Nairne is named "Apprentice of the Year"

Oxfordshire County Council’s Nairne Barker has won “Apprentice of the Year” at the 2019 Apprentice awards of the Freemen of Oxford.

Nairne was nominated by her line managers and is currently the dedicated Administrative Officer to 13 senior managers within Children’s Social Care and Education.

Since joining the council in 2017, Nairne has proven herself to be, responsible and reliable as well as determined to deliver results for the managers she supports, often adopting pragmatic solutions to achieve this. Nairne also recently became an Apprentice Ambassador for our apprenticeship scheme.

Grow in confidence

Nairne said: “My Apprenticeship has taught me much more than just business administration, it has enabled me to grow in confidence and capability enormously.

“To give one example, I was never a confident public speaker before, but now I can give presentations to prospective apprentices at their schools. I can also talk one-on-one with students and their parents at events.

“This has also had a positive impact outside of work, as recently I was able to give a speech at my friends 21st birthday party, to over 200 guests. I felt confident the whole time and could really enjoy it. I couldn’t have even thought about doing that two years ago, before I began my career with the council.

“Overall, my apprenticeship has been life changing and has taught me more than I could ever imagine – I’ve gained transferable skills that I will take forward into my future career.”

Nairne’s manager Kieris Mace, nominated Nairne because of her great work ethic, enthusiasm, her exceptional ability to listen, learn and act.

Nairne works for a department with vulnerable children and families at its core, which demands resilience and sensitivity. It’s not always an easy balance to strike but she continues to demonstrate self-awareness and strength in building relationships.

In her role as an Apprentice Ambassador, Nairne plays an important role in recruiting our future workforce by talking to young people about the opportunity an apprenticeship provides.

About Freemen

Freemen were formed in the middle ages in many towns in England and Wales from the guilds of merchants and craftsmen. As a craft guild organisation, the continued existence of Freemen over the centuries and the prosperity of Oxford has been due to the promotion and encouragement of apprenticeships. The Apprentice Award Scheme is an opportunity for the Oxford Freemen to promote the theme that historically Freemen have pursued to make Oxford such an important city.