Echo Business Awards 2015: Apprentice of the Year

Brighouse Echo Business Awards 2015: Apprentice of the Year. Sponsor Jamie Ashton from Projex Solutions Ltd, joint winners Lewis Parry and Sophie Williams of Yorkshire Payments, and host Clare Frisby.
Brighouse Echo Business Awards 2015: Apprentice of the Year. Sponsor Jamie Ashton from Projex Solutions Ltd, joint winners Lewis Parry and Sophie Williams of Yorkshire Payments, and host Clare Frisby.

The Apprentice of the Year Award, sponsored by Projex Solutions, was once again a hotly contested category.

Apprenticeships hold the key to the future of many businesses and the judges were looking for one special candidate who has excelled both in training and with their sponsors.

Brighouse Echo Business Awards 2015: Apprentice of the Year. Sponsor Jamie Ashton from Projex Solutions Ltd, joint winner Nicole Bland of Sleigh and Story, and host Clare Frisby.

Brighouse Echo Business Awards 2015: Apprentice of the Year. Sponsor Jamie Ashton from Projex Solutions Ltd, joint winner Nicole Bland of Sleigh and Story, and host Clare Frisby.

Nominated were Nicole Bland from Sleigh and Story, and Sophie Williams and Lewis Parry from Yorkshire Payments.

The judges were so impressed with the quality of entries and helping their respective companies build for the future, they thought all three should be recognised with the accolade.

Nicole has been at Sleigh & Story for 18 months and has proved herself to be an excellent employee.

She has passed all her exams first time with flying colours. At Sleigh and Story customer service is at the heart of what it does and le standards of customer care are excellent and she is well liked by clients and colleagues alike.

She said: “It is the first time I have done anything like this. I have been with Sleigh and Story for two years and I really enjoy it and I want to stay with them to go on and achieve my goals and be with them in the future.”

Sophie Williams started with Yorkshire Payments in August 2013 after deciding university was not for her. Intending to only complete her NVQ level two in business administration, Sophie completed that course in July 2014 and voluntary wanted to enrol on to the level three programme, to further her skill set.

She said: “It’s been a great experience to be nominated and I am thrilled to have won. Yorkshire Payments is a great company to work for and the team here is amazing. The apprenticeship scheme has been a great opportunity for me to learn and develop my skills in a working environment.”

Lewis Parry started with Yorkshire Payments in August 2014, after enrolling on a customer service apprenticeship with the National Business College, He was put forward for many opportunities throughout Calderdale and Kirklees and struggled to find an opportunity that was right. He was offered a role at Yorkshire Payments as a customer service advisor.

“Winning the Apprentice of the Year Award is a fantastic feeling and will no doubt open the doors to many opportunities in the future,” he said.