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Three apprentices in running for top retail title

One young person will be named as the town’s top retail apprentice this June at the 2019 Chesterfield Retail Awards.

Three retail apprentices have been shortlisted for the prestigious Apprentice of the Year award, sponsored by Apprentice Town, led by Chesterfield Borough Council. Rebecca McNair, a beauty therapist from The Therapy Lounge in Hasland, Kelly Jaggers, a hairdressing apprentice from Bliss Hair, Nails and Beauty in Hasland, and Laura Davies, a design apprentice at JMJ Pottery on Chatsworth Road, are all in the running for the top award.

Rebecca McNair (pictured) is one of the finalists in the Apprentice of the Year Award alongside Kelly Jaggers and Laura Davies. 

Kelly, Rebecca and Laura were nominated for the award by their employers. They will be recognised alongside 34 businesses from the town’s retail sector which have been shortlisted across 15 categories in the annual Retail Awards which are organised by Destination Chesterfield. The winners of all the awards will be announced at Casa Hotel on Wednesday 19 June.

Former Hasland Hall School pupil, Kelly Jaggers initially started her own nail business, however she jumped at the chance to develop herself further when she was offered a hairdressing apprenticeship with Bliss Hair, Nails and Beauty. Delighted to be shortlisted, Kelly (24) from Hasland said: “I was surprised when I heard I’d been shortlisted for the award. It’s great to have my hard work recognised. I enjoy my job and I love working with the team at Bliss; it really is a lovely environment to work in.”

Kelly hopes to progress onto her NVQ Level 3 in Hairdressing after recently completing her Level 2.

Rebecca McNair ensures everything runs smoothly at The Therapy Lounge and when she’s not carrying out her own treatments, she’s assisting other therapists. After completing her NVQ Level 2 in Beauty Therapy, Rebecca hopes to move on to NVQ Level 3 in Massage and Reflexology and eventually open her own salon.

The 19-year-old said on being shortlisted: “I feel really honoured and excited to be recognised at the start of my career and it has given me a real boost to reach my future goals. It’s fantastic to be working alongside other passionate and experienced therapists, with most of them starting as apprentices too.”

Carly Smith, Salon Owner at The Therapy Lounge added: “Rebecca works harder than most young people I know. She picks things up really easily and has a natural flair for the beauty industry – she’s a great asset to the team.”

Laura Davies, 24, who is currently doing an NVQ Level 3 Design Apprenticeship at JMJ Pottery, has a passion for all things creative and hopes to one day run her own pottery business.

Laura commented on being a finalist: “It was great to be put forward for this award in the first place and a privilege to be named as a finalist at the Chesterfield Retail Awards. I try to be as helpful and approachable as I can be with customers and I truly enjoy what I do – to have that acknowledged is amazing.”

Janine Mannion-Jones, Owner of JMJ Pottery added: “Laura is a wonderful person who is always willing to work hard and support others. She uses her initiative, which is incredibly important in the work we do, and I am delighted to see her shortlisted for this award.”

Alongside the Apprentice of the Year title, the Chesterfield Retail Awards will also be honouring the town’s Apprentice Employer of the Year, sponsored by Learning Unlimited. Three businesses have been shortlisted for the Apprentice Employer of the Year award – Bliss Hair, Nails and Beauty, Fresh Ideas Florist and The Therapy Lounge.

Peter Swallow, Chair of Destination Chesterfield, commented on the importance of the apprentice awards: “Apprentices, and the businesses that employ them, are integral parts of Chesterfield’s success within a number of sectors, including retail. It is great to see so many young people developing their skills through apprenticeships and making the most of the opportunities that Chesterfield businesses can deliver.”

For more information about the awards, visit the Destination Chesterfield website.