Apprentice of the Year 2024 : Melanie White

Team Leader/Supervisor Level 3, Apprentice of the Year 2024

We are delighted to announce that Melanie White of Watkin Jones Group has won our Apprentice of the Year Award for 2024.

Melanie works in a fast-paced environment as a Customer Care Co-ordinator for housebuilder, Watkin Jones Group and is responsible for ensuring homeowners are happy with their new property. With seven years of experience at Watkin Jones, Melanie embarked on an apprenticeship to further her skills and career, a decision that culminated in her promotion to Senior Coordinator.

‘I was unsure about enrolling on the programme at first, being the oldest one on the cohort made me feel that this was a little beyond me and my capabilities, and I should leave this type of thing to the “young ones”.’

‘I’m glad to say I was wrong about that! Part of my apprehension was sitting the functional skills. I passed my English but at one stage I even thought about giving up my apprenticeship because I thought I wouldn’t pass the maths. My mentor and Jim, my Intec Tutor, would never have let me do that, they believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself, through their guidance, advice, encouragement, plus buckets of tears(mine!), worry, stress and a LOT of hard work and dedication, I passed (on my first try too.)!’

Her manager and mentor, Melissa, has seen a real change in her. ‘Mel wasn’t sure she should participate in the course as she hadn’t studied in a long time. She has worked hard and is smashing it. It’s been great to see her blossom and she is a supportive member of the cohort. As well as her promotion, Mel has taken a leading role in our Wellbeing Panel for Menopause Awareness Week’.

‘As a woman of a certain age, I have experienced some difficult peri-menopausal symptoms which I have learnt to manage. To help bring a voice to this subject, I recently took part as a panel member and guest speaker for our first ever live event broadcast to the whole company. This was the first of its kind for our company and we had great comments, with many women stepping forward and sharing their own stories.’

‘The apprenticeship has really brought me out of my shell, and I’ve pushed myself out of my comfort zone like with taking part in this event.’

‘If I could give advice to any mature people that are considering an apprenticeship, I would shout I from the rooftops and say, ‘go for it’ be resilient and remember you’re never old to learn (and thrive!).’

Melanie is a wonderful example of how apprenticeships offer both professional and personal growth. Her story highlights that apprenticeships are for everyone; no matter their age, career stage or role and showcasing the impact developing new skills can have on a person’s confidence. Melanie's resilience, determination, and positive impact on her peers and organisation make her a worthy winner.

Congratulations Melanie!