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Kerrie Stephens WSC Apprentice of the Year. Photo credit Clarity CopyKerrie joined Clarity’s office in Bury St Edwards as a business travel consultant after achieving top grades in her Level 3 Travel and Tourism course at West Suffolk College.

A Bury St Edmunds teenager is celebrating after being named Apprentice of the Year at a prestigious industry event.

Kerrie Stephens, 19, achieved the recognition at the annual ‘Brighter Awards’ in Manchester, organised by business travel experts Clarity, after just one year working at the company.

Kerrie joined Clarity’s office in Bury St Edwards as a business travel consultant after achieving top grades in her Level 3 Travel and Tourism course at West Suffolk College.

And she revealed the part college lecturers played in helping her towards her chosen career, which has now led to her winning a holiday in Dubai as part of her star prize.

Kerrie, 19, from Stowmarket, said: “I have a lot to thank West Suffolk College for. The course and the lecturers were great and they even helped me land a job at Clarity after they emailed me about the vacancy while I was on holiday.”

Reflecting on a role that sees her liaise with business clients to source the best hotels and travel packages, Kerrie, a former student at Stowupland High School, added: “I have really enjoyed the job since I started in September.

“But I never expected to be nominated for an award, let alone actually winning it. When they read out my name, I was shaking like a leaf.”

Clarity have run a well-established apprenticeship scheme since 2014 which guarantees a full time role at the end of successfully completing the programme.