Sunderland apprentice waiting for prize news

Husna Begum
Husna Begum
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WEARSIDE apprentice Husna Begum will find out tonight if she is a prize winner.

The 18-year-old has been short-listed for a National Apprenticeship Service award.

After signing up with Sunderland employment and training specialists, Pertemps People Development Group (PPDG), Husna impressed bosses so much was offered an office administration apprenticeship at its advancement centre.

Now she is a peer mentor with the company’s Nu-Traxx programme, which is part of the government’s Youth Contract provision.

Her role sees her attending schools, groups and community events in an effort to help young people reconnect with the world of education and work.

“I’m so comfortable in the role, after all I’ve been there and know how it feels,” she said.

“Every day I tell young people that if I can get a job, so can they.

“Many feel they have little prospects but help is available and it’s important to return to learning and to access the right support.”

Husna is working towards her Level 3 NVQ in Employment Related Services and has been named a finalist in the regional heats of the Apprenticeship Service awards.

The presentation takes place at the Radisson Blu in Durham tonight.

“I’m honoured to be nominated and it’s all very exciting,” she said. “I just want as many people as possible to know how much I’ve been helped and how programmes like Nu-Traxx can help them. Leaving school with no qualifications is not the end of the line but you do need a helping hand from people who have an interest in your welfare.”