Preston based loose covers and re-upholstery specialists Plumbs have been recognised as one of the top employers in the North West following the regional finals of the National Apprenticeship Awards 2012.
The long-standing manufacturing company was presented with the award for BAE Systems Large Employer of the Year at the recent regional finals held at Blackburn Youth Zone. The high profile event celebrated the efforts of individual apprentices and employers alike in the Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cumbria areas. The special event was sponsored by Blackburn College, Enterprise for All and Darwen Borough Council.
For Plumbs, the award comes after two years that they have dedicated to the recruitment and training of young apprentices in the local area. The family-run business have taken on 6 new apprentices since 2011 in both manufacturing and customer service roles and have continually promoted the benefits to other businesses in the area.:
Receiving the award were Sarah Page, managing director and grand-daughter of the company’s founder, her daughter Rachel Page, co-ordinator of the apprenticeship scheme for Plumbs, and Alan Taylor, Plumbs’ HR Manager. Sarah expresses her delight on winning the award:
"We are incredibly proud to have been honoured with this award. It is such a joy for our efforts to be recognised on this level and that we have had the chance to introduce new career prospects to young people in the area."
The ceremony was opened by Harry Catherall, Chief Executive of Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council and co-presenter Matthew Riley, Chief Executive Officer of local firm Daisy Group Plc, and familiar face from the BBC’s The Apprentice.
120 Plumbs employees, friends and family volunteered to be part of the procession, with members of the Plumbs family itself joining in the celebrations. The starring role of Alice fell to great-granddaughter of the company’s founder and employee of Plumbs, Rachel Page who shares her account of the event:
Plumbs now prepare to face the national finals, with an awards reception being held during The Skills Show Opening Ceremony and Welcome Dinner on 14th November at the NEC Birmingham.
"We are very excited to be going through to the national finals," says Sarah Page. "We hope that the success of our apprenticeship scheme will encourage other businesses to consider the benefits of hiring young apprentices and create opportunities for many more young people across the country."
In addition to their own award-winning scheme, Plumbs have been working closely with the Preston Guild Committee throughout 2012 to develop an apprenticeship initiative that would see local businesses take on a collective 20 apprentices. The scheme has been a proven success, exceeding original targets with 31 young people currently working on apprenticeships in the area
Plumbs have around 150 Home Consultants who will visit homes free of charge. The Home Consultants can recommend an appropriate loose covers solution and advice on room colour co-ordination and any other home furnishings such as upholstery, loose covers for sofas, cushion covers and curtains.
Plumbs have over 350 different upholstery fabric designs and colours to choose from, and a range of materials to suit any piece of furniture.