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Top Midlands training company Performance Through People (PTP) has scooped a hat-trick of trophies in the inaugural Ladder for the Black Country Apprenticeship Awards.
Emma Hannon, one of PTP’s apprentices who works at Walsall Council, was announced as the winner of the Professional Services category and as the overall Apprentice of the Year at the awards ceremony and dinner held at Grand Station in Wolverhampton on 3 November.
And PTP itself, part of the BCTG Group, picked up the Training Provider of the Year award at the glitzy event, which was attended by 285 guests.
Emma works in Walsall Council’s Holiday Activity and Food programme, a government initiative that allows local authorities to support children in receipt of free school meals with activities and food during school holidays.
Judges were particularly impressed by Emma’s story of facing the challenges of diabetic eye disease in both eyes, which left her blind in one eye and with just 17 per cent vision in the other.
They said that they were “amazed” not only by her apprenticeship journey but by her role in “making a difference in the lives of vulnerable and needy families”.
Harjit Sidhu, a learning and development tutor at PTP who supports Emma’s apprenticeship, explained that she never let her visual impairment prevent her from completing her duties.
Mr Sidhu said: “We’re so thrilled here at PTP to have seen Emma pick up both her category award and the overall trophy for Apprentice of the Year – she fully deserves both.
“Emma is passionate about the programme she works on and quickly realised that families with children who have special educational needs and disabilities often required greater care and support.
“With this in mind, she took it upon herself to keep track of these vulnerable families by creating a dedicated spreadsheet, enabling her team to plan their support in advance of any holidays and providing more tailored support to those in need.
“Emma will routinely go above and beyond with phone calls to reassure parents or calling providers to make sure that their activities are suitable for a particular child, ensuring that no children and families miss out.
“Amazingly, we never really speak about Emma’s visual impairment as she does not let it prevent her from completing her duties or her apprenticeship work.”
Mr Sidhu added: “Emma is just awesome in everything that she does, acting a role model to others and is an inspiration to all including myself. Everyone at PTP is very proud of her.”
The trophy for Training Provider of the Year was hotly contested by PTP, Juniper Training and The Development Manager, with judges finally announcing PTP as the winner.
Rob Colbourne, chief executive of PTP, said: “Every single person who works at PTP should be very proud of this trophy as it reflects all their effort and dedication to the apprentices we work with and the employers we support.
“We are also very proud of Emma’s double achievement and so pleased that picking up the Training Provider of the Year trophy has made it a hat-trick of honours for PTP in the very first Ladder for the Black Country Apprenticeship Awards.”
Other PTP apprenticeship who were finalists at the awards included:
• Summar Wilkes of the Smile Style Dental Care, in the Health Education and Care category;
• Praise Anyanegbu of Wolverhampton Council, in the Professional Services category; and
• Amy Davies and Katie Poole, both of A F Blakemore and Son, in the Hospitality, Retail, Leisure and Travel category.
The awards were run in association with City of Wolverhampton Council and the Express & Star newspaper.