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With less than two weeks to go until the end of 2019, now is the perfect time to reflect on what has been a memorable and successful 12 months for Riverside Training.

The year started in style with our inclusion as an example of Further Education best practice in The Parliamentary Review 2019.

The publication aims to raise standards through sharing in-depth insight into best practice to leading UK officials and our entry highlighted how our determination and innovative thinking has overcome business hurdles.

With the organisations featured selected to show excellence in their arena and act as examples to their fellow peers I am extremely proud that what we have accomplished to date at Riverside Training was recognised.

It is also a tribute to the entire team who work so hard to provide our students with the best possible outcomes.

Our article talks about how the previous 12 months had been particularly volatile for the business, particularly the issues which arose when the Government introduced changes to the way apprenticeships are funded and how, facing an uncertain future, we re-evaluated our business model while ensuring we maintained high-quality training provision.

We took various steps from expanding our offering by increasing online short courses and adding to our portfolio of qualifications to include accountancy and digital marketing apprenticeships to successfully tendering to deliver Skills Support for the Workforce programmes in Lincolnshire.

In April we moved into a lovely new suite of offices in Spalding's Broadgate House, Westload Street.

Although the move ended up taking two weeks, far longer than anticipated, our day-to-day business wasn't disrupted during the transfer.

Relocating was necessary to accommodate our growing business and we have created a much larger training room for our students as well as a second smaller training room, a bigger IT suite, additional administration space and a dedicated space for our marketing and reception staff.

After Easter we expanded our portfolio of qualifications, launching a new traineeship programme along with the Cache Level 4 Advanced Practitioner in Schools and Colleges, the new apprenticeship standards for the Early Years Educator and Advanced Apprenticeship for Payroll.

In July, for the fourth year running, Riverside Training sponsored the Pre-School of the Year category in the Lincolnshire Free Press and Spalding Guardian Education Awards.

The award recognises the dedication, innovation and effort shown by nurseries and pre-schools across south-east Lincolnshire that have made a real difference to young lives.

As an Early Years training provider, and with our company based in Spalding, I am extremely pleased and proud to support the awards which are a fantastic celebration of those who go above and beyond to promote excellence within our pre-schools, primary and secondary schools.

For Riverside Training, the Pre-School of the Year award has additional relevance as we have helped many of the Early Years staff in the local area to achieve their childcare qualifications.

In August we heard we successfully tendered for the refresh of the Register of the Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP), we received an outstanding grade for our financial status.

Rounding off the year our ICB Assistant Accountant Level 3 Apprenticeship student Rebecca Coward scooped the title of Apprentice of the Year at the prestigious Institute of Certified Bookkeeper's (ICB) LUCA Awards last month (Nov).  Not only was this fantastic news for Rebecca but also for Riverside Training as it is the second year running one of our students has won the award.

And finally, today as this blog goes to print we heard the first cohort of apprentices achieved the assistant accountants’ apprenticeships with grades in the high 80’s and a distinction for one of the apprentices for the End Point Assessment (EPA) with ICBUK. Well done to you all.

It's certainly been an eventful and positive 12 months for our company and I am very much looking forward to another successful year in 2020.