College Apprentice of the Year takes next step

2nd November 2023

An award-winning apprentice from Stratford-upon-Avon College is celebrating continued success after advancing from a Level 2 to a Level 3 Apprenticeship.

Mollie Edwards began her Level 2 Hospitality Team Member Apprenticeship in May 2021 at Grimscote Manor and after a wealth of achievements including receiving Apprentice of the Year 2023 Award at College and passing her GCSE Maths, she has climbed to the next level of the apprenticeship ladder.

Mollie Edwards with certificate
Mollie not only succeeded as Apprentice of the Year but is also proud to be climbing the apprenticeship ladder

Mollie chose to do an apprenticeship after realising she preferred a different learning style: “I didn’t enjoy a classroom environment; it just wasn’t for me.” She has loved completing her apprenticeship at Grimscote Manor: “I enjoy the team, the rush, support and the family feel and I choose to stay here to do my Level 3 because of that support. I always appreciate it along with the help and guidance. I enjoy the working and learning aspect and I love that there is less written work and it’s so much more hands on and physical. Also, it is amazing that Jim (Cunningham – Apprenticeship Trainer) is here to see me every six weeks without fail and is only an email away. He is more than happy to help out with anything, no matter how big or small.”

Georgie Loveday-Cotton, Assistant Hotel Manager, is so pleased with Mollie’s progress: “Mollie is truly a breath of fresh air, she really is a complete asset to us, and the skills she’s learnt and her continual growth makes Mollie a very strong member of our team who’s very well thought of. Mollie is such a team player that she’ll always help anyone even if it puts herself out. She is a true asset to us, and one day we hope she truly believes in herself to what we can see in her.”

Grimscote Manor are pleased to be able to work with apprentices: “Working with apprentices is very rewarding. As a company we employ people for their potential as much as for their current skills, and provide them with the resources to grow and develop. We pride ourselves in giving school leavers the time they need to learn new skills and grow into adult life with a secure family around them. There is nothing more satisfying when you find someone like Mollie, who absorbs the knowledge like a sponge, wants to get on in life and achieves everything she sets out to do.”

They have been especially pleased to be working alongside Stratford-upon-Avon College: “We have had apprentices for the last 15/16 years however the relationship we have got with Stratford-upon-Avon College is by far the most supportive for employer and employee. Bryan (Anderson) and Jim (Cunningham) from the College have been a huge support all the way through our journey and have worked alongside us if extra support has been needed.”

Mollie is so pleased to not only have passed her Level 2 Apprenticeship but also to be awarded Apprentice of the Year 2023 from Stratford-upon-Avon College and to pass her Maths GCSE: “I had been taking part in Maths for over 2 years and just never passing my exams, however Jim had offered me a 3 week course which I did and this led me to my final result, lots of hiccups on the way but it was well worth it.”

Jim Cunningham, Apprentice Trainer & Assessor, was ecstatic Mollie has achieved so much: winning the Apprentice of the Year and progressing through her apprenticeships: “Mollie was nominated for the award because of the journey through her apprenticeship that culminated in a distinction grade. This from someone who lacked confidence and belief initially and then gained momentum through her enthusiastic approach and her clear development of skills and knowledge.

Ultimately it is very satisfying to see someone embark on a learning journey and fulfil their potential and be able to further this to the next level.”

Mollie is considering her future career options, which may involve securing a place at university, getting her Bar license and even becoming an Air Hostess for a top airline. Congratulations Mollie and best of luck!

Find out more about the College's Apprenticeships: Apprenticeships