Apprentice success celebrated at training provider awards

The achievements of apprentices, their supervisors and employers were recognised at Damar Training’s annual celebration event on 7th November. The awards were presented by Julie Ault of Bruntwood Estates, winner of Damar’s 2012 Employer of the Year award. Guests were treated to a champagne reception at the Stockport Guildhall prior to the awards ceremony where they heard from Billa Duggall, who heads up Greater Manchester Police’s apprenticeship programme, Linda Stokes from the National Apprenticeship Service and Damar’s managing director, Jonathan Bourne. 

All of the successful apprentices who attended were presented with their certificates and a small number of special awards were made to apprentices, employers and supervisors whose achievements were particularly noteworthy. Those commended were:

The Employer of the Year award went to Sim Trava Limited which runs 15 Costa Coffee stores in and around Greater Manchester as well as a further 2 stores in the North-East. Sim Trava has also just opened the country’s first Pita Pit outlet in Manchester.

Supervisor of the Year was Elaine Cheetham of accountancy firm Sedulo. Runner up for this category was Cairran O’Shea from Bunzl Healthcare.

Tina McKnight ( and Israel Rosenberg (Millers Accountants) were winner and runner up respectively of the Mark Aspinall Memorial Award (presented by Garth Aspinall), which is awarded to learners who have overcome particular challenges. Lisa Cochran, who works for Stockport Trucks, also received a special mention in this category.

Achiever of the year for 2013 was won by Sergio Bastos (Bruntwood Estates), with David Hulse (Churchill Security) taking the runner’s up spot.

Sim Trava director Tracy Vardy commented:

"I have worked with Damar over the last 6 years, and this partnership has enabled my business to create bespoke qualifications ranging from Customer Service to Team Leading to Management programmes.  The apprenticeship programme reflects our core business values and developing an integrated training scheme as part of our staff development programme has created a clear progression route from Team member to Store Manager level. Our next step, in partnership with Damar, is to create our in-house recognised training academy where we will recruit and train our own apprentices who will be placed in to our stores and become the future of our company."

Damar MD, Jonathan Bourne added:

“I am constantly impressed by the commitment of our apprentices and the fantastic support and opportunities provided by our apprentices’ employers - celebrating their achievements is very important to us.

The positive impact of apprenticeships on business and for individuals is almost immediate but grows with time. This is evidenced by the growing number of our apprentices who are progressing to more senior roles and higher level qualifications.”

Pictured below are (left to right): Cairran O’Shea (Bunzl Healthcare), David Hulse (Churchill Security), Elaine Cheetham (Sedulo), Tina McKnight (, Tracy Vardy (Sim Trava) and Israel Rosenberg (Millers Accountants)


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