A BUILDING firm has won a prestigious accolade as part of this year’s National Apprenticeship Awards.

Rose Builders, based in Lawford, has won the East of England regional heat of the SME Employer of the Year category at the National Apprenticeship Awards 2020.

The family-run firm, which was established in 1896, has a workforce of 150 employees.

Claire Wright, human resources director at the firm, said: “Everybody here at Rose Builders is absolutely delighted to receive this award. Our apprentices play a massive part in our business and we’re really pleased to be supporting them and look forward to continuing to support them and our future apprentices.”

Annette Allmark, head of apprenticeships at BCS – the Chartered Institute for IT – congratulated Rose Builders and said: “These are difficult times, but the pandemic has only highlighted the important role that technology plays in keeping the economy going.

“At a time of crisis, investing in apprenticeships is not only important today but is absolutely vital for the long term. They play a critical role in plugging skills gaps and in helping to modernise the workforce, ensuring that employers’ evolving skills needs, for example in dynamic IT and tech occupations, can be met.”

BCS carries out the final check whereby a digital apprentice demonstrates they are fully trained and competent.

Peter Mucklow, director of apprenticeships at the Education and Skills Funding Agency, said: “The National Apprenticeship Awards are always very special, but it is more important than ever to celebrate all the exceptional apprentices and apprentice employers who have continued their commitment to apprenticeships during a challenging year.”

“The awards would not be possible without our sponsors, and I would like to thank BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, for their support.”

The judging panels for the awards are choosing the regional finalists for nine different categories, including Apprentice of the Year and Employer of the Year.

The ceremony for the national winners of the categories will be held on November 25 at the Royal College of General Practitioners in London and virtually.