Nurturing talent: Our annual apprenticeship awards
"The workforce of tomorrow depends on us identifying and investing in talent today, and the apprenticeship programme is a key part of that."
Chan Kataria, Group Chief Executive
Social housing and care organisation emh group has recognised the outstanding achievements of its apprentices and the positive impact they have made on the business.
The personal legacy of former Chair Professor Jeffrey Knight, an awards ceremony held on Wednesday 4 December was attended by all the current apprentices, along with their mentors, senior management, and Board members.
Professor Knight gave a short speech about the origins of the apprenticeship programme in 2012 to provide training and job opportunities for local young people, before Chief Executive Chan Kataria went on to talk about the ways it has since broadened its scope. The organisation has challenged gender and age stereotypes by recruiting more women into the trades, and has encouraged applications from older people looking to switch to a more fulfilling career. With apprenticeships equivalent to a Master’s degree available, long term employees have also been invited to consider an apprenticeship to help progress their career.
The Apprentice of the Year award went to Chantel Fry from Customer Services, who has brought energy and enthusiasm to her work and had a big impact on her colleagues and the wider business. Chantel was also highly commended in the recent regional National Apprenticeship Service awards.
“Overall I have been blown away with the amount of support I have received on my journey,” said Chantel. “Winning the award has just confirmed that all the work I have put into getting established in my role and the sacrifices I have made in my personal life have been worth it.
“There are some amazing people within the company and to be considered one of them is something I can be proud of. I work in a supportive team with great team leaders and I couldn’t have got to where I am without them. This is a special award and it will take pride of place in my home.”
The Rising Star award went to Customer Experience team leader Steffan Beange for his contribution to positive improvements and more successful outcomes. Customer Services Manager Mari Hughes was named Mentor of the Year for her commitment to encouraging her team to study for qualifications and supporting them in their progress.
“To support our ambition to improve opportunities for people,” says Chan Kataria, “we have opened up our apprenticeship programme to existing members of staff looking to take a step up. The workforce of tomorrow depends on us identifying and investing in talent today, and giving this opportunity to existing staff is a key part of that.”