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Shropshire duo named amongst West Midlands' finest

Two Shropshire stars of vocational learning were recognised last week at the annual In-Comm Training Awards.

FBC Manby Bowdler’s Dixie Whitten was named as Business Support Learner of the Year, whilst former apprentice turned Salop Design & Engineering director Lee Pearson was celebrated for his contribution to engineering.

The duo (pictured) beat off competition from over 250 entries to take two of the main awards at the high-profile ceremony, which was attended by more than 350 people at the Grand Station in Wolverhampton.

“Vocational learning is finally being given the recognition it deserves and this year’s awards again highlighted the outstanding talent we are developing in Shropshire,” explained Rebecca Phillips, joint managing director of In-Comm Training.

“We had over 250 entries, covering all aspects of engineering, manufacturing, business support and professional services. There were some fantastic stories of personal development, triumph over adversity and individuals starting to achieve their career ambitions.”

She continued: “It is also important to underline how important the role employers play in all of this. Without the companies investing time and money into creating the next generation of staff, the skills gap would be a lot wider.”

 Marketing Apprentice Dixie Whitten impressed judges with her kind nature and ability to build a rapport and trust with both clients and colleagues. Since joining FBC Manby Bowdler from Smestow School, she has approached all changes with confidence, maturity and an abundance of energy and enthusiasm.

Upon leaving school Lee Pearson enrolled himself onto an apprenticeship programme and this started his journey into his current position as Director at Shrewsbury-based Salop Design & Engineering.

He is now giving something back and has played a prominent role in the development of the In-Comm Training Academy at the firm’s facility in Brixton Way that has the potential to support 60 learners every year.

The In-Comm Training Awards, which are now in their sixth year, was backed by main sponsor Engineering Technology Group and other sponsors FBC Manby Bowdler, John Winter, Made in the Midlands, Mason, Moore Stephens, Royal Bank of Scotland and Stechford Mouldings.

An industry-led judging panel was responsible for choosing the eventual winners, with the prizes given out by music legend and railway enthusiast Pete Waterman OBE.





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