Apprenticeship Awards finalists for Black Country revealed

Sep 22, 2023 | News

Kevin Davis and Rob Colbourne at 2022 awards
The finalists for the second Ladder for the Black Country Apprenticeship Awards have been named.

There are 33 contesting the 11 categories with the winners to be revealed at the awards dinner at Walsall Football Club’s Bescot Stadium on November 16.

They include apprentices, training providers and employers.

There was a 40 per cent rise in entries for the second annual awards. They are are run by the Express & Star and judging by category sponsors took place in the board room at the newspaper’s offices in Queen Street, Wolverhampton, last week.

Express & Star Editor Martin Wright said the newspaper was delighted to be able to stage the awards once again to showcase the best and brightest young and mature learners and those organisations who are finding new ways to drive aspiration and education through their apprenticeship programmes.

Apprenticeships celebration

The first awards were held at Grand Station in Wolverhampton last autumn.

Mr Wright said 2023 would see an even bigger and better celebration of apprenticeships in and around the Black Country and Staffordshire.

He said the Express & Star was passionate about promoting apprenticeships and thanked all category sponsors for supporting the awards and making the event possible.

Kevin Davis, chairman of the Ladder Apprenticeship Foundation, said: “I am grateful to the Express & Star for partnering with us once again. It is nearly 10 years since we established the Ladder for the Black Country.

“I want to wish all the candidates the best of luck.”

The awards category sponsors are: Busy Bees, Compass Group, Halesowen College, Higgs, Kuka Systems, National Grid, Silvaman Group, SPV Special Projects, The Apprenticeship Works, Voestalpine Metsec and Wolverhampton Homes.

Walsall Council sponsors the overall apprentice of the year award.

Tickets are on sale online for the event by visiting


Construction and Property Industries: Wasib Sarmad, HS2; Ravel Wallace, Wolverhampton Homes and Claire Brookshaw, Sandwell Council.

Education and Engagement: The Mercian Trust – including The Ladder School; PTP Training trading as Performance Through People and West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust.

Engineering and Manufacturing: Lulu Loughlin, Collins Aerospace; Richard Pinnell, KUKA Systems UK and Megan Ysanne Jones, Fiona Cork Saddles.

Health Education and Care: Fatemah Bibi, Beeches Day Nursery; Ashleigh Baker, City of Wolverhampton Council and Scott Shenton, Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust.

Large Employer of the Year (more than 250 employees): Marston’s, Wolverhampton; Compass Group UK and Ireland and Sandwell Council.

Medium Employer of the Year (51 to 249 employees): Argus Fire Protection; Doocey Group and In-Comm Training.

Professional Services: James Hickman, City Of Wolverhampton Council; Sairah Ali, Walsall Council and Bethany Mackie, Family Action.

Retail, Hospitality, Leisure and Travel: Sara Fields, AF Blakemore and Son; Rebecca Gloreiux, Bidfood Birmingham and Kelly Doyle, Compass UK and Ireland.

Small Employer of the Year (up to 50 employees): Penny Post Credit Union; Brady Bags and Fiona Cork Saddles.

Tech, Digital and Creative Industries: Daphne Siapno, HS2; Eden Walker, PCS and Tadiwa Chikowore, Ginger6.

Training Provider of the Year: The Development Manager; PTP Training trading as Performance Through People and In-Comm Training.

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