Today sees the launch of a nationwide search for employers who provide the best practical training for young people, with a prize fund of £460,000 to be shared between winning organisations.
The Birmingham Post has teamed up with new practical learning charity Edge to spotlight and reward Birmingham's finest.
The Birmingham Post Edge Employer Awards will recognise three outstanding organisations to go through to the regional finals, with the chance to win up to £10,000 to be reinvested in work-related learning, such as apprenticeships or work placements, for 14-25 year olds.
To enter, organisations must demonstrate how they already offer learning-by-doing opportunities, and explain their ambitions for the future.
Garry Hawkes, Edge chairman, said: "Many excellent employers believe in providing great work experience and training for young people and we intend to reward the best. Edge is dedicated to championing practical learning and no matter what size your organisation, no matter what sector, we want to hear how you encourage and support younger people to learn in practical, hands-on ways."
Sue Battle, chief executive of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry, added: "The skills gap is one of the biggest issues facing modern business and it is good to see local employers being encouraged to put practical learning at the heart of what they do. This is a fantastic opportunity for organisations that are leading the way in this area to get the recognition they deserve."
Deadline for newspaper entries is June 3. To enter, please complete the form on the left. For further information go to www.edgeawards. co.uk, call 0800 980 3343, or email email@example.com
Three winners will be chosen, one from each of the following categories: small organisations under 50 employees; medium-sized organisations with 50-250 employees, and large organisations of over 250 employees
They will be shortlisted for the West Midlands regional final of the Edge Employer Awards. Winners of the heat will receive £2,500, £5,000 and £10,000 respectively.
They will then be invited to the national finals ceremony in November, where the four best organisations in England will be unveiled. Prizes are £25,000 for two small organisations, £50,000 for one medium-sized organisation and £200,000 for one large organisation.