Kate Bellingham

Videoclips from the successfully nominated companies were shown to an invited audience of more than 100 employers, training providers, local authority leaders and representatives from the University of Hertfordshire and business support services. View the videoclips here.  

The companies had been nominated for growing the skills base of their employees as part of celebrations to mark the end of the two-year Skills Support for the Workforce programme which delivered workplace learning.

The event was funded through the Skills Support for the Workforce Programme which is managed by Exemplas, and was hosted by Hertfordshire Growth Hub and Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

Hertsmere MP Oliver Dowden sent a congratulatory note to the winners after he was unable to attend due to Parliamentary business. He said: “It is wonderful to see so many fantastic local employers being showcased at this evening’s event. We are lucky in Hertfordshire to have such committed and dedicated employers and hard-working employees. Tonight is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate excellence and share good practice.”

TV presenter and engineer Kate Bellingham, pictured, talked about her work in championing young women to consider careers in science, technology and engineering, and encouraged the audience to share her passion for lifelong learning.

Roger Morris, Managing Director of Elstree Studios, spoke about how the film studios nurture upcoming talent thanks to its close relationship with Elstree UTC, but also highlighted the importance of re-training older people to meet the skills gap.

He said: “Over 50 different skills go into the making of one production. We started filming the major biopic The Crown yesterday with more than 100 people involved in all aspects of its production. We need new talent to feed this growing sector but we mustn’t forget the importance of re-training older people too.”

University of Hertfordshire Pro-Vice Chancellor Julie Newlan talked about its new degree level apprenticeship programme which will be piloting in management and digital technology in January 2016.

David Williams, Cabinet Member for Enterprise, Education & Skills at Hertfordshire County Council, said: "Recognising and celebrating the achievements of these apprentices is very important. Not only does it help to raise the profile of apprenticeships as a fantastic career opportunity for young people, but it also demonstrates to employers how apprentices can help address the skills gaps which face a number of local businesses.

"Earlier this year we launched our Skills Strategy, which looks at how we can tackle this very issue. We need a skilled local workforce for a thriving economy in Hertfordshire, and supporting apprenticeships is a vital part of how we approach Hertfordshire's workforce needs."

Students from Elstree Studios UTC acted as paparazzi for the night and provided musical accompaniment and the floral centrepieces were created by apprentices at Perfect Moment florists in St Albans. 

  • The Skills Strategy has been produced by Hertfordshire LEP in partnership with Hertfordshire County Council and the Department for Work and Pensions. Read more here.  

The eight successful nominated companies were:

John O’Conner, Grounds Maintenance, Welwyn
Cyber-Duck, Digital Agency, Elstree
Toad Hall, Nursery Group, North Herts
Masterson Holdings, Construction, Borehamwood
Changes , Hairdresser, Hemel Hempstead
Temag Pharma, Pharmaceuticals, Welwyn Garden City
European Nursing Agency (ENA), Welwyn Garden City
MBDA, Missile Systems, Stevenage