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Gong! Apprentice of the Year awards announced

As 2013 comes to a close, The Juice Academy celebrated with its first Apprentice of the Year awards ceremony.

The Academy launched in July and since then, has placed 27 young people in their first job since leaving school and college.

The employers were asked to sum up why their apprentice should win the coveted prize, and we were inundated with so many nominations, we had to choose three apprentices for the award…

Sam Hutchinson - Smoking Gun PR

Tom Bostock - Core Talent

Alex Morton - JW Lees

Huge congratulations to the winners! You’ve impressed your employers and everybody at the Academy and you should be very proud.

All the nominations were so amazing, we had to share a selection with you…

Sam Hutchinson

“She has quietly and confidently gone about her work from day one, fitting seamlessly into our team. Nothing seems to faze her and she handles herself with great maturity.

“She has won the respect of her colleagues who see her as integral to the accounts on which she works and I look forward to helping her develop her career within Smoking Gun.”

Rick Guttridge, managing director, Smoking Gun PR

Tom Bostock

“Tom has hit the ground running and fitted in really well with our business from day one. He’s shown good initiative and a willingness to learn about recruitment and our sectors.

“He’s also challenged us and kicked back when he felt strongly about our strategy, direction and ideas for social media. He’s also demonstrated real maturity and confidence when dealing with all stakeholders internally and externally with suppliers.

“Tom’s shown real commitment and flexibility on an ongoing basis and the rate at which we’re progressing is superb – he’s helped us innovate and come up with some great ideas.”

David Nesbitt, director, Core Talent

Alex Morton

“Alex is awesome at what he does and has exceeded all expectations. He has more than doubled MPA followers on twitter, giving the brand more identity and character on social media.

“He liaised with Tangerine PR to help generate 18,000 views of the MPA Mancdance, his Manc quotes tweets are brilliant and amusing and he always has ‘The Plan…’

“Alex has driven the JW Lees businesses to hit 20,000 followers and launched The Governor on social media, receiving acclaim from the Editor of Pub and Bar.

“He has actively participated in general marketing activity, supported 35 pub management teams helping them with their social media and helped get pub compliance from 70% to 100% in supporting marketing campaigns.

“So he is, in his own right, achieving big results with social media, whilst also being a coach and a media champion, helping others to do the same.”

Jonathan Lloyd, marketing manager, JW Lees

Jamie Peel

“Despite joining the course late Jamie has really immersed himself into it and is thriving.

“Jamie makes us proud every day with his enthusiasm, initiative and vibrant personality. He has a genuine interest in social media and technology and has used that to his advantage during tasks at The Juice Academy.

“He is always the first to step up, take responsibility and complete projects with creative, diverse ideas and more importantly, with a smile on his face (even when we ask him to research followers related to Wagner opera!)”

Catrin Ansell, digital account director, Modern English

Jordan Gray

“Jordan has been a fantastic addition and a real asset to our marketing team. Since he started with us in January of this year he has grown in confidence tremendously and has shown a great desire to learn new skills in order to develop himself.

“Jordan doesn’t have to be shown or be told anything twice. He has a great appetite to learn and is keen to incorporate his social media training into his daily job role of promoting Total People.

“One key feature which we as a business weren’t doing prior to Jordan’s training was scheduling tweets using Hootsuite. As a result of Jordan’s sessions at The Juice Academy, he has significantly increased traffic to our website and made more businesses and young people aware of what Total People can offer as a result of engaging in social media much more frequently and at key times.

“The most notable development with Jordan has been his confidence levels particularly in dealing with people over the phone and handling situations which he isn’t sure of. He is always bringing fresh ideas to the team and we’re extremely proud to say he works for Total People!”

Jane Perkins, marketing manager, Total People

Liam Weaver

“In the last three months, Liam has not only transformed our social media, but has managed more than one campaign that have helped to massively increase Adam’s network in Manchester.

“Liam recently managed a campaign that culminated in Adam winning the Talk of Manchester, Best Recruitment Company, and we simply couldn’t have done this without him.

“We are very proud indeed.”

Maria Clarke, office manager, Adam Recruitment

Ollie Melia

“Ollie has been a real asset even though he has been here a short time. He shows initiative and has tackled all jobs given to him competently. He shows all signs of being an important member of staff as the role develops.”

Paul Stuart, director, Best 4 Frames

Chloe Mitchell

“I’ve been really impressed with Chloe’s willingness to learn at the Academy and then her eagerness to bring her new found knowledge back to the workplace.

“She has always taken the lead on projects and contributed well – this shows through in her every day work ethic too. Chloe is shaping a lot of what we do in social media and also mirroring that over at Warrington Youth Club too.”

Donna Fisk, head of marketing, Bolton Lads and Girls Club

Rob Watts

“He’s fitted into the Ph Creative team seamlessly and is quickly becoming a genuine social media expert, with great insight, creativity and flare.

“He recently produced social analysis and commentary for around 15 audits on potential clients for us and he produced some great work, useful insight and business focused recommendations.

“The audits were received really well by the prospects and we're hopefully they will lead to new business for us. One prospect,, which Rob wrote the analysis for, are now speaking to us about work.

“Rob is also a real joy to have around in general.”

Tom Valentine Johnson, head of inbound marketing, Ph Creative

Tom Bedson

“Tom is a fantastic apprentice. The work he does has helped us grow across all our social media channels. Most impressively, he has been a driving force behind the growth of our Facebook and Twitter profiles thanks to the amazing content he discovers and the in depth weekly and monthly reports on competitors’ activities on social media.

Since joining Betfred we’ve seen our Facebook profile grow by 26,000 likes and has seen us break the 40,000 followers barrier on Twitter. In short, Tom has become an invaluable member of the Betfred social media team and, in my opinion, deserves to be recognised for his outstanding work.”

Max Sparrow, Betfred community manager, Betfred

Jordan Rudge

“Jordan has stepped into his role with an amazing amount of ease. He has had the added pressure of becoming the first social media employee of and has taken this role on with authority and a level of professionalism that is very rare to see in someone so new to the industry.

“Totepool’s social media presence has grown phenomenally, especially on Twitter, and he has a bright future working in social media.”

Max Sparrow, Betfred community manager, Totepool

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