Top Learners and Tutors Shine at 'Skills Oscars'

Winners commended for exceptional achievements in the past year

15 June 2017

London – 15 June 2017:  Learners and tutors from across the UK and around the world have been honoured for their outstanding achievements in professional and technical education at the Lion Awards, a prestigious ceremony hosted by leader in global skills, City & Guilds, at London’s iconic Kensington Roof Gardens on Thursday 15 June.

Dubbed the ‘Oscars of skills education’, the awards showcase the very best in skills talent, recognising outstanding results and progression through learning and training. They shine a spotlight on individuals who have overcome significant challenges to achieve their goals and lecturers who have gone the extra mile to help their students achieve.

Kirstie Donnelly MBE, Managing Director at City & Guilds said: “The talent and commitment shown by every one of this year’s nominees and winners in reaching for their goals reflects exactly what the Lion Awards is all about. We, at City & Guilds, are honoured to have been a part of their journeys and delighted to have this opportunity to mark their achievements.”

The City & Guild’s Lion Awards ceremony is one of the most prestigious events in the skills education calendar. The ceremony marks the culmination of the Medals for Excellence awards programme, which dates back more than 100 years.  

This year 85 nominations were submitted across the following categories: Apprentice of the Year, UK Tutor of the Year, International Tutor of the Year, UK Learner of the Year (not in employment), International Learner of the Year (not in employment), Employee Learner of the Year, International Employee Learner of the Year, UK Centre of the Year, International Centre of the Year and Outstanding Achiever of the Year.

This year’s winners are: 

  • Apprentice of the Year – Toby Crabtree, North Lancs Training Group
  • UK Tutor of the Year – Lyn Evans, Bridgend College
  • International Tutor of the Year – Sean Nason, Irish Prison Service Headquarters (Republic of Ireland)
  • UK Learner of the Year (not in employment) – Amy Vaughan, Plumpton College
  • International Learner of the Year (not in employment) – Joanna McKenna, Donegal ETB Letterkenny Training Centre (Republic of Ireland)
  • Employee Learner of the Year – Jill Smith, Coleg Cambria
  • International Employee Learner of the Year – Atia Saeed, SERCO
  • UK Centre of the Year – Nottingham College
  • International Centre of the Year – SERCO
  • Outstanding Achiever of the Year – Sandesh Naik, The London School of Picture and Frame Restoration
  • People’s choice award winner – Holly Hackney


For further information or for interviews with Kirstie Donnelly or any of the award winners, please contact City & Guilds UK Communications Manager - Kate Woolgrove.

Kate Woolgrove
T: 020 7294 2426
M: 07525 813985


Photograph (L-R): Lion Awards Winners at the ceremony at The Roof Gardens, High Street Kensington.
Photographs are available upon request from the evening of Thursday 15.
For individual case studies contact Kate Woolgrove (see details above).

About The City & Guilds Group

  • The City & Guilds Group is a global leader in skills education. Approximately 2 million people are currently working towards City & Guilds qualifications, which are offered in more than 20 sectors.

  • The City & Guilds Group operates in 80 countries, with regional offices in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Ireland, Hungary, Sri Lanka, Dubai, South Africa and New Zealand.
  • City & Guilds is incorporated by a royal charter and its president is HRH The Princess Royal. Any surpluses made through its work is reinvested into education or used for student support programmes.
  • City & Guilds recently published the research paper Sense & Instability: three decades of skills and employment policy.