Top 100 apprenticeship

Success for GAS with spot on UK’s top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list

We are thrilled to announce that Great Annual Savings Group (GAS) has been named on the prestigious Centrica ‘Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers’ list.

The Group was given honourable mention at Friday’s National Apprenticeship Awards and was named one of the UK’s best 100 apprenticeship providers, alongside household names such as Sage, Mercedes-Benz and Lloyds Bank.

The list is compiled annually by the National Apprenticeship Service and recognises excellence in businesses that employ apprentices.  It was announced at the National Apprenticeship Awards, which took place on 20 January at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

After a tough selection process, GAS secured its place on the list after being given honourable mention as a finalist in the ‘Best SME Newcomer’ category.

Judith Bennison, Group HR Director, said: “This is a huge achievement for the Group.  We’re extremely proud of the scheme we’ve put together and to have been given honourable mention and a spot in the Centrica Top 100 reaffirms this.

“We’ve brought some recognition to some of the excellent business practice in the North East.  I’m sure there are others thinking of starting an apprenticeship scheme and I’d whole-heartedly recommend they do.  We’ve gained so many fresh ideas, perspectives and memorable moments from our apprentices – it’s been a huge success for us.

“We’ve been vocal in the past about how important apprenticeships are to young people in the North East and it’d be great if this inspired others to create schemes of their own.  We’d also like to thank our delivery partner, Talent Training UK, for the help they’ve given us over the last two years and we look forward to more success in the future.”

Sue Husband, Director of the National Apprenticeship Service commented on GAS’ achievement.  She said: “The Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer list 2016 demonstrates clearly the impact apprentices can have on an organisation.  Apprentice employers are creating opportunities for individuals to gain the skills and knowledge needed to succeed, up to degree level, while working and earning.

“These Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers are making a difference to the lives of their apprentices by investing in their future. In return, apprentices are helping employers to develop a skilled, qualified workforce to build a stronger economy.”

GAS’ apprenticeship scheme is now into its second year and the Group employs 12 apprentices, with plans to continue its growth and employ more in 2017.  The Group won ‘Best SME Newcomer’ at the North East regional awards in October 2016 to book their place in the final, and represented the North East in London on Friday night.

View the full Centrica Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer List.

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Paul JohnsonGroup Financial Director

Paul Johnson is very much a home-grown talent.

He joined Great Annual Savings Group in its infancy, fresh from a youth career as a professional footballer with Hartlepool United.  He quickly established a reputation within the business and aced all required accountancy qualifications in the space of four years to become the Group’s Management Accountant.

Several successful projects later, Paul was promoted to Head of Finance.  When the former FD left GAS, he took on the mantle of the business’ most senior finance professional; boasting a string of incredible achievements all under the age of 30.


“I have witnessed phenomenal growth at the Group over the many years I’ve worked here and I’m looking forward to guiding the Group into an exciting new chapter.”

Interesting fact:

Paul made his professional debut for Hartlepool United against Bournemouth in the Football League.  Some say Danny Ings still resides in his pocket to this day.