Twenty-year-old Ellen Curnow, from Redruth, has won the Accountancy Apprentice of the Year title at the Cornwall Apprenticeships Awards.

A former Pool Academy pupil who went on to do A Levels in human biology, psychology, maths and chemistry at Truro College, Ellen joined Falmouth and Truro-based Lang Bennetts Chartered Accountants as an apprentice after deciding that she didn’t want to go to university.

Now in her third year, she achieved distinction and an average 95 per cent mark in her level three accountancy exams and, currently doing level four, has her eyes firmly set on achieving chartered status.

“I spent six weeks doing work experience with Lang Bennetts during the summer holidays whilst I was at college,” said Ellen. “When it was time to leave I was surprised and delighted when Colin Truscott, one of the partners, offered me an apprenticeship.

“I didn’t want to leave Cornwall and couldn’t see the point of doing a degree that might or might not lead to a job – especially when it meant incurring large amounts of debt. I’ve really enjoyed working with the Lang Bennetts’ team and was thrilled when they nominated me for the accountancy category of the awards.”

Ellen is the second Lang Bennetts’ apprentice to win a top apprenticeship award – Kate Cooke won in 2015 and is now studying for her chartered exams with the firm.

“We’ve been committed to the apprenticeship programme since 2012 and currently have five apprentices under training – ten per cent of our total workforce,” said Lang Bennetts’ partner Helen Hood.

“Ellen’s success is so well-deserved. She was quite shy when she first joined us but is now an active member of the team who deals confidently with clients and is greatly respected by colleagues. That’s why we nominated her and why we’re all over the moon.”