Suffolk success at training awards

TWO Suffolk-based employers and a trainee are celebrating after the county swept the board at regional awards for training.Ipswich-based MyJuice won the small business category and a £5,000 prize, and Nicki Cran, a trainee workshop technician at Pilot Drilling Control Ltd in Lowestoft, was named as the East of England Practical Learner at the awards, scooping £2,000 in prize money.

TWO Suffolk-based employers and a trainee are celebrating after the county swept the board at regional awards for training.

Ipswich-based MyJuice won the small business category and a £5,000 prize, and Nicki Cran, a trainee workshop technician at Pilot Drilling Control Ltd in Lowestoft, was named as the East of England Practical Learner at the awards, scooping £2,000 in prize money.

Bury St Edmunds-based Claas UK got the medium to large business category award and a £10,000 prize at the Edge Awards 2007 for its training and development of young people.

The cash prizes go towards future training and development, and the winners now go through to national finals in November.

Edge is an independent foundation dedicated to raising the desirability and status of vocational and practical learning among 14 to 25-year-olds of all levels of ability.

Juice and smoothie bar MyJuice impressed Edge judges with its plans to educate youngsters in business methods through their Mini MyJuice scheme, which is run by students at a local school.

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Claire Lander of MyJuice said: “My fellow co-founder David and I are thrilled to win the award. It is great to be recognised for the 'mini' MyJuice partnership. We are both passionate about this project and the Edge Awards will give us the opportunity to reach more people and enable more young people to experience the benefits of this great enterprise project.”

Trainee workshop techinician, Ms Cran, who left school with some GCSEs but did not get the maths grade needed to get an engineering apprenticeship, was adamant she wanted to be an engineer and signed up for a course at her local college.

Her tutor was so impressed with her skills that he recommended her to Pilot Drilling Control, which provides downhole drilling tools for the oil and gas industry. After three years with the firm she is due to be trained as a programmer.

She said: “I feel very appreciative of the fact that I've been recognised for what I am doing.

“I think following a practical route I have matured more quickly than if I had followed an academic education and my confidence has grown with my ability to do the job well.

“I've just completed my NVQ level 3 and I want to carry on training but after next year the free education will end, so I can use the award money to support further training without having to worry about finance.”

It was the third time in a row that agricultural engineering company Claas UK has won its award.

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