A Newtownabbey woman has been named as Northern Ireland’s Apprentice of the Year 2010.
Stacey Sharples, from Mallusk, is employed by Mango, a major fashion retailer with a franchise in House of Fraser, Belfast.
After working in warehousing, merchandising, sales and promotions, the 22-year-old joined Mango as assistant manager in 2009.
In recognition of her exceptional talent for business management and people development, Stacey was recently promoted to her current role as manager.
She has completed her retail training with VT Group, where she is soon to complete a Level 3 NVQ in Customer Service.
She said: “It was brilliant to win it. It has been a great week.
“All my family and friends have been really proud of me. They are all delighted. I have been getting congratulation calls and cards and it has been a great time.”
Presenting Stacey with her award at a prestigious event at Belfast’s Europa Hotel, Employment and Learning Minister, Sir Reg Empey, said: “The Apprenticeships message is a simple one.
“For trainees, the programme can offer a route to employment through the development of meaningful and relevant skills.
“For employers, a skilled, highly motivated workforce gives your business the competitive edge that is vital to success in today’s marketplace.
“Now, more than ever, we must remain committed to raising the collective skills levels upon which our future prosperity depends.”
Sir Reg continued: “I congratulate Stacey on her outstanding achievement.
“Her success is an excellent example to all of the tangible rewards that the ApprenticeshipsNI programme can bring to the individual, whilst also highlighting the business benefits that follow on from investing in training.”
There are over 10,000 apprentices currently in training in Northern Ireland.