Apprenticeship Ambassador Laura reaches National Apprenticeship Awards regional finals

We are delighted that our Apprenticeship Ambassador Laura Cunningham has been announced as a South East ‘Apprenticeship Champion of the Year’ finalist in the National Apprenticeship Awards 2016!

Competing for this year’s coveted awards are 89 companies and 81 individuals who beat off tough competition from almost 1,000 entries. Laura is one of just 10 former Apprentices who have made it through to the South East Apprenticeship Champion regional finals.

The Apprenticeship Champion of the Year Award recognises the commitment and dedication of former Apprentices who continue to raise awareness of the benefits of Apprenticeships with local young people and their families as well as employers. Laura completed her Apprenticeship in 2012 and joined the Oxfordshire Apprenticeships Ambassador scheme when it was launched in March 2015. She has shared her experiences and given advice about Apprenticeships to people ranging from Year 10 students to the Prime Minister!

This extract from Laura’s application, written by Melanie Ringer of Oxfordshire Apprenticeships, illustrates the valuable contribution Laura has made to Oxfordshire young people and their families: “Laura regularly gives up her own time to attend school and community careers events because she cares so passionately about wanting to get the message across that Apprenticeships are a great career option. Young people and their parents relate brilliantly to her, really valuing the honest advice from both heart and head she shares.”

“Laura brings enthusiasm, passion, fun, knowledge, experience and valued opinions to the Ambassador scheme and has had a huge impact on so many young people and their families in our county. I know she would be fantastic at taking those qualities to a national level.”

Laura recently started a new role as a Legal Secretary with Freeths Solicitors in Oxford. She says: “To be even considered for this award was truly heart warming. Thinking back almost 5 years ago when I’d just left school with my GCSEs and didn’t know what I wanted to do with my career to now being nominated for a national award is overwhelming. The competition this year was tough and to now be a regional finalist against other Apprentices and companies across the country is unbelievable! I can’t thank Oxfordshire Apprenticeships enough for nominating me for this award and also my Apprenticeship for leading me into what was my dream job of being in the Legal sector. I’m excited for the regional awards ceremony and hopefully we will be taking the South East of the country to the national finals!”

Laura will attend an award ceremony in London on Monday 17th October to celebrate her success and find out whether she will become a national finalist. We are keeping everything crossed for you Laura, a deserving finalist and fantastic Ambassador for Apprenticeships!

Read more about the announcement of the regional finalists at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/national-apprenticeship-awards-2016-regional-finalists-announced.

Read more about Laura at: http://www.oxfordshireapprenticeships.co.uk/node/3630, including Laura's story: a year in the life of an Apprenticeship Ambassador.