Hat-trick of awards for IBM’s city apprentices

HMS Victory and the Mary Rose Museum from the air     Picture: Shaun Roster

‘Nowhere in Europe offers everything Portsmouth does’

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THREE apprentices from IBM have scooped the top three places in their category at the National Apprenticeship Service South Central Awards.

Sadie Hawkins, Hayley James and Thomas Watt completed a hat-trick of awards in the advanced apprenticeship category, with Sadie named as the overall winner.

They work for IBM in North Harbour, Portsmouth, and train with the help of funding from Highbury College, around the corner in Cosham.

Sadie, 19, who acts as an apprenticeship ambassador at IBM, said: ‘The experiences and opportunities I’ve gained have been invaluable. It has been a truly unique way to kick-start my career.

‘How many 19-year-olds can say they have successfully delivered a portfolio of IT projects?’

Hayley, 21, said: ‘Coming to IBM with no technical skills, I am now working and leading technical work for one of the major client programmes.

‘I firmly believe that I made the right decision and am very proud to be a part of an organisation which sees no limit to my career aspirations.’

Tom, 21, added: ‘With my apprenticeship I enjoy a well paid and fulfilling career, something I had incorrectly assumed only university would offer me, along with the additional benefits of no student debt, recognised qualifications and a foot on the career ladder.’

Last year IBM was recognised as one of the top 100 apprenticeship employers in the country.

Sadie will now go forward to the national judging stage, with the winners revealed during The Skills Show, at the NEC in Birmingham on November 14.