BUSINESSES providing A-grade support to students will again be recognised in this year's Dorset Business Awards.

The VoIP Unlimited Business Engagement with Education Award returns for the second year, and will be presented to a Dorset business which has established an exceptional partnership with a local school, university or educational programme.

The judges are looking for a business that has established an ongoing positive relationship with an educational establishment, taking the form of regular work experience, company visits, project work, mentoring or apprenticeships.

The 2015 winner was Lovelove Films for its placement scheme, which sees up to 30 students per year take on work experience at the creative firm. A whopping 100 percent of its placements have taken on further work from this, including securing jobs with Alien and Gladiator director Ridley Scott.

Georgina Hurcombe from LoveLove Films said: “It was an incredible achievement to win the Engagement with Education Award.

"Our work placement scheme is the heart and soul of LoveLove Films.

"We’ve refined and improved the scheme continually since the company’s foundation so it’s great to get the recognition for what we’ve created.

"The Dorset Business Awards really shows to the region’s community that we’re a top business and that we’re helping the area to grow."

The Dorset Business Awards, organised by the Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry and backed by the Daily Echo, Dorset Echo and Wave 105, accept nominations until Friday, September 9.

Entrants - companies of all sizes based in Dorset with a BH or DT postcode - can submit an application via and the closing date for entry is Friday September 9.

Applicants for the Business Engagement with Education Award must provide their educational activities free of charge.

Mark Pillow, managing director at VoIP Unlimited, said: “Schools can teach pupils the skills they need in the workplace, but if students can also benefit from established apprenticeship or work experience schemes with known and trusted companies it will prove invaluable experience when it comes to getting a job in the real world.

“We aim to recognise and reward the efforts of businesses that are working really hard to make our young people more rounded and employable individuals.”

For further information about the awards, sponsorship opportunities or to reserve tickets for the gala dinner at the Bournemouth International Centre on Thursday, November 24, contact the DBA team on 01202 714800.