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Cherwell Business Awards 2016

One month left to enter or nominate for the Cherwell Business Awards 2016!

So the big countdown begins today!  No, not for Christmas or New Year, but to the closing date for entries and nominations for the Cherwell Business Awards.

In this blog, Paddy Patterson of Maverish Ltd and founder of Oxfordshire Apprenticeships, explains why you’ve everything to gain and nothing to lose by entering the Cherwell Business Awards.

It’s been really enjoyable being involved with the Cherwell Business Awards this year. For one thing, the CBAs (that’s pronounced See-Baas, by the way… I know you were wondering) look and feel very different this year thanks to a great new logo and website that I think really gives the awards a fresh feel. For another thing, those of us involved as sponsors are getting much more involved this year supporting the great work done by the Awards Committee and we’re going to make the 2016 Awards the best ever. So much work goes on behind the scenes to put the Awards on… but it’s worth every bit of it to recognise and celebrate the best of business.

So this is the second year we’ve sponsored the ‘Apprenticeship of the Year’ award at the CBAs and after having such a brilliant winner last year in the former Mondelez International, now Jacob Douwe Egberts (JDE), in Banbury, we’re very excited to see the entries for this year. The other reason we’re excited to be involved with the CBAs is that actually there are more Apprentices living in Cherwell than in any other district in Oxfordshire. Yes, really! Over a quarter of all Oxfordshire Apprentices live in Cherwell, so there’s a lot going on in this part of the county!

Now if you’re thinking “I haven’t got any Apprentices, this is of no relevance to me!” then I’d say keeping an eye on the Award a great way of seeing the types of businesses and industries that recruit and develop Apprentices, which often surprises people!

And if you own or work in a Cherwell business that employs Apprentices, then please have a look and think about entering. It’s a great opportunity to reflect on the contribution you make to developing skills and people and it’s great for us to know about it so we can tell others and show our gratitude to you. Our award isn’t about size or image, it’s about quality, consistency and commitment.

Some of you might be thinking “well, why would I enter the CBAs instead of the Oxfordshire Business Awards (OBAs)?”

Well it’s really an individual choice, but you’re not restricted to only one anyway!  Some businesses have a particular affinity to their town or local area and feel part of a close business community that sits within the district. Other firms trade only within a more local area and don’t feel that their influence or interest extends far enough to be relevant to a wider county process. And others maybe are entering for the first time and feel more comfortable starting off at district level. But either way, here’s what’s great… the criteria, forms and process are exactly the same for both the CBAs and the OBAs for the Apprenticeship award, so if you did enter one, you could easily enter the other without too much extra work! And our 3 finalists at CBAs automatically get entered into the OBAs anyway without ANY extra work! Last year our CBA winner JDE was a runner-up at the OBAs, doing Cherwell proud in the process. You can read more about JDE and their success last year on our website here:

And if you don’t employ Apprentices yourself but know of a company who does it brilliantly, then you can nominate them! It’s a fantastic way to show your appreciation for their efforts.

As well as Apprenticeship of the Year there are 9 other categories that our business can enter:-

  • OxLep Small business
  • A2Dominion New business
  • Bicester Vision & Bicester Chamber Micro business
  • Banbury & Bicester College Employer of the Year
  • Begbroke Science Park Innovation & Creativity
  • Bicester Village Retail
  • Cherwell District Council Charity & Community
  • Spratt Endicott Established business
  • Ellacotts Business Person of the Year

Norbar Torque Tools are sponsoring the Business of the Year Award which will be decided upon from ALL of the shortlisted finalists.

All the information and the entry forms are on the CBA website The closing date is 2nd February 2016