Image demonstrating Julie is a regional apprentice of the year!

Julie is a regional apprentice of the year!

A Northumberland apprentice has beaten off strong competition to win in the regional finals of the National Apprenticeship Awards 2019. 

Julie Mills, from Ashington, won the NOCN Group Award for Intermediate Apprentice of the Year 2019, and will now go on to represent the region in the national awards this November.

Julie 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.

The National Apprenticeship Awards showcase the diverse and growing range of sectors engaged with apprenticeships, whilst celebrating the achievements of outstanding apprentices, apprentice employers and individuals to inspire others to follow in their footsteps and champion apprenticeships across England.

The awards are open to apprentices, individuals who promote apprenticeships and employers of all sizes from all sectors, and Julie was shortlisted from thousands of nominees across the North East.

Speaking after receiving her award, Julie said:  “I am absolutely thrilled! Before I had this job I worked at a factory for twenty years. I’d never even done any office work before and didn’t 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 hands on experience -  you learn better by doing things for real.

“I would definitely say go for an apprenticeship. It’s the best thing I’ve done - it’s changed my life.”

Lauren Langton, chief executive of Northumberland Community Bank added:  “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.”

Councillor Wayne Daley, cabinet member responsible for training and skills at Northumberland County Council said:  “This is wonderful news, and huge congratulations go to Julie for this brilliant win.

“Julie 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.

“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 or call 01670 622104
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