With entries for the 2019 South Holland Business Awards now open, over the coming weeks we’re catching up with some past winners to find out what has changed since winning in 2018 and how the awards have benefitted them.

First up is Oliver Horne, student at the University of Lincoln National Centre for Food and Manufacturing (NCFM) and winner of the Apprentice of the Year award in 2018.

Oliver impressed the judges with the developments he’d made since leaving sixth form and his passion for his future aspirations.

Talking about why he entered the awards is Oliver: “The awards were brought to my attention by my colleague and I decided to enter because I felt over the course of my apprenticeship I’d learnt and achieved so much and it would be great to have the opportunity to shout about it.”

For Oliver, the awards were a great platform to shout about his achievements, which are something he is very proud of: “I’ve worked in such an interesting environment for a long time now, where I can thrive, constantly learning and building my knowledge and expanding my experiences.

“The award meant a lot to me because it gives recognition for things that would have otherwise been taken for granted as just being part of my job and entering and winning these awards showed how I went the extra mile in my role.”

There’s no stopping Oliver, as he is now reaching the end of his Food Industry Technical Professional integrated degree apprenticeship and tells us his plans for the future: “After almost 5 years working for the University of Lincoln, I’ve finally achieved my BSc (Hons) Food science and Technology degree, which was my goal when I first got the job as a technician at NCFM at just 17. Though I very much doubt this will be the end of my formal education and it definitely won’t be the end of my learning as I learn so much day to day at work.

“I plan on staying with NCFM, progressing in my current role. This will be full of opportunities for me as we take on more research and students, plus as we begin to expand to our new site on the new Food Enterprise zone in Holbeach.”

The Apprenticeship of the Year award showcases and celebrates the achievements of learners who have exceeded expectations and shown a dynamic approach to training.

Anyone interested in entering the awards should visit www.shb-awards.co.uk.

As always, the South Holland Business Awards wouldn’t be possible without sponsorship from local businesses and there are a range of sponsorship opportunities available for 2019, visit the South Holland Business Awards website for further information.