City & Guilds Lion Awards 2012

Lion Awards ceremony celebrates learning

16 March 2012

On Thursday March 15, learners, teachers and experts from the education industry came together to honour the achievements of the UK’s most exceptional vocational learners and tutors at City & Guilds’ prestigious Lion Awards.

Now in its tenth year, the glamorous ceremony was held at London’s iconic Roundhouse.

The Lion Awards is the culmination of the coveted Medals for Excellence awards programme, which has run every year since 1879. This year saw an impressive 109 learners and tutors winning a medal, all of whom were automatically shortlisted to win one of 14 coveted Lion Awards.

All Medal winners were invited to the event and were treated to a red carpet, an aerial artist display, a performance from the Roundhouse Choir and a delicious three-course meal. Once the awards ceremony – hosted by TV personality, Alex Jones - had taken place and the winners had been announced, guests enjoyed entertainment from the BRIT School.

This year’s Lion Awards saw four new categories – Apprentice of the Year, the City & Guilds for Business Employer of the Year, Tutor of the Year and Recognition of Centre Excellence.

The final winners were:

  • Apprentice of the Year: Adam Waldron, Deeside College
  • FE Sector Learner of the Year: Nicholas Rose, City of Wolverhampton College
  • Community Supporter of the Year: Kirin Sandhu, Kent Probation
  • Creative Craftsperson of the Year: Oliver Cross, Inberrow Design Centre
  • Innovator of the Year: Elizabeth Buxton, Vocational Training Services
  • International Learner of the Year: Hirantha Rajapaksha, Skills International
  • Employee Learner of the Year: Hannah Short, TUI UK & Ireland
  • Small Business Learner of the Year: Helen Banks, Barnfield College
  • City & Guilds for Business Employer of the Year: McDonald’s
  • Tutor of the Year: Helen Yates, Sussex Downs College
  • Recognition of Centre Excellence: North Lancs Training Group
  • Lifelong Learner of the Year: Pat Nash, Nerve Centre
  • The People’s Choice Award: Jonathan Shaw, Deeside College
  • Outstanding Achiever of the Year: Nicholas Rose, City of Wolverhampton College

Speaking about his win, Outstanding Achiever Nicholas Rose said: When my college lecturer contacted me to tell me that I had won a City & Guilds Medal of Excellence I was overwhelmed, and I didn't expect to win a Lion Award. I didn’t know that I had been shortlisted for anything until I saw myself on the screen. I turned to my mum in amazement and said ‘that's me’. Later on in the evening I was sat there thinking I had my award, when it came to the last award of the night, the Outstanding Achiever of the Year. They described the winner and in the back of my head I thought it sounded like me, but I didn’t think I could be the winner. Chris [Jones, CEO and Director General, City & Guilds] then read out my name and I couldn't believe it. I remember seeing the look on my family's face, seeing how proud they were.’

Meanwhile, host Alex Jones said: I’m delighted to be presenting the City & Guilds Lion Awards 2012. It’s so important that we recognise the exceptional talents of these skilled individuals so that they can act as an inspiration to others.’

To see more images of the night, see


Our research reveals that three quarters of young people demand skills-based training to achieve their ambitions Read full research article