Two  dog-grooming trainees from Writtle College have been shortlisted for the top national award for apprentices.


Kirsty Leeder, 20, and Carla Garey, 19, both from south Essex, have been selected from hundreds of entrants to go through to the London finals of the National Apprenticeship Awards 2014 in the newcomer category.


The two contenders are studying for the Animal Care qualification.


Kirsty and Carla have been gaining hands-on experience by working at Paw-fect, an Ilford based business. The National Apprenticeship Awards, now in their eleventh year, celebrate the achievements of the country’s most outstanding apprentices and apprenticeship employers.


The award winners will be announced at a ceremony organised by the National Apprenticeship Service at City Hall, London, on September 23.


Sue Husband, executive director for apprenticeships and delivery at the Skills Funding Agency, says: “Apprenticeships are thriving in England, and it’s not hard to see why. They offer ambitious young people and adults unrivalled career prospects, and give businesses an exceptional route to grow a highly qualified and motivated workforce.


“The National Apprenticeship Awards recognise the best of the best and are an excellent opportunity for individuals and employers to gain the credit they richly deserve for investing in their own futures.”


The national award winners will be revealed during an awards ceremony at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham on November 13.


To find out more about apprenticeships, visit