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Bury Apprentices Shine in National Awards

Published: 28th February 2012 16:53

Two apprentices with Bury Council are well on the way to success after impressing experts on the national stage.

Marisa and MelMarisa Garcia and Melanie Lampert at the
national awards ceremony

Melanie Lampert and Marisa Garcia were runners-up in the Young Local Authority of the Year 2012 awards.

The awards aim to help those at the start of their local government career with their personal and professional development, such as improving their written, verbal, research and presentation skills.

Melanie is an apprentice with Bury Sport and Physical Activity Service, while Marisa is an apprentice with the council's legal division.

They won the right to represent Bury after giving a "Dragons' Den" style presentation to judges including council chief executive Mike Kelly.

The national awards were held in Lancaster, with 19 teams competing for the title. The Bury duo used the London Olympics and Paralympics as the inspiration behind their presentation "Using 2012 to create a lasting legacy for Great Britain".

Melanie said: "Before taking part in YLAOY the thought of speaking in front of people filled me with dread. Now, I can't wait to do it again! Had I not been an apprentice for Bury Council, I would never have had this incredible opportunity, so I can only thank all those who helped me along my journey.

"Whether we won or lost, I would have still learned a great deal and enjoyed the whole experience, so coming away with the title of Runner-up is a huge honour and a bonus. The pride and sense of achievement I now feel is invaluable and I will forever remember the experience."

And Marisa added: "It was an enjoyable and hugely valuable experience to represent Bury Council at the YLAOY Awards. The event was well organised and it was great to network with people from local authorities across the country. It was the first time I had ever delivered a presentation to a room: like Mel, I now want to do it again! Taking part in the competition has developed my presentation skills and boosted my confidence. I feel proud that we finished as runners-up and hope we did our bit to put Bury on the map!"

The feedback the pair received from the adjudicators was glowing.

Chief adjudicator Kenneth Roy said: "This presentation was ultra slick, ultra stylish, fluent, flawless and perfectly timed. They way they included and engaged the audience was super.

"As the famous golfer Gary Player once said, the harder I practise the better I play. This was evident: Marisa and Melanie had clearly rehearsed well. Near perfection."

Councillor Trevor Holt, executive member for human resources and performance, said: "I want to congratulate all of the apprentices who took part in the Dragons' Den, for they too said it was a great learning experience. For Melanie and Marisa in particular they have done themselves and Bury proud, and we're delighted to have them on the team. I've no doubt that they have a great career ahead of them.

"As part of our Backing Young Bury plans, we will be taking on 30-plus corporate apprentices over the next three years and, with our partners in Team Bury, aim to give many more young people a chance to gain work experience and subsequently jobs."

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