Apprentice wins Apprentice of the Year at the CICM British Credit Awards

28th April 2021

Last month an Apprenticeships at Salford City College apprentice won the prestigious Apprentice of the Year Award at the CICM (Chartered Institute of Credit Management) British Credit Awards.  

Alicja Gracjasz, Central Credit Controller at Valor Hospitality Partners and also an apprentice at Apprenticeships at Salford City College, was nominated for the award by her manager in conjunction with the College.

Starting her apprenticeship two years ago, after moving to the UK having just completed her degree, Alicja decided that she wanted to get into the Credit Control industry. After enrolling herself onto a course at Apprenticeships at Salford City College, she managed to secure a job at Valor Hospitality Partners working at the AC Hotel in Salford Quays.

Two years later, Alicja explained: “My apprenticeship has taught me so much and allowed me to put all the theory that I have learnt into practice. I wouldn’t have come so far and excelled as much as I have without the help of my manager Katherine Bailey and Karen Finney from Apprenticeships at Salford City College.

“They have given me such great support, especially throughout the pandemic which has been a challenge for everyone.”

Taking place annually, The British Credit Awards recognise the stand out achievements of the most deserving individuals, teams and organisations in the international credit industry. After winning the Apprentice of the Year Award, Alicja said: “When I found out that I had won the award I was surprised because I didn’t even know that I was nominated. Especially after everything that has happened, it felt incredibly rewarding and like my hard work and determination had paid off.”

Alicja with the Apprentice of the Year award

Apprenticeships at Salford City College Management Training Associate, Karen Finney, has been working with Alicja over the duration of her apprenticeship. In 2019 Karen won the CICM British Credit Awards ‘Mentor of the Year’. Speaking of Alicja’s achievements, Karen explained: “Alicja’s manager Katherine Bailey works as a tutor for the CICM and she suggested to me that we should nominate her for the award. Throughout the pandemic it has been a real challenge for Alicja due to the fact that she was made redundant whilst living alone so far away from her family. But throughout all of this, she has managed to keep up with all of her studies and overcome a vast range of challenges.”

She added: “We are all so very proud of her and this prestigious achievement.”

Apprenticeships at Salford City College Management Training Associate, Karen Finney

Upon finishing her apprenticeship, Alicja hopes to progress into a higher role within the industry and is excited to see what the future holds.  

If you are interested in finding out more about apprenticeships, then contact the Apprenticeships at Salford City College team on: 0161 631 5555 or apprenticeships@salfordcc.ac.uk.