One sponsor of the Reading Retail Awards is at the heart of training the future employees of the town.

Reading College is part of Activate Learning, a pioneering education group committed to transforming lives through learning and it is sponsoring the trainee of the year award.

The awards ceremony is just a week away where the best of Reading's retail community are commended and recognised with an awards.

Tickets are still available for the dinner and awards ceremony that includes a champagne reception, three course dinner with wine and dancing until late.

The night will be held at another sponsor The Hilton Hotel, Drake Way, on Saturday September 5.

Reading College, on Kings Road, is a specialist in post-16 education, providing A-level and BTEC programmes that prepare young people for university and employment. It offers full and part-time professional pathways for adults, together with a diverse range of evening and weekend leisure courses.

Interim Principal Paul Newman attended last year's award and presented the Trainee of the Year trophy, that was also sponsored by the college.

He said as one of the largest training providers in the Thames Valley, Paul believes the awards are important to support local businesses and celebrate their success.

Mr Newman said: "As a training provider based in Reading it makes sense for us to support the awards and particularly the Trainee of the Year category. Reading College works in partnership with employers to create learning programmes that meet the needs of industry. We develop learners with the skills and attributes required for successful careers. It is great to hear of people starting out in their careers who have gone over and above and have achieved great things.”

There are 12 categories where four have been nominated for through public nominations. A thirteenth award will be given to an outstanding business that will be awarded Retailer of the Year.

Tickets can be bought by logging onto http://www.readingretailawards.co.uk/ticket-sales