Pendle plumbing and gas engineering experts Arthur Padgett Ltd have been honoured by Deputy Prime Minister Mr Nick Clegg, who has given them a National Apprenticeship Award.
They have been named in the Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers awards which cover the whole of the nation.
Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson went along to congratulate them at their headquarters on Leeds Road, Nelson, joined by Burnley College leaders. The college nominated Padgetts for the honour.
The family firm has been in operation for almost 90 years and four generations have been involved so far. In fact, a family member – Henry Padgett (18) – has just won the Apprentice of the Year Award at Burnley College.
Deputy PM Mr Clegg said to the firm: “I would like to take this chance to congratulate you on your success at this year’s National Apprenticeship Awards.
“Apprenticeships are at the heart of our drive for a stronger economy: equipping people for all ages with the skills employers need to help their business prosper and compete in a global market.
“As we work to increase the opportunities for hard-working young people to achieve their ambitions through high-quality apprenticeship training, it is vitally important that we celebrate the achievements of employers like you, who do the extra mile to help their apprentices succeed.”
And as well as congratulating Padgetts, he thanked them for that.
Director Mr Edward Padgett said: “We are pleased to be recognised as a Top 100 UK company. We believe training apprentices to a high standard at both Burnley College and with our own ‘on the job training’ produces the best standard of plumbers for approaching 90 years – in 2014!
“This award and our apprentice winning ‘Apprentice of the Year’ at Burnley College capped a fine year!”
The firm has two current apprentices, Jason O’Hara plus director Edward’s son Henry. Edward revealed: “Henry has just been identified as Apprentice of the Year at Burnley College. .
“My grandad, dad and uncle won the apprentice award at the college in the past – and I didn’t! And Dan Haythornthwaite, who is now a director here, has also won it in the past!
“By next year, we will have been here for 90 years. A hundred years ago, my grandfather was taken on as an apprentice plumber.”
And he pointed out that they were highly commended in National Apprenticeship Awards back in 2005.
When Pendle’s MP went along to congratulate Padgetts, he was also joined by Burnley College’s John Shaw, Head of Construction, and Paul Stackhouse, Curriculum Manager for Work-based Learning.
Mr Stephenson said: “I’m delighted – congratulations to Padgetts for their remarkable achievement. We’ve seen a big growth in the number of apprenticeships locally and it is rising in popularity.”
Mr Shaw added: “I think it’s a fantastic achievement. Edward and his company have shown great commitment to apprenticeship training and they have been recognised at national level by the Deputy Prime Minister.”
Padgetts run key plumbing facilities across Nelson, Colne, Barrowford, Fence, Burnley, Brierfield and Pendleside.