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NTA celebrates sector’s finest talent

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The 2009 National Training Awards (NTA) has celebrated the achievements of the building services engineering sector's finest talent at a ceremony hosted by SummitSkills.

Skilled apprentices, engineers and management personnel took to the stage in front of employers, college representatives and trade leaders in recognition of their hard work and commitment to high standards. All industries of the sector were represented, with award categories in plumbing, electrotechnical, heating & ventilating and refrigeration & air conditioning.

The event kicked off with a winners' reception, sponsored by EAL, which gave winners, employers and training providers a chance to meet the sponsors and presenters. Over lunch, SummitSkills offered attendees the chance to mingle and visit the exhibition rooms, where the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) and the Worshipful Company of Plumbers put on their own display, and SummitSkills showcased its careers campaign and Skill M&E competitions.

The ninth NTA ceremony welcomed two special guest speakers. Nigel Vardy, British record-breaking mountaineer and also an expert in electrical engineering, presented the majority of the winners with their awards, certificates and £125 of retail vouchers, courtesy of EAL. In addition, bursaries and scholarships were presented to help winners further their education.

Lord Young, Skills Minister awarded the overall winner of the operative discipline awards – National Operative of the Year – with sponsor Unite the Union, and congratulated all the winners on their achievements: "It's great to see excellence celebrated in the building services engineering sector.  The award winners have demonstrated talent and dedication and are proof of the rewards that training brings to both workers and businesses.

"The Government has made a massive investment to help employers build the skills and expertise of their workers.  This is particularly important in the current economic climate – we need to have a highly-skilled workforce in place when the upturn comes.  By working together to invest in education and training, we can ensure we have the right people in the right jobs at the right time."

SummitSkills' Vice-Chairman Stuart Lyon took up the role as host and MC, paying tribute to the sector's finest: "This year's winners of the NTA Awards are a credit to the building services engineering sector. Their motivation, expertise and outstanding achievements are highly valued by their employers and the sector as a whole. Skills deficiencies in environmental and renewable technologies represent one of the key issues currently facing our industry and, as we look to the future, these talented achievers will play a major role in driving sustainable development and energy efficiency in the sector."

Pictured is Electrotechnical Operative of the Year, Jack Finister – employed by NG Bailey – along with Nigel Vardy, British record breaking mountaineer (left) and  David Pollock, Group CEO ECA (right).

The next round of awards will be open for application later in the year.  SummitSkills encourages employers throughout the industry to consider the talent within their own organisations in preparation for nominations.

For more information on the National Training Awards, contact Michael Reeves, development manager, SummitSkills, on 01908 303960.

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