The Skills and Education Group team are eagerly anticipating the upcoming Multicultural Apprenticeship Awards, at which our staff member Areeba Kainat is one of the finalists.

Areeba is on the shortlist for the Intermediate Apprentice of the Year category and is hoping to be announced as a winner at the awards evening on Friday 4 November.

The Multicultural Apprenticeship Awards celebrate talent and diversity by recognising the achievements of multicultural British apprentices, along with their employers and learning providers. The awards were launched by Pathway Group earlier this year, replacing The BAME Apprenticeship Awards and The Asian Apprenticeship Awards before that.

Areeba joined the Skills and Education Group as a Customer Support Apprentice in March 2021, with her Level 2 Customer Service Practitioner apprenticeship being delivered through Derby College. She successfully completed her apprenticeship in June 2022, achieving a Distinction, and is now a Trainee Customer Support Officer. During her time at the Group, she has progressed from feeling out of her comfort zone and finding working life daunting, to becoming a confident and important member of the team.

Areeba has overcome huge challenges in life to reach this point, immigrating to the UK from Pakistan with her mother at 11 months old, and being taken into foster care at the age of 16. In her application form for the Multicultural Apprenticeship Awards, Areeba said she started considering an apprenticeship when she discovered that this would “open a pathway into the world of work” and give her “invaluable work and life experiences that no other route would be able to offer”. She saw the apprenticeship at Skills and Education Group as an opportunity to “prove myself, put my past experiences behind me, and strengthen myself as a person.”

As part of the Customer Support team, Areeba has several important duties, which have steadily increased as she has asked for more responsibility. She currently manages the main Customer Support email inbox and telephone line, while also helping to answer queries from Skills and Education Group Automotive customers. She is also in charge of distributing handbooks and apprenticeship packs to customers, and of incoming and outgoing mail.

Areeba has received plenty of positive feedback from both colleagues and customers. Lakeisha Carter, Deputy Head of Customer Support and Areeba’s line manager, said the following:

“Areeba has had a very successful year with passing her apprenticeship at Distinction level, being responsible for various tasks and processes within the Customer Support team, and becoming a valued member of the organisation. You can really tell how much this apprenticeship means to Areeba – after walking to work for 45 minutes each morning come rain or shine, she arrives with a smile on her face, ready to do the best she can possibly do.

“Areeba has not only been a great support for the Customer Support team but is proving to be a real asset for the whole organisation – it is very clear to see how highly regarded Areeba is, with nothing but positive feedback being passed on from other department heads and managers.”

Everyone at Skills and Education Group will be keeping a keen eye on the Multicultural Apprenticeship Awards as the winners are announced and will be hoping Areeba receives the recognition she deserves.

The winners of the Multicultural Apprenticeship Awards 2022 will be revealed at a gala dinner at The Eastside Rooms in Birmingham on Friday 4 November 2022. Keep an eye on their social media channels as the winners are announced across Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. You can view the shortlists here.

To read more about the fantastic apprentices at Skills and Education Group, read our National Apprenticeship Week blog post from earlier this year.

Skills and Education Group Awards offers a range of end-point assessments to help apprentices become confident and ready to work.

Browse our end-point assessments