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John Norton, Divisional Recruitment and Retention Lead for Specialist Services at University Hospital Southampton (UHS) was named Reed Learning Apprentice of the Year for the range and depth of experience and development he demonstrated during his apprenticeship and for his positive impact in different areas.

Olubunmi Oluwaniyi, Learning and Development Administrator at The Hillingdon Hospital was announced as runner-up for the exceptional progress she made in her role during her apprenticeship.

The winner of Reed Learning’s Best Employer of the Year was Currys for the all-inclusive approach to apprenticeships the organisation adopts across the business.

Paradigm Housing Group was declared runner-up in the awards scheme for its commitment to providing opportunities for career development for apprentices.

Receiving his award, John Norton said: “Completing my apprenticeship was inspiring and I was ecstatic when I found out I had won the award. I couldn’t have done it without the immeasurable support and guidance from my adviser Evelyn Thurley, my line manager Natasha Watts, our education lead Rachel Palmer and my colleagues at University Hospital Southampton. Overall, my experience has been amazing.

“Since commencing my apprenticeship I have become a more reflective practitioner, developed a thirst for knowledge and championing better work and working lives. I now add weight to my professional judgements by supporting my opinions with compelling evidence from diverse sources, making a positive difference on every level by inspiring others and seeing beyond rules to do what is right, fair and just. This programme has made me realise how psychologically meaningful it is to pursue the highest goals and the development of my character. It has opened my mind to other opportunities and has been a real gamechanger.”

Jonny Bevan, Emerging Talent Manager, from Currys commented: “We offer over 60 different apprenticeship standards and have developed over 1200 apprentices in the last five years. Apprenticeships bring huge benefits to our organisation. For example, we have used the L&D Level 3 programme to develop our learning facilitators. Historically, that team were only able to deliver fact-to-face training sessions and facilitate workshops. They are now equipped to deliver an end to end L&D journey from TNA to evaluation, making them much more valuable to the organisation.

We are continuing to expand our programmes and apprenticeships are key to our talent strategy and people plan as an organisation.”

Emma Taylor, Reed Learning Apprenticeship Manager, said:

“We are delighted to announce the winners of our first apprenticeship awards. John and Olubunmi demonstrated dedication and commitment throughout their programmes and we are delighted that they are both achieving their potential and progressing in their careers.

“We also wanted to recognise the employers as their commitment to improving skills and professional development is key to any successful apprenticeship scheme. Both Currys and Paradigm Housing Group deserve the accolade Best Employer of the Year!

The national awards were unveiled as part of a programme of events organised by Reed Learning to mark National Apprenticeship Week in February. HR and L&D apprentices from all levels who are supported by Reed Learning were invited to enter the awards to celebrate their achievements in their CIPD qualification and throughout the apprenticeship programme itself. A second category for apprenticeship employers recognised the support and guidance provided by businesses to their apprentices. Entries were judged by a panel of experts in June and winners were announced in September.

Reed Learning has been a main provider on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP) since 2018 and has supported countless HR and L&D apprentices through their programmes. The company offers Levels 3,5 and 7 apprenticeship schemes.

For further information about apprenticeships and the full range of professional qualifications and learning solutions provided by Reed Learning please call us on 020 7932 2760.