Hull careers advisor gets national recognition for helping inspire pupils

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 22 Jan 2018

A Hull careers advisor has been named Apprentice Champion of the Year at the National Apprenticeship Awards.

Sarah Barley, trust director of careers & employability at South Hunsley School, was named as the winner of the Santander sponsored award at an exclusive ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House on Thursday night.

Mrs Barley, who lives in Hull and works at the school in Melton, was recognised for the employer-led programme she developed, recruiting 70 local employers to support and inspire young people about their next steps.

Alongside this, she was also hailed for simultaneously planning open events to recruit employers interested in offering apprenticeships.

The awards, now in their fourteenth year, are run by the National Apprenticeship Service and recognises excellence in businesses that grow their own talent with apprentices and apprentices who have made a significant contribution to their workplaces.

Mrs Barley said it was an “honour and a privilege” to recognised at the awards.

She said: “It really is an honour and a privilege. I’ve worked tirelessly trying to incorporate apprenticeships into students’ education, as a passion to do more outside of the curriculum.

“I started it ten years ago when I felt that a lot of students saw university as the only option when they left school. I thought I had to do something so they knew the options out there.

“People can spend so much of their money and their parents money and then realise it isn’t right for them. We wanted to give students an experience of what apprenticeships are like."

She said that the success of her programme to promote apprenticeships means it will be extended to Driffield School and Malet Lambert School, for engineering, in September.

South Hunsley School, Melton, near Hull. Pictures: Rob Stebbing.

She said: “It started from careers talks, where we were getting in, but it’s one thing seeing presentation and another having students experience it for themselves.

“The support from employers has been unbelievable. We have about 70 local employer apprenticeship partners and we couldn’t run the programme without them.

“They give up their time to support our students and they have massively benefitted from this.

“The programme has grown a lot since we first started it, and I will be starting in Driffield in September, and at Malet Lambert for engineering in September as well.”

Skills and Apprenticeships Minister Anne Milton said: “The National Apprenticeship Awards ceremony is a great opportunity to celebrate the work so many individuals and employers have done to champion apprenticeships.

“I want to congratulate everyone that was a part of these awards for their contribution to apprenticeships in England.

“They are all fantastic advocates of hard work and ambition, and they highlight how apprenticeships are a great route into skilled employment for people of all ages and backgrounds.”

Sue Husband, director of the National Apprenticeship Service said: “The National Apprenticeship Awards showcase the breadth of apprenticeships on offer in a range of dynamic industries across the country.

“Apprenticeships are for everyone and I thank every employer and apprentice celebrated for their passion for, and commitment to, apprenticeships.

“This year’s winners are all shining examples of how apprenticeships develop outstanding talent whilst enhancing the incredible work of employers."

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