As 2015 Plus Dane Apprentice Awards approaches, meet last years Apprentice of the Year

To celebrate our upcoming Apprentice Awards, here is the story of last years Apprentice of the Year.

Rebecca Wakefield recently secured a two year contract with Plus Dane’s Asset Management team in Congleton, after completing an award winning two year apprenticeship.

In that time, she proved herself popular with colleagues and tenants, always keen to improve her skills, and innovative in her approach to community engagement.

Rebecca was initially recruited as business support apprentice in the Engagement team at Shepherds Mill in October 2012. Her role was split between the East Cheshire Chamber of Commerce in a supportive administration role two days per week. During this, she successfully completed an NVQ Level 3 diploma in Business Administration at Macclesfield College.

As her apprenticeship neared completion, Rebecca actively looked to secure permanent employment. She was offered every job she interviewed for, but her ambition was to stay with Plus Dane, and when she applied for a trainee customer liaison officer position within our Property Asset Team she became a full time member of the organisation.

Rebecca has demonstrated all 4 PIER values during her apprenticeship, and was recruited based on her commitment to them. She will be working with vulnerable people and contributing further to our promises in her new role.

Two friendship groups in Bromley Farm and Scholar Green are now run by Rebecca, who says she has a passion for supporting elderly members of the community and preventing isolation.

She says: “I have promoted and supported the Bromley Friendship Group since 2012, and I have seen the members grow in confidence and they have become a self-sustainable group. The members have learned to bake biscuits, made new friends, visited local attractions that they had not been to before and celebrated birthdays together. Seeing the friendship grow has been an amazing experience and I cannot wait for the friendship group I am starting in Scholar Green to take off.”

She was named a Neighbourhood Hero for her work organising a Christmas party for the groups. Always looking to improve her skills and go the extra mile, she asked to take a Food Safety Course at the college to make sure she had the right qualifications to serve tenants food at her events in a professional manner.

Rebecca says she loved every minute of her apprenticeship, that it helped her to discover talents she never knew she had, and to realise that community engagement is the career for her.

She was such a good ambassador for the apprenticeship scheme that she was invited by her college tutor to speak at Macclesfield College Open Evening about her experiences, to promote apprenticeship and advise young people.