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Leanne Finch
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SWAC Apprentice up for regional award second year in a row

Last year’s Apprentice of the Year in the South West Business and Community Awards is back to reclaim her title after being named a finalist once again.

South West Apprenticeship Company (SWAC) apprentice, Leanne Finch, earned the title last year for her exceptionally hard work to her host employer, Sixways Clinic in Cheltenham, after starting her apprenticeship with them in 2018.

Leanne started her Level 2 apprenticeship in 2018 and soon progressed onto her Level 3 in September 2019.  She has now completed her apprenticeship and is working full-time with Sixways.

This was the third nomination for Leanne after she was nominated for Apprentice of the Year at the National Apprenticeship Awards last year where she was shortlisted as a finalist and was recognised as Highly Commended. Leanne was also named the Apprentice of the Month by SWAC for March.

Leanne has been studying with Gloucestershire College for her apprenticeship and is employed and supported by SWAC, a City of Bristol College subsidiary, in her hosted placement.

Speaking about her recent nomination, Leanne said: “I am very grateful to have been shortlisted again for the Apprentice of the Year Award. The award ceremony is an amazing way to celebrate all the hard work that apprentices and businesses have achieved within the year. I am very grateful to Sixways, SWAC and Dawn, my assessor from Gloucestershire College, for helping me to achieve this.

“This year has been very challenging for everyone. Trying to complete an apprenticeship on top of all the changes happening within the workplace was very difficult. Due to the pandemic we became very short staffed and busy at work. I continued to have regular contact with my College assessor, however physical visits and observations had to be put on hold. There were moments where I felt I would not be able to complete the apprenticeship and I was struggling to find the motivation, but I was lucky enough to have lots of support around me to help me through it and was very pleased to be able to finish on time.”

“Sixways helped me to achieve my apprenticeship and has kept me on in an exciting new role in the practice. I hope to continue using all the skills I have developed through the apprenticeship to fulfil this new role. I am excited to see what happens in the upcoming year and I hope to develop my skills further.”

“Leanne is definitely deserving of her award! She completed her Level 3 Business Administration apprenticeship in March, despite the pandemic, and is now a full-time member of staff at Sixways Clinic, in a new role! Well done on all of your hard work Leanne.”

Leanne’s SWAC Apprentice Mentor, Alice Loveday.

SWAC said: “The recognition Leanne has received during her studies and though her award nominations have been fantastic and they were ‘delighted to share her success”.

Leanne’s Sixways’ Line Manager, Nicci, said: “Leanne has worked so hard throughout her apprenticeship, showing commitment and determination. We are so proud of her achievements and she is a valued member of our team! She gets on with everyone and is always on-hand to help whenever needed. We are very excited that Leanne is staying on with us and can’t wait to see her evolve in her new role.”

SWAC is part of the City of Bristol College group and supports employers through the apprenticeship process, from recruitment to completion. SWAC can employ the apprentice and supports the employer with recruitment, performance management, HR, payroll and mentoring the apprentice to encourage progression and positive impact for their business.

Find an apprenticeship or an apprentice for your business through SWAC or look at our course options and how we work with employers on our College website.

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