A DOG grooming business, which offers apprenticeships to Chelmsford students, has been shortlisted for the London finals of a prestigious award.
Paw-Fect, based in Ilford, has been selected from hundreds of entrants to go through to the London finals of the National Apprenticeship Awards 2014 in the Newcomer category.
Offering Animal Care Apprenticeships to students at Writtle College, the small business is run by a staff of just three including owner Stacey Ismael, Kirsty Leeder, a 20-year-old Advanced Writtle College apprentice from Dagenham and Writtle College apprentice Carla Garey, 19, also from Dagenham.
Vicky Hitcham, Employer Engagement Manager at Writtle College, says: “These awards are highly competitive, with hundreds of entries and last year’s national finalists were the likes of HSBC, BT, Greene King and ITV.
“Paw-Fect is a micro-company with just three employees so this is a huge achievement – we are thrilled for them as they really deserve it!
“The business offers our dog grooming students the opportunity to take the skills they have learnt in the commercial dog grooming parlour at Writtle College and gain vital practical experience in the industry alongside their qualification.
“Writtle College has seen its numbers of apprentices rise over recent years, with students gaining qualifications and workplace experience in a wide range of land-based subjects. The fact that Paw-Fect has been shortlisted for such a major award shows how Apprenticeships offer our students an extremely valuable learning experience.”
Owner of Paw-Fect, 44-year-old Stacy Ismael, says: “We were delighted to have been put through to the London regional finals.
Myself, Kirsty and Carla have worked hard to provide a dedicated and skilled service to our customers, and for this to be acknowledged by such a prestigious achievement is fabulous news. We really feel that we could not have achieved all we have to date without the support and wonderful staff at Writtle College.”
The National Apprenticeship Awards, now in their eleventh year, celebrate the achievements of the country’s most outstanding apprentices and apprenticeship employers. The award winners will be announced at a ceremony organised by the National Apprenticeship Service at City Hall on 23 September.
All the London winners will proceed through to a final national judging stage.
The highest scoring apprenticeship employer entries nationally will have the additional honour of featuring in the acclaimed England’s Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list, which will be produced by the National Apprenticeship Service in partnership with City and Guilds.
The national award winners will be revealed during an awards ceremony at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham on 13 November.
For more details about Writtle College apprenticeships, which are available in Argiculture, Animal Care, Equine Studies, Floristry, Environmental Conservation, Horticulture and Veterinary Nursing, visit writtle.ac.uk.