Cornish apprentice scoops National Apprenticeship Award

Lydia Webster from Truro was last night named the learndirect Intermediate Apprentice of the Year 2013 in the National Apprenticeship Awards at a ceremony at Birmingham’s NEC.

Lydia, 20, who works as an apprentice in the Management Accounts and Income Team at the Royal Cornwall Hospital, was selected for the top prize from among hundreds of other apprentices around the country.

The Awards, now in their tenth year, are run by the National Apprenticeship Service and recognise excellence in two areas: businesses that grow their own talent with apprentices and apprentices who have made a significant contribution to their workplaces.

On accepting the award, Lydia said:

“I chose to follow the Apprenticeship route, as it provides an amazing opportunity to gain experience within the workplace whilst achieving a qualification and earning at the same time.

“In the past year I have been on an incredible journey. As a school leaver I was unsure as to what career path I wanted to follow, but my Apprenticeship allowed me to get a taste of a finance environment and provided excellent support and guidance along the way, giving me the confidence to speak out and challenge existing processes and replace with more efficient and effective procedures. As a result of which I have rapidly progressed and been fast-tracked to a position of greater responsibility.  I am very proud to be an apprentice in the NHS and would encourage all young people to consider this route.”

Lydia was chosen as the winner in recognition of the outstanding contribution she has made to the Hospital since joining as an apprentice last year.  Described by her employer as a “true inspiration”, Lydia has already progressed through two levels within the organisation, taking responsibility for key processes including raising invoices, increasing Trust income and training a new employee.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg was guest of honour at the Awards and said:

“To lock in our economic recovery we need a new generation of talent entering the world of work and I am committed to making sure young people today get the opportunities they need to realise their full potential.

“Since 2010, we have created a million and a half new apprenticeships but none of that would have been possible without events like this and the support of businesses who go that extra mile to help our apprentices progress.

“I was delighted to be able to meet so many of our young apprentices and businesses from across England at the Apprenticeship Awards tonight – it is the drive and ambition that we celebrated here that will, in the years ahead, help our country and its people thrive.”

Skills and Enterprise Minister, Matthew Hancock said:

“Apprenticeships deliver for employers, young people, adults and the economy.  I congratulate the winners and finalists at the National Apprenticeship Awards.

“They represent the very best of employers and apprentices in this country and set a hugely positive example for other individuals and organisations to follow.

“I want a system that works for businesses as well as learners. These awards demonstrate this and I am pleased to see so many learners, businesses and partners showing their commitment to Apprenticeships.”

Paul Kilgour, Director of Apprenticeships, learndirect, added: “Many congratulations to Lydia for winning the Intermediate Apprentice of the Year Award. This level of Apprenticeship is a great way for people to move onto further education or progress in their careers. At learndirect we’re committed to providing a wide range of Apprenticeships at intermediate level which allow employers to recruit, grow and retain the high quality workforce needed for future economic success in the UK.”