Abbey Fenton, who works at the Funky Viking independent children’s shoe shop in the town, was recognised at the Skillsmart Retail Rising Stars Awards, run by Retail Week, held at London’s glitzy Grosvenor House Hotel on Thursday 8 September and attended by top names from the retail sector.
The 18-year-old triumphed over stiff competition at the award ceremony and was presented with her award by Ryman Chairman and Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis.
Abbey, a previous Cavendish School pupil and Park College student, is undertaking a level 3 NVQ in Retail Management which she started last September with Sussex Downs College.
Theo said: “Being highly commended in the Apprentice of the Year award is a massive achievement. The competition was of a very high standard and Abbey is a great example of the drive, commitment, enthusiasm and sheer passion required to make it in retail.
“Abbey shows every sign of becoming one of tomorrow’s retail leaders and I look forward to seeing her develop her career in what I believe to be the most dynamic and exciting industry.”
Abbey said: “This has been a great night and being highly commended feels fantastic, it’s great to have my hard work recognised. I really love working for an independent and feel my contributions are valued and make a real difference. We’re hoping to expand in the next year and I want to put my new skills to good use and take on more responsibility.
If you would like to know more about apprenticeships and how Sussex Downs College can help you either as an employer or as a potential apprentice contact one of our skills advisers on 0845 2302 007 or email Employertraining@sussexdowns.ac.uk