A Sovini Property Services (SPS) apprentice has been named North West Apprentice of the Year by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH).
Multi Skilled Apprentice Charlie Symes, 17, beat off stiff competition to win the award, and has been automatically shortlisted at the national Housing Heroes Awards 2016 which takes place in June.
Charlie initially secured her apprenticeship with SPS – part of the Sovini Group - through the Handy Skills programme, a joint initiative with One Vision Housing (OVH).
The programme promotes careers in the trades to 15 and 16 year olds who are about to leave full-time education in Sefton.
SPS provides comprehensive repairs, maintenance and facilities management services to their partners OVH and Pine Court Housing Association, as well as a number of other businesses outside of the Sovini Group in the North West.
They currently employ 14 apprentices across the business.
Charlie decided when she was 14 that she wanted a hands-on career rather than follow the academic route, and focused her time on starting a career in construction.
She has been an apprentice since August 2015, and also won employee of the month in December for her hard work and dedication.
Her supervisor Martin Mather said: “Charlie has been showing a real willingness to learn, increase her skill base and even offered to work additional hours to help get the job completed.
“Charlie is now in her second calendar year as an apprentice and her passion for the job is evident.
“She looks forward to being in work and wants to learn as much as she can, which is an admirable trait for an apprentice.
“Charlie is also very enthusiastic and, although she is still learning, she is eager to help out as much as possible and always has a smile on her face.”
During an SPS apprenticeship scheme, each apprentice is paired up with a mentor who assists them in both their career and personal development.
Charlie’s mentor Jackie Boughey praised her ambition and drive. She said: “Charlie’s ambition is awe-inspiring.
“She dreams of being sat in a director’s seat in the future and I think she can do anything she wants with her career.”
Not only has Charlie impressed the CIH Awards judges, she has also made such a positive impact at SPS that she is now an ambassador for the Handy Skills programme and visits schools to encourage young people to consider an apprenticeship.
SPS Managing Director Phil Pemberton said: “Charlie is a fantastic ambassador for both our apprenticeship scheme and the business itself.
“We’re so proud of her achievements and especially this award win, which is well deserved given her dedication to her job and development.
“Apprentices are vital to our growth as a business, as we continue to develop an exceptionally skilled workforce.”
For more information about Sovini Property Services, please visit http://sovini.co.uk/thegroup/sovinipropertyservices/.
"Were so proud of Charlie's achievements and especially this award win, which is well deserved given her dedication to her job and development."
SPS MD Phil Pemberton
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