A FEMALE motor mechanic apprentice has taken home a national award for public services.
Gemma Hadden won the top prize in the Transport and Vehicle Maintenance apprentice category of the Association for Public Services Excellence awards.
The Northumberland College student who works at Newcastle City Council collected her gong at a ceremony in Stoke-on-Trent.
Gemma, from Ashington, had to submit her portfolio a few weeks before the event and was presented with a glass trophy, a certificate, £50 and a trip to visit the FAUN Zoeller factory in Germany, which manufactures bin wagons.
The 25 year-old mum-of-one said: “I couldn’t believe it when my name was announced as the winner, I was so excited for my hard work to be recognised.
“I was up against three lads so I never thought I would win.”
Gemma’s job involves carrying out maintenance and repair on bin wagons, gritters, vans, grass cutters, a fleet of cars and road sweepers and she also has a HGV driving licence so that she can test drive the larger vehicles.
Gemma has won numerous awards in the time she has been a student.
In 2009, she won a car and the award for Motor Vehicle Student of the Year at the college’s annual student awards ceremony.
She first enrolled on a motor vehicle course at Northumberland College in 2009 and has progressed from entry level to level three.
She is now studying an Advanced Apprenticeship in Vehicle Maintenance and Repair.