Triple-whammy for firm's training scheme
A construction business has won three awards for its apprenticeship schemes at a regional ceremony.
Gelder Group was named the winner in every category it was shortlisted in at the East Midlands round of the National Apprenticeship Awards.
And now the firm's boss Steve Gelder is in line for the contest's national prize, which is being decided through a public vote.
The managing director, who started his own career as an apprentice, was named as the region's Apprentice Champion.
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Mr Gelder, who will be up against five other candidates for the national award, said his own experiences had driven his apprenticeship scheme.
He said: "By the time we won our third award it was becoming a little embarrassing. I do, though, believe in apprenticeships – I was an apprentice.
"The first person ever employed at Gelder Group started life as an apprentice and still works here today and during our 25 years in business over 250 apprentices have been employed and trained by the Gelder Group, which is something that I am very proud of."
The company won Large Employer of the Year in recognition of its management and training practices and also scooped the Large Employer title in the National Training Awards category for staff training, personal development and its long-term vision.
The firm was praised for its work in schools, colleges and HMP Lincoln.
Mike Johnson, Gelder Group training manger, says the awards are the most prestigious in training circles.
He said: "The East Midlands traing awards is like the Oscars for training. It's seen as such a high accolade to achieve.
"I'm extremely proud and it's a bit overwhelming. It's such a fantastic achievement for Gelder Group.
"I'm really looking forward to the national ceremony at the NEC in Birmingham, where there is going to be 15,000 people."
Lincoln's Conservative MP Karl McCartney has also praised the company's Preparation for Work Readiness courses which have been delivered to more than 350 young adults since it was launched.
Mr McCartney said: "Many school leavers can be unprepared for the transition to work.
"This important program run by Adam Ellwood is proven to help young people develop the necessary skills and confidence to break down the barriers they encounter when applying for jobs.
"I strongly support the Gelder Group in its efforts to ensure that the younger generation in our city can make a smooth transition from education to employment and I urge schools and other youth organisations across my constituency to participate in this process."
The final will take place at The Skills Show on Wednesday, November 14.
To vote for Mr Gelder, visit www.surveymonkey.com/s/ ApprenticeshipChampion2012