Published: May 22, 2022 | Updated: May 22, 2022

Top apprentices hailed for their determination, talents and commitment at inaugural awards

Winners of the Dorset Apprenticeship Awards 2022 with organisers, sponsors and the Lord-Lieutenant of Dorset.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Dorset’s top apprentices were hailed for their determination, talents and commitment when they took centre stage in new awards.

They were named as winners of the inaugural Dorset Apprenticeship Awards at a ceremony with dignitaries including the Lord-Lieutenant of Dorset.

Dorset Chamber joined forces with the Dorset and Somerset Training Provider Network and sponsors manufacturing firm Superior Seals for the initiative celebrating the contributions of apprenticeships to business.

The winners were:

  • Intermediate Apprentice of the Year: Ellie Edmonds (ABP Food Group, Yetminster)
  • Advanced Apprentice of the Year: Cameron Hearn (Frettens Solicitors)
  • Higher and Degree Apprentice of the Year: Rebecca Buck (Dorset Council)

They claimed the honours from a 12-strong shortlist of finalists when the awards were presented at Superior Seals in Ferndown.

Ian Girling, Chief Executive, Dorset Chamber, said: “This was a tremendous celebration of the value of apprentices to our businesses.

“Ellie, Cameron and Rebecca were all very worthy winners who have all demonstrated exceptional determination, talent and commitment to succeed.

Left to right: Ellie Edmonds, Cameron Hearn, Rebecca Buck.

“They can be very proud of themselves for their achievements and for representing the excellence which so many apprentices show on a daily basis in our county.

“It was an inspirational event and a great way to start the new Apprentice of the Year competition.

“My thanks go to the Lord-Lieutenant of Dorset, all of the apprentices and businesses who entered and everyone else who supported the awards and made them such a success.”

Tim Brown, Managing Director, Superior Seals, welcomed guests to the ceremony at the company’s Superior Seals Academy.

The Lord-Lieutenant, Angus Campbell, performed the honours after a celebratory lunch.

Guests included finalists, businesses, Dorset Council leader Cllr Spencer Flower and Cllr Toby Johnson, BCP Council’s Lead Member for Levelling Up and Skills.

HR co-ordinator Ellie is taking an apprenticeship in business administration.

She runs the Youth Ambassadors of ABP across the company to help make the industry more appealing and accessible to young people aged 16-24.

Ellie is also the southern England regional leader for the company’s new female talent community called ‘ABP SHE’.

Cameron is a digital marketing apprentice and has made a tangible difference to Frettens Solicitors through digital content and social media.

His efforts have attracted new visitors to the company’s website and social media, and led to tens of thousands of pounds of new revenue.

Lewis Barr, Frettens’ Marketing & Commercial Director, pictured left, said: “We are so incredibly proud of what Cameron has achieved during his apprenticeship with us.

“I have always been a huge advocate for apprenticeships and see them as a brilliant way to grow a team.

“I don’t think it’s an over-statement to say that Cameron has learned as much in 18 months with us as he would have on a three-year degree course in marketing.

“He has gained a huge amount of genuine practical experience and hasn’t amassed tens of thousands of pounds of debt, all while earning a salary and developing those all-important soft skills that we value so highly.”

Rebecca is Dorset Council’s first solicitor apprentice.

She juggles her job and training with a family and two young children.

The apprenticeship route has given Rebecca the opportunity to continue to work while studying without facing university fees.

She has a study day a week and then fits the rest into evenings after her children are in bed.

The awards were free to enter with entries invited from apprentices and their employers.