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Sotech has been announced as the regional winner of the North East National Apprenticeship Awards 2015, in the Medium Employer of the Year category, and now enters the race to be named a national finalist.

The Awards, now in their twelfth 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. Founded in 1982, Sotech has been hiring and training apprentices since 1984, and over 50% of the 44 strong workforce began their role as an apprentice.

national apprenticeships awards

Image: Sean Young, who started as an apprentice with Sotech in 1986, attended the ceremony with Sotech Business Systems Manager Richard Egginton.

On accepting the award, Richard Egginton said:

“The whole team is thrilled and humbled to have won this award. As a company, we have been employing apprentices since 1984, and more than half of our team once started as apprentices. Sotech is built on apprenticeships and to be recognised like this is rewarding for Sotech, for our many apprentices and for the overall bid to introduce more apprenticeships across the UK. We are proud to be representing the North East against winners from the other 11 regions for one of three places in the nationals to be held in London. I would like to personally thank Profound, Hartlepool College, East Durham College and Apollo Academy School for providing us with such a high calibre of apprentices over the years. We’re now looking ahead to the national final!”

Claire Ryan added:

“We work closely with East Durham College to promote and fill our many apprenticeship schemes and I would like to thank the team there for all their support, encouragement and input over the years. In collaboration with our marketing department, we will now be working with apprentices in the college to produce our promotional video for the next stage.”

Sue Husband, Director of the National Apprenticeship Service, said:

“Apprenticeships deliver for businesses, individuals and the economy. They enable people to gain the skills and knowledge they need to succeed, in some cases up to degree level, while working and earning. And for businesses, hiring apprentices is a productive and effective way for them to grow their own talent by developing a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce.

“The National Apprenticeship Awards enable talented apprentices and committed employers to receive the recognition they richly deserve. They not only help celebrate the achievements of apprentices and businesses, allowing them to gain the credit for investing in their own futures, but they drive up quality and encourage others to get involved.

“Sotech has been recognised as winner in the North East Medium Employer of the Year category and I would like to congratulate the full business on their achievement. They deserve to be rewarded for their efforts. There has never been a better time to become an apprentice or employ one.”

To find out more about the National Apprenticeship Awards, please visit

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