Seaham-based Great Annual Savings Group (GAS) was named ‘Newcomer SME of the Year’ at the regional finals of the awards, held earlier this month at The Royal York Hotel, York.
The awards celebrate the best apprenticeship schemes in the country and GAS overcame strong opposition to have its programme crowned winner.
‘Newcomer SME of The Year’ is open to companies with a scheme under two years old and with less than 250 staff.
GAS will attend the national finals early in 2017 at Grosvenor House, London, where the UK’s very best apprenticeship schemes will be named.
Judith Bennison, group HR director at Great Annual Savings Group, said: “We’re thrilled to have been recognised by the National Apprenticeship Awards in an area we feel so passionately about at Great Annual Savings Group.
“To win this award for our achievements in the first year of our scheme is a great result for the group. It’s also testament to the hard work our apprentices put in on a daily basis to excel in their roles and prove that young people can add real value in the workplace.
“I couldn’t pick any of our apprentices out for praise individually because they’re all doing so well in their respective areas. They’re a credit to themselves and the scheme itself.
“Our commitment to generating apprenticeships and jobs in the North East will continue as the business grows further and we’re proud to be representing the region in the national finals of the awards in 2017.”