When it comes to drive and determination, Stacia Read (22) is certainly not lacking. An ECITB Modern Apprentice in Business & Administration with Applus UK in Grangemouth, Stacia has spent the past four years working full time during the week, while studying in the evenings and at weekends. She has also cared for and supported her grandparents.

Such has been her commitment and dedication to her apprenticeship and her employer that last October Stacia was a finalist in the Apprentice of the Year category of the ECITB’s ECI Training and Development Awards 2021.

Originally from Hertfordshire, Stacia moved to Scotland when she was just 18 years old to take up the modern apprenticeship with Applus UK, which provides services to the testing, inspection engineering and certification sectors.

“When I left school, I knew that I wanted to do an apprenticeship, rather than go to university,” she explained.

“I struggled for a while as I applied for around 30 placements in London; however, when the position at Applus UK came up, I just knew that it was the one I wanted – both the job and the company were attractive to me. It was quite a leap at 18 to move so far from home, straight from school but I adjusted.”

Stacia’s apprenticeship training was supported by the ECITB and Forth Valley College. She also spent time in various departments within Applus, before settling in its UK Procurement department where she now provides critical support to its country-wide administrators and technical managers with all elements of procurement and fleet management. She also provides support to the Head of Procurement, managing the supplier base and helping maintain long term relationships.

With no previous experience in procurement, it was a steep learning curve for Stacia as Applus made significant changes to both its procurement department and how it supports the business, along with the implementation of several new procurement systems.

Well-known across the UK business, Stacia deals with corporate procurement colleagues in Spain and assists all administrators, materials controllers, managers and directors. She also holds a number of other positions in the business, including first aider, fire warden, and mental health champion.

Within just a month of completing the CIPS Level 3 last December, Stacia was keen to continue her studies and development, and started working towards CIPS Level 4.

She said: “The level of support I received from the ECITB and my mentor at Forth Valley College was excellent. I really couldn’t have done it without them. It’s important for me to build on what I have learned and to continue to develop myself professionally, so I have decided to carry on with my studies.”

Stacia’s mentor John Hill, Procurement Manager at Applus, is impressed with the way in which Stacia has matured into her role.

“Stacia has developed the ability to better manage people, communicate effectively and resolve any issues amicably. She always shows professionalism and commitment to her role and has developed great relationships with her peers,” said John.

“Throughout the pandemic in particular, she demonstrated sheer effort and resolve, often going over and above what I would expect of an apprentice. We are very proud to have contributed towards Stacia’s development into a highly valued member of the Applus team. Applus’ apprentices are viewed as an opportunity to build our future workforce and Stacia certainly has a bright future ahead of herself.”