Puffins honoured for its successful apprentices
STAFF of a city childcare provider are celebrating after the company was recognised as one of the South West's best employers of apprentices.
Puffins of Exeter Ltd was named the South West's medium-sized apprenticeship employer of the year 2012 in the regional final of the National Apprenticeship Awards.
The winners were announced at a high profile awards ceremony at the Holiday Inn in Taunton.
With its head office in Heavitree, Puffins has seven children's nurseries in Exeter and Torbay and currently employs 36 intermediate apprentices out of a total workforce of 141 staff.
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The company boasts an exceptionally high success rate for its apprentices, with most staff going on to do advanced level apprenticeships in childcare or management and many using apprenticeships as a stepping stone to undertaking degree courses.
Director Rosalind Taylor said: "Puffins are truly delighted at winning the South West Apprenticeship Award for Medium Employer of the Year.
"We have always been very committed to enabling our apprentices to develop the skills, enthusiasm and understanding required for their work with children.
"We are positive about promoting our staff within the company and believe the apprentices of today will be our managers of the future."
The National Apprenticeship Awards celebrate the achievements of the country's most outstanding apprenticeship employers and their apprentices.
The awards are organised by the National Apprenticeship Service, who received more than 1,500 entrants this year.
Dr John Chudley, NAS's divisional area director for the South, said: "This year's awards were a terrific showcase of the outstanding wealth of talent we have across the South West.
"Given the volume and high calibre of entries we received, I'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate Puffins of Exeter for this superb achievement.
"They are a testament to the many benefits apprenticeships bring to businesses, allowing employers to tap into new raw talent, up-skill their staff and grow."
All the South West winners will proceed to a final national judging stage before England's Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers are revealed during the UK's largest national skills and careers event, WorldSkills UK – The Skills Show, at the NEC in Birmingham, in November.
More information about apprenticeships is available at www.ap prenticeships.org.uk or by calling 08000 150 600.