We are pleased to announce that a local lad from Sutton has been crowned Apprentice of the Year at the London Councils Apprenticeship Awards 2016.
Ryan Emmerson, aged 21 from Roundshaw, scooped the Apprentice of the Year award at the ceremony in September, and was up against some tough competition among other London Boroughs.
The former Carshalton Boys sixth form student and winning apprentice has been employed at London Borough of Sutton for over two years, and has received fantastic feedback from his colleagues and management team. Ryan’s endless hard work, enthusiasm and outstanding testimonials has led to this remarkable achievement.
Ryan attended Carshalton Boys Sports College where he studied Spanish, Graphics and History GCSEs (in addition to core subjects such as English, Maths & Science). He then progressed to do his A-Levels in ICT, Graphic Design and a National Diploma in Business Studies. Now look where he is – sitting in Sutton Council’s office winning awards.
We had the privilege to speak to Ryan about his recent success…here’s how the conversation went.
Congratulations! Such exciting news, tell us more about the awards…
Thank you! I attended the London Councils Apprenticeship Awards 2016 on 16th September 2016 where the awards were being held to celebrate apprentices in councils across the London boroughs. There were a variety of different categories, such as Best Contribution by an Apprentice and Best Progression by an Apprentice. I was nominated in the Best Progression by an Apprentice category along with four other apprentices from different boroughs, but ended up winning the Apprentice of the Year award for 2016 instead.
Wow. You’ve done us Sutton lot proud. You’ve been doing an apprenticeship for over two years now – what is your role at Sutton Council?
I am an apprentice at The London Borough of Sutton’s Opportunity Sutton programme. I am currently undertaking a Level 4 Higher Business Administration Apprenticeship with the team. My role involves organising, facilitating and recording minutes from meetings, working across different teams to assist with events, such as Sutton EBP’s workshops in various schools around the borough. I also work with the town centre management team to assist with the bookings of various organisations into the high streets for promotional events and undertake performance management activities, such as deadline-setting for various corporate and committee reports, and data entry of key performance indicators on the team’s behalf.
You’re certainly a busy man. What was the awards application process like? What kind of evidence did you have to submit?
I was actually put forward by my manager Heather and my team – they provided written testimonies as to why I should win the category I was nominated in, clearly they believed in me! These testimonies allowed the judges to make the decision to award the apprentices in each category. I only found out after I had been shortlisted that I was selected for the awards!
Your team had every reason to believe in you, I bet you are so pleased that you took the opportunity and entered. Were there many apprentices that attended the awards ceremony?
Yes, I am glad I have such a supportive team. There were around 10 apprentices from a number of different councils, such as Ealing, Croydon etc. who were there nominated for their respective categories just like me. We were able to bring a few colleagues with us, so I brought along Sutton Council’s Chief Executive, and Councillor Jayne McCoy.
Sounds like competition. How did you feel when your name was called out? Hope you don’t mind, we’re posting the video on this blog!
I felt shocked, blown away and happy all at the same time. I had to take a minute to gather my bearings. I just could not believe it, even now! It was one of the best feelings I have ever felt and it will stay with me as one of the greatest moments of my life.
Beautiful stuff. You really are an outstanding example for aspiring apprentices today. Did you celebrate your success with your employer / family?
My family and team were all very proud of my achievement. I had members of my team there on the day who cheered me on and we went to celebrate straight after winning the award.
Now that you’re coming to the end of your apprenticeship, what is your next career goal? Where do you see yourself in three years’ time?
My next career goal would be to try to retain a position within Sutton Council. I would love to stay with my team and continue my work in the public sector. I aspire to progress to a project manager role in the future, as there are lots of upcoming interesting projects being run in the Council.
They would be silly to let you go! We want to hear your advice for young people who are looking into doing an apprenticeship. Can you share your top five tips with us?
Yes of course – I would be delighted to share my very own tips, based on my experience as an apprentice. I’ve listed them below…
- Do not hesitate to take any opportunity provided to you, opportunities open doors for you to improve your skills, knowledge and working relationships
- Be a good ambassador for apprenticeships, great apprentices can act as role models for the younger generation who want to learn more about being an apprentice
- Take care to balance the work you do and the coursework set by your training providers. You are also studying for a qualification!
- Get to know some of the other apprentices you work with, I found it was helpful bouncing ideas off of each other for coursework and it was great to mingle with people in the same situation I was in
- Most importantly be yourself, enjoy your apprenticeship and work hard. Opportunities may open for apprentices after their course has ended