Meet Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards Apprentices of the Year Nairne and Shaun

The Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards recognised the best talent in the county with a special presentation evening on Thursday 4th April 2019 at Jurys Inn Oxford.

There were two winners of the Apprentice of the Year Award this year – Nairne Barker, an Administrative Support Officer at Oxfordshire County Council, who also won the Advanced Apprentice of the Year Award and Shaun Morton, a Chartered Manager Degree Apprentice at Nielsen, who also won the Higher Apprentice of the Year Award.

The two overall winners were chosen by headline sponsors UKAEA with support from the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards committee, who felt that it was impossible to choose between them. Nairne and Shaun are both Apprenticeship Ambassadors with OxLEP, where they inspire the next generation of Apprentices by visiting local schools and sharing their experiences with students.

They are also both Ambassadors with the South East Young Apprenticeship Ambassador Network, ensuring the voice of Oxfordshire’s Apprentices are heard by attending events such as a recent T Levels discussion at the House of Commons.


Andy Wilson, Head of Apprentice and Team Leader Development at Clarkson Evans (pictured above with Nairne), who sponsored and judged the Advanced Apprentice of the Year Award said: “The passion for what Nairne does is exceptional. She cares deeply for the role she does and it is evident that she is making a difference. As Nairne says herself – it has changed her life and I am sure that going forward there will be plenty of challenges but with the commitment Nairne has she will adapt and overcome. I would also like to say congratulations to all involved with Nairne’s Apprenticeship – Oxfordshire County Council and Abingdon & Witney College. You have developed a very confident, enthusiastic motivated team player who I know you are all extremely proud off.”

Nairne said: "I could not be any more grateful to receive the accolades Advanced Apprentice of the Year and Oxfordshire Apprentice of the Year. The awards evening at Jury’s Inn was lovely and a celebration of the true talent that Apprentices in Oxfordshire have! Over the past two years, my Apprenticeship has taught me much more than just business administration, it has enabled me to grow in confidence and capability enormously. I also know that I couldn’t have won this award without the support and guidance I am given from my managers, colleagues and training providers."


Sarah Jaycock, Executive Director at High Spec Composites (pictured above with Shaun and her husband Matt), who sponsored and judged the Higher Apprentice of the Year Award said: “We have selected Shaun as our winner due to his passion, enthusiasm and ongoing commitment to the promotion of Apprenticeships. As well undertaking a demanding Level 6 Apprenticeship at Nielsen and regularly impressing his employers, Shaun has accepted the role of Vice Chair Apprenticeship Ambassador for the South East region. He is very ambitious and excels when presented with opportunities. He speaks of his Apprenticeship - and Apprenticeship pathways in general - with an inspiring level of clarity and confidence.”

Shaun said: "I was extremely proud to be named Apprentice of the Year. Apprenticeships are something that I am very passionate about and I feel that they give young people a great start to their careers in a range of given industries. To win Oxfordshire's Apprentice of the Year on the night was a special moment for me and it was a great chance to celebrate all of the achievements from a range of different individuals and companies."

Congratulations to both Nairne and Shaun, very deserving Apprentices of the Year!


Shaun and Nairne are pictured with David Martin, Chief Operating Officer at headline sponsor UKAEA. 

See our article for details of all the winning and highly commended entrants.