Apprentice Joe Richardson has taken the concept of ‘success story of the month’ to the next level, by being awarded ‘Apprentice of the Year’ by his employer, South Tyneside Homes. Joe is on programme with Zenith Training and working towards his L2 Diploma in Customer Service with tutor Phil McAuley.

Our client South Tyneside Homes manages estates and council housing stock on behalf of South Tyneside Council. One of their core values is ‘delivering excellence’ across all aspects of their provision. In celebration of these standards the organisation hosts an annual event to nominate employees in recognition of their skills and progression. Customer Service Team Leader Jackie Lawson explains that Joe was nominated for his ‘excellent customer service skills, attitude to work, timekeeping and professional appearance’.

Joe delighted, ‘I have loved studying for my apprenticeship so far’. He went on to explain, ‘I always have my colleagues, manager and tutors available to assist with any questions I may have’. In reference to winning his award, Joe thrilled, ‘I was elated to receive the Year 1 Apprentice of the Year Award. It has allowed me to feel valued in my job role and to know that I am making a good impact on the company’.

When considering overcoming challenges and finding progression from his training, Joe recognises, ‘I am becoming more advanced along the way and I ensure I step up to each challenge. I am getting better skilled at organising my time efficiently, in order for me to complete portfolio work on time, whilst ensuring my daily duties in the workplace are undertaken’. In appreciation of Zenith Training, he explains, ‘they have helped me the whole way. I have regular meeting and visits, [have] been kept up to date throughout and fully supported’. In reference to his development, Leader Jackie adds, ‘He has achieved so much. Joe’s customer service skills are truly excellent and he has received three written compliments from housing tenants, praising him for his helpfulness’.

When asked about his next steps Joe stated, ‘I am focusing on remaining an employee at South Tyneside Homes. My apprenticeship has allowed me to gain customer service skills specific to social housing and I am looking to further these skills in new job roles within the Council’. We are pleased to confirm that since being interviewed for this article, Joe has been offered a permanent position at South Tyneside Homes. Tutor Phil states, ‘I am very pleased that Joe has realised his goal. He is a capable and motivated individual, a joy to work with and has great potential for the future’. All of us at Zenith Training wish this ‘Apprentice of the Year’ many more achievements in his new role at South Tyneside Homes.