A teenage apprentice has been awarded a Highly Commended award in the Inspirational Young Worker category at a Cormac awards ceremony.

Falmouth-based Gemma Hughes, 19, is completing a health and social care apprenticeship at Truro and Penwith College and is working in Cormac’s Community Services Division as an apprentice support worker, delivering domiciliary care to vulnerable people who need support with daily living in their own home.

She was recognised for her work at the Cormac Golden Awards, an evening of entertainment, food and celebration, which this year took place at the Atlantic Hotel, Newquay.

The awards recognise the dedication and hard work of Cormac’s 1,800 staff across all departments, who go above and beyond for their customers, employees and the organisation. The Inspirational Young Worker category was highly competitive and open to all apprentices, graduates and technicians who are under the age of 25 within Cormac.

Gemma’s team leader Amy Williams said: “Gemma has really embraced her role as apprentice support worker, showing dedication and a willingness to learn and be involved. This has resulted in a host of positive feedback from customers in the community and other team members. She has represented Cormac at events and encouraged other apprentices to follow in her footsteps and it has been a pleasure to have her as part of the programme.”

Like many new apprentices, Gemma was initially reserved in her role, but continuously made great strides in improving her confidence, showing willingness to take on scenarios that are challenging for someone fresh to the environment.

She said: “Winning the award was a complete shock for me, I had no idea that my colleagues nominated me for the award. It’s an achievement that I will always be proud of.”

Gemma is a dedicated and popular member of the team and has made both her colleagues and tutors proud by winning the award for her hard work. Gemma believes that the apprenticeship route is the best decision she’s ever made.

She added: “After finishing my BTEC in health and social care at Truro College, the university route didn’t seem suited to me and I became completely undecided where to go from there. I asked for support from the college who thankfully pointed me in the direction of an apprenticeship.

“My course at Truro College and job at Cormac work alongside each other so well, enabling me to complete assignments and functional skills with ease and with as much support as I need. I would recommend an apprenticeship for those like me who want to build a career with experience in the real working environment.”

Linda Hutchinson, lead co-ordinator for community studies at Truro and Penwith College, said: “This is excellent news for Gemma and we are all so pleased with how far she has come. The apprenticeship has paved the way for a great career in health and social care.”

Gemma added: “When I complete my apprenticeship, I’d love to work full-time at CORMAC and possibly move onto the level three health and social care apprenticeship in the near future.”

For more information on how to apply for an apprenticeship and experience similar opportunities to Gemma, visit the website truro-penwith.ac.uk/what-to-study/apprenticeships or contact the apprenticeship recruitment team on 01872 242711.