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Big award for apprentice who goes the extra mile

A Middlesbrough Council apprentice has been crowned the first winner in a new category at the Tees Valley BME Achievement Awards 2019.

Arooj Amjad has been involved in some of the biggest events in Middlesbrough - including the BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend - and always "goes the extra mile" to support others.

Her work has led to her winning the first ever Apprenticeship Category at the annual BME awards event aimed at awarding a person who had excelled in their company and demonstrated passion and commitment in their work, promoting diversity.

After completing one year at college, Arooj, 20, from Middlesbrough, completed a Level 2 Business Administration Apprenticeship while employed in Middlesbrough Council's Commissioning and Procurement Team.

Within six months of her Apprenticeship, she was seconded into a full-time employed role to cover a colleague's maternity leave.

Arooj then moved teams to commence a Level 3 Public Service Operational Delivery Apprenticeship, working for Culture, Communities and Communication Service where she has managed a range of projects including the Mid-Summer Banquet in the Town Hall, International Women's Day, celebrating the opening of the Town Hall and event managing the Council's Annual Team Awards.

She has also been involved in many additional projects such as providing support for the BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend, a Cake Fest Event, Middlesbrough's Annual Mela, organising pop up performances and street orchestra, the Living our Values Event, BME Network Events and the Staff Lottery.

Arooj has also been actively involved in corporate projects for the Council.

Her manager, Middlesbrough Council's Head of Cultural Services Charlotte Nicol, said: "Arooj has done fantastic work with the Cultural Service.

"Throughout her time carrying out her apprenticeship, Arooj has been professional and has built excellent relationships with myself and her colleagues.

"Arooj goes the extra mile to support customers and clients from a wide range of cultures and she supports clients who have additional support needs.  Arooj manages her time very well and always has a positive attitude.  She rises to any challenge that I set for her."

Her Learning Coach Maria Ferguson said: "Arooj has been a competent and enthusiastic learner throughout her Level 2 and Level 3 Apprenticeships. She is supportive of her peers and is a pleasure to teach."

Arooj is now ready for her End Point Assessment for her apprenticeship and is aiming for a Distinction Grade. Following her Assessment, Arooj will be starting work in a new team and studying for a Degree Level Apprenticeship in Management, to help her progress in her chosen career of project management.

Pictured: Middlesbrough Council apprentice Arooj Amjad (L) pictured receiving her Apprenticeship Category award at the Tees Valley BME Achievement Awards 2019. Arooj is pictured with George Ritchie MBE (C), Chair of the North East Apprenticeship Ambassadors Network who presented the award and Nazir Afzal (R), former Chief Crown Prosecutor and Host of the BME Awards.