The Guild Apprentice of the Year competition is held annually to recognise the region’s best young apprentices. Each year it sees nominations from businesses and training providers for young people who have shown exceptional ability in their chosen apprenticeship and whose additional achievements will inspire others.
The event on 29 January was held in the historic St Mary’s Guildhall and the prizes were presented by the Lord Mayor of Coventry, Cllr John Blundell and Guild Master, Brian Jackson. The guest speaker for the evening was Dr Tracy Rae, Head of Business Operations at Lloyds Banking Group, and former Performance Director for Scottish Gymnastics.
The three categories, small/medium employer, large employer and the endeavour award attracts a number of entrants for these prestigious guild awards which can be traced back as far as the fourteenth century.
Amelia is currently undertaking a six year degree trailblazer apprenticeship in applied engineering with Jaguar Land Rover where she is employed as a research engineer. After achieving a distinction in her foundation degree at Warwick Trident, part of the multi-site college group WCG, she is now in her first year at Warwick University studying for a Bachelor in Engineering (Honours) degree.
The 20-year-old from Warwick is currently on placement with the battery research team, working on electric vehicle batteries and has suggested an alternative method for investigating battery choice. She is a member of the apprentice forum and has been involved in industrial liaison.
Alongside the many hobbies and interests outside her studies, Amelia is a volunteer for Warwickshire’s Children in Care Council and Barnardo’s. A care leaver herself, she has developed the council’s care leavers forum and also set up communications between Warwickshire County Council and Jaguar Land Rover to help disadvantaged young people apply for jobs and apprenticeships.
Amelia said: “I was really proud to be nominated for this award and I was shocked to win! This award solely judged where I am today and how much I have achieved in my career. To have both Jaguar Land Rover and Warwick Trident College acknowledge my work and nominate me for this award makes me really proud of myself and makes me even more driven.”
The runner up was Josh Painter, age 22, who is also employed by Jaguar Land Rover and is in his fourth year of an applied engineering degree apprenticeship at Warwick Trident College. Josh has successfully completed his first year of study and gained an NVQ Level 2 a year early and so far has achieved distinctions in all subjects.
His achievements include finding an efficient way to analyse 2500 vehicles that had a potential quality issue which helped to release £175 million of revenue back into the business within 24 hours. This, and other accomplishments, led to Joshua being selected to host the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on a visit, and talk to them about the apprenticeship scheme and young people in general.
Director of Apprenticeship & Jaguar Land Rover programmes at WCG, Alan May said: “Amelia is a fantastic representative of the apprentice programme, this award is never about how well they complete their apprenticeship, but what else they do along the way to help others. We are immensely proud of both these apprentices who promote the very best of the programme for Warwick Trident and Jaguar Land Rover. The measure of which is the fact that this is the fourth year in a row that this award has been won by an apprentice from this programme.”
Judy Ryder, a member of the judging panel since the awards started, said: “This year was by far the toughest we have ever had in terms of the very high quality of the applications and every single applicant would have made a worthy finalist. We would have liked to award all of the apprentice finalists with the overall winner title but sadly there could only be one winner for each of our three categories. We sincerely congratulate Amelia on being awarded the title of Apprentice of the Year – large employer.”
As winner of Apprentice of the Year (large employer) Amelia received a certificate, trophy and cheque for £1000 and Josh received a trophy and cheque for £100. Presentations of trophies were also made to WCG as training provider and Jaguar Land Rover as employer.
WCG offers a range of apprenticeships at all levels. For more information, go to www.wcg.ac.uk/apprenticeships or call 0300 456 0049.