CONGRATULATIONS to all the nominees, runners-up and, of course, the winners who walked away with trophies at last week’s Derbyshire Times Business Awards.

It was fantastic to see so many of the region’s businesses, small and large celebrated in one room with so many people looking on.

If ever there was any doubt about the inspiring, entrepreneurial spirit that exists in this area then one only has to look at the calibre of the nominations.

It was particularly good to see so many young people at the event - not least because the awards took place just 24 hours after figures were revealed that showed our great nation now had more than one million young people out of work. Such a figure is truly worrying, not only for the sake of our economy, but for the sake of the individuals who slogged their way through school, college and university only to find doors slammed in their face on trying to start working life.

The success of our 100 in 100 apprentices campaign earlier this year proved that despite what you hear or read, there is very much an appetite among businesses to give the young a chance.

We hope this continues - because the future success of our economy, indeed of our nation, depends on it.