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College of West Anglia (CWA) team leader apprentice, Roxanne Freestone, won the BT Award for the Advanced Apprentice of the Year regional winner at the National Apprenticeship Awards (NAA) 2021.

Roxanne was announced as the regional winner of her respective category at the NAA 2021 during a virtual ceremony to recognise apprentice employers, apprentices, rising stars and champions from up and down the country.

Roxanne Freestone 1

Roxanne works for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), she said:

“I am delighted to be named winner of the BT Award for Advanced Apprentice of the Year for the East of England at the National Apprenticeships Awards 2021. I am thrilled to win this award in recognition of my commitment to my apprenticeship. I couldn’t believe I had won and was left completely speechless. Being recognised as a regional winner in this category is an incredible feeling and I am so pleased my hard work has been recognised by not just my team and manager, but by the wider community.

I have worked at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for the past 7 years as a dental nurse in the Oral Surgery department. Two years ago, I took on the role of senior dental nurse. To gain skills and knowledge in leading people, I looked to complete a level 3 Team leader and supervisor apprenticeship. The apprenticeship team at the QEH were really helpful and made the application process quick and easy. Once I was enrolled I worked with the College of West Anglia who supported me throughout the 18-month apprenticeship. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit the QEH, I was redeployed and juggling the workload became harder. The support I received from the commercial trainer at the college was exceptional.”

Roxanne Freestone

Back for their 18th year, the National Apprenticeship Awards highlight the benefits apprenticeships bring to individuals, businesses, and local communities, and celebrate the successes of those that have gone above and beyond to make a difference.

Over 1,000 entries from apprentice employers, apprentices, and apprenticeship champions have been received this year from all over England. The breadth of industries and sectors recognised highlights the broad appeal of apprenticeships, and how employers and individuals are continuing to build business and career success through apprenticeships.

Barrie Shaw, CWA Commercial Trainer, said:

“Throughout her training, Roxanne showed commitment, and a dedication to her own personal development, to meet the objectives of the apprenticeship, by enhancing her knowledge, skills and behaviours to become an effective team leader.  Working in the NHS, Roxanne's role changed significantly during the impact of Covid, resulting in her being cross deployed to other departments in the hospital, where she was able to put her training in to practise.  She was able to assist other learners in the development of their Maths, through motivation and support mechanisms.  This award is well deserved, and recognition for all her hard work.”

Minister for Skills Alex Burghart said:

“As the new Minister for Skills, I’m a major believer in what apprenticeships can do for employers, the economy, and the apprentices themselves, so a huge congratulations to everyone taking part in these regional finals.

Apprenticeships are incubators of greatness. These nominees are showing just how much potential apprenticeships have to offer opportunities and skills on the job. Good luck to everyone involved.

I very much hope you all enjoy a fantastic ceremony and celebrate the achievements and successes of apprenticeships in your region, and I thank you very much for all you do.”

Winners and highly commended announced in the East of England are:

Employer categories winners and highly commended:

  • The BCS for SME Employer of the Year is Higgins Partnerships..
  • The British Army Award for Large Employer of the Year winner is Flagship Housing Group. VINCI Construction UK Limited is highly commended.
  • The Macro Employer of the Year winner is Care UK. Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is highly commended.
  • The Award for Recruitment Excellence winner is Higgins Partnerships. Care UK is highly commended.

Individual categories winners and highly commended:

  • The Marshall Award for Intermediate Apprentice of the Year is Bryony Wright. Grace Fussey is highly commended.
  • The BT Award for Advanced Apprentice of the Year winner is Roxanne Freestone. Abby Verney is highly commended.
  • The Royal Navy Award for Higher or Degree Apprentice of the Year is Adam Hearn. Abby Mullord is highly commended.
  • The Lloyds Banking Group Award for Rising Star of the Year winner is Erin Maciejewski. Finn Janson is highly commended.
  • The Royal Air Force Award for Apprenticeship Champion of the Year is Claire Wright. James Millar is highly commended.

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