Truro and Penwith College: Kate Cooke

21-year-old Kate Cooke, of Truro and Penwith College, was awarded Cornwall’s first Apprentice of the Year for her exceptional achievements

Kate was offered a place at university, but chose to pursue the apprenticeship route with a local accountancy firm to gain valuable work experience. As Lang Bennetts’s first apprentice, she excelled in her studies, moving from an advanced apprenticeship (level 3) onto a higher apprenticeship (level 4) at Truro and Penwith College. As well as passing all her exams first time, Kate took an additional module in business tax, which was over and above what was required for her to pass her course, but what she felt she needed in order to progress her career at Lang Bennetts.

This exceptional level of commitment and performance at work, led to her being named Cornwall’s first Apprentice of the Year and Accountancy Apprentice of the Year at the inaugural Cornwall Apprenticeship Awards. The awards evening was an incredibly successful one for Truro and Penwith College, with 12 of the 13 winners coming from the college.

Helen Hood, manager and apprentice coordinator at Lang Bennetts, commented: “We have seen a shy person who knew little about the business community grow and mature over the past two years, into someone who is confident, diligent and commercially aware. Since Kate has been part of the team we have seen turnover growth of more than 10 per cent per year, each year. Kate has been part of that success.”

Since winning her award, Kate has been given a permanent contract with Lang Bennetts and is studying to become a chartered accountant.

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