Apprentice of the Year entrant – Abbey Eames
An apprentice is sometimes thought of as a more junior member of staff, but that is far from the case for Abbey Eames.
The 29-year-old manages a depot for her employers, NWF Fuels, and has responsibility for a team of 22 including 14 drivers and eight office staff.
She manages trucks stationed at a terminal in Kingsbury and a refinery in Immingham, looking after a fleet of 13 tankers covering Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, South Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.
Abbey completed a Level 5 Operations and Departmental Manager Apprenticeship with Staffordshire University last year and is currently topping up to Level 6, with her course due to complete in summer 2024.
She has been nominated in the Apprentice of the Year category of the Staffordshire University Business Awards.
Abbey said: “The apprenticeship has helped me to grow as a person as well as in a work capacity.
“It’s been nice to interact with people from other businesses who are part of the same cohort and to learn from them.
“I’ve had to make friends and build a rapport with other people in the cohort and a new tutor for every module which has been good for my confidence.”
She added: “It can be hard working full-time alongside studying but I’m very self-motivated and it means a lot to me so I’ve made sure I’ve done everything well.”
Abbey, who manages the Nottingham and Immingham depot of NWF Fuels, has completed modules including Managing and Leading People and Teams, Managing Business Processes and Improving Your Performance. Each of these have given her a greater insight into her own job role and management.
She has been able to improve her existing skills and learn new skills, knowledge and behaviours across the apprenticeship, in particular learning new methods of managing her team and continuing her professional development.