Vicky is named top apprentice in south east

Glyn Carter, Cllr Peter Chowney, Vicky Jones and Vic Grimes
Glyn Carter, Cllr Peter Chowney, Vicky Jones and Vic Grimes

AN APPRENTICE at the council has been named the south east’s best apprentice in the regional final of this year’s National Apprenticeship Awards.

Vicky Jones, 30, of Coventry Road, St Leonards, was named regional winner in the Intermediate Apprentice of the Year category.

The highly commended entries and winners were announced during visits to each of the finalists in their workplace by Vic Grimes, divisional apprenticeship director for the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS), London and the South East, which took place this week.

Cllr Peter Chowney, lead member for regeneration at Hastings Borough Council, said: “The benefits of running in-house apprenticeships are very appealing to businesses and we are entirely committed to this. Businesses have the chance to employ a young person and train them to meet their exact business needs. For the apprentice, it’s the opportunity to get on-the-job training and start in paid employment, so everyone benefits.

“Our congratulations must go to Vicky. She has gone above and beyond her role as an apprentice within the council. She has demonstrated that with drive and commitment great things can be achieved. She is certainly an exceptional role model for young people on this scheme.”

Vicky said: “Becoming an apprentice completely changed my life. After leaving school as a teenage mum it has given me the opportunity to build a career.

“Now I want to offer guidance to young people in a similar situation to mine. Receiving this award is a great honour, and hopefully an inspiration for others too, because it shows that anything is possible.”

The National Apprenticeship Awards celebrate the achievements of the country’s most outstanding apprenticeship employers and their apprentices.

The awards are organised by the National Apprenticeship Service, who received more than 1,600 high quality entrants this year.

Visit apprenticeships.org.uk or call 08000 150 600.

In February the Own Grown initiative was launched at Sussex Coast College with the aim of getting 1,066 pledges from companies across 1066 Country to help young people in a multitude of way over the next year.

The current pledge count stands at 724.

Businesses can help those under 18 and school leavers in a variety of ways, such as talks at schools about working and developing a career, offering help with CV writing and interview techniques, workplace visits and work experience, as well as mentoring a student through regular meetings or support for a young person setting up a new business or self-employment.

Businesses can pledge support for Own Grown via www.owngrown.org.uk, emailing owngrown@hastings.gov.uk or ringing 01424 451795.