Fantastic achievements of apprentices highlighted in inaugural awards

Nov 4, 2022 | Ladder News, News

On stage is Kevin Davis, Chief Executive of the Vine Trust, and one of the founders of the Ladder Foundation
Walsall Council apprentice Emma Hannon took home the top award from the first Ladder for the Black Country Apprenticeship Awards.

She was the winner of the overall apprentice of the year award at the dinner held at Grand Station, Wolverhampton, organised by our sister campaign the Ladder for the Black Country.

Winners in a dozen individual categories were also revealed at the event attended by 285 guests.

Emma’s story of overcoming being diagnosed with diabetic eye disease in both eyes, which left her blind in one eye and with just 17 per cent vision in the other, also saw her win the professional services apprentice of the year category.

Judges were amazed by Emma’s apprenticeship journey and her role in making a difference in the lives of vulnerable and need families.

Her tutor said that she did not let her visual impairment prevent her from completing her duties. Emma was presented with the award by City of Wolverhampton Council leader Councillor Ian Brookfield.

Apprenticeships importance

The awards, which were run in association with City of Wolverhampton Council and the Express & Star, part of Ladder for Staffordshire partner Midland News Association, were hosted by Carl Jones.

Kevin Davis, chairman of The Ladder Apprenticeship Foundation, introduced a message from West Midlands Mayor Andy Street before the three-course dinner and Councillor Brookfield also spoke about the importance of apprenticeships and efforts to get young unemployed people into work in the city and wider Black Country.

The other apprentice winners were: construction and properties industries apprentice, Connor Smith, Wolverhampton Homes; engineering and manufacturing apprentice, Sophie Young, PP Control and Automation, Cheslyn Hay; health education and care apprentice, Chris Taylor, Walsall Council; hospitality, retail, leisure and travel apprentice, Nathan Reeves, Currys, Wednesbury and technology, digital and creative industries apprentice, Oliver Dutton, Stone’s Throw Media, Wolverhampton.

Both Sophie and Chris were also highly commended by judges in the overall category.

Walsall College won the education and engagement award with Sandwell Council landing the large employer of the year category.

Medium employer of the year was A & T Enclosures, Brierley Hill, with small employer won by Stone’s Throw Media.

Training provider of the year went to Walsall-based Performance Through People which has supported more than 5,000 apprenticeship starts over an eight-year period.

The awards were designed to showcase the best apprentices and their employers in the region.

They have come out of the ongoing support that the Express & Star has given to the Ladder for the Black Country campaign which continues with a page each Thursday focused on efforts to create apprenticeships and help young people get on the ladder to careers success.

The winners

  • Overall apprentice of the year: Emma Hannon, Walsall Council.

  • Construction and Property Industries (sponsored by Phoenix Consortia): Connor Smith, Wolverhampton Homes.

  • Engineering and Manufacturing (sponsored by Voelstalpine Metsec): Sophie Young, PP Control and Automation.

  • Health Education and Care (sponsored by Black Country Training Group): Chris Taylor, Walsall Council.

  • Professional Services (sponsored by Higgs LLP): Emma Hannon, Walsall Council.

  • Tech, Digital and Creative Industries (sponsored by Homeserve Furniture Repairs): Oliver Dutton, Stone’s Throw Media.

  • Hospitality, Retail, Leisure and Travel (sponsored by Marston’s): Nathan Reeves, Currys;.

  • Education and Engagement Award (sponsored by Collins Aerospace): Walsall College.

  • Large Employer of the Year (250+) (sponsored by Wolverhampton Homes): Sandwell Council.

  • Medium Employer of the Year (51-249) (sponsored by Aartee Bright Bar): A&T Enclosures.

  • Small Employer of the Year (1-50) (sponsored by Openreach): Penny Post Credit Union, Stone’s Throw Media.

  • Training Provider of the Year (sponsored by Western Power Distribution): Performance Through People.

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