Last chance to nominate inspiring employers for a Big Skill Award

BUSINESSES in Peterborough are being urged not to miss out on the opportunity to take part in the Big Skill Awards 2009 by entering the Employer Commitment to Skills Award.

The Employer Commitment to Skills recognises a company’s commitment to training, developing and up-skilling its staff. Businesses also have the chance to nominate learners in their organisation for the Skills for Work Award, to reward those who have shown true dedication to developing their skills in the workplace.

The closing date for nominations is April 30, 2009. Only a few days remain for people in Peterborough to reward those who have changed their life, or the lives of others, through learning, by nominating them for a Big Skill Award and the chance to win £150 of Red Letter Experience vouchers.

BBC presenter Ray Stubbs, who launched this year’s Big Skill Awards, said: “When I launched this year’s awards I met many people with inspiring learning achievement stories to tell, as well as meeting people who dedicate their time to encourage and support learners.”

In the current economic climate some employers consider cutting training budgets. However businesses that invest during a recession often emerge stronger and more competitive than they were before. Independent studies have found that companies that don’t invest in growth, training, research and development during a recession are two-and-a-half times more likely to fail than those that do invest.

The Big Skill initiative is organised by the Learning and Skills Council in partnership with BBC East to recognise people who have improved their own life or the lives of others through learning. It is a great opportunity for businesses in Peterborough to demonstrate their commitment to staff training and to help achieve recognition for dedicated learners in their company.

Nomination forms are available for download from Anyone who has achieved through learning in 2008/09 is invited to nominate themselves or someone else who lives and learns in the region.

The Awards are open to anyone over the age of 14. The seven award categories are:

  • 14-16 Learner Award
  • 17-19 Learner Award
  • Adult Learner Award
  • Skills for the Community Award
  • Skills for Work Award
  • Employer Commitment to Skills Award
  • The Learners’ Champion Award.

A celebration of award winners will take place in each of the six counties across the region between June 8 and 17 compered by BBC presenters and supported by Ray Stubbs. Local schools, colleges, employers and training providers will also showcase various opportunities available and people will be encouraged to try their hand at learning a new skill.

Graham Brough, Area Director, LSC Cambridgeshire, said: “We encourage all learners and training providers, schools and colleges to enter The Big Skill Awards. The awards are an ideal way to recognise and celebrate achievement and to encourage others in the county to look at the learning opportunities available to help them fulfil their potential.”

Tim Bishop, Head of Region, BBC East, said: “The Big Skill 2008 achieved its aim of encouraging people into learning. The incredible stories of achievement by existing learners and those who encourage and support them were genuinely inspirational. We look forward to what The Big Skill 2009 has to offer.”

The Big Skill Awards 2009 call for entries video can be viewed at and launch photographs with supporter Ray Stubbs are also available to view or download on, visit .

For further information on The Big Skill 2009 visit