The EDA Annual Dinner, held on the second Thursday of every March, is one of the highlights in the Electrical Industry’s social calendar. The EDA and its wholesaler members say thank you to their manufacturer suppliers and industry partners by inviting them as their guests to this lively black tie function usually held at the InterContinental Hotel in London.
Traditionally, the Annual Dinner is also the occasion where the best performing ‘Learners’ on the EDA’s training programmes are awarded in front of the 550 dinner guests. “Promoting a culture of learning and development is key for the industry and it is important that this is highlighted at our best attended event” says Margaret Fitzsimons, EDA Director. “This year we plan to do things a little differently to really underline how important education and training is for the future of the wholesaler. At the 2015 dinner we will introduce the Inaugural Awards for Business Managers. We will present nine awards to those managers who have invested most in training their staff on the EDA Programmes. We think it will be a great moment for the winning Business Managers to be recognised in front of the industry’s key figures.”
“There will be a second, more intimate award ceremony for EDA Learners the following day, 13th March, at a luncheon at the Shard in London. It will be attended by members of the EDA Board of Management and other senior figures. We are still putting the finishing touches to the arrangements but we believe it will be a very memorable one for the Learners – many of them young people. We plan to invite their parents or partners to be part of the ceremony. To receive their awards from a senior industry figure with these important people in the lives watching on in one of the most iconic buildings in the world is something we hope they will never forget. Our aim is to inspire them to study further and to stay in the industry. It is also a strong statement of how highly we regard those people in the industry who work hard to better themselves and add value to their employer’s business.”
The two awards ceremonies are part of a campaign to raise awareness of the EDA’s Education and Training Portfolio which comprises a series of City and Guilds certified Product Knowledge modules as well as a variety of apprenticeship programmes. All EDA training takes place on site without the need for college release and, in the case of the vocational training, leads to recognised NVQ qualifications.
The EDA believes that now, more than ever before, the need to encourage training amongst its membership is key. “Our members tell us how difficult it is to attract young people into this industry, and offering recognised training and career progression is an important draw for ambitious youngsters. In addition, the traditional wholesaler faces increasing competition from e-commerce sites as well as the threat of disintermediation. Ensuring that customer-facing staff are in position to act as well-informed, trusted advisors rather than just order takers is a way to add value in the supply chain for customers and suppliers alike. And of course, there is the headache of the breakneck speed of technology change and product innovation. Constant training is required to keep abreast of that and to move from a product to a system approach.
Apprenticeships are high on the government’s agenda. Funding, which grew by over 40% in 2014, will grow by a further 40% next year. The window of opportunity to avail of this funding is wide open but may not be for long. Members should strike while the iron is hot.”
To find out more about EDA’s training portfolio, please contact Joanna Key on 01892 619990. There is a small number of tables left for EDA members to book for the 2015 Annual Dinner on 12th March so if you want to be part of this inaugural awards event please contact the EDA on 01892 619990. The Luncheon event on 13th March 2015 is by invitation only.