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Nurses set for training final.

Byline: Philip Williams Deputy Business Editor

Two Coventry nurses and the country's fifth biggest building society lined up in the limelight last night for the regional final of the prestigious National Training Awards.

The awards are the UK's number one accolade for businesses, organisations and individuals who have achieved excellence and success through investment in training.

Four sets of award winners now go forward from last night's West Midland event at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham to a special ceremony to be held in London in December when theere will be further accolades.

Among them is Susan Dean from Keresley, Coventry. In 1984, she was a single mother whose only experience outside the home was as a cook and care assistant in a nursing home.

That was all to change when Susan started to pursue a career in nursing.

After gaining a number of GCSEs, she enrolled as a mature student for State Registered Nurse training.

She has since risen through the ranks and now shares her nursing skills with others.

A second nurse from Coventry was also named an award winner. Gillian Arblaster, who works for the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, developed induction and teaching packages for her ward and set up regular teaching sessions.

It spurred her on to take further qualifications including an MSc in health studies at Coventry University and now she is heavily involved in providing leadership development for nurses.

Coventry Building Society's introduction of a new training strategy has resulted in the team winning an ward.

With staff turnover in its Customer Service Centre on the increase, and valuable skills and knowledge being lost, the building society decided that a new approach was needed. So, the society set about training its workforce to become more skilled at dealing with customers.

A glass company with a clear view of its future, thanks to innovative training, also won an award.

The processing division of Solaglas, Coventry-based subsidiary of Saint Gobain, one of the world's largest flat glass producers, adds value to flat glass for white goods and architectural glass markets.

Its challenge was to turn a loss making collection of small, disparate local businesses into a profitable national business.

Solaglas turned to two training partners Pera Integrated Training of Bicester for manufacturing systems training, and Coverdale, of Leamington Spa, for people skills. Sixty managers were developed.

Kevin Riley, from Saint Gobain Solaglas, Jamie Richardson from Pera Integrated Training and Dave Heddle from Coverdale were honoured in the award citation.

Four other secondary award winners were named last night - Jan Golding, of the Hilton Birmingham Metropole where reception managers and staff underwent new training; Paul Price, a field sales development manager from Shropshire; Ian Lawson, of office supplies retailer Lyreco UK, of Telford and Elaine Bowen, headmistress of Lightwoods Primary School, Oldbury.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Oct 25, 2002
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