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Joy with Apprentice of the Year

16.11.2020

The Bedford College Group apprentice Kyra Joy has been shortlisted in the Business Excellence of the Year Awards in Northamptonshire. The winners will be announced in 2021.

Kyra started as a Business and Administration Apprentice in the Business Development Team at Tresham College, based at the Corby campus in February 2018 and successfully completed her Advanced Level Apprenticeship achieving a distinction.

From 1st August 2019, Kyra took up a full-time job as a Business Development CRM & Processes Co-ordinator and progressed on to the Higher Apprenticeship in Project Management Level 4. Kyra’s new role now focuses on the CRM system and she is now managing this on behalf of the whole The Bedford College Group.

During her time at the Group, Kyra has always excelled when working with the CRM system, initially updating and maintaining accounts.  She has a unique combination of skills – not only is Kyra very technically minded and a great problem solver, but she is also a strong people person. One of Kyra’s strengths is explaining complex technical terms to people who are less experienced with IT.  So she not only understands and uses the CRM system exceptionally well but she is also able to train colleagues to use it well too.

When new staff start at the Group and if their role involves using the CRM system, Kyra provides them with full training.  Since lockdown she has been doing that online via Microsoft Teams.  Kyra has also taken the initiative to create a CRM training manual which includes how to guides and screen shots.  This is now available on the intranet for every member of staff to access.

Kyra’s latest project is to audit the whole CRM system and manage a tender-like process to review multiple suppliers to ensure that the CRM is shaped in line with organisational needs and requirements.

Since March 2020, Kyra has been working on a new project, and has implemented a new field in the system to record any changes to the employer’s circumstances due to Covid-19.  This initiative is enabling the Business Development Team and managers at the Group to more accurately forecast apprenticeship demand and employer skills demand for 2020/21 which is particularly crucial during this time of increasing uncertainty.

Since starting at the College, in addition to her day to day work, Kyra has gone above and beyond what was expected of her by becoming an Apprentice Ambassador and promoting the benefits of apprenticeships to students, parents, the local community and even nationally.

Kyra set up the College’s first apprenticeship networking group and then became a regional apprenticeship ambassador.

Kyra said: “I like to help others and I truly believe that apprenticeships offer the best of both worlds – on the job training in addition to respected qualifications.  I want young people and their parents to understand all the benefits and all the options that are available to them and ultimately help them to become better versions of themselves.

Kyra’s initiative was recognised regionally by MP Tom Pursglove and led to Kyra becoming an official Apprenticeship Ambassador for the East Midlands area.  In March 2019 she was hand-picked to visit the House of Commons as part of National Apprenticeship Week where she engaged with key stakeholders such as European Social Funding Agency (ESFA), WorldSkills UK, National Apprenticeship Service and National Careers Service.

In June 2019, Kyra was also chosen to speak at the Tresham College Midsummer Stakeholder Reception for VIPs, key stakeholders and employers from across Northamptonshire.

Julie Hoult, Group Head of Business Development, who welcomed Kyra to the organisation, said: “Kyra constantly impresses me.  She has an amazing willingness to learn and has even taken on responsibility for coaching new staff members on the CRM system.  She has already implemented several enhancements to the system and led projects which have in turn positively impacted the organisation.

Most recently, Kyra has supported the department with a Covid-19 campaign whereby she has been able to add the necessary information into the CRM to enable the organisation to forecast accordingly.  This crucial development, which Kyra has led and driven, has allowed her to pull specific information and reports, which have then been shared with the executive team to allow them to evaluate and prepare based on the data provided. Kyra is a credit to herself, the department and the organisation and has become an integral member of staff.

In July 2020, Kyra started working with the Group’s Vice Principal Georgina Ager and was selected to be involved in the Corby Town Deal meetings as a representative for the student voice.

Ian Pryce, CBE, Principal and  Chief Executive of The Bedford College Group said: “In the short time that Kyra has been with us, she has proved to be highly self-motivated and proactive – not only championing apprenticeships throughout The Bedford College Group but also regionally and nationally too.

Kyra’s an outstanding role model for young people and a true ambassador for apprenticeships.

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