Amazing Grace named as Apprentice of the Year

An apprentice whose employer was so impressed with her work that they took her on full-time and gave her a promotion has been named Apprentice of the Year at Middlesbrough College Group’s Northern Skills Group Apprenticeship Awards.

Grace Davis won the award for her outstanding work as an apprentice at Middlesbrough-based media company Wander Films.

The 24-year-old had been looking for ways to gain experience in the media and communications sector after graduating from the Northern College of Art in Hartlepool.

She started her apprenticeship with Wander Films and Northern Skills Group in November 2021, splitting her time between learning on the job at Wander and in the classroom at the College.

At the end of her apprenticeship, not only did Wander Films offer Grace a full-time position, they also promoted her to her current role as Project Manager.

Judges at Middlesbrough College’s Apprentice of the Year awards praised Grace for working “exceptionally hard in every task given to her in both the workplace and from a coursework perspective”.

As well as her workplace success, Grace achieved a Distinction grade in her End Point Assessment on her apprenticeship programme and she was also praised for being “not only a great student but also an incredible mentor – happily helping others and supporting her employer wherever needed”.

The judges concluded: “Her can-do attitude has helped her truly shine and we know that there is nothing stopping this apprentice achieving their dreams.”

Speaking about her award, Grace said: “I was shocked to win – I was really pleased when I found out I had been nominated but I didn’t think I was going to win it so it was such a nice surprise when they called my name.

“It was great to see that my hard work over the past 18 months has not gone unnoticed.

“I got so much out of my apprenticeship and I learned so much. Having the practical experience in the workplace and learning from industry professionals and people who have done this work for years helped to accelerate my learning and going in to College and learning all the theory elements really backed up that knowledge.

“I love working at Wander Films – I’m working on a lot of different projects from animation and social media to film and TV.

“I would never have learned all the things which I have done if I had not done the apprenticeship – it really bridged the gap between my degree and working in the sector which I wanted to go into.”

Grace was not the only winner at the awards ceremony.

Kayla Turnbull and Leah Turnbull were jointly named AAT Apprentice of the Year, Mia Thompson won Beauty Apprentice of the Year, Alex Flearmoy was named Business Apprentice of the Year and Georgia Oliver won Catering Apprentice of the Year.

The other award winners were:

  • Abbie-Leigh Robinson – Children, Young People and Families Apprentice of the Year
  • Mark Nicholson – Construction Apprentice of the Year
  • Joseph Wright – Customer Services Award
  • Katy Gettings – Creative Digital Apprentice of the Year
  • Tarah Harvey – Dental Apprentice of the Year
  • Annie Cooper – Digital Apprentice of the Year
  • Daniel Peart – Engineering Apprentice of the Year
  • Levi Pickering – Fabrication and Welding Apprentice of the Year
  • Elizabeth Prosser – Hospitality Apprentice of the Year
  • Jamie Carr – IT Apprentice of the Year
  • Helen Winskill – Level 5 Management Apprentice of the Year
  • Izzey Preston – Motor Vehicle Apprentice of the Year
  • Jay Jackson – One to Watch Award
  • Jordan Whelpton – Rising Star Award
  • Paula Kuckcik – TTE Apprentice of the Year
  • Aimee Williams – Teaching Assistant of the Year

Matt Telling, Group Director: Business Engagement and Partnerships at Middlesbrough College Group, said: “We train over 2,000 apprentices each year in over 100 types of apprenticeships so to even be nominated for these awards is a huge achievement in itself.

“All of our award winners have done exceptionally well in their different fields, rising to the challenge of making an impact in the workplace as well as enhancing their learning in the classroom.

“Grace Davis is an outstanding example of apprenticeship success and a fantastic role model for anyone thinking about going down the apprenticeship route – it can literally change your life for the better.”

Further details on apprenticeships can be found at