Triple awards success for Burnley apprentice

A Burnley business is enjoying triple award recognition for its dedication to young employees.

The Connect Technology Group scooped the Young Employee of the Year at the recent Burnley Business Awards, was highly commended at the same awards in the Apprenticeship Scheme of the Year category.

And, the business, which is based in the Burnley Business Centre, Liverpool Road, has since learned it has reached the next level in the prestigious National Apprenticeship Awards.

Connect Technology, based in the Burnley Business Centre, Liverpool Road, currently has three apprentices and three more members of the 22-strong team started as apprentices with the firm.

One of those apprentices is John Lord, who was thrilled to receive the Young Employee of the Year trophy at last week’s Burnley awards celebrations, as well as learning that his nomination in the national awards had gone through to the regional judging panel.

Currently undertaking an IT apprenticeship with Burnley College within its Cisco networking academy, John works on both Connect’s internal systems as well as applications developed specially for customers.

CEO Chris Reid, a former apprentice himself, said: “Our whole team is celebrating John’s successes as an individual, as well as the overall successes which apprentices have brought to the company.

“John has been a fantastic addition to our team ever since he began. One of the IT projects he helped with saved us £20,000 in development fees, and that’s on top of the day-to-day tasks he undertakes. His personal and professional development in the relatively short time that we have known him has been incredible.”

Chris has a first-hand understanding what value apprentices can bring to a company and how apprenticeships can play an important role in the life of the individual, even though his own experiences weren’t entirely positive.

Ever since it has been his intention that when he became an employer, he would not only seek to recruit apprentices, but to also give them meaningful work that benefited both them and the company.

Chris said: “I always say that I don’t want our apprentices to leave when they are finished with us - but if they do, then I at least want them to be better at their jobs than when they arrived.

“In fact, we care so much about our apprentices that they don’t actually leave. Most stay with us and take on full-time roles. From top to bottom, we are concerned with personal development and, on a personal note, I am determined to give my apprentices a better experience than my own. In return, we are given dedicated individuals who become integral members of our team.” Should John successfully reach the regional finals, he will be invited to attend an awards ceremony which will be held in September.