Apprenticeships at the heart of double Oxfordshire Business Awards success for StuartBarrCDR

It was an amazing night for Apprenticeships at the Oxfordshire Business Awards on Friday as Thame-based construction, design and renovation firm StuartBarrCDR walked away with not just the Oxfordshire Apprenticeships-sponsored ‘Apprenticeship of the Year’ Award, but MD and former Apprentice Stuart Barr was also named the Shaw Gibbs ‘Young Business Person of the Year’ 2016.

Having started his career as an Apprentice, Stuart was delighted to be recognised both for his own success in business and for the fantastic Apprenticeship scheme he runs.  From his own experience, he knows what both his Apprentices and his businesses need to make the scheme work, resulting in a supportive programme that gives young people a fantastic start in a vital growth industry. As well as running several businesses, Stuart has also been heavily involved in the Trailblazer group developing new Apprenticeship Standards for Plastering and Brickwork, expected to be introduced in autumn 2017.

Stuart says: “Thank you for recognising that what we do is fantastic. We believe our Apprentice scheme is great and it’s an honour to have this seal of approval. Watching the video clips on the big screen of our Apprentices makes us realise how far our apprentices have come - it's a feeling of great satisfaction. Many of our previous Apprentices are now in key roles within the business, with huge responsibility, they really are our future. Thanks again, this means the world to us”

Around 500 people attended the Awards Dinner at the Four Pillars Hotel in Sandford and celebrated the best of Oxfordshire business. Congratulations were also given to our other finalists, Benson-based Grundon Waste Management and Norbar Torque Tools Ltd from Banbury, in what was a very tough category to judge. We were honoured that two of our current Apprentice Ambassadors – Emily Bampton (Relationship Management Apprentice at NatWest Bank) and Jack Owen (Engineering Technician Apprentice at BMW MINI Plant Oxford) were able to join us on the evening and make the actual announcement and presentation.

Oxfordshire Apprenticeships were delighted to sponsor the ‘Apprenticeship of the Year’ category, which has now become very much an integral part of the Awards, for a third year further reinforcing the importance of Apprentices to business growth and success in Oxfordshire. As well as StuartBarrCDR, we were also delighted to see victories in other categories for a number of committed employers of Apprentices, including Bicester Heritage and Ross and Ross Foods.

See our photos from the evening on Facebook at /OxfordshireApprenticeships and /ApprenticesROx.

Official photos and video from the Awards Dinner will be available at www.oxfordshirebusinessawards.co.uk.