The Guild of Architectural Ironmongers (GAI) has presented diplomas and awards to industry professionals in a glittering ceremony at London’s Tower Hotel.
The 41st GAI Education Awards on Thursday 3 March celebrated the outstanding educational achievements of students who passed the prestigious GAI Diploma in 2020 and 2021, as well as those who had secured prizes as the top students worldwide.
Joining nearly 400 guests from across the architectural ironmongery industry was guest speaker Ollie Ollerton, an ex-Special Forces soldier turned television star and author. The event, hosted by GAI Chief Executive Simon Forrester, was sponsored by ASSA ABLOY, with the prestigious Pinnacle Awards for the top student in each year sponsored by CES (2020) and Norseal (2021).
This year’s event was a unique double celebration, the 2020 event having been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mario Del-Signore, GAI President (pictured ab0ve), says: “Never before have we needed to combine two awards ceremonies in one, but perhaps this has been the least of the challenges we have had to navigate in the last two years.
“Education is a central pillar of the Guild, and it was crucial for us to ensure training and diploma courses continued to be available throughout the height of the pandemic – something which required new teaching formats and methods of support.
“To have successfully gained a qualification during the last two years is huge. I have the utmost respect for these students and the teams who delivered the training and supported them in their studies.
“Today for me is a celebration not just for our students, but for the whole industry to give ourselves a pat on the back, because the fact we’re all still here shows great resilience and tenacity.”
Further emphasising the importance of the GAI education programme, Eryl Jones, Managing Director of main sponsor ASSA ABLOY, says: “Education must be the bedrock of our industry, and as business leaders we must make sure we invest in our people today and tomorrow, maintaining the skill levels required to carry out our roles.
“The advice we give, the knowledge we impart, the products that we make and sell, must keep people safe and secure. In the schools, offices, hospitals and homes, in all the places where our friends and family live and work each day, our part is to ensure they do so in the safest possible way.
“Getting it wrong is simply not an option, and that is why education and the work of the Guild is so important.”
To see the full list of winners across both years, click here.
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