Award-winning apprentice urges others to consider same route

Charlotte Blowers holds her trophy for Intermediate Apprentice of the Year

A Yorkshire hairdressing apprentice has been named one of the best in the country at a national awards ceremony.

Charlotte Blowers, a learner with the Bradford College Groups's apprenticeship arm, City Training Services, won the  I-Can Qualifications Award for Intermediate Apprentice of the Year at the National Apprenticeship Awards.

The 19-year-old, who is an apprentice at Salon Exceed in Clayton Heights in Bradford, collected her award at a ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House.

She took the title after seeing off competition from hundreds of apprentices from across the country. On her way to the final she picked up titles at the Bradford Business Awards and at the North East, Yorkshire and Humber Regional Apprenticeship Awards.

As National Apprenticeship Week begins, the teenager says she would recommend the apprenticeship route to others.

“I started my apprenticeship in 2013 after leaving school and would absolutely encourage anyone to follow that path,” she said.

“I always knew I wanted to be a hairdresser and by taking the apprenticeship route I have earned money and trained at the same time. It is the best of both worlds. You are learning from professionals, meeting real clients in a real workplace, getting real qualifications and getting paid.

“I think a lot of young people don’t really understand what an apprenticeship involves. I would urge them to look into it as it might be the best route for them. It has been for me.”

The National Apprenticeship Awards, now in their 13th year, are run by the National Apprenticeship Service.

They recognise excellence in businesses that grow their own talent with apprentices and apprentices who have made a significant contribution to their workplaces.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, Skills and Apprenticeships Minister Robert Halfon said: “Apprenticeships work. They give people of all ages and all backgrounds the ladder of opportunity to get paid experience in work and a top class qualification at the same time.

“The National Apprenticeship Awards ensure apprenticeships get the prestige they deserve, while shining a light on the fantastic work that both apprentices and their employers do. Congratulations to all the winners - they are champions showcasing how apprenticeships to give everyone the chance to get on.”

City Training Services is among the largest providers of apprenticeships in the region.

It has apprenticeships available in a huge range of careers including dental nursing, engineering, business administration, joinery and creative digital media.

A list of current apprenticeship vacancies are advertised on its website.

Alternatively, anyone interested can call 01274 728316 or pop along to see the CTS stand at the Open Day at Bradford College on Saturday March 18, 11am - 2pm.

CTS will stage its own Open Day on Wednesday April 26, between 5pm and 8pm at its offices on Chapel Street, Little Germany, Bradford.