Two Burnley-based businesses have announced their success after apprentices from each firm were shortlisted at this year’s Themis Inspire and Achieve Awards.

Josh Riding, 20, is a finance apprentice at ESP Play, the UK’s leading playground equipment specialist which is based in Eastham Place.

He is a finalist for the platinum apprenticeship award.

Harrison Codd, 21, is a business administration apprentice at QUEST Electrical and is a finalist in the Future Boss/Platinum award.

The firms are both led by managing director Andrew Wood, from Burnley

Themis is the largest apprenticeship and business training provider in Lancashire and the awards are set up to celebrate the success, passion, and innovation of apprenticeships in the county.

Lancashire Telegraph: Josh RidingJosh Riding (Image: Smoking Gun Agency)

The awards ceremony will be held at Burnley FC’s Turf Moor on Thursday, February 1.

Josh’s nomination comes following work that has contributed to annual cost-savings for the business of more than £35,000. To date, he has successfully completed the Association of Accounting Technicians Level 2 qualification and is currently working towards Level 3.

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Andrew Wood, ESP Play managing director, said: “We see an extraordinary talent in Josh. His current interest is finance but we firmly believe we will see Josh develop into a versatile businessperson that can operate at the highest level in the commercial world.

“He has been operating at a level way beyond his years, which has resulted in the business recognising him through our company spotlight of the month award for his outstanding performance within his annual appraisal.

Lancashire Telegraph: Harrison CoddHarrison Codd (Image: Smoking Gun Agency)

“His professional learning has accelerated as a result of his positive attitude towards learning, his willingness to step out of his comfort zone, and his innate ability around the subject of business.”

In December 2022, QUEST’s Harrison achieved a Business Administration Level 3 qualification and has decided to complete a CIPS Level 4 qualification.

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Part of Harrison’s daily responsibility is to ensure all electrical engineers are able to carry out installations as efficiently as possible. His work directly impacts key data gathered around customer experience.

He has also taken on the role of trainer and mentor to new apprentices, ensuring they have a smooth transition into the workplace.

Lancashire Telegraph: Andrew Wood, managing director of both ESP Play and QUEST ElectricalAndrew Wood, managing director of both ESP Play and QUEST Electrical (Image: Smoking Gun Agency)

Mr Wood, managing director at QUEST Electrical, said: “Harrison has a bright future here and with his determination, positive attitude, and work ethic, he will go far.

“One of Harrison’s biggest achievements was leading with a small team on the strategy, design, development, and launch of a brand new e-comm platform for QUEST. Through his hard work and strategic planning, the new website has opened up additional revenues, and has provided customer from all around the world access to QUEST’s portfolio products.

“We are delighted to have him as an integral part of our team and we wish him the best of luck for the finals of the awards in February.”