Leading businesses and individuals from across the UK gathered on Wednesday night at the 24th annual National Training Awards UK Ceremony to celebrate those who have achieved outstanding organisational and individual success through investment in training, learning and development in the workplace.


At the ceremony, held at Old Billingsgate in London, it was announced that Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service in partnership with Sunderland Youth Offending Service, had been awarded with the coveted National Training Awards 2010 'Winner of the Year' accolade in the Partnership and Collaboration category. 


The partnership was awarded in recognition of the success of the Sunderland Phoenix Project - an innovative venture it set up so that firefighters could work directly with young people who had committed or were likely to commit a crime. The aim was to reduce offending rates amongst the youngsters by improving their attitudes to education and understanding the consequences of anti-social behaviour.


Judges commended the project for the impact that the training has had on the individuals and the wider community. Tyne and Wear saw a 67 per cent drop in offences committed and the scheme has now been adopted by other fire services nationally.


In addition, Jon Ord, Watch Manager, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, who heads up the Phoenix Project, was presented with the prestigious Linda Ammon Award. This accolade is presented to an individual who has shown great dedication in providing opportunities for others as they seek to develop their careers and make their contribution to society. 


Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service and Sunderland Youth Offending Service had previously been recognised as 'UK National Training Award Winner' at the NTA North East Regional Ceremony held earlier in the year.


Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning Minister John Hayes, said: "I am pleased to congratulate all of the National Training Awards Winners of the Year for investing in skills, helping their own businesses to grow and their employees to boost their prospects. They should be extremely proud of their achievements.


"Improving skills is a central to our plans to promote economic growth, and we want as many people as possible to have the chance to learn, whether as part of their career or away from the workplace. It is more important than ever that business invests in training, helping individuals develop their skills and firms improve their competitiveness.


"The creation of a highly skilled workforce not only helps individuals and the businesses they work for, but also contributes to making the UK economy more competitive on a global scale."


Simon Bartley, Chief Executive of UK Skills which manages the National Training Awards, said: "I would like to congratulate the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service and Sunderland Youth Offending Service on their National Training Award. The Sunderland Phoenix Project tells an inspiring story, proving that high quality training is an integral part of personal, organisational and societal development." 


John Ord, Watch Manager, Tyne & Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said:  "We are absolutely delighted to have won the NTA Winner of the Year Award. The Phoenix Project, which Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service runs in partnership with The Sunderland Youth Offending Service, has benefitted many young people and communities in the Sunderland area. The project has shown what we believed all along - that young people can, with the right set of circumstances, demonstrate their abilities and potential to do well."


The National Training Awards are managed by UK Skills on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and in partnership with the Department for Employment and Learning Northern Ireland, the Welsh Assembly Government, Skills Development Scotland and the Scottish Government. The Awards inspire and encourage UK industry to invest in training and development as a route to achieving outstanding organisational and individual success. City and Guilds is the premier sponsor of the 2010 National Training Awards.


Date posted: 7.12.10