East of England National Apprenticeship Small Employer of the Year trophy from ceremony hosts Zeena Cala and Matt O’Conner. Picture: National Apprenticeship Awards/Flickr

“As the creche grows we will continue to invest in apprenticeships, offering long term gainful employment and further development opportunities. Our vision has our apprentices becoming ambassadors and future leaders with our promote from within mentality. We look forward to working with the National Apprenticeship Service to maintain the already excellent standard they uphold.”

Rooney Anand, chief executive at Greene King, said: “It is an honour to be recognised by the National Apprenticeship Service for our commitment to apprenticeships.

“As a leading pub company, we have a responsibility to help young people to get that all important first step on the career ladder or those not able to go into traditional further education and apprenticeships are a great way of helping us to do this.

“Apprenticeships are something we are really passionate about and our scheme has proven a real success for us. We want to support our team members’ career paths and their progression within the company, and we are proud that our apprenticeship programme supports us to achieve these goals. We look forward to representing our region and the hospitality sector in the finals.”

Phil Warnock, director at Ginger Nut Media, said: “We are proud to be recognised during this year’s National Apprenticeship Service Awards for our continued dedication to developing young people through the apprenticeship scheme.

“But more importantly, we are proud to play our part in enabling young people to achieve their potential; creating a highly skilled, creative and flexible workforce capable of keeping the company at the forefront of the digital marketing sector.

Charlotte Hughes, centre, of GlaxoSmithKline receives the East of England National Apprenticeship Awards Higher or Degree Apprentice of the Year trophy from ceremony hosts Zeena Cala  and Matt O’Conner.
Picture: National Apprenticeship Awards/Flickr Charlotte Hughes, centre, of GlaxoSmithKline receives the East of England National Apprenticeship Awards Higher or Degree Apprentice of the Year trophy from ceremony hosts Zeena Cala and Matt O’Conner. Picture: National Apprenticeship Awards/Flickr

“A culture of learning from the top down ensures apprentices actively contribute of company performance, have opportunities for career progression and act as ambassadors for the apprenticeship scheme. We value the contribution apprentices make to our company and we would not be where we are today without them.”

And Charlotte Hughes of GlaxoSmithKline added: “I am extremely grateful to be receiving this award. I chose an apprenticeship because university is an expensive route to take, and university education is now commonplace, I am also aware many employers value relevant work experience when hiring new staff. The apprenticeship scheme has allowed me to earn while I learn and gain industry experience far beyond what I would’ve gained at university.

“I am extremely positive about my future as I plan to start my Bachelor’s degree and work to gain a permanent role at GSK. I truly believe my apprenticeship has allowed me to grow as a person and in my self-confidence. I will also continue working as a STEM ambassador with schools and businesses to raise the profile of apprenticeships as they have so much to offer.”

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