Northumberland's Julie shortlisted for apprenticeship awards

A Northumberland apprentice has beaten off strong competition to make it through to the regional finals of the National Apprenticeship Awards 2019. 

Julie Mills is employed by Northumberland Community Bank and has been taking an apprenticeship in customer services with Northumberland County Council’s learning and skills service while working there.

She has been shortlisted from thousands of nominees across the North East and will find out how she has done at the regional awards ceremony on 16th September.  Should Julie win the regional heat she can look forward to a trip to London to the national finals later this Autumn. 

Julie was new to office work when she first volunteered at the community bank before going on to start an apprenticeship.  She says: “Before I had this job I worked at a factory for twenty years. I’d never even done any office work before, and I didn’t even realise that older people could do an apprenticeship! 

“I volunteered at the Northumberland Community Bank for a few months, and then I was offered the apprenticeship. There’s no better way of getting training than being hands on -  you learn better by doing things for real.

“I would definitely say go for an apprenticeship. I can’t say I’ve ever enjoyed anything so much. It’s the best thing I’ve done - it’s changed my life.”

Northumberland Community Bank provides local savings and loans services to the residents of Northumberland.  Chief executive Lauren Langton says: “We decided to take on apprentices because we wanted to grow our business, and we really like the idea of investing in people. 

“We’re very ambitious and in a small organisation each member of the team plays a big part.  
Our apprentices are an integral part of the team and have been from day one, and that’s why they’re making such a difference.

“Julie’s role has grown significantly and her hard working attitude, total commitment and friendly nature has made her indispensable in the bank and popular with the customers.

“Everyone at the bank will be rooting for her at the regional final ceremony.”

Councillor Wayne Daley, cabinet member responsible for training and skills at Northumberland County Council said:  “This regional shortlisting for Julie is fantastic news - and I wish her all the very best for awards night!

“She is an excellent example of some of the fantastic success stories we have here at the council from our apprenticeship programme.  And the fact that she has now moved on to the full-time role at the community bank is the icing on the cake.

“Apprenticeships are a great option for people of a wide range of ages and abilities.  They cover a vast number of roles and industries, giving talented people the chance to realise their potential within organisations that really value them.

“The council’s learning and skills service in an approved apprenticeship training organisation and can support all stages of apprenticeships, from recruitment to celebrating an apprentice’s success - as we are here with Julie.”

Find out more about apprenticeships in Northumberland at www.northumberland.gov.uk/apprenticeships or call 01670 622104.
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