Northern regional winners announced at learndirect Inspiration Awards

learndirect learners, businesses, staff and centres are celebrating today after being crowned the winners at a regional ceremony for the learndirect Inspiration Awards.

The regional ceremony for the north was held at the iconic Palace Hotel in Manchester on Tuesday, 13 May. It was a great day hearing some really inspirational stories from the shortlisted finalists and winners.

The winners from the day were:

Learner support award – Vicky Byfield

Centre of the year award – The Hope Foundation

Business impact award – Extracare

Into work award – Michelle Vanessa Murrey

Star apprentice award (16-19 age category) – Gabrielle Barrett

Star apprentice award (19-24 age category) – Chelsea Keedy

Star apprentice award (24+ category) – Stephanie Douglas

Career progression award – Catherine Nolan

Inspiring learning award – Steven Brown

The learndirect Inspiration Awards celebrate the incredible learners going that extra mile to develop their skills, as well as the businesses and learndirect centres and staff supporting them. The nominees include learners who have overcome personal difficulties to learn and have gone on to find a job or move up in their career, as well as businesses who have thrived as a result of improving the skills and motivation of their workforce through learndirect.

Regional winners will now go forward to a national judging panel, where they will compete with others from across England, Scotland and Wales for a national award. The national winners will be announced at a national ceremony to be held in London on 11 June 2014.

Paul Kilgour, Group Director of Apprenticeships at learndirect hosted the ceremony in Manchester. He said: “The Inspiration Awards are a great opportunity for us to celebrate inspirational local people from all walks of life. The standard of nominations this year has been extremely high, showing the drive and determination of people in the north to improve their skills and make a change to their life. It was a privilege to meet all the finalists and hear the inspirational stories of the winners.”

For more information about the learndirect Inspiration Awards visit