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  • Writer's picturePaul Andrews

Sheffield Hallam Apprentice Wins Sector’s Highest Honour


Sheffield Hallam University degree apprentice Francesca Hume has been named Degree Apprentice of the Year at the National Apprenticeship Awards, considered the most prestigious award ceremony for UK apprentices.


A BSc Packaging Professional degree apprentice, Francesca works with GSK plc, currently based in Research & Development. She is also a STEM ambassador and a passionately promotes careers in the industry.


The Apprentice of the Year award is facilitated by the Department for Education and recognises those who have made exceptional contributions to their employer, while progressing their personal skills and studies.


On winning the award, Francesca said: “I am thrilled to have been awarded this award. Pursuing an apprenticeship with GSK and Sheffield Hallam University has allowed me to gain technical skills and confidence, helping me to progress in the workplace. I have been so well supported on my academic journey by Hallam, and I would recommend the packaging professional degree apprenticeship to anyone wishing to develop or upskill in the industry.”


Sheffield Hallam is home to the National Centre of Excellence in Degree Apprenticeships (NCEDA). Its Packaging Professional degree apprenticeship is the only course of its kind in the UK; students work in the packaging supply chain on projects including the development of new recyclable and sustainable materials.


Dr Iain Garner, Dean of College, Social Sciences and Arts at Sheffield Hallam University, said: “Everyone at Hallam is tremendously proud to see Francesca win this award, which caps an incredibly successful year for our apprenticeship staff and students. Francesca’s exceptional work with a major multinational business like GSK is a fantastic example of the ways which degree apprenticeships can open doors for students and turbocharge careers."


“As home of the National Centre of Excellence in Degree Apprenticeships, we are proud to provide the UK’s only undergraduate degree program focused on the packaging supply chain. Degree apprenticeships offer opportunities for people from all kinds of backgrounds, in all manner of critical industries. Through courses like this one, we are training the next generation of leaders – people who will go on to work on crucial issues like the future of sustainable packaging.”


Francesca’s award follows success for Hallam packaging students and staff at the Food & Drink Federation (FDF) awards, the North East National Apprenticeship Awards and the UK Packaging Awards in 2023.


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