WYRE Forest apprentices and organisations are celebrating after being named as finalists for a regional awards scheme.

28 of Worcestershire’s best apprentices, schools, careers leads, training providers, apprenticeship champions and employers have made it to the finals of the Worcestershire Apprenticeships Awards 2019.

The judges for the awards say that the shortlist reflects "the increasing popularity of apprenticeships as the best route to earn as you learn."

Laura Barrett and Katie Turner from Amada in Kidderminster have reached the final in the Intermediate Level Apprentice and Advanced Level Apprentice of the Year categories respectively.

Thomas Smith from DRPG in Hartlebury is a finalist for the Higher Level Apprentice of the Year award, and Phosters (FM) ltd in Kidderminster are finalists for the Medium Apprenticeship Employer of the Year award.

King Charles High School in Kidderminster has also been named as a finalists for the School of the Year award.

The finalists will join hundreds of businesses and guests at the awards finals from 6:30pm on Thursday November 14 at the Tree Tops Pavilion, West Midland Safari Park, where the winners of each category will be announced.

The black-tie ceremony will be presented by the former British Paralympic swimmer and gold medallist, Marc Woods, who is set to welcome an audience of 350 people to the event.

A spokesperson for Amada said: "We are absolutely delighted that both Katie and Laura are finalists in this prestigious award. It is a testament to their incredibly positive work ethic and delightful personalities. They are a pleasure to work with and we are immensely proud of their achievements."

James Hurley, head of IT at DRPG said: “It is fantastic to see Tom getting the recognition he deserves through this award nomination. He has been a great addition to the IT team here at DRPG and is a brilliant ambassador for the apprenticeship scheme and the young talent that it helps foster and encourage.

"Since joining Tom has become a valued and trusted member of the team who lives and breathes our company’s values every day.

"He has a thirst for knowledge and strives to be a well-respected, knowledgeable and has a positive can do attitude to ensure the business stays, secure, connected and supported. It’s rewarding to see Tom now leading and co-ordinating his own projects across the business as you know you’re in safe hands and he will deliver.”

Councillor Marcus Hart, cabinet member with responsibility for education and skills at Worcestershire County Council, said: “Congratulations to everyone who has been shortlisted for this year’s awards ceremony. Apprenticeships continue to have a huge impact in Worcestershire by helping apprentices and their employers to grow and achieve their ambitions.”