Apprentice of the Year 2021: Karis Hays

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Each year, we take the time to reflect on the success of our apprentices through our annual Apprentice of the Year award! Our apprentices are at the heart of everything we do, their hard work and achievements are something that we love to celebrate.

We received a vast amount of nominations from our employers who took the time to share with us the impact that our learners have had on their organisation, making choosing a winner a difficult task! However, one nomination stood out due to the incredible difference this apprentice has made to her team, and the outstanding personal development they have demonstrated in just a few short months.

Our Apprentice of the Year 2021 is Karis Hays who is completing our Level 3 Digital Marketing apprenticeship with The Progress Group. Here’s why Karis is this year’s winner:


There is nothing more rewarding for us than hearing about the outstanding achievements of our learners in their workplace and the difference they make on a daily basis.

We caught up with Catherine Percival, Marketing and Communications Executive at The Progress Group, who gave us an insight into Karis’ development through her apprenticeship journey and how she is going from strength to strength in her role:
“Karis should be very proud of how far she has come in the past 4 months. She has been a valuable addition to the team and is shaping into a young professional marketer.

“Within the short space of time that we have had Karis, we have seen her grow not only as a professional, but her self-confidence has really improved, thanks to her apprenticeship and the support she is receiving.

“Karis is now starting to contribute to our Marketing team meetings with updates on her activities as well as feeding back on her training. This has been one of Karis’s biggest accomplishments which I am sure she would agree! In October, Karis would hide away silently behind other members of the team during meetings, and it’s absolutely brilliant that we are starting to hear her voice and ideas.”

This is a fantastic example of our #GrowYourOwn ethos, with outstanding support and guidance from her mentor Catherine and knowledge gained from her apprenticeship, Karis has become a key member of the Marketing team at The Progress Group.


Apprenticeships are a long term investment for any business. With the right support in place, they can make a valuable contribution from day one and even become a future leader of your business!

Catherine gave us an insight into the value Karis has added, and the difference she has made to the companies social media since joining the team in October 2020:

– 22% increase in Twitter followers from Nov 20 – Feb 21
– 17% increase LinkedIn Followers from Nov 20 – Feb 21
– 14% of overall website traffic has come from social media with a 4% goal conversion (submitted enquiry form)

Although the perception of apprenticeships is shifting, many people still have misconceptions about them. Karis is a perfect example of how hiring an apprentice can make a dramatic difference to performance and take you one step closer to achieving your business goals.

Greatest Achievement 

Hiring an apprentice can make a huge difference in the short-term, and witnessing their personal development and growth in confidence can be a lot more rewarding than any business objective they meet. Catherine explains Karis’ greatest achievement since she started with The Progress Group:

“There are a number of achievements that Karis should be very proud of including her digital campaign in which she planned, implemented and reported on the outcomes, seeing the campaign through from start to finish, which was excellent.

“Karis’s biggest achievement has to be her boost in confidence. Four months ago, Karis was extremely quiet, and we did worry that this may hold her back. This wasn’t the case! She has come on leaps and bounds since then, throwing herself into the deep end, and really making the effort to get involved and build on her relationships not only with the marketing team, but with members of staff across the wider group.

“We are positive that with the continued hard work and commitment that we have seen so far from Karis, that she has a bright future ahead of her and that she will strive for excellent results whilst on her Apprenticeship programme.”

A Message from Karis:

“I am extremely grateful to have received the award of apprentice of the year. The marketing team at The Progress Group have supported me both professionally and personally since I joined the company 6 months ago. They have made me feel a valued member of their team and encouraged me to explore things out of my comfort zone. I am excited to see what new challenges lie ahead with them.”

On behalf of all the team at Baltic, congratulations Karis on your success so far. We are proud to call you our Baltic Apprentice of the Year 2021 and keep your eye on the post for your shiny new award!

Nominate your Apprentice for our Apprentice of the Month Award!

At Baltic, we love to celebrate success! If your apprentice is going above and beyond, why not nominate them for Apprentice of the Month?

To nominate your Baltic apprentice, send us a 200 word nomination to