A 16-year-old trainee at Hampshire broadband provider Onestream has beaten competitors from across the South to be named Apprentice of the Year.
Ollie Baxendale took the top accolade at the PETA Alex Zemenides Apprenticeships Awards for his work at Onestream, where he was trained on the job in telesales, product knowledge, company systems, and customer service.
He was one of 21 candidates nominated by assessors for the title of Apprentice of the Year in a scheme run by PETA. PETA, formerly known as Portsmouth Engineering Training Association, is a major apprentice training provider and has around 360 apprentices working with employers across the region.
After winning the Business category – one of four categories which also included IT, Engineering and Management – Ollie was named the overall winner for 2018 and was presented with his award by the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor Ken Ellcome, at a ceremony in Portsmouth.
Darren Searle, Onestream’s Head of Telesales who has overseen Ollie’s training, said: “Ollie has been outstanding in every aspect of his role. Considering Ollie has chosen to work within the sales industry, which can be very difficult to adapt to, he has shown real maturity and professionalism since joining Onestream.
“His work rate is second to none in the office and his figures speak volumes. Every month I have set Ollie a target and he has exceeded it every time. Ollie has become an integral part of the Onestream team and this award underlines his dedication and commitment to the company.”
Ollie, from Winchester, who attended The Romsey School, said: “I feel very honoured to have won this award and I cannot recommend the apprenticeship scheme enough. I have learned so much in the time I have been at Onestream and have really enjoyed being part of such a hard-working and fun team.”
Ollie will now be potentially nominated for the Group Training Associations (GTA) England Awards, which will take place in London next year.
Among the 21 nominated for the award was Onecom apprentice Dominic Eimutavicius, who was honoured in the IT category.
Darren Ridge, CEO of Onecom, said: “I would like to congratulate Ollie on this win, which is thoroughly deserved. As one of the area’s leading technology employers, we are proud to offer an apprenticeship training programme that delivers real career progression for young people.
“Many teenagers are looking to get real-life experience and training in the workplace and this scheme allows them to do that and quickly step up the career ladder.”
[Pictured (L-R): Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Cllr Ken Ellcome, Ollie Baxendale, Tammy Baxendale, David Baxendale and Darren Searle]