FOXES Academy, in Minehead, has taken two titles in this year’s National Training Awards 2008 regional ceremony, held in Bristol.
The academy, which provides job training for young adults with learning disabilities, was represented at the presentations by principal Vanessa Cleere and head of vocational studies and training Kerry McCarthy.
They returned with a regional training award for outstanding benefits and effects as a result of training and a UK National Training Award as an exemplar of excellence.
Mrs Cleere said: “This was a fantastic result and is down to all the hard work, learning and training undertaken by both learners and staff at Foxes Academy. Congratulations to everybody.”
Foxes was one of four Westcountry organisations to win in the regional section of the UK National Training Awards.
The awards are given to entries which have demonstrated outstanding and exceptional achievement through training and development.
Sports commentator and former British hurdles champion, Colin Jackson, presented each winner with a trophy.
All four will now attend a national gala ceremony in London’s Royal Lancaster Hotel on December 11 where they will be up against winners from other regions for the overall winner of the year prize in their category.
The academy was nominated in the category for ‘Hospitality and Catering Qualifications for Learners with Learning Disabilities’.
The National Training Awards celebrate businesses, organisations, and individuals which achieve outstanding success through training and development.
It is run by UK Skills on behalf of the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills and is sponsored by City and Guilds and supported by Investors in People.
Colin Jackson said: “I am delighted to take part again in the National Training Awards ceremony in South West and present the winners with their trophies.
“This year’s recipients have set the benchmark high and have proven that in today’s competitive market, high-quality training is an integral part of both personal and business development.”
The chairman of the South West judging panel, Martin Norman, said: “The South West winners clearly represent the benefits of better skills and training.
“They have proven that training can change a company’s performance and that it is an essential ingredient for success.”
UK Skills chief executive Simon Bartley said: “It is exciting to see such a broad range of examples of both personal and organisational investment in training.
“Each winner has a wonderful story to tell of the benefits their training has brought, from increased productivity to improved customer satisfaction to changed lives.
“The winners demonstrate that training is an investment not a cost and that it can transform companies, careers, and communities.
“I congratulate them all on what they have achieved.”
Higher Education Minister David Lammy said: “The National Training Awards foster a culture of learning, celebrate skills development, and make a real difference to the performance of companies and individuals the length and breadth of the country by challenging them to invest in their own development and future.
“The winners demonstrate the dynamic range of training taking place across the UK and the benefits of achieving excellence, and I congratulate them.”
Malcolm Gillespie, regional director at the Learning and Skills Council, said: “Organisations with skilled and qualified workers can expect to be more competitive, productive, and profitable, and the increased number of entries clearly illustrates a growing recognition of the benefits that skills’ training delivers.”
More information about the National Training Awards is available by visiting http://www.nationaltrainingawards.com/ and more information about UK Skills is available by logging on to http://www.ukskills.org.uk/.