The Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards 2022 recognised the best talent in the county with a special live-streamed event on Thursday 19 May, followed by an in-person celebration evening at Williams F1 Conference Centre on 26 May, where finalists were presented with their trophies.
The Intermediate Apprentice of the Year Award recognises outstanding individuals who are working towards, or have recently completed, a Level 2 Apprenticeship. It was won by Kelly Huggard, HR Coordinator at Blenheim Palace, who started at Blenheim as a Reception Apprentice in 2019.
The award was kindly sponsored by Abbott Diabetes Care, a company based in Witney who develop healthcare solutions, from next-generation diagnostic tools that put patients on the path to better health sooner to trusted medicines that help people of all ages stay active and vital.
Research & Development Director Claire Bhogal, who judged the award and is pictured above with Kelly, said: “Kelly demonstrated great flexibility, not only performing all the requirements of her role but setting up a Covid testing centre for Blenheim, including undergoing training to help administer the tests and sourcing supplies.”
“Kelly also talked about the support she is providing for other Blenheim apprentices and she is already promoting apprenticeships by attending jobs fairs and taking part in mock interviews with school children. She is also extremely passionate that apprenticeships are for everyone, whatever stage of your career and is clearly a great asset to the Blenheim team.”
Kelly is proud of how she has adapted to and grown professionally within the business environment, having previously had a long career as a chef. She feels that she is having a positive impact on her environment and overcoming the stereotype of what an apprentice should be.
Kelly said: “Personally, I am a more confident in my ability and I am proud of my achievements to date. I came into my apprenticeship with an open mind but was conscious of the misconception that apprenticeships are only for school leavers. I have overcome this and would go as far to say that I am challenging that misconception. I did this to change my path but also in part, as a mother of two girls I wanted to show them that it’s never to late to start over and that opportunities are available to you if you are willing to put yourself out there and try.”
“I was totally overwhelmed and extremely proud to have won the Intermediate Apprentice of The Year Award. The calibre of all the nominees was incredibly high, so to be chosen was an amazing feeling. The opportunities that have come off the back of doing my apprenticeship have been endless and are still coming thick and fast. I am very lucky to be surrounded by such a supportive team, who really strive to get the best out of people, in the most encouraging and supportive way.”
About the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards 2023
The awards will be open for entries and nominations until midnight on the evening of Friday 17 February 2023. Finalists will be announced during Oxfordshire Apprenticeships Hour (hashtag #OAHour) on Twitter @OxonApprentice from 13:00 on Thursday 20 April 2023. Winners will be announced at a special awards ceremony on Thursday 18 May 2023.
Abbott Diabetes Care are kindly sponsoring the Advanced Apprentice of the Year Award in 2023, after their Engineering Apprentice Jordan Davies won the award in 2022.
If you would like the opportunity to support the Awards, please get in touch.
Join us for Oxfordshire Apprenticeships Hour (#OAHour) on Twitter @OxonApprentice from 13:00 every Thursday for latest on the Awards and join in the conversation using the hashtag #OAAwards2023.