APPRENTICES are the “backbone of business” was the message from an expanding digital marketing agency as it celebrated success at a North East awards ceremony last night (THURS 30th).

Espresso Web dedicated the Apprenticeship Award it received at the Teesside Business Awards to the many staff it has trained and developed in-house at its successful agency on Middlesbrough’s Riverside Park.

Director Stephen Robinson, who collected the accolade together with co-director Greg Langstaff, said: “We are delighted to have won this award to show recognition of the hard work and dedication we show our apprentices.

“They are the back bone of our business and we feel the future of commerce in the north east. This award is for them as much as it is us.”

The company, which offers Search Engine Optimisation services, website design and social media marketing, has taken on apprentices since 2013.

It has developed a training scheme that sees every member of staff, across all departments and at each level, given a personal development programme to enable them to get all the relevant NVQs and qualifications, and to upskill.

Mr Robinson, from Sedgefield, said: “We never take an apprentice on with a view that it’s a short-term thing – we take them on and say ‘make yourself indispensable’.

“All our apprentices have been offered full time employment with Espresso Web following their apprenticeship period and receive ongoing support and training to develop their skillset. Many have gone on to have key roles in the business.”

Espresso Web is undergoing a period of significant growth, has expanded into larger premises on Brighouse Business Village and is continually recruiting staff as it looks to double its sale team in 2017.

Mr Robinson said Espresso Web’s “attitude to training” sets the firm apart from other employers. “We want to mould apprentices to become the leaders of tomorrow, to believe in themselves and strive to achieve the best,” he said.

“They have the passion and they believe in the future of Espresso Web so it is up to us as a company to harness that.”

The award was presented at the Tees Valley heat of the North East Business Awards, held at Teesside University. Espresso Web will now go through to the regional final, together with winners from the Northumberland and Tyneside and the Durham, Sunderland & South Tyneside heats.

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