Trio shortlisted for awards after they beat the odds

PUBLISHED: 17:25 26 March 2008 | UPDATED: 14:33 25 August 2010

THREE youngsters who have overcome obstacles to become apprentices have been shortlisted for an award.

THREE youngsters who have overcome obstacles to become apprentices have been shortlisted for an award.

Gemma Jones from Gravesend, Natalie Jesney from Sidcup and Stuart Borowik from West Wickham are through to the finals of this year's National Employer Service (NES) Learners First Awards.

Ms Jones, 26, was nominated for an Apprenticeship award in recognition of her teamwork and initiative as a post person at Dartford Mail Centre.

She said: "I am very enthusiastic and really enjoy motivating those around me. I started part-time and I was inspired to join the Apprenticeship and become full-time, as I could see the opportunities it offered."

Ms Jesney was shortlisted for an award for overcoming disruptions to her education including frequent relocation and caring for her terminally ill father.

She said: "Completing the apprenticeship has given me more confidence and with the support and training I received, I found that I was learning more each day without even being aware of it."

Mr Borowik was shortlisted in recognition of his skills and achievements in his key position as an HGV Driver Loader at Veolia Environmental Services.

He said: "A period of illness really gave a new perspective on my career. I battled to get my fitness back so I could do the job that I loved."

Winners of the awards will be announced at an event hosted by former British Champion hurdler Colin Jackson in Alton Towers next Thursday.

The Learners First Awards recognise the achievements of individuals employed by large businesses, who hold contracts with the NES, part of the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) to offer work-based learning programmes to their employees.

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