Press release

Oldham-based Adary Joiners wins National Apprenticeship Award

Adary Joiners from Challerton was revealed as the Unilever Small Employer of the Year at an exclusive ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House.

The awards, now in their twelfth year, are run by the National Apprenticeship Service and recognise excellence in two areas: businesses that grow their own talent with apprentices and apprentices who have made a significant contribution to their workplaces.

The company was chosen as the winner in recognition of its commitment to developing young people through apprenticeships.

Skills Minister Nick Boles said:

Congratulations to Adary Joiners for your success at the National Apprenticeship Awards. Apprenticeships truly are set to be one of the great success stories of the decade, and Adary Joiners is a worthy ambassador.

We are committed to 3 million apprenticeships by 2020 so that even more businesses can follow Adary Joiners’ lead and reap the benefits of apprenticeships.

Employment Minister Priti Patel said:

I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to Adary Joiners of Oldham for their fantastic achievement in being named Unilever Small Employer of the Year.

Apprenticeships offer a fantastic way for many young people of all backgrounds to earn as they learn while providing employers with the transferable skills needed to take their business from strength to strength. We currently have record-breaking levels of employment – and this is boosted by prospects like apprenticeships. I want to see this continue.

By working closely with businesses and taking steps like rolling out our ‘Jobcentre Plus Support for Schools’ programme to teach pupils about work experience, apprenticeships and traineeships, we are helping to create an even more flexible and resilient labour market for the future.

Adary Joiners is a small joinery business. Partners Lucy and Gary Sidlow set up the business three years ago with just two sub-contracted joiners. The business grew rapidly and they soon realised that the sub-contracted joiners were free to leave the company at a moment`s notice so started employing joiners directly. In order to future proof the business, they decided to employ their first apprentice in September 2012 and have taken on three more since.

On accepting the award, Gary Sidlow, Company Partner at Adary Joiners, said:

Our strategy is to build a core team of enthusiastic and skilled joiners, specialists in our field, ensuring the continuity of our business. The apprenticeship programme fits perfectly with this strategy as we train and mould our apprentices to the specific joinery we undertake. They will be ambassadors for us and our future leaders.

We plan to continue to take new apprentices every year as our business grows, offering apprentices who finish their apprenticeship options for either further study, becoming an approved contractor or long term employment with ourselves.

The success we have had through this strategy is phenomenal. Our first apprentice now has his own van and a full arsenal of tools! He is able to read site programmes, organise other joiners and work independently to a very high standard. He is of role model standard to the other apprentices. We have been amazed at the success we have encountered, motivating us to continue and expand.

Put simply, we would not be able to tender for the level on contracts we have at the moment without the apprentices forming part of our core team. We are committed to making sure that on their apprenticeship completion they are not only fully qualified but can develop in work and life confidently and independently.

Nadhim Zahawi, the Prime Minister’s Apprenticeships Adviser, who presented the awards, said:

The Prime Minister has committed to 3 million apprenticeship starts by 2020 and I am excited to have a role in helping to deliver this goal, while pushing to revolutionise the skills of our workforce in Britain. Good quality apprenticeships create a fairer society by giving hard working young people the chance to aim for their dream job whilst playing their part in building a stronger economy for Britain.

There are many examples of excellent apprenticeships and apprentices in England and these winners are the best of the best. I congratulate Adary Joiners on their success. It’s an honour to have been part of these awards; to play a small part in recognising the effort of so many great businesses and to reward apprentices for their hard work and dedication. All this year’s winners should shout from the rooftops about what taking an apprenticeship has done for them or what hiring an apprentice has done for their business. I am determined that apprenticeships should be given the recognition they deserve, because they absolutely do deserve it.

The ceremony also saw Adary Joiners named in the prestigious Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer list. The list, which is compiled annually by the National Apprenticeship Service, sponsored by City & Guilds, recognises excellence in businesses that employ apprentices.

Rachel Masters, HR Director – National Programs and Corporate Centres at Unilever UK & Ireland, said:

I am thrilled for Adary Joiners in winning the Unilever Small Employer of the Year at this year’s National Apprenticeship Awards. At Unilever, we firmly believe that apprenticeships not only offer an effective way for businesses, of all sizes, to grow their talent but also a chance for young people to gain new skills and further their careers. This is why we are committed to our apprenticeship programmes.

The National Apprenticeship Awards showcase and recognise the many benefits apprenticeships bring to individuals and businesses and inspire others to follow, enabling them to lead successful lives and drive economic growth in England.

To view the full list of award winners and finalists or for more information about apprenticeships, search on GOV.UK.

About the National Apprenticeship Awards

The National Apprenticeship Service challenged the nation’s top apprenticeship employers and apprentices to come forward and show how apprenticeships have made a real difference to them. Now in their twelfth year, the National Apprenticeship Awards are an opportunity to highlight the many success stories and the benefits of Apprenticeships.

There are six employer categories ranging from Small to Macro, and two newcomer categories – large and SME. Categories are open to employers of all sectors.

For the fifth year running the very best employer category entries will have the additional bonus of featuring in the prestigious annual Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list.

There are four apprentice categories, which are: intermediate, advanced and higher apprentice of the year, and the hotly contended apprenticeship champion of the year.

The National Apprenticeship Service

The National Apprenticeship Service supports the delivery of apprenticeships and traineeships in England. It offers free impartial advice and support to employers looking to recruit for the first time or expand their programme. This includes simplifying the process of recruiting an apprentice or trainee through the support of employer focused teams and Find an apprenticeship and Find a traineeship recruitment sites on GOV.UK where employers can advertise their vacancies and potential apprentices or trainees can apply. Call 08000 150 600 or search for apprenticeships on GOV.UK to find out more.