YMCA bag top award

From left to right: comedian Dara O Briain with Lisa Pendlebury-Green, Nicola Ambler, Sue Benson and Lisa Fisher from the YMCA and Chair of the Greater Manchester Learning Provider Network, Mark Currie
From left to right: comedian Dara O Briain with Lisa Pendlebury-Green, Nicola Ambler, Sue Benson and Lisa Fisher from the YMCA and Chair of the Greater Manchester Learning Provider Network, Mark Currie

ASHTON, Wigan and District YMCA beat off stiff competition to win a coveted Greater Manchester Skills for Business award.

Ashton YMCA’s Sue Benson picked up the health and social care category prize at a Manchester Hilton Hotel ceremony from comedian and presenter of TV’s The Apprentice, You’re Fired!, Dara O Briain who compèred the event.

Judges were said to be impressed with the branch’s commitment to staff training and development. All new employees have a detailed induction with a three-month development plan. Staff retention is extremely high with many employees being with the organisation for 15 years. Spokeswoman Sue Benson said: “We take staff development very seriously and encourage employees to take on additional duties and responsibilities.

“Our training and development successes have meant we’ve reduced recruitment and training costs and made Ashton, Wigan and District YMCA a good and happy place to work.”

Richard Nash from the Greater Manchester Learning Provider Network said: “This is an excellent example of an organisation investing in training its staff. Ashton and Wigan District YMCA retain strong relationships with multiple schools and the organisation value their employees as individual people instead of a whole. They believe that training and development not only benefits their staff but also ensures a more efficient, effective and highly motivated team, which enhances the company’s competitive position and improves employee morale.

“This is truly an outstanding company to work for and the judges wanted them to be recognised for this.”

In total 70 Greater Manchester organisations or individuals were shortlisted in 17 categories.

The awards are created through collaboration between the Greater Manchester Learning Provider Network, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce and New Economy.