An OxLEP apprentice was last week (7 March) announced as a finalist for this year’s upcoming Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards.
Leona Weston – OxLEP’s PR and Communications Apprentice – is one of three finalists selected in the Higher Apprenticeship category, sponsored by High Spec Composites. Leona is currently completing the PRCA's Level 4, Higher Apprenticeship in Public Relations, having been employed by OxLEP in February last year.
She is expected to complete her apprenticeship this summer.
Finalists were announced to coincide with National Apprenticeship Week and also included those shortlisted in the Intermediate and Advanced categories. Other organisations featured include Oxfordshire County Council and Blenheim Palace.
The results of the awards – which will also include a newly-introduced ‘Shining Star Award’ category, recognising someone who has made outstanding progress in their career since completing their apprenticeship – are set to be announced at the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards dinner on 4 April at Jurys Inn Oxford.
Last year’s awards were held at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock and attracted several hundred guests including apprentices, businesses and many other employers from across Oxfordshire.
Leona said: “I am really proud to have been nominated for such an award. Having left university to pursue an apprenticeship, to be announced as a finalist is really exciting for me.
“I am particularly looking forward to attending the event and being in the company of some really inspiring apprentices, highlighting and celebrating each other’s work.
“Spreading the message on apprenticeships as a highly-valuable career pathway is something I feel really passionate about and these awards are a great opportunity to highlight this further.”
Leona’s line manager – Rob Panting, Communications Manager at OxLEP – added: “We are all very proud of Leona and what she has achieved to-date through her apprenticeship.
“She is a great example of how effective apprentices and apprenticeships can be, both in terms of what they offer young people and also what the person can bring to a business – including fresh ideas and a range of new skills, that might not exist within an organisation.”
Nigel Tipple – Chief Executive of OxLEP – added: “Many young people and their families regularly ask us whether or not an apprenticeship is a viable option. The Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards act as a real opportunity to not only highlight the outstanding work of apprentices and their employers, but to also promote the value of such schemes across the county.”
Interested in becoming an apprentice or creating an apprenticeship? Be inspired by Leona's story: