The Guild of Architectural Ironmongers (GAI) has celebrated the next generation of architectural ironmongers at its Education Awards ceremony.
Held at the Lancaster Hotel, London on 12th November, the annual ceremony reflects the importance of the GAI’s education syllabus as the only recognised programme in the world to deliver architectural ironmongery qualifications to British and European standards.
12 students were presented with awards during the ceremony at this year’s event, which was attended by a record 400 guests from across the UK, Europe, the Middle East and the USA.
GAI President, Maria Powell, commented: “Today we celebrated the rising stars of our industry – those who have committed to a journey of learning, personal development and professional excellence.”
Cash prizes, medals and shields were presented to the winners by Maria Power, GAI Education Chairman Andy Fitzgerald and guest speaker Janet Street-Porter.
Students from Hong Kong impressed for a second consecutive year, taking a total of six awards. These included first prize for the Diploma, the Top Scheduling Shield and the Pinnacle Award, all given to Isaac Tam of Tung Fat Ho Building Material Ltd.
Recognising the highest achiever over three diploma levels, the Pinnacle Award comewswith £1,000 worth of travel vouchers for the winner.
Tung Fat Ho Building Material Ltd, general manager, Simon Leung, said: “These qualifications are essential for giving confidence to key players in the US and UK.
“We will continue to inspire people’s appetite for learning. Having even more top winners, just like Isaac, is a definite aspiration. Your staff are your brand ambassadors, which is why we take professional development so seriously.”
The GAI recently transformed its diploma syllabus, placing its essential education sources on its online Education Hub. The interactive training platform is filled with engaging content which can be accessed by hardware professionals across the world.
Interest in the GAI education programme has increased significantly, with 45% of last year’s learners from outside the UK. The Education Hub is now expected to play an even greater role in meeting the demand of a growing international audience.
GAI chief executive, Gary Amer, added: “This year’s Education Awards provided a tremendous opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to raising the profile of qualifications in architectural ironmongery around the world. The hard work these outstanding individuals have put into developing their skills and the support they receive from their employers is incredible.
“High praise goes to all our winners and especially those from Hong Kong who continued to fly the flag for education and even topped the achievements of their counterparts from last year.
“Behind the many British success stories in China’s buoyant architectural ironmongery market is an appreciation for learning and professional development. We wholeheartedly support this approach and it’s great to see our education programmes attracting increasing global interest.”
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