STROUD apprentice Maisey Hammond is celebrating after being crowned National Intermediate Apprentice of the Year 2020.

17-year-old Maisey became an apprentice for Stroud District Council's Community Services team after gaining 11 GCSEs at Archway School.

Maisey’s award follows her success in the South West regional Apprenticeship Awards earlier this month.

And just last week Maisey was shortlisted alongside fellow apprentice Connor Ward for the Gloucestershire Live Outstanding Apprentice of the Year (Public Services).

“I wanted to do something different to the traditional academic route for the remaining two years of my education,” said Maisey.

“Most of my friends went on to do `A’ levels and saw my decision as rather risky, but I wanted to build my skills and knowledge and do something that would prepare me for the world of work.”

Since starting her apprenticeship Maisey has achieved a Level 2 NVQ in Business Administration, and will now start work on a Level 3 qualification.

On hearing that she had won the award Maisey said: "It wasn’t quite the live event that I originally expected, but nevertheless winning the National Intermediate Apprentice of the Year 2020 has been a big surprise and a great experience attending the virtual event in the lounge with my family is the next best thing."

One of Stroud District Council’s key priorities in its corporate delivery plan is `Helping to create a sustainable and vibrant economy that works for all’, and the plan includes working with business, education and the voluntary sector to build skills and employment opportunities'.

Cllr Doina Cornell, Leader of Stroud District Council said: “I’m delighted for Maisey, who has a bright future ahead of her.

"The impact on young people due to the pandemic has been especially hard, so I am really pleased that Stroud District Council is able to support young people locally to take their first steps into employment through our apprenticeship programme.”

Fiona Parsons, The South West Apprentice Ambassador Network Co-ordinator added: “Congratulations and what a star Maisey is.

"To be a regional winner from hundreds of entries is great but to beat all eight other regions to win the Intermediate Apprentice of the Year is a fantastic achievement.”

Stroud District Council employs 18 apprentices across the organisation, including six who are undertaking management apprenticeships.