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Forgemasters win prestigious learning and skills award

19 April 2008

Sheffield Forgemasters has been honoured with a top regional learning and skills award thanks to its contribution to training and apprenticeships.

Up against the most innovative and committed companies in Yorkshire and the Humber region, Forgemasters took the Clive W Leach Award for Outstanding Contribution to Training by a Company at the Celebration of Learning and Skills Awards (CoLaS) 2008.

The glittering ceremony hosted by glamorous TV presenter Fearne Cotton - recognises the achievements of the region's employers and learners. 

Brand new for 2008, the Clive W Leach Award saw Forgemasters shortlisted for its exceptional programme of development for its own apprentices which is putting vital engineering skills back into the industry.

The 200-year-old company, which is the largest open die forging company in the UK, is currently training 61 apprentices from a total of 708 employees for specialist careers and roles in all departments across the 64-acre Brightside Lane site

Graham Honeyman, chief executive at Sheffield Forgemasters, said: "Forgemasters has made great strides forward and much of that is down to the hard work and enthusiasm from the workforce.

"The management team at Sheffield Forgemasters has always understood the importance of training a skilled workforce and we are delighted that the work that has been put into the apprenticeships scheme has been recognised with this award. 

"I feel very proud to be a part of this company, and would like to thank each of our apprentices for rising to the challenges set before them."

More than 1,000 guests enjoyed an early evening champagne reception at Harrogate International Centre on 16 April before the awards ceremony commenced, interspersed with dance and stage acts performed by the region's talented college students.

Fearne Cotton, presenter of the awards, said: "The Celebration of Learning and Skills Awards are an important way to recognise the importance of learning and skills in all of our lives.  I've thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the CoLaS 2008 and especially witnessing the inspirational success stories of individuals' and employers' learning and skills achievements - many in the face of adversity."

Many of the region's business leaders joined key employers, politicians, journalists, representatives from education and the families and friends of the nominees for an evening of entertainment and recognition of achievement.