Heathfield woman in final of ‘Mentor of the Year’ at #SussexApprenticeshipAwards

29th November

Reaching the finals of the Sussex Apprenticeship Awards came as a bit of a shock to Anna White, in the main because she hadn’t entered the awards and had no idea that a former apprentice of hers had nominated her for ‘Mentor of the Year’. Anna has been mentoring apprentices in Public Relations and Digital Content Creation for over three years. A role she does alongside her varied work commitments including looking after marketing and content clients in both PR and Digital Communications; and running the Heathfield News, which she founded with Suzi Daykin, four years ago.

Lucy Salvage, who nominated Anna as’ Mentor of the Year’, is a former PRCA apprentice at Wealden Council. She commented:

” Anna has had an incredibly positive impact on me during my apprenticeship. She mentored me in the development of my communications and PR skills, but also provided emotional support which was crucial for my mental health. Her praise and encouragement, especially during lockdown, kept me motivated and committed to the apprenticeship. It was largely due to her faith in my ability that I aimed high and went the extra mile to complete the distinction level criteria in my EPA. In September,  I was awarded a Distinction Level for the Public Relations Assistant Standard.”

Anna received her training through the PRCA in London and has continued to work for them since qualifying. The PRCA facilitated her training and have then supported her in her mentoring journey.  Anna is currently supporting Public Relations apprentices in London & the South East and Junior Content Producer apprentices with Creative Process Digital in Brighton. She looks after over 20 young people who are developing and growing into worthwhile careers in creative industries.

Anna White, commented:

“I found the training tough but once I started working with my first few apprentices I really began to enjoy the work. Supporting what are mostly, but not always, young people from so many different backgrounds is very rewarding. It gives me a chance to share some of my extensive industry experience, and for me to learn from those who will shape the future of creative industries. Most importantly you see the apprentice grow and develop throughout the apprenticeship – many go on to excel in their workplace or cast their net wider by getting new jobs and new challenges.”

The Sussex Apprenticeship Awards

With close to a million active Apprenticeships across England alone, apprenticeship schemes have fast become a route to future employment for thousands of school leavers.

These awards recognise and reward both the apprentices and their employers that are excelling across Sussex. Not only does winning an award mean recognition for the Apprentice, but its also a major morale boost for the company and workforce that support the apprentice. The judges are:

Michael Harris, Chair of the Sussex Masonic Charity Foundation

Jayne Boyd,Co-ordinator, South East Apprenticeship Ambassador Network (SE AAN)

Laura Sonier. Editor, Eastbourne Herald

The judges have had to evaluate entries across a variety of categories to take in the huge variety of types of apprenticeships out there. Categories included:

COVID Hero, Engineering/Manufacturing Apprentice of the Year, Health & Public Service Apprentice of the Year, Intermediate Apprentice of the Year, Mentor of the Year, Rising Star, Diversity and Inclusion,Training Provider/Programme of the Year and more.

Awards Dinner in Brighton

Anna White will have to wait until the winners are announced at the first Sussex Apprenticeship Awards, which will take place at the Hilton in Brighton on Thursday 9 December. The event will celebrate and recognise the hardworking individuals and organisations involved in apprenticeships.

Sponsors: East Sussex College Group, Sussex Masonic Charitable Foundation, LECS, South East Apprenticeship Ambassador Network, TSS Facilities.

Public Relations Apprenticeships through the PRCA are Level 4 and last for up to 18 months. Including a diploma.

Creative Process Digital are a training provider offering digital apprenticeships based in Brighton and South East.