Apprentice of the Year Winners 2019

Sponsored by Lotte Chemical UK

NEPIC and award sponsors, Lotte Chemical UK, are continually seeking to promote the industry as a career choice for those leaving school and, in particular, the apprenticeship route as a training option. Through these Apprentice Awards, we seek to recognise and celebrate the region’s brightest young apprentice talent from within the process sector and its supply chain.

Apprentice of the Year – Manufacturing, Current
James Reid, Business & Supply Chain Apprentice, GSK

This year’s current apprentice of the year winner has progressed at an exceptional pace, demonstrating a natural ability for supply chain operations, along with a passion for inspiring the next generation and supporting early talent.

Joining GSK at Barnard Castle 16 months ago as Business and Supply Chain apprentice, James has covered production scheduling, supply planning and new production introduction planning – aiding preparations for the site’s launch of the potentially life-saving, break-through cancer treatment, ICOS, and first-in-its-kind HIV treatment, Cabotegravir.

James is studying towards a degree in Professional Management Practice and a level 5 qualification in International Trade achieving Firsts and Distinctions, as well as gaining a practical understanding that can be applied directly to his day-to-day work.

Having fully embraced the extra-curricular activities available at GSK, James has supported many STEM events, taken on the role of the site’s Careers Fair Co-ordinator, become a member of the Early-Talent Committee and Apprentice Buddy, and acted as spokesperson at the site’s annual conference representing Barnard Castle’s apprentices.

James’ next rotation will see him move onto materials requirements planning, ensuring stock-building and supply chain flow of vital drugs ahead of Brexit.

Apprentice of the Year – Manufacturing, Completed
Joseph Peacock, IE Technician, Venator

Having worked on the most hazardous section of Venator’s top tier COMAN plant for much of his apprenticeship, Joe has long proved his technical ability and value to the team during planned maintenance events and shutdowns.

Working with the ICON engineering team, Joe completed his instrument apprenticeship gaining an HNC and NVQ ahead of schedule. However, it is Joe’s spirit and attitude that have truly shone through.

Joe is continually promoting Venator’s brand and values through extra-curricular activities. In the summer of 2017, Joe led a project for children’s charity, Daisy Chain, to renovate the site’s barn that is a key attraction to encourage interaction for children with autism.

Joe’s outstanding project management and safety focused attitude led to him being selected as a ZERO Harm Ambassador and approached by TFM’s Cash for Kids to organise a charity fund raiser. His work made the front cover of the site’s yearly newsletter.

In June 2018, Joe won the Community Award at TTE’s Celebrating Success Award for his outstanding charity work, and in October 2018 was named runner up Apprentice of the Year at the Made in North East Awards.

Apprentice of the Year – Service & Supply Chain
Jordan Larkin, Highways Technician, Atkins

At only the beginning of her career, Jordan is cited by her peers as demonstrating undoubted talent, a passion and commitment to industry and personifying everything that an apprentice should be.

Jordan’s apprenticeship journey began in 2015 and she has continued to strive for excellence in her work. Her unwavering willingness and enthusiasm to learn has seen her develop quickly through the field of Civil Engineering culminating in her winning the 2018 ICE Quest Scholarship as recognition for her leadership qualities, determination, ambition and ability to think and act independently.

Having successfully balanced work and study, Jordan has also found the time to become involved in STEM activities, is an active member of the ICE, mentors fellow apprentices and promotes apprenticeships and engineering to young females.

Having completed a 3-year apprenticeship programme, Jordan joined Atkins as Highways Technician in July 2018 where she continues her studies towards a Civil Engineering Degree and has her sights firmly set on achieving a 2.1 and Incorporated Engineer status.

Apprentice of the Year – Special Recognition Award
Hannah Kay, Administrator, The Junction Foundation

This year’s judging panel were so touched by Hannah’s application that, despite it falling outside of the sector, felt special recognition for her courage, strength and determination was so highly deserved.

Hannah’s journey with The Junction Foundation started when she was caring for her Mum who had acute mobility issues. Sadly, Hannah’s Mum was subsequently diagnosed with cancer and passed away in 2017. Awash with grief, Hannah’s mental and physical health was massively affected, and she was unable to see a positive future for herself.

However, in February 2018, an apprenticeship opportunity came up at The Junction Foundation.Nervous and scared, Hannah saw this as a chance to make bad times better and took the plunge. Despite a challenging start that saw Hannah struggle to commit to the role and her studies, the team at The Junction Foundation and Redcar and Cleveland College didn’t give up on her.

Slowly but surely, and despite still grieving and working to overcome social and learning challenges, Hannah started to make progress – completing units, receiving positive feedback and growing in confidence.

Today, Hannah is not only ahead of her academic targets, she is writing for the local paper, planning and leading sessions for young carers, working on a mental health response for the Junction and aspires to become a youth worker.

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