Nottingham teenagers recognised in learndirect Inspiration Award nominations

Two young people from Nottingham have been nominated for an award after overcoming barriers to get into work.

With youth unemployment having fallen again recently, the pair have overcome barriers to get into work through a Traineeship with learndirect.  Their achievements prompted tutors at learndirect to nominate them in the into work category of the learndirect Inspiration Awards 2015.

Jess Kaur and Marilena Stagnitto – both 17 – were struggling to get into their chosen careers due to a lack of experience.

Jess had been unsuccessful in getting onto the Apprenticeship she wanted and after a childcare placement helped her realise that wasn’t the career for her, began an administration placement. Marilena meanwhile had left college due to problems in her personal life and wanted to work in hospitality so took on a placement in a local hotel.

Since completing their Traineeships, Jess has secured a business administration Apprenticeship thanks to her improved skills and confidence and Marilena has secured a permanent job in the hotel where she completed her work placement thanks to her positive attitude and commitment.

Jess said: “It feels very overwhelming to be nominated for a learndirect Inspiration Award. I am very thankful for all the help and support from the learndirect team. I have had such a great experience and developed so much. I am looking forward to starting my Apprenticeship.”

Marilena said: “I picked up so many new skills during my work placement. I’ve got lots of confidence now which I didn’t have before. Now I’ve got a job I’ve been able to save up to buy a car which I love! I feel really proud of how far I’ve come. As my first language is Italian I even had the opportunity to translate for the Italian Prime Minister on a recent visit.”

Richard Coleman from learndirect who nominated Marilena and Jess for the award said: “Marilena made a lasting impression not only on the Traineeship programme, but also as an employee. A customer who stayed at the hotel and was served by Marilena, commented on the excellent service they received by her on Trip Advisor, which is an excellent achievement Marilena was extremely proud of.

“We decided to nominate Jess because of her determination and development over the 22 weeks on programme. She showed real drive and focus and also achieved Entry 3 in maths and a full Level 2 qualification in English whilst on programme and also completed a successful placement in business admin. She has worked extremely hard with us and is now in a business admin Apprenticeship and we feel this deserves recognition.”

The learndirect Inspiration Awards celebrate the incredible learners going that extra mile to develop their skills, as well as the businesses and learndirect centres and staff supporting them. The nominees include learners who have overcome personal difficulties to learn and have gone on to find a job or move up in their career, as well as businesses who have thrived as a result of improving the skills and motivation of their workforce through learndirect.

Nominations are open until 30 January 2015. Jess and Marilena will find out in February whether they have been shortlisted to attend a regional event at which the winners will be revealed.

For more information on the learndirect Inspiration Awards and to submit a nomination visit