On Wednesday 5 June 2013, learners, teachers and employers came together to honour the outstanding achievements of some of the UK’s most exceptional vocational learners at City & Guilds’ prestigious Lion Awards.
The ceremony celebrated the country’s most inspiring achievers who have accomplished extraordinary results through practical learning. It is the culmination of the coveted ‘Medals for Excellence’ regional awards programme, which has been running for over 100 years. All medallists are shortlisted for 14 Lion Awards, including Employer of the Year. The event was a great opportunity to meet some really inspirational individuals who have seen enormous success through learning as well as representatives from major UK businesses. Kineo clients including TUI Travel, M&S, Tesco and many more joined for the evening.
After a champagne reception, everyone took their tables for a three course dinner, and the show was opened by The Brits School, with a high-tempo and enthusiastic performance that got the evening started with a bang. Chris Jones, CEO and Director General of City & Guilds, then welcomed everyone in his opening address, and summed up the feelings in the room, saying “It’s no exaggeration that tonight we are surrounded by the best of the best”.
Alongside Chris Jones, this year’s host was the lovely Myleene Klass, who entertained everyone with a great performance before the awards ceremony began.
This year’s winner for Employer of the Year was Tesco, which was recognised for the strength of its training programmes, developed to enhance its business performance and help solve industry skills gaps.
Working with City & Guilds and Kineo, Tesco has established a leading example of what an apprenticeship programme should look like. And its grown year on year since its launch nine years ago. This year alone, Tesco has offered 4,700 apprenticeships and its team hope this will increase to 5,300 next year.
As an organisation, Tesco has undoubtedly seen the benefits apprenticeships can deliver, from higher levels of staff satisfaction and a decrease in turnover, to increased engagement with development and progression. In fact, over 30% of their apprentices have undertaken further development to enhance their careers.
Ravi Birak and Maxine Meehan proudly accepted the award, presented by Chris and Myleene. Congratulations to the whole Tesco team.
This year over 80 people were awarded a Medal for Excellence. As well as being considered for a Lion Award, each of them was eligible to enter the People’s Choice Award, in which Medal Winners, their nominators, colleagues and friends can vote for them to be recognised with a special award. This year, around 40,000 votes were cast. The winner was George Wingfield, a City & Guilds trained plumbing tutor who has worked in the industry for over 50 years, and was voted Britain’s favourite plumber in 1992. He is now a tutor at West Cheshire College.
The final award of the night was the outstanding achiever of the year award, which was presented to Helen Wynne (Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Children’s Care, Learning and Development (Wales & Northern Ireland)).
Helen was selected as the Outstanding Achiever because of her dedication to making her business a success, and the innovative steps she has taken to develop it. Since setting up Blyths Wood Childminding, she worked tirelessly to develop her skills to provide an exceptional service to both the children in her care and their parents.
After the awards ceremony concluded, the after party kicked off and The Brits School took to the stage again to entertain everyone on the dancefloor.
The party continued into the early hours of the morning, with learners, tutors and employers celebrating their remarkable achievements together.
To find out more about the Lion Awards, and to see all the pictures of the evening, visit the Lion Awards Website.