Holly Coates awarded ‘Apprentice of the Year’

Holly Coates awarded ‘Apprentice of the Year’ 

Congratulations to Holly Coates, a business support Apprentice for Lancaster City Council, who has been awarded ‘Apprentice of the Year’ by the organisation.

Organised by Lancaster City Council’s HR team, ‘Celebrating success’ took place on 10th October 2018 at Lancaster Town Hall. In total, there were 12 awards ranging from team of the year to apprentice of the year and all colleagues were encouraged to nominate each other. The award ceremony was created to encourage teams to enjoy what they do, challenge themselves, receive praise for their great work and to see what others are achieving.

Apprentice of the Year Holly

“I never expected to be nominated, I received my invitation the week before the event and couldn’t believe it! I was extremely proud to be nominated as it meant all of my hard had been recognised. I was able to invite my supervisor and a guest which made it really special for me. This is definitely something I hope to attend again as I think it is a great way to celebrate and raise awareness of all the good work that goes on.” – Holly Coates

Holly told Damar that she was surprised and grateful she had won, it gave her motivation to continue to work on challenging tasks. She said that she appreciated that her hard work was recognised and that she knows she can attempt any task that is thrown her way; “I feel myself grow and develop each day”.

We caught up with Holly and asked her about her journey as an apprentice…

My experience has been great! It started off slowly and took me a while to get into the swing of things as starting from fresh can be hard. However, the months flew by and before you know it, you look back and see how much you have grown and developed your skillset.

Admittedly, in the first few months, I was desperate to learn everything at once and it was sometimes frustrating that I couldn’t just read a guide and know what to do. However, I later realised that the best way to learn something new is by regularly practicing doing it yourself.

I have loved how varied the role can be. Due to the units I chose, I was able to be a little more creative by trying out new methods to see what worked best for my team. I enjoy the fact that I am able to work in different environments and interact with different people from various areas of the council.

Along the way, I have come across many challenging tasks which I have had to seek further advice on. For example, learning the procedures for payments and dealing with suppliers was tough but with the right training and information, I was able to fully grasp what to do and knew who to approach for any future issues.

My advice for future apprentices would be to do something you can see yourself enjoying and potentially perusing a career in - you never know how things will plan out! I went from working in retail with a group of friends to working in an office with people of all ages, skills and experiences. This was hard at first but once I found my feet, I knew it was the best decision I had made. When I initially chose to do an apprenticeship, I always had it in the back of my head to work up to a level 3 business administration apprenticeship, I feel that it is always good to have aims and goals to achieve.

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