Accounting Apprentice, Lisa Grimes, received the Highly Commended Award at the Skills for Business Awards on 9 June 2016 in the Higher Apprentice category.

Lisa works at Creative Support, a nationwide not for profit organisation  based in Manchester city centre.  Creative Support provides care and support to vulnerable adults who have a wide range of needs.  Lisa began her journey at the age of 17 when she joined a pre-apprenticeship programme at the Skills Company, where she gained her AAT Level 2 in Accounting, before starting her apprenticeship at Creative Support.

Lisa completed her Level 3 apprenticeship in accounting in 12 months, and progressed to her Level 4.  As her responsibilities at work grew, Lisa found it difficult to balance her studies with the increasing demands of her job, but with the encouragement of her manager, Michelle Knowles and her Skills Company trainer, Jillian Ward, she came through the difficulties and passed all her exams with flying colours.

Lisa is now considering taking her studies further and enrolling on a Chartered Institute of Management Accounting course in September this year.  Lisa said “Without the help from the Skills Company and my manager, Michelle, I wouldn’t be where I am today, not only do I have a good job, I’m now the proud owner of a car and I’m on the property ladder, buying my first house”.

Lisa was also the winner of The Skills Company's Apprentice of the Year Award.

The Skills Company had two other shortlisted nominees on the night - Truckcraft Bodies in the Manufacturing and Engineering Skills for Business category and Michelle Knowles from Creative Support in the Learning and Skills Champion category.