2021 Local Government Apprentice of the Year announced

Karla Overington, Business Administration Apprentice at West Sussex County Council has been named as the 2021 Local Government Apprentice of the Year.


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Karla Overington, Business Administration Apprentice at West Sussex County Council has been named as the 2021 Local Government Apprentice of the Year.  

Karla, who has been an apprentice since January 2021, won the award by competing in a virtual day of challenges set to encourage participants to showcase their skills, expertise, and initiative.

The event was designed and delivered by South West Councils and the East of England Local Government Association with support from the LGA.  

The virtual ‘Apprentice of the Year event was the first of its kind held in local government and involved more than 100 apprentices taking part in activities that encouraged them to experience the opportunities, risks, and challenges involved in delivering successful local government services.  

As well as Karla’s individual success, awards were also presented to three runners up and to the winning team. Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Gillian Keegan was a guest speaker at the event, taking part in a Q&A with attendees and sharing her own experiences of starting her career as an apprentice.

The LGA, which represents councils in England and Wales, works to support councils across the country to deliver successful apprenticeship schemes to help young people into training and employment as part of its sector-led improvement offer. 

Its Apprenticeship Support Programme helps councils to share good practice, provides advice and guidance, supports councils to problem-solve via an action learning programme and audits council apprenticeship programmes through ‘Apprenticeships MOT’ health checks.  

Apprenticeship opportunities in local government have expanded significantly in the last three years with councils in England creating over 43,000 apprenticeships in more than 140 different fields. 

Karla Overington, Business Administration Apprentice at West Sussex County Council and 2021 Apprentice of the Year said: 

“I feel absolutely thrilled, delighted and honoured, to have been given the opportunity to represent Highways, Transport and Planning at such a well organised event. It was a fast paced, full on, interactive day, but it was great to meet new people and be provided with the opportunity to learn and develop. I was able to learn a lot about myself and what my key skills and strengths are, something which I will be looking to put into practice within my role. Similarly, it provided me with the opportunity to self-reflect and so I have been able to identify any weak areas and can now go and work on them.” 

Cllr James Jamieson, Chairman of the LGA said: 

“Congratulations to Karla for winning this award, as well as all the others who have taken part in this event. Apprentices are incredibly important in local government, helping councils deliver the vital services our residents need and continuing to rise to all challenges put in front of them. It is great that we were able to celebrate some of that success at this event and I want to thank our apprentices across the country for their hard work.”  

Bryony Houlden, Chief Executive of South West Councils (event co-chair): 

“We were delighted to collaborate with East of England LGA and the Local Government Association to deliver this fantastic event. Apprentices make a vital contribution to local government, undertaking a vast array of roles. On the day we saw the enthusiasm and commitment that apprentices bring to their work. It was hard to predict who would win with so much talent on display, as they stepped up to all the challenges thrown at them.” 

Ends

Notes to Editors:

The full list of winners can be found below: 

Winner

 

 

Karla Overington,

West Sussex County Council

Business Administration Apprentice

Level 3 Business Administration

Runner Up

 

 

Sophie Thompson,

New Forest District Council

HR Advisor

Team Leading, level 3

Oliver Hill,

North Herts District Council

Admin Support Officer

Level 3 Business Administration

Louis Dodge,

Essex County Council

Technology Apprentice

IT Solution Technician level 3

Winning Team

 

 

Ellie Hendry,

Basildon Borough Council

Planning Apprentice

Level 3 Business Administration

Oliver Hill,

North Herts District Council

Admin Support Officer

Level 3 Business Administration

Gemma Knowles,

Test Valley Borough Council

Apprentice Customer Services Adviser

Level 3 Customer Service Specialist

Zoe Spillett,

Portsmouth City Council

Trainee Workforce Development Officer

Learning & Development Practitioner

Thomas Zaidi,

Essex County Council

Project Officer Apprentice

Business and Administration level 2

 

More information about the event can be found here on the EELGA website.