17 January 2020

Loughborough College student Jarrod Ball has been named as Apprentice of the Year at the 2019 LeicestershireLive Education Awards.

Harry Clarke and Alex Hedley, who are apprentices with Cavendish Nuclear and both studying degree level Engineering with Loughborough College, joined Jarrod on the list of finalists – Alex in the Science and Maths category and Harry as the eventual runner-up for Apprentice of the Year.

Business administration apprentice Jarrod admits he couldn’t believe he had been nominated for Apprentice of the Year by his Loughborough College colleagues.

“To hear I was in the final three was a real shock. I had never attended anything like the awards ceremony and I felt quite nervous – but a good nervous. It was brilliant to hear the stories of all the other finalists and see what they had accomplished. But hearing my name read out as winner was completely overwhelming. I think it will take a long time to sink in.”

The 19 year-old admits that it was a tough decision to continue his education as an apprentice while all his friends were heading to university, – but it was the best he has ever made.

“I had been doing a part-time job while I completed my A-levels in English, Biology and Psychology and realised I really wanted to carry on being in a work environment, but not give up studying. An apprenticeship was the logical choice, although it wasn’t an easy one when everyone around me was taking a different path. But I interviewed for the position at Loughborough College a year ago and instantly got a really good feeling. I had barely arrived home when I got a call to offer me the position.

“I’ve just celebrated a year with the College and it’s been an amazing 12 months. I have learnt so much and really grown in confidence. Everyone is so friendly and every day is different. I am never just sitting at a desk. I love that I am getting the chance to be creative and develop projects which really contribute to the team.

“Hearing I had been successful at my interview at Loughborough College was a great Christmas present last year – and I haven’t looked back since.”

In their nomination for Jarrod, the Employer Engagement and Apprenticeship team praised his ‘hard work and dedication'.

"Since he joined the team, Jarrod’s confidence has absolutely soared and he has started to take on so much more responsibility than was expected of him...He will go out of his way to help his team-mates and has become a key part of this team…He has a drive and passion for delivering quality customer service and has become a real ambassador for apprenticeships…He has added a technological mindset…by creating online platforms…Jarrod has changed processes and procedures for the better by making the team work smarter, more effectively and more efficiently…so as to ensure we stay at Outstanding for our Apprenticeships. He isn’t afraid to challenge the way things are done in order to improve. This has included delivering a training session to the wider team of over 40 people on the new ways of working which he has initiated. He’s smart, creative, forward-thinking and he’s a real pleasure to have in the office."

Presenting the 2019 Apprentice of the Year award at a glittering ceremony at the King Power Stadium in Leicester, Paula Allerton, Head of Employer Engagement and Apprenticeships at Loughborough College, said: "I am sure we can all agree that the three finalists truly demonstrate the value of apprentices. To those employers who already support apprenticeships, thank you, and to those employers who don’t, get involved!”

Thank you to Elizabeth Udall from Loughborough College for submitting this news story. If you would like to share a news story from your organisation, we’d love to hear from you. Email us at media@skillsedugroup.co.uk