• EUEW

Former Communard, Rev Richard Coles, applauds EDA Award winners

Cleric, broadcaster and former Communard, the Reverend Richard Coles, helped celebrate the 2018 Electrical Distributors’ Association Education & Training Awards recently, where outstanding managers from wholesalers and manufacturers were presented with their trophies in front of 550 guests at the Associations’ Annual Dinner on Park Lane.


Nine managers, some of whom travelled from as far afield as Kirkcaldy and Cardiff, received their EDA Investor in Training Award from EDA President, Simon Barkes, and John Henry, MD of event sponsors EDA Apprenticeships Plus, on Thursday 8 March 2018. The next day at a lunch held at London’s iconic Shard, eight high-performing apprentices and employees collected an EDA Learning Achievement Award, as part of the EDA’s National Apprenticeship Week 2018 celebrations.

EDA President Simon Barkes said:

“Choosing our Award winners each year gets increasingly tough as more and more of our wholesaler and manufacturer members take advantage of the Associations’ Education & Training Programme to both attract new talent to their team and to develop their professional skills. This year we have a three-time trophy winner: Craig Hiepner of EDA affiliate, Deta Electrical Company Ltd, received two awards as a product knowledge student in 2012 and 2013 but this year took home a manager award.”

The EDA Investor in Training Awards acknowledge the support, commitment, and leadership of managers in one of two categories: apprenticeships, helping to attract new talent to the electrical wholesale sector, and the MOL Product Knowledge Programme, a distance-learning initiative designed to improve employee skills and performance.

EDA Learning Achievement Awards were presented to eight employees in recognition of outstanding performance in an apprenticeship or MOL Specialist Product Knowledge studies.

Margaret Fitzsimons, CEO at the EDA, added:

“Our Awards season spans two flagship events in the EDA calendar: our formal Annual Dinner where we celebrate the manager winners and our lunch where we encourage winners to bring their family members and friends to celebrate alongside business colleagues and the EDA Board. The lunch recognises outstanding apprentices and product knowledge stars who are tomorrow’s leaders, and by presenting the awards in front of family and friends we help spread the word about the fantastic career opportunities available in the UK’s electro-technical supply chain.”

EDA Apprenticeships Plus, sponsors of the dinner and lunch, were appointed by the EDA in 2011 to manage the Associations’ Apprenticeship Programme.

EDA Investor in Training Awards 2018 were presented to the following Managers:

  1. ANEW: Richard Sherin, Group Commercial Director, R&M Electrical, Southampton

  2. AWEBB: Simon Hazlehurst, Operations Director, LH Electrical, Burton on Trent

  3. CEF: Tom Taylor, Group Manager, Scotland Central Group, North Lanarkshire

  4. Edmundson Electrical Ltd: Shaun Skelly, Manager, Cardiff

  5. Fegime UK: Lee Major, Key Accounts Manager, KEW Electrical, Maidstone

  6. IBA: Carl Lee, Managing Director, Warrington Electrical Supplies. Carl was unable to attend, and his award was collected by Sean Gilbert, IBA Chairman and MD of 7 Core Electrical.

  7. Rexel UK: Graeme McNally, Procurement and Inventory Manager, Kirkcaldy

  8. Stearn, Electric Company Ltd: Sean Miller, Branch Manager, Liverpool. Sean was unable to attend and his award was collected by Andrew Smith, Key Account Manager, Stearn Electric Company Ltd

  9. EDA Affiliate (Manufacturer/Services Providers): Craig Hiepner, Deta Electrical Company Ltd, Luton


EDA Learning Achievements Awards 2018 were presented to:

  1. ANEW (Outstanding Apprentice): Levi Craze, Devondale Electrical Distributors Ltd, Bideford, Devon

  2. AWEBB (Outstanding Apprentice): Ronnie Walton, Team Electrical Supplies Ltd, Nazeing, Essex

  3. Fegime UK (Outstanding Apprentice): Tom Simmons, KEW Electrical, Canterbury, Kent

  4. CEF (Outstanding Apprentice): Gavin James, CEF, Wishaw, North Lanarkshire

  5. Edmundson Electrical Ltd (Outstanding Apprentice): James Barry, Edmundson Electrical Ltd, Cardiff

  6. Rexel UK (Outstanding Apprentice): Elise Whiting, Rexel UK, Tunbridge Wells, Kent

  7. Stearn Electric Company Ltd (Outstanding performance in MOL Product Knowledge Modules): Lynsey Clark, Stearn Electric Company Ltd, Newbury, Berkshire

  8. Megaman (UK) Ltd (Outstanding performance in MOL Product Knowledge Modules): Kerry Simms, Megaman (UK) Ltd, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire


About National Apprenticeship Week 2018


National Apprenticeship Week 2018 National Apprenticeship Week 2018 is co-ordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service and takes place from 5 to 9 March 2018. It is an exciting opportunity to 11 celebrate apprenticeships and how they benefit people, businesses, communities and our economy.

Now in its 11th year, this national moment brings together everyone passionate about apprenticeships to encourage more people to choose apprenticeships as a fast-track to a great career and business growth. The theme of National Apprenticeship Week 2018 is Apprenticeships Work to showcase how apprenticeships work for individuals, employers, local communities and the wider economy.

About the Electrical Distributors’ Association (EDA)

Serving and representing the UK’s electrical wholesale sector for over 100 years


The Electrical Distributors’ Association (EDA) is a membership organisation, representing the interests of the UK’s electrical wholesale sector. Launched in 1914 as the Electrical Wholesalers’ Federation (EWF), the Association refocused and rebranded in 1998 as the EDA. Membership is available to wholesalers, whilst manufacturers can join as affiliated members.

As well as providing a voice for the sector amongst policy makers and trade bodies, including the European Union of Electrical Wholesalers (EUEW) of which the EDA has been a member since 1960, membership benefits include:

  • Networking Events

  • Education and Training

  • Business Advice and Information

  • Initiatives, Campaigns and Projects

  • Recognition, Visibility and Exposure

The EDA’s Education & Training Programme is twofold: apprenticeships and distance learning product modules. In 2011 the EDA partnered with EDA Apprenticeships Plus, an Apprenticeship Training Agency, to offer a full and flexible apprenticeship service for members and affiliated members.

The EDA currently has 238 wholesaler members and 74 affiliated members, who are suppliers of products or services to members. Membership includes the leading national wholesalers Edmundson Electrical Ltd, Rexel UK and City Electrical Factors (CEF) as well as hundreds of independent electrical wholesales businesses of all sizes, most of whom are members of the UK’s largest buying groups ANEW, AWEBB, Fegime UK and the IBA. The EDA represents an estimated 75-80% of the UK electrical wholesale industry.

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