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Meet the winners of the Norfolk Apprenticeship Awards 2023

Norfolk County Council, 1 December 2023 22:56

The annual Norfolk apprenticeship awards celebrate talented apprentices across the county for their outstanding contributions to the workplace.

The award ceremony which took place on 8 February was sponsored by The East of England Apprenticeship Ambassador Network and run by Apprenticeships Norfolk.

Cllr Fabian Eagle, cabinet member for growing the economy, said "With over 150 entries this year's awards showcased the best of Norfolk. To have been shortlisted as a finalist for one of the eight awards is a huge achievement in itself, and I don't envy the judges the task of choosing the final winners from so many remarkable stories.

"The inspiring journeys we heard about at the awards ceremony, remind us that for many, completing an apprenticeship is more than just having a job and a qualification, but is a huge personal achievement and something they will be proud of for their entire lives."

'Achievement in Exceptional Circumstances Award' - Lauren Batley from Norfolk Community Health and Care

Lauren's apprenticeship journey was characterised by continuous change and challenge, having worked and studied throughout the Covid-19 pandemic in the health and care sector.

During her apprenticeship, Lauren experienced personal hardship and loss in her family that required her to become the main source of support for her parents and siblings. Lauren has been recognised as an exceptional role model within the team as well as supporting and mentoring her colleagues, especially around conversations with palliative patients

'Impact Award' - Becca Hague from Norfolk Community Health and Care

Becca stood out for her forward-thinking attitude to tasks and initiatives, her communication skills as well as her mature and respectful pastoral support for colleagues and learners that have experienced distress.

Having progressed to a more senior position over the course of her apprenticeship, our winning apprentice is now supporting the entire department as well as a wide range of external stakeholders. She is a great role model for young and aspiring Business Administrator apprentices to accept every opportunity to learn, apply these learnings, and have a real impact on the workplace culture.

'Apprentice of the Year Award - Higher & Degree Apprenticeship' - Terry Pinto from Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service

Terry's apprenticeship journey was a dynamic one! Having started the apprenticeship as a trainer in the Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service Training Centre, Terry progressed through several roles within the service until being promoted to his current role as Group Manager - Prevention Lead. Terry the youngest Firefighter to hold this post at this level, which also involves managing up to 40 firefighters at an incident. Parts of Terry's apprenticeship work have become the basis of the Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service Community Prevention Strategy and are being actively implemented in the service's operations.

'Apprentice of the Year Award - Intermediate or Advanced Apprenticeship - Neave Jackson from JB Fletcher

Having relocated to Norfolk to undertake the apprenticeship, with no agricultural background, no prior knowledge of shepherding, and as the only female on the Level 2 apprenticeship course, Neave's apprenticeship journey is an inspiring example of how an apprenticeship can pave the way to a new career.

Besides working outdoors shepherding thousands of animals throughout Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, the judging panel were also impressed by her initiative and motivation to introduce new software to the business to streamline areas of work improving key operations. As the business's sole employee, Neave's drive and collaborative spirit have led to increased business growth rates and profitability which is a truly remarkable achievement in addition to her outstanding apprenticeship work.

'Manager or Mentor of the Year Award' - Daisy Hanton from Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital

Behind every successful apprentice is a manager or mentor, supporting them to achieve. Whilst still new to her role and fresh from an apprenticeship herself, Daisy has supported an incredible 103 individuals during 2022, obtaining 92% retention into jobs, and with 99% of apprentices having 'positive outcomes' following their apprenticeship. These incredible statistics are only part of what makes our winner the Mentor of the Year though.

The judges were delighted to read an abundance of quotes on how Daisy had helped apprentices with everything from support with dyslexia, interview preparation or mental health, as well as supporting apprentices into substantive roles, giving them advice on the next steps for further apprenticeship training or college/university education.

'Large Employer of the Year Award' - Flagship Housing Group

With a huge 10% of the Flagship Housing Group workforce being apprentices, the judges could see that encouraging diversity is key; this organisation have the first workplace Women's Institute in Norfolk, which is used as a vehicle to attract females into construction and management-based roles. In addition, programmes to support ex-offenders and the Kickstart Programme led to the recruitment of more apprentices.

The judges read how apprenticeship forums are held quarterly, which encourage group-wide initiatives, training and workshops to upskill and broaden apprentices' knowledge. Further to this, a recent Apprenticeship Celebration Event celebrated the inspiring work of current apprentices as well as apprentices from the past 8 years.

'Medium-sized Employer of the Year Award' - Bill Cleyndert & Company

As an established bespoke furniture maker, Bill Cleyndert & Company consider it their duty to be proactive in preserving traditional hand skills and techniques in developing the next generation of Craftsman. They are a company proud to support and invest in talented individuals, with the aim to become an Apprentice Academy in the future.

They have a continued commitment, motivation and drive to inspire students interested in the field of hand-skilled craft. The company also supports local schools with donations of machinery, because they see apprentices as the future of talented furniture makers.

'Micro/Small Employer of the Year Award' - Wildcraft Brewery

The judges were really impressed by how Wildcraft Brewery has been able to grow this year, largely down to the three new members of staff, all of whom are apprentices. The apprentices play key roles within the business function which has given the directors time to focus on advancing the business.

The skills, knowledge and behaviours being developed by all three Apprentices are having a huge impact and this will continue to aid the business to continue to grow and gain a strong customer base both locally and nationally. They have been a great ambassador for apprenticeships in Norfolk too by featuring in articles and digital campaigns.

Visit to find out how individuals and businesses can benefit from the Apprenticeship Scheme.

Last modified: 30 January 2024 13:33