Social Housing repairs & maintenance company Mears has been named as the South Central's best employer of apprentices (Medium Employer category) in the regional final of the National Apprenticeship Awards 2013. Winners were announced recently at a high profile awards ceremony at Fareham College, Hampshire organised by the National Apprenticeship Service. On a local level in Brighton, supporting the Apprentice framework in partnership with City College Brighton and Hove has been an integral part of the Mears' ethos since 2005. This commitment to apprentices has grown steadily throughout the years so that it is currently employing 25 apprentices locally.
"Winning the award is a great tribute to all the dedicated staff in Mears who look after and mentor the apprentices", said Mears Partnership Manager James Cryer. "Our apprentices bring a refreshing burst of enthusiasm and have become an integral part of our team. Apprenticeships are definitely one of the best investments we have ever made and working with City College to support our programme has been key to this success."
"I was absolutely delighted to see Mears win this award which they thoroughly deserve", said Donna Keenan, City College's Managing Director of City Business Skills. "When it comes to delivering apprenticeships, we've forged a fantastic working relationship together and I regularly see first hand how committed Mears are to giving young people opportunities to gain a high level of skills and forge a career within the company."
The National Apprenticeship Awards celebrate the achievements of the country's most outstanding Apprenticeship employers and their apprentices. The awards are organised by the National Apprenticeship Service, who received in excess of 1,600 high quality entrants this year.
"This year's awards were an exceptional showcase of the outstanding apprentices and employers we have in our region", said Mark Howard, Divisional Apprenticeship Director. "Given the high volume and extraordinary calibre of entries we received, those who reached the regional final really are the cream of the crop. I'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate Mears for this superb achievement. They are a shining example of how Apprenticeships can allow employers to grow their own talent, and enable apprentices to build real careers."
All the South Central winners will proceed through to a final national judging stage, and the Apprenticeship employer entries that were judged to be the very best of the best will have the additional honour of featuring in the acclaimed England's Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list, which will be produced by NAS in partnership with City & Guilds. The Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers and the national award winners will be revealed during the opening ceremony of the UK's largest national skills and careers event, The Skills Show, at the NEC in Birmingham on 14 November. Mark Howard continued:
"I would like to wish Mears the best of luck at the national final. They are a great ambassador for our region, and I'm sure their success will inspire others."