LONG-ESTABLISHED family firm Gus Robinson Developments has won a top honour in recognition of its dedication to developing apprentices.
At the recent Tees Valley Apprenticeship Programme (TVAP) awards ceremony, Gus Robinson Developments won the Outstanding Contribution to Apprenticeships award for 2011/2012.
The TVAP is a £1.8m fund designed to help sustain and expand employment-related training in the Tees Valley, through the successful training of apprentices.
The National Skills Academy manages the TVAP fund through the regional development agency, One NorthEast and The National Apprenticeship Service.
New Gus Robinson Developments chairman Daniel Robinson is determined to develop the company ethos of bringing through local apprentices in a similar fashion to that of his late father Gus, who passed away in November last year.
He said the company, which provides a wide portfolio of building, mechanical and civil engineering services, invests heavily in youth.
Mr Robinson, who was invited to meet Prince Andrew when he visited Hartlepool College of Further Education last week as part of a royal visit to officially open the new £53m college and celebrate its success with apprenticeships, said: “It is only through our own commitment to both training and education that we continue to thrive and in doing so continue to support the people of Hartlepool.
“Through our local partnerships, we are committed to improving Hartlepool and the Tees Valley area by providing sustainable local employment, supporting local education and contributing to a sustainable built environment.
“We are one of the few companies that still believe in the value of apprenticeship schemes and the continual training and improvement of our staff.
“This is not driven by the need to achieve Government targets, it is who we are, it is in our core DNA and we have adopted this approach for the past 37 years.
“Currently 22 per cent of our workforce are apprentices compared to a national average of seven per cent.
“We take great pride in what we have contributed to Hartlepool and our commitment to providing apprenticeships clearly demonstrates this.
“One of our female plumbers recently won the Apprentice of the Year, Plumber of the Year and overall Student of the Year – true testament to what can be achieved by those who want to succeed.
“During our 37 years in business we have trained hundreds of people from Hartlepool.
“Over the years we have received many accolades and awards in recognition of our community involvement and commitment to training.
“We are delighted to have won this honour, which was a posthumous award given to my father, Gus Robinson MBE, for his commitment to apprenticeships throughout his years in business.”
The TVAP was set up two years ago and has created and sustained 299 apprenticeships in the Tees Valley area.
TVAP chairman, George Ritchie, who is also a North-East regional ambassador for the Government’s National Apprenticeship Service, said “The Tees Valley Apprenticeship Programme has proved a tremendous value for money investment in young people and we are urging Government to keep the momentum going.”
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