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Charlotte is Magic – and she’s up for an Apprentice of the Year award to prove it!

1st November 2022

When Charlotte Oakely first started her Business and Administration apprenticeship in 2017, little did she realise how integral she would become to InXpress Birmingham South’s franchise owner, Neil Hatt. Nor could she foresee the success she’s enjoying in work, would shine a light on her with her Apprenticeship provider, Performance Through People. Charlotte, who completed level four of her original course, and started a new apprenticeship in Sales this summer, has just been announced as a finalist at this year’s Great Birmingham Apprenticeship of the Year award.


It came as a complete surprise to Charlotte when her training provider, Performance Through People, said they were going to put her forward. She was even more surprised when she was announced as a finalist! “I really didn’t expect to be shortlisted,” she says, “so to be a finalist is a really good achievement, and I feel so proud. I’m glad I can make Neil proud, as well.”


In August 2017, Charlotte initially began a two year apprenticeship with InXpress, primarily to support Neil and his Senior Shipping Consultant, Alex Petrides, and learn about sales, “I wanted to do an apprenticeship because I thought it would give me the best hands-on experience. When I was in college, I loved business studies. So, having the opportunity to work with Alex has helped me focus – I’ve learned so much from him over the last five years. Neil and the team have really supported me with both my studies, and my professional development.”


As Neil says, “Charlotte is an integral part of the team and works absolute wonders. But she's also got this huge bulk of work for her apprenticeship – writing essays, and preparing presentations. The fact she's been recognised at this level is phenomenal. I absolutely take my hat off to her energy, drive, and commitment; it makes me tired just thinking about trying to juggle everything she has to!”


This has become even more apparent as Alex – who Charlotte usually works with – is currently on paternity leave. So, Charlotte has picked up most of what he does, as well as her own work. “To cover the InXpress UK’s #1 Salesperson in a network of over 107, and one of the InXpress Global’s top performers, is not a small task! Alex's emails divert across to her, and Charlotte manages everything he’d have done. She expertly handles all customer issues and enquiries and I don’t have to worry about it, allowing me to focus on the new expansion to my business.”


Charlotte says she finds the balance of studying and working quite easy to manage, and sees the apprenticeship scheme as being a valuable asset to her future, especially having been shortlisted for this year’s award. “It’s given me a real confidence boost!”


The InXpress Birmingham South team are keeping all fingers crossed for Friday 11th November, in the hope Charlotte will beat the two other finalists in her category to bring home the award.