Three young people shortlisted for top high street apprentice title
Later this month, one young person will be named as the town’s top high street apprentice at the 2020 Chesterfield High Street Awards organised by Destination Chesterfield.
Despite challenging times for businesses in the town, the hard work and dedication of three young people has stood out for their employers who have nominated them for the prestigious award.
Abi Ashmore, an Apprentice Accounts Assistant from Superior Spas in Brimington, Grace Blant, an Apprentice Legal Billing Secretary from Elliot Mather at St Mary’s Gate and Molly Bradbury, a Rents Assistant from Arvato in Chesterfield Town Hall, are all in the running for the top award.
Abi, Grace and Molly now join a 36-strong shortlist of businesses and individuals working on the town’s high street who have been shortlisted across 15 award categories.
Former Netherthorpe School pupil, Abi Ashmore joined Superior Spas after seeing the progression opportunities within the company. Through the apprenticeship she hopes eventually to fulfil her dreams of becoming an accountant.
Delighted to be shortlisted, Abi (18) said: “It feels very rewarding that my colleagues would nominate me for such an award. It shows that all the hard work I’ve put in throughout my time here has been recognised by my peers.”
Chris Bigden, Finance Manager at Superior Spas added: “Abi is an extremely hard-working and important member of our finance department here at Superior Spas. Her communication is outstanding with customers, especially for her age, and she always goes above and beyond for the business.”
Grace Blant (19), started her apprenticeship after leaving Brookfield Community School sixth form. She commented: “I’m delighted to be shortlisted for Apprentice of the Year. To be recognised in such a strong pool of talent has made me extremely confident with my progress so far.”
Following the completion of her apprenticeship Grace plans to undertake further qualifications, including a CILEx course which is a non-graduate route to qualification in law.
Libby Wood, Solicitor and LLP Member/Partner at Elliot Mather added: “We decided to take on an apprentice in the summer of 2019. This was a first for my department. I am delighted to say that Grace slotted into the team from the outset and has proven to be a real asset to the department and the business.”
Former Brookfield Community School pupil, Molly Bradbury (22) is a Level 3 apprentice with Arvato. She commented on being shortlisted: “I feel very proud to be shortlisted for this award as it shows appreciation from my managers and that all my hard work has led to something.”
Lindsey Phillips, Senior Rent Officer at Arvato commented: “I am so very proud of Molly as she is a huge asset to our department and is so deserving of this award. I have no doubt that Molly will continue to grow and I look forward to supporting and working with her in the future. She is an exceptional member of our team.”
Alongside the Apprentice of the Year title, the Chesterfield High Street Awards will also be honouring the town’s Apprentice Employer of the Year, sponsored by Learning Unlimited (The Chesterfield College Group).
Superior Spas has also been shortlisted for the Apprentice Employer of the Year award alongside The Therapy Lounge based in Hasland.
The apprentice and apprentice employer award categories were introduced to the awards line-up in 2018 in order to commend the valuable contribution apprentices and apprenticeships make to Chesterfield’s high street.
Peter Swallow, Chair of Destination Chesterfield, commented on the importance of the apprentice awards: “Apprenticeships have always been and continue to be an integral part of Chesterfield’s success as a town. After facing Covid-19 head-on, it’s vital for the town to focus on the future and how we can create a thriving high street together in this new environment – apprentice opportunities should be at the forefront of our plans.”
Covid-19 has not only delayed this year’s High Street Awards, but also led organiser Destination Chesterfield, to move the award ceremony online. Now in its seventh year, this is the first time the awards has been held virtually.
Usually held in June, the winners of the 2020 Chesterfield High Street Awards will be announced at an online awards ceremony on Wednesday 21 October.
Tara Underhill, Senior Destination Chesterfield Coordinator, who has organised this year’s virtual ceremony with the team added: “A bonus of taking the awards ceremony online means that we don’t have to limit numbers, which enables more people to celebrate the success of all the nominees. Pre-Covid we had to observe a very strict limit on numbers due to venue capacity and demand for tickets always outstripped the numbers permitted.”
Supporters of the 2020 Chesterfield High Street Awards include: Adorn Jewellers, Apprentice Town (led by Chesterfield Borough Council), BRM Solicitors, Chesterfield Borough Council, Chesterfield College Group, Derbyshire Times, East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire), eBusiness Works, Greatest Hits Radio (North Derbyshire), JP Fire Safety Solutions, Maybe*, The Pavements Shopping Centre, Q2 Creative and Redbrik Estate Agents.
For details of all shortlisted businesses and individuals in the 2020 Chesterfield High Street Awards, visit https://www.chesterfield.co.uk/highstreetawards/.