Portadown-based Industry Training Services (ITS) has been recognised for its unrivalled level of customer service at a prestigious business awards ceremony.

The company, which is Northern Ireland’s leading provider of training solutions to the construction, civil engineering and utilities sectors, among others won the Customer Focus Award at the Business Eye First Trust Bank Small Business Awards.

The accolade was presented at a gala dinner held at the Crown Plaza, Shaw’s Bridge, Belfast, attended by more than 500 guests.

ITS Managing Director Brendan Crealey said:

“It is a tremendous honour to have received this accolade at the Business Eye First Trust Small Business Awards.

“It is a recognition of the dedication and hard work of all staff at ITS who truly put the customer at the heart of everything they do.”

ITS, which has delivered 50,000 qualifications since it was set up in 2001, came out on top ahead of other finalists in the category which included HNH Human Capital, Larchfield Estate, MCS Group, BlueZone Technologies and Bull & Ram, Ballynahinch.

The award, sponsored by IT firm CIM, sought to find the Northern Ireland company which most effectively brought to life best practice in customer service across all of its operations.

Judges were impressed by ITS’ efforts to tailor its offering to suit the particular needs of clients.

The company has invested more than £150,000 in the past 18 months to enhance its facilities including moving to new purpose-built premises on a 10-acre site off the M1 Motorway.

In consultation with ITS’ client base, the centre was designed to provide training for covered street works, confined space, scaffolding and working at heights, operating large plant and machinery, first aid and safety in excavations.

Brendan said:

“We strive to provide bespoke services to our growing list of clients and that’s why you’ll find facilities at ITS not available anywhere else in Northern Ireland.

“For example, one of our latest developments includes a unique mock ‘street’ complete with underground cables, street lighting and water pipes, designed specifically to meet the needs of utilities firms.”

And the firm has recently launched a National Construction Skills Academy in response to calls from clients to plug a skills gap in the construction sector.

Brendan added:

“Clients had been telling us a lack of training provision was a major concern for the trade. So we launched the National Construction Skills Academy, initially to provide Northern Ireland’s first qualification in groundworks – a specific need for the industry – with further programmes to be added in future months.

“For building firms, it means that as new contracts come online, they can get a group of workers trained to a high standard within a short time frame, ready to go onto site.

“It is also open to individuals to apply and provides a clear pathway into employment.”

For more information on ITS and the National Construction Skills Academy, visit www.industrytrainingservices.com.