Teen spirit be­hind Joanne’s suc­cess

Daily Mail - - Career Mail - fes­ti­val­oflearn­ing.org.uk SARAH HARRIS

TeN years ago, not long af­ter her first son was born, young mum Joanne Abra­ham started an ap­pren­tice­ship in busi­ness ad­min­is­tra­tion aged 17.

Now, the 28-year- old from St He­lens, mersey­side, is a direc­tor with the UK’s lead­ing cham­ber of com­merce.

Start­ing with a Level 2 ap­pren­tice­ship, she soon pro­gressed to Level 3 and qual­i­fied as an as­ses­sor and teacher. At 22, Joanne be­came a train­ing ad­viser with St He­lens Cham­ber, pro­vid­ing sup­port for busi­nesses, and was team leader two years later.

With am­bi­tions to be­come a se­nior man­ager, Joanne be­gan a Level 5 ap­pren­tice­ship in man­age­ment in 2016.

Now a direc­tor of train­ing ser­vices, Joanne is re­spon­si­ble for a team of 40 as well as more than 700 ap­pren­tices.

Her el­dest son, Thomas, is aged 11, and now has a younger brother, Steven, eight.

The mother of two is pas­sion­ate about their learn­ing and says she makes sure that op­por­tu­ni­ties are avail­able to all, re­gard­less of the chal­lenges they face.

‘Learn­ing has changed my life,’ adds Joanne. ‘I love my job, and my ap­pren­tice­ships have given me the skills and knowl­edge to have a pos­i­tive im­pact in the com­mu­nity and to make a dif­fer­ence.’ Her next goal is to achieve a Level 7 (de­gree level) ap­pren­tice­ship.

Joanne’s com­mit­ment to life­long learn­ing has been recog­nised this week at the Fes­ti­val of Learn­ing Na­tional Awards Cer­e­mony in Lon­don, where she was highly com­mended.

The an­nual, na­tional cam­paign is led by the Learn­ing and Work In­sti­tute and is sup­ported by the Depart­ment for ed­u­ca­tion. It cel­e­brates the out­stand­ing achieve­ments of in­di­vid­u­als, em­ploy­ers and learn­ing pro­vi­sion.

Joanne’s nom­i­na­tor, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of St He­lens Cham­ber Kath Boullen, says: ‘Joanne is a re­mark­able young woman who has grasped every op­por­tu­nity to learn and de­velop her career.

‘She has pro­gressed rapidly within our busi­ness, and now has sole re­spon­si­bil­ity for a bud­get in ex­cess of £2 mil­lion.’

The Fes­ti­val of Learn­ing’s Have A Go month runs through­out June and aims to en­cour­age more adults and fam­i­lies to par­tic­i­pate in learn­ing.

Hun­dreds of free taster events, open days, on­line cour­ses and talks are hosted by learn­ing providers across the coun­try.

Com­mit­ted to learn­ing: Joanne Abra­ham

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