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Merry Christmas & Happy New Year - Keeping Up With Kerry

Summing up 2020! I saw a picture on a well-known social media site a few weeks ago and it really got me thinking. In my life, never mind career, have I ever known a year with so many curve balls in it. The image was really powerful and made me reflect on a few of the highlights from a very turbulent year. So rounding up 2020 for DBC:

February 2020 – We were nominated for Business and Administration Apprenticeship Provider of the Year 2020! To start off our celebrations for National Apprentice Week we had a great day out at the House of Commons, celebrating with all the other national finalists. We then hosted our own Apprentice awards which were a fabulous success were we also raised lots of money for our chosen charity Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide. We also welcomed Vicki Zolkiewicz to our board. As a former Apprentice herself, this shows the power of Apprenticeships.

March 2020 - We only went and won the AAC award for Business Administration Provider of the Year for 2020!!! Winning this is 2018 was a great achievement but winning it again in 2020 started our year off with a bang and one full of promises and a great celebration with a few sore heads, after a boogie in ‘Back to the 80’s’ fast forward a few weeks and we were now along with the rest of the country working from home. This was an extremely turbulent and worrying time. However, the team pulled out all the stops and we flipped to online learning and carried on in true DBC style, with lots of fun and quizzes!

April 2020 – We clapped for Carers and the fabulous work our NHS were and continue to do on a daily basis to get us through the Pandemic.

June 2020 – Saw the launch of the iProgramme in D2N2, a programme funded by ESIF and DWP, giving unemployed and employed individuals the much needed digital skills. Courses that have been very popular are transitioning to the ‘new normal’ in a digital world. The phrase that has become the new normal for everyone is ‘You’re on mute’.

August 2020 – We achieved our Cyber Essentials certification this is a great achievement for DBC and everyone involved.

September 2020 – The kids went back to school (hooray). And we again prepared for some form of normality. In partnership with @ChesterfieldBoroughCouncil we launched our virtual career pods. What a fabulous idea if you have not visited them have a look here and share with anyone looking for work. Also in September we were announced as a finalist in the East Midlands Chamber business awards for, ‘Commitment to People Development’ something we were immensely proud of. We always strive to go the extra mile for our staff but 2020 the team have shown their commitment to each other with little check-ins, Teams quizzes and virtual socials.

October 2020 – The team worked really hard ensuring that we were ready once again for our Matrix standard assessment. We again fully met the standard with some great comments about the coaches and about how they go above and beyond for their learners. The theme of this year for DBC seems to be awards. I was personally very flattered to have received a nomination and to have been chosen as a finalist for the ‘National Apprentice Champion of the Year’ award, a great honour to be recognised for just doing your job. As many of you will know I started in this sector as an Apprentice and truly believe in this route to developing skills and building careers.

November 2020 - Was all about partnerships for us. We were awarded the Taste Local Project with our fantastic partner Orbital Recruitment and cannot wait to get out there in 2021 helping the Food and Drink sector with their recruitment and training needs. We also became a Kickstart Gateway to

support business to access this fantastic scheme offering job placements for young people and extended our levy transfer with @GIGroup to 500k!! What an investment in local businesses in the Midlands.

December 2020 - We turned 20 in 2020! We were not able to celebrate as we hoped, but we still managed to eat a lot of chocolate and cakes, we also added a book online feature to our website: Book Online | DBC Training ( and opened up a new Chesterfield office, which has seen us welcome 5 new members of staff to the DBC team.

Looking back on what can only be described as a unique year it has still managed to make me smile. 2020 has tested our team spirit to the max and what a what great team it is! It’s amazing what can be achieved when everyone pulls together and strives to be the best that we can be. Yes 2020 has been a year like no other and one that I’m hoping we never have to repeat with new phrases/sayings such as: furlough, job retention scheme, pandemic, hands/face/space, Tier 3, 4 etc you get the gist, becoming the normal! Its definitely been a roller coaster and it looks like we are set to be riding it for the early part of 2021. However, on a lighter note, my favourite saying of 2020 has to be: YOU ARE ON MUTE! Here’s hoping that we all have a very merry Christmas and a prosperous 2021.

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