Chesterfield and North Derbyshire are set to name its top apprentice next month. The winner of the Apprentice of the year accolade will be named at the brand-new 2021 Love Chesterfield Awards, organised by Destination Chesterfield in association with Entire FM – Complete Facilities Management.
Sally Grattage (35) from Chesterfield Borough Council, Chris Guard (25) of Guard Business Solutions and Ellie Gibson (21) who is employed by Heathcotes Group, have all been shortlisted for Apprentice of the Year award.
Sponsored by DBC Training, the award recognises apprentices that have made a significant contribution to the success of a local organisation. The winner of the prestigious accolade will be announced at a black tie awards ceremony at the Winding Wheel Theatre on Wednesday 20 October.
The Love Chesterfield Awards combine the long-running Chesterfield High Street and Food and Drink Awards, both of which have honoured apprentices in the town each year in recognition of the valuable contribution apprentices and apprenticeships make to the local economy.
Proud to be shortlisted Sally Grattage, who is undertaking a Level 3 Digital Marketing apprenticeship with Chesterfield Borough Council commented: “After working in the sports and leisure industry for 18 years, never did I think I would be undertaking an apprenticeship at the age of 35. To be shortlisted for this award has been a real surprise as to me; I am one to always go the extra mile to ensure my work is done to the highest of standards but, to me, that is what you do. It makes me so proud of my achievements so far.”
Through her apprenticeship Sally hopes to be able to help sports centres reach their fullest potential using digital marketing.
Sally’s boss Chris Wright, Operations Manager at Queen’s Park Sports Centre added: “The development of our marketing since Sally has been engaged in the apprenticeship has definitely improved. Sally has also been able to audit our marketing activity so we can continue to progress. The projects that she does for her apprenticeship are chosen as they have a direct impact upon the centres. They are real challenges to our service that, once completed, benefit our customers and our bottom line.”
Chris Guard, who has recently completed his Infrastructure Technician apprenticeship was delighted to be shortlisted for the award. He said: “I typically tend to just keep my head down and crack on. Being shortlisted for the Love Chesterfield Awards was a surprise but it showed me that even though I keep focused on my work, it hasn’t gone unnoticed.”
Following the completion of his apprenticeship, Chris, who is IT Systems Manager at Guard Business Solutions, is now undertaking a finance course in order to qualify as a bookkeeper.
Steven Guard, CEO of Guard Business Solutions commented: “Chris is a very driven individual and took on the apprenticeship with real gusto. As he progressed, he has taken on other duties within his role expanding his skills and knowledge further than the bounds of his apprenticeship. He has proved to be an invaluable member of the team and continues to learn, utilising newer technologies.”
After heading to university to do tourism and events management, Ellie Gibson (21) decided that earning and learning in a different environment would be more suited to her.
The former Bolsover School student, who has completed her Level 2 Business Administration apprenticeship is delighted to be shortlisted for the award: “Heathcotes was offering something completely different to what I was doing before, which made a nice change, and there is a high success rate with apprentices here too. I was very surprised to be shortlisted for this award but it’s nice to know that others have noticed my hard work.”
Brendan Kelly, Managing Director at Heathcotes Group added: “We took on an apprentice to ensure that we are accessing enterprising young people who can grow into roles within the business. It’s been brilliant having Ellie at the business, she has matured into a genuine asset.”
Peter Swallow, Chair of Destination Chesterfield added: “Apprentices are incredibly important to the town and creating opportunities for young people is right at the forefront of our plans. Required skills are constantly changing in the modern, fast-pace working world and having that pool of young talent is crucial to allow our businesses to thrive.”
The Apprentice of the Year is one of 16 categories in the new 2021 Love Chesterfield Awards. In addition to apprentices, the new awards also recognise the contribution of entrepreneurs, regeneration projects, sustainability and community activities to the town’s economy over the last two years.
See the full list of 2021 Love Chesterfield Awards finalists here: https://www.chesterfield.co.uk/lovechesterfieldawards/finalists/
The 2021 Love Chesterfield Awards are supported and made possible by a number of sponsors and partners, including: Addooco IT, Banner Jones Solicitors, BHP Accountants, Chesterfield Borough Council, Chesterfield Digital High Street, The Chesterfield College Group, DBC Training, Derbyshire Times, East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire), Entire FM – Complete Facilities Management, Evoluted, Greatest Hits Radio South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire, Hoods Florist, JP Fire Safety Solutions, MSE Hiller, Peak Pharmacy, Reflections Magazine, Shorts Chartered Accountants, Spirecross Ltd and Van Dyk by Wildes.
Peter Swallow added: “It’s never been more important to show our appreciation of the business community, so we’d love for the awards ceremony to be our biggest and best yet. This can only be made possible with sponsorship.”
Destination Chesterfield has one sponsorship opportunity remaining for the Café/Tea Room of the Year category. If you would like to support the town, please visit https://www.chesterfield.co.uk/lovechesterfieldawards/sponsors/sponsorshippackages/ or contact Tara Underhill, Senior Destination Chesterfield Coordinator by emailing Tara.firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01246 207 207.