Worcestershire firm wins national apprenticeship award

Honour recognises excellence in training and opportunities.

Blue Moon Creative from Pershore in Worcestershire was revealed as the DHL Express Small Employer of the Year 2014 in the National Apprenticeship Awards at an exclusive ceremony at Birmingham’s LG Arena on Thursday 13th November.

The Awards, now in their eleventh year, are run by the National Apprenticeship Service and recognise excellence in two areas: businesses that grow their own talent with apprentices and apprentices who have made a significant contribution to their workplaces.

The company was chosen as the winner in recognition of its commitment to developing young people through apprenticeships. After coming under new ownership in 2012, branding and design agency Blue Moon Creative was keen to increase the strength of its team and decided to adopt a “grow your own” approach by taking on three apprentices.
Working closely with Creative Alliance, the leading independent learning provider in the Creative and Cultural Sector in the West Midlands, Blue Moon have been able to take an active role in developing and supporting their apprentices, and as half the workforce, these apprentices have become an integral part of the business and have helped grow the business. All three original apprentices were retained, another one has since been hired and another one is soon to be hired.

Michael Taite, Managing Director Blue Moon Creative said: “Our whole experience of apprenticeships has been very positive. We took on four apprentices with Creative Alliance and have retained all of them at the end of their qualification.”

“Apprenticeships have been central to the on-going transformation of our business and our ability to do so without taking on debt. This has given our business – and, thus the jobs of our former apprentices, significantly greater security. We’ve expanded our workforce through Creative Alliance because they are the specialists in our sector. We want to be part of the spreading the positive message about the value of apprenticeships to a creative business.”

Noel Dunne, Director of Creative Alliance, added: “We are proud to be the Learning Provider for this year’s winners of the National Apprenticeship Services Apprentice Employer of the Year Award 2014. The creative apprentices helped grow Blue Moon’s business, team and profile. The apprentices represent a fantastic return on the investment the company has made in them.”

Gary Woodman, Executive Director of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Congratulations to Blue Moon Creative Ltd and the young people that they have recruited. This is a fantastic achievement and we understand that apprenticeships have been integral to their local growing team. The company is showing the value that apprentices can bring to the workplace, and we hope others will follow their lead.”

Blue Moon Creative is now named in the prestigious Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list. The list, which is compiled annually by the National Apprenticeship Service in partnership with City & Guilds, recognises excellence in businesses that employ apprentices. To view the full list of award winners and finalists or for more information about apprenticeships, visit www.apprenticeships.org.uk.

Front page pic: Phil Couchman, Managing Director of DHL Express UK and Michael Taite, MD of Blue Moon Creative.