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Bridgnorth learners are highly commended

Two Bridgnorth learners have been recognised for their achievements at the In-Comm Training Annual Awards.

Staysafe PPE’s Charlotte Rickhuss was Highly Commended in the Business Support category, impressing judges with her desire to help others and apply knowledge to support her employer. She was joined on stage by Ian Hill of Bridgnorth Aluminium, who received the same accolade for his work in Continuous Improvement.

He was praised for his ‘emotional connection’ to the business and how he has introduced innovative processes to help improve productivity.

Bekki Phillips, chief operating officer at In-Comm Training, said: “It has been over two years since we last held our Awards, so it was great just to get everyone back in a room together to celebrate everything that is good about vocational learning. Our apprentices, our mentors, our employers and, importantly, the trainers who equip our finalists with the skills they need to move forward.

“Covid-19 has been really tough for every sector and companies could have pulled back on funding apprenticeships or upskilling. That would have been the easy, but wrong choice and I’m delighted that so many firms have remained committed to training in a bid to bridge skills gaps and, in more recent times, to solve a well-documented labour shortage.

“We have responded by delivering digitally throughout the pandemic and, more recently, adopting a blended approach to training - all geared towards minimising the impact on learners. Investment has also continued with new equipment at Aldridge and the move of the MCMT to a new facility in Telford, just in time for the launch of the Marches element of the Black Country & Marches Institute of Technology in December.”

More than 400 people were present at the ICC in Birmingham to celebrate the achievements of nearly 50 finalists at the In-Comm Training Awards 2021

The evening also saw the life of Geoff Jones, the former chairman of In-Comm Training, celebrated in front of his family, friends and former work colleagues.

‘Big Un’, as he was affectionately known, played a key role in the growth of the business after he and lifelong friend Colin Mills bought it in 1997. Under their stewardship, the company has developed into one of the UK’s leading independent training providers, supporting more 750 apprentices and delivering 2000 courses every year. 

Gareth Jones, managing director of In-Comm Training, was delighted with how the celebrations went: “Dad loved these awards; the fact we all got together to promote and recognise vocational learning, sharing stories of how young people have made a difference or how older workers had retrained to learn a new skill. The conversations, the banter, the laughs, he loved it all.

“That’s why we thought what better way to remember Dad than with 400 other people, who share his passion for apprenticeships, training and, importantly, manufacturing.

“It is quite fitting that this has been our biggest ever Awards evening and I feel that events like this should act as a real call to arms, showcasing the strength and brilliance of our industry and our apprenticeships, whilst giving people the chance to see what a career in our amazing sector looks like.”

The In-Comm Training Awards were made possible by headline sponsor the Engineering Technology Group (ETG) and other sponsors including: Black Country Chamber of Commerce, Black Country & Marches Institute of Technology, Collins Aerospace, Crowe, EAL, In-Comm Training & Manufacturing Group, Made in the Midlands and MyWorkwear.

Pictured: Ian Hill of Bridgnorth Aluminium