Marie Husthwaite, Store Manager of SPAR Fenham, has won the Advanced Apprentice of the Year category in the North East Apprentice Awards.
The awards were held at St James’ Park in Newcastle, and Marie was chosen as the winner of her category for the impact she delivers in-store.
Apprenticeships have been integral to Marie’s development. She left university early because of a change of heart on her career direction and started working for SPAR in 2015 in James Hall & Co. Ltd’s G&E Murgatroyd company-owned retail division.
Initially on a five-hour temporary contract, Marie progressed through the ranks to become a Store Manager, having worked in other Newcastle SPAR stores including Blakelaw and Shiremoor.
Marie, 32, has completed Level 2 and Level 3 Apprenticeships in Retail along the way to support her career development, and she is about to start a Level 4 in Management with the ambition to become an Area Manager in the future.
“I’m over the moon with the award. I’m so proud and it means so much to me,” said Marie. “It was fantastic to celebrate the award alongside colleagues who have been there with me every step of the way in my retail career.
“I love my job and I’m a completely different person to who I was eight years ago when I started. I’m really excited about the future and to see where I am in eight years’ time.”
Fiona Drummond, Company Stores Director at James Hall & Co. Ltd, said: “To see Marie’s extraordinary rise makes me feel very happy. She has relished every opportunity and challenge she has taken on and this is credit to her work ethic and willingness to continuously improve.
“Marie is deserving of this award. She is a brilliant asset for the company due to her impact on the people who work with her on the shop floor, the profitability of her store, and for the positive impression she makes on customers who come through the shop door.”
James Hall & Co. Ltd serves a network of independent SPAR retailers and company-owned SPAR stores across Northern England six days a week from its base at Bowland View in Preston.