THE EMPLOYER of the Year award went to manufacturer Mansfield Pollard, whose air management experts aim to improve working environments across various sectors.

The business, which was established over 150 years ago, paid tribute to its staff after picking up the award at the ceremony.

Bryan Bentley, Operations Director, said: “For me, this is all about the people – I know that’s a bit cliché, but it genuinely is.

“We believe people are the lifeblood of a business, and winning this award is a credit to them.

“I was an apprentice myself, I worked since leaving school, all the way through to management.

“Apprenticeships are a great lesson to young people – you can be whoever you want to be. If your employers believe in you, you can be whatever you want to be.

“We couldn’t be prouder of this recognition for looking after our employees – and we know we have the best team in the world.”

Speaking earlier, after the business was nominated, Bryan also said: “Every year we like to employ a minimum of six - usually eight - apprentices.

“The key is retaining apprentices at the end of their four years - last year we retained all eight, which is fantastic, and we’re now looking forward to the next eight who are coming.”

The two other businesses shortlisted in this category were LCF Law - a law firm with offices in Bradford, Ilkley, Leeds and Harrogate - and Chadwick Lawrence, a law firm based on Manor Row.

Simon Stell, LCF Managing Partner, said earlier: “We were honoured to be nominated and I think it’s a recognition of hard work everyone has put in.

“As a law firm, we are very much people-based and all about the relationships between our lawyers and our clients.

“We respect our staff’s work-life balance, and we have the correct mix.”

Joshua Smith, Partner at Chadwick Lawrence - which has seven offices across West Yorkshire - also spoke after being nominated: “It’s a relaxed environment to work in, where everybody can be themselves,” he said.

“We’re ultra-excited that Bradford is the City of Culture 2025, and we will certainly be at the forefront of any initiative we can be to help the city along its journey.”