Top marks for trailblazing apprenticeship duo

A talented Derbyshire duo have hit top marks after becoming among the first in the country to complete a trailblazing customer-focussed qualification.

Lois Statham and Lauren Wheatcroft, who work for East Midlands housing provider Futures Housing Group, achieved distinctions in the brand new Customer Service Practitioner Apprenticeship Standard. The pair work in customer services at Futures which manages nearly 10,000 affordable homes throughout the region.

Lois Statham, 18, from Swanwick, said: “I feel like all my hard work has paid off in passing the apprenticeship, and it has motivated me to see what else I can do in the future.

“An apprenticeship in customer services has given me so much more confidence and skills that will help me both in and out of work.”

Lauren Wheatcroft, 18, from Belper, said: “I am very happy and proud of myself for achieving not only a pass but a distinction. It’s given me the confidence and motivation to see what else I can take on within the business.

“Apprenticeships are very worthwhile as not only are you actively learning but you are also earning money as well and gaining life skills and qualifications that will benefit you in whatever career you’d want to go in as you are gaining experience which employers want.”

Suki Jandu, Group Director of Customer Experience and Assets at Futures, said: “Congratulations to Lois and Lauren who are among the first people in the country to achieve this new apprenticeship standard.

“Customer experience is extremely important to Futures, and these skills are valuable to any organisation in any industry. We’re thrilled to be able to support our apprentices in this way.”

Lois and Lauren completed their qualification with Nottingham-based Access Training, a further education provided which is co-owned by Futures.

Corrina Hembury, Access Training’s Managing Director, said: “We are very proud of Lois and Lauren’s achievement and delighted that the support they received from Access has helped them to obtain the top grade in their apprenticeship.

“Access partners with employers across the East Midlands to deliver training and it’s so rewarding to see businesses and individuals benefiting from these programmes.”

The new style apprenticeship standard required Lois and Lauren to present a showcase of evidence to an external assessor in order for them to become fully qualified customer services practitioners.

Futures aims to have 10% of its workforce made up of apprentices, helping to offer skills and opportunities for future generations.

For more information on apprenticeships with Futures Housing Group, visit

For more information on Access Training, visit

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