Apprentice of the Year award for Co-op store star Emma

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A hard working employee has been honoured with a prestigious award for her dedication, which has seen her work her way up from being an apprentice to being in charge of a food store.

Emma Ogden, from Marshchapel, won the Apprentice of the Year Award at the Lincolnshire and Rutland Skills Awards, held at The Showroom in Lincoln.

After coming top in her category, Apprentice of the Year, Retail and Commercial, Emma was then picked from the winners of all six apprenticeship awards, which included candidates from construction, horticulture, law and ICT, to be the overall victor.

Manager Emma is in charge of Lincolnshire Co-op’s Burgh le Marsh Foodstore.

She joined Lincolnshire Co-op in October 2010 and completed an Advanced Apprenticeship at Level 3 in Retail with Boston College.

She also undertook the society’s Trainee Manager Scheme and has recently started a Foundation Degree at the University of Lincoln.

She has worked at many different Lincolnshire Co-op foodstores – including Alford, Newbridge Hill in Louth, Chapel St Leonards and Caistor – before becoming manager of the new Burgh le Marsh Foodstore in December 2012.

Emma said: “I was overwhelmed to have won, especially after hearing about all the other nominees in my category and the others. I’m also really touched that the team at Lincolnshire Co-op took the time to nominate me for the awards, it’s an honour.

“Being an apprentice and a trainee manager has given me the chance to show what I can do. It was always my aspiration to run my own store and the schemes I have been on gave me the tools and experience I needed – gaining a nationally recognised qualification helped me to say ‘Yes, I know about that – and here’s the proof.’

“I also had the chance to work across the trading area at a range of stores with different managers. All managers do the job differently and it’s been good to learn from them all and pick up what works for me.”

Lincolnshire Co-operative’s Head of People and Performance Heather Lee said: “Our apprenticeships programme is about finding and developing talented people who want to progress.

“We’re really proud of Emma for winning the overall award.

“She praised her as ‘hard working and dedicated’.