College apprentices earn their stripes

Jess collects her awards.
Jess collects her awards.

A young apprentice collected two honours at Lancaster and Morecambe College’s Apprenticeship Celebration Awards 2014.

Jess Holbrook, 20, who is working as a trainee in the South Lakeland District Council’s human resources group, received awards for Most Innovative Apprentice and Apprentice of the Year as local employers and their apprentices celebrated with a ceremony.

Jess was nominated by her employers, who described her as “a much valued and essential part of our wider team. Her professionalism, willingness to learn and ability to apply herself to any situation is admired by the whole team.”

Based on her work in council activities, as well as her exam and coursework results, the judging panel made the unaminous decision to reward Jess with the awards.

Jess had been nominated by her colleagues at the council and was among 500 apprentices put forward for consideration. She was also in the running for a third award, Most Dedicated Apprentice, for which she achieved the runner-up position.

Jess has nearly completed the first of her projected two years with South Lakeland District Council and hopes to work in the HR department once she has finished her apprenticeship.

She is also undertaking an NVQ Level 3 in business administration.

Regarding her awards, Jess said: “When it was announced and I received the awards, it felt fantastic and I was overwhelmed. I’m very proud and it means a lot to me to have been recognised.

“The awards will certainly help with my career progression and boost my CV.”

Lawrence Conway, chief executive of South Lakeland District Council, said: “We are extremely proud that Jess has won this award.

“The time and investment required to ensure that our future generations are here in the long-term is part of what the council is about.

“It’s in our council plan to provide long-term employment for young people to stay in the district.

“Jess is a great example of home grown talent and it shows what a bright future South Lakeland has got.”

Other prizewinners were Ian Long, Professional Cookery, Holgates Caravan Park, for Best Team Player, Connor Wilson, Plumbing, Technical Home Services, for Most Improved Apprentice, Amy Stanley, Business Admin, FGH Security, for Most Dedicated Apprentice and Tony Butterfield, The Joinery Shop, for Employer of the Year.

Karen Pecsvaradi, head of faculty at the college, brought the event to a close with a tribute to the winners, runners up and all those who continue to make the college apprenticeships such a success.

She said: “As a college, we are proud to work with our apprentices and employers to develop a strong workforce, the commitment shown by all to learning, personal and professional development is truly something to admire.

“Our apprentice programme works for both our learners and our employers and we can see that here tonight in all your achievements.”