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The Corporation

Posted: 13/03/09

Businesses celebrate awards success

Top-performing businesses and staff have celebrated scooping gongs at West Nottinghamshire College’s first Employer Engagement Awards.

Employees of local, regional and national companies took to the stage at Eastwood Hall, Nottinghamshire, to collect awards across a range of categories.

Business leaders and college partners also attended the inaugural event, which was held to showcase the College’s successful training links with employers and the contribution this makes to commerce and industry.

More than 20 awards were presented across categories including Employer Awards, Learner Awards, Tutor Awards, Partner Awards, Overall Business Support, Stakeholder Awards and the Principal’s Award.

Local winners of awards within these categories were:

  • Ashfield Court care home in Stoneyford Road, Sutton-in-Ashfield, which won the Commitment to Overall Workforce Development Award for providing vital work placements for apprentices, allowing local learners to achieve a qualification;
  • Ollerton-based Center Parcs was overall winner of the Employer Awards for its commitment to investing in staff training by the College, which in the last year has delivered a programme of Apprenticeships, Advanced Apprenticeships and NVQs to more than 300 Center Parcs employees across its four UK holiday villages;
  • Samantha Wright, a plumber at Neil Shacklock’s Plumbing Heating Electrical, of Stanton Hill, Sutton-in-Ashfield, won the 19+ Learner Award for her outstanding work and dedication in completing her Advanced Apprenticeship in Plumbing;
  • Business development organisation Mansfield 2020 won the Stakeholder Award in recognition of its support towards the College, which helps it to engage with local businesses.


Awards were also presented to College staff and a school of learning.

Skills for Life tutor Pat Ward won the Innovation in Teaching and Learning Award for developing bespoke courses that have enjoyed high success rates, while electrical installations tutor Darren Haynes was named Outstanding Teacher and Learning Support winner for producing imaginative ways of engaging students in learning.

Employer responsive advisor Claire Atkin topped the Overall Business Support category for supporting training providers and helping the College to grow its employer training provision.

And the Engineering and Transport team collected the Outstanding Teaching and Learning Award for its employer-responsive provision, in particular delivering sessions that consistently inspire and motivate learners.

National companies receiving awards included First UK Bus, Arriva, DHL, DB Schenker and Trackwork.

Awards were presented by Paul Southby, Regional Director of the Confederation of British Industry; Terry Laws, Partnership Director at the Learning and Skills Council; Jean Hardy, Chair of the College’s Corporation Board; Asha Khemka OBE, Principal and Chief Executive; and Tim Grant, Deputy Principal.


Graham Howe, Director of Employer Engagement at West Nottinghamshire College, said:  “The awards were a fitting celebration of the successful partnerships between the College and employers across a range of sectors.

“We’re proud to help businesses succeed by providing them with bespoke training, which gives them a major return on investment and ensures they have the right people with the right skills.  It was great to pay tribute to everybody that is contributing to this success.”

Principal and Chief Executive Asha Khemka OBE said:  “We live in challenging economic times and so it is increasingly important to focus on the real business benefits that well-targeted training can bring.

“The evening provided a wonderful celebration of our work with employers of all types and sizes and I look forward to it becoming an annual event in the College calendar.”

West Nottinghamshire College provides bespoke workforce development programmes to more than 650 businesses across the UK, delivering a wide range of programmes including hundreds of NVQs and Skills for Life qualifications.


It is one of the country’s largest providers of the government’s flagship Train to Gain programme, which equips employees with relevant qualifications tailored to the needs of their business.

The full list of winners is:

Employer Awards

  • Commitment to Overall Workforce Development: Ashfield Court
  • Commitment to Skills for Life Training: First UK Bus
  • Commitment to Equality and Diversity:  RF Brookes
  • Recognisable Return on Investment: DHL
  • Overall Winner: Center Parcs

Learner Awards 

  • Learner Award: Richard Lewis and Adam Walshaw (Trackwork)
  • 19+ Learner Award: Samantha Wright (Neil Shacklock’s Plumbing Heating Electrical)
  • Lifelong Learning: Peter Gamble (Arriva)
  • Overall winner: Martin Bridgwater (DB Schenker)

Tutor Awards 

  • Outstanding Union Learning Representative: Frank King (Arriva)
  • Innovation in Teaching and Learning: Pat Ward (West Nottinghamshire College)
  • Outstanding Teacher and Learner Support: Darren Haynes (West Nottinghamshire College)
  • Overall Winner: Richard Owen (Richard Owen Training Ltd)


Partner Awards 

  • Outstanding Teaching and Learning: West Nottinghamshire College Engineering and Transport
  • Outstanding Customer Service: Distinctive Training
  • Innovative Teaching / Assessment Methods: DB Schenker
  • Outstanding Success Rates: Richard Owen (Richard Owen Training Ltd)
  • Overall Winner: Trackwork

Overall Business Support 

  • Winner: Claire Atkin (West Nottinghamshire College)

Stakeholder Award 

  • Winner: Mansfield 2020


Principal’s Award 

  • Winner: John Belton (Trackwork)