A North East cost management specialist has received national recognition in the first year of its growing apprenticeship scheme.
Seaham-based Great Annual Savings Group (GAS) has made the regional finals of the ‘newcomer SME of the year’ category of the National Apprenticeship Awards after launching its scheme in 2015.
GAS was advised to enter the awards by scheme delivery partner Talent Training UK following a successful first eight months and the confirmation of a second intake this October.
It seems the judges agreed with this assessment, selecting a total of 81 regional finalists from more than 1,000 entries. GAS is one of six North East finalists across several categories alongside Sage, Nifco UK, Hays Travel, Blue Sky Tax and Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.
‘Newcomer SME of the year’ is open to companies with a scheme under two years old and with less than 250 staff. If GAS is successful in the regional final this October, the group will be invited to a national final in 2017, where the UK’s best apprenticeship schemes will be named.
Judith Bennison, group HR director at Great Annual Savings Group, said: “We are thrilled for our apprenticeship scheme to receive this recognition. We’ve been vocal about the importance of apprenticeships to businesses and the economy, so for our own scheme to be recognised is fantastic.
“The National Apprenticeship Awards are a prestigious mark of quality, which shows what a great opportunity is on offer to apprentices at GAS. We’re thrilled with how our current cohort are progressing since joining in 2015 and we hope our second intake proves as successful.”
David Harper, chairman of Talent Training UK LLP, said: “It has been a pleasure and an honour to be asked to get behind Great Annual Savings’ prestigious apprenticeship scheme. They are an employer that delivers world-class training and invests significantly in their talented workforce; making them the employer of choice for hundreds of ambitious people.
“They deserve this award for the career-defining opportunities they are creating and we look forward to continuing to support them in the delivery of their exciting people strategy for a long time to come.”
The Great Annual Savings Group Apprenticeship Scheme was launched in August 2015, when nine apprentices were hired from over 400 applicants. Current apprentices are training in a variety of disciplines, including: sales, human resources, compliance and business administration.
The second year intake is currently open for applications, where successful candidates will have the opportunity to train in: marketing, IT, customer services, facilities management, energy management, sales, compliance, business administration and recruitment.
For further information about Great Annual Savings Group, including the Apprenticeship Scheme, visitwww.greatannualsavings.com/apprenticeships