Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 09.20.35A North East apprentice, Zak Hubbard, who currently travels over four hours per day to get to and from work has won a fully-funded driving instruction package following a hotly contested region-wide competition overseen by NE Procurement as part of their Future Sparks regeneration fund. The fund is operated by NE Procurement, a North East based procurement consortium supporting social landlords.

Zak, 22, is a Customer Services Apprentice with Newcastle Furniture Service (NFS), a trading arm of Your Homes Newcastle and currently travels from Durham to Newcastle (including taking four buses) to get to work every day and yet still finds time to volunteer as a coach with Newcastle Eagles.

The driving package was awarded to Zak after judges from NE Procurement’s supply chain partners reviewed the many applications. The submission clearly demonstrated Zak’s full dedication to his apprenticeship. NE Procurement ran the competition to find an apprentice working in their member organisations who could benefit from a driving package, with contestants and their line-managers having to explain why they thought they deserved the opportunity.

NE Procurement recognise that being able to drive helps anyone to be more employable, yet funding driving lessons can be too costly for an apprentice.

Zak will receive a provisional licence, theory test support, practical lessons and will have all test fees covered when he starts learning to drive in May 2015.

Zak said: “I want to say thank you so much for this opportunity, I can’t believe I was picked and really just want to get started now. I am getting my finances in order so I can get a car when I pass.”

Rod Brasington, Chief Executive of NE Procurement, said: “We were impressed with the hard work and dedication of all of the apprentices, but Zak’s work-ethic really stood him out from the crowd. Having met Zak I can see he is a great asset to the NFS team and is destined for great things.”