Health and safety proves a winner for Lancashire apprentice

Lancashire’s apprentice of the year has been named as Paul Coward, a health and safety officer at James Hall and Co. Ltd.

By Tim Gavell
Saturday, 9th April 2022, 12:30 pm

Paul, 47, was crowned winner of the Higher or Degree Apprentice of the Year category at the Lancashire Apprenticeship Awards 2022, held at Mill Farm Sports Village.

Paul said he was “extremely happy” to win the award and recently completed his Level 5 Operations Manager Apprenticeship with Distinction.

He was one of a trio of James Hall and Co. employees shortlisted for the Lancashire Apprenticeship Awards 2022. Fellow finalists from the company were Rachael Hart, warehouse training coordinator, who was shortlisted in the same category as Paul, and Ashley Mercer, a maintenance supervisor, who was in the final in the Intermediate Apprentice of the Year category.

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Paul Coward - Apprentice of the Year

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Paul said: “I feel extremely happy to receive recognition for my work. I’ve worked with various operational managers who have helped me develop and grow at James Hall and Co and I’ve also had fantastic support from the company apprenticeship provider Penshaw View.

“I didn’t achieve very well at school and found that though I had the knowledge, I seemed to freeze and go blank in exam conditions. Through the blended learning and guidance in apprenticeships, you can display and discuss, show what you know, and how you know it. I think this is a better demonstration of you as a person and the ability that you have.”

Paul began his career with James Hall on the production line in food manufacturing 12 years ago, before moving into the training team, and latterly health and safety.

Jayne Morgan, Head of Health and Safety at James Hall & Co. Ltd, said: “Paul joined the Health and Safety department during the pandemic, which was a very challenging period to begin a new role, as our department had to be extremely reactive to ever-changing guidance. Paul took to the position quickly and has been a great strength to the business during the last two years.

“His skillset has really flourished through his apprenticeship, and this includes his communication and time management which have improved tremendously. Paul also now thinks more holistically about the business and the long-term impact of any actions and plans that he does as an individual or he advises management on, helping him to reach the best decision. He is very deserving of this apprenticeship award.”