Our Business Administration apprentice Matty, completing her qualification at Fleishman Hillard Fishburn, was shortlisted for Financial, Legal and Professional Services Apprentice of  the Year 2018 at The Asian Apprenticeship Awards in November. Read on for her account of the night. We're so proud of you Matty!

On a Thursday afternoon in November, my manager and I took a train from London Marylebone to the city with arguably the best curry in the UK: Birmingham. Though curry was on the plans for the night, the main reason we travelled to the Midlands (or just up north for some of us) was to attend The Asian Apprenticeship Awards. In its third year, the Awards ceremony is a night for the British Asian community to celebrate young people taking an alternative career path to the norm, whilst fighting against the associated stigma and championing the employers and learning providers who help make this happen for the apprentices.

As someone who had experienced the traditional route of university and now the life of an apprentice, I was and still am very grateful to the Awards for not only celebrating but raising awareness within the community about apprenticeships and the endless value and opportunities they can bring. Even though I didn’t win, it was a great achievement to be a finalist for the most competitive category. Hearing the touching stories of my fellow finalists and the obstacles they’ve overcome to join me at the table further confirmed my belief that apprenticeships are the future of this country. I left the night inspired, ready to get back to the action and share my story with my community and young people still unsure of their future.

Congratulations to all the finalists, the winners and all the young people making the brave choice to be different. I had an amazing night and I hope to see WhiteHat apprentices back at the Awards for next year too - do it for the curry!