Aaron overcomes Asperger’s to triumph as Apprentice of the Year

A diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome at just nine years old has not stopped Aaron Corbin winning the Intermediate Apprentice of the Year Award 2017.

Aaron, 20, from Canford Heath in Poole, was nominated for the award by his employers at the Marsham Court Hotel in Bournemouth and received it at the launch of the Dorset Business Awards at the Italian Villa, Compton Acres, on July 6.

Asperger’s can cause difficulties with social interaction, social communication and flexibility of thinking or imagination. It can also cause sensory, motor and organisational difficulties.

Aaron first showed signs of being on the autistic spectrum as a toddler, but managed to complete a mainstream education at Carter Community College, Poole College and later at the South West Regional Assessment Centre (SWRAC), where he studied hospitality.

The Marsham Court Hotel offered Aaron an apprenticeship in September 2016, after he was ‘talent spotted’ by the hotel’s operations manager Nigel Reeve.

Nigel explained: “Prior to my role at the hotel I was a Hospitality Tutor and Apprenticeship Assessor at SWRAC and had the pleasure of teaching Aaron.

“I knew at the very moment of meeting him that there was something special about him. He had a deep interest and enthusiasm to learn.

“As soon as he finished his hospitality course I offered him a job with an apprenticeship and agreed to become his mentor – and he hasn’t looked back.

“Just six months after joining us he suggested that he should train any temporary staff coming in to work on the bar, to ensure continuity in the department.

“He is a young man who has grown up with Asperger’s which can make it difficult for him to interact with others in a social atmosphere.

“Yet he is now training other staff and was recently singled out by the AA inspector for his politeness towards guests. We are all extremely proud of him.”

The Marsham Court Hotel won the coveted *Business Engagement with Education award at the Dorset Business Awards 2016, for its commitment to working with young people.

It is a key player in HALO (Hospitality and Leisure Opportunities) a scheme which encourages youngsters to follow careers in hospitality.

The hotel also offers work experience and permanent jobs to the long term unemployed through the South West Regional Assessment Centre and is home to the innovative, new CHI ‘training school’ for young people with learning differences.

Aaron said: “My apprenticeship with the Marsham Court has given me so much: a permanent contract and the stability that comes with it, plus valuable experience and a confidence in dealing with customers I thought I would never have.

“This award is a huge boost and makes me even more excited about what I can achieve in the future, both personally and professionally.”

The Dorset Apprenticeship Awards 2017 were judged by Geoffrey Warde MBE, Ian Girling the Chief Executive of the Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Rod Davis the Chair of the Dorset and Somerset Training Provider Network.

Geoffrey Warde MBE said: “Yet again the Dorset Apprenticeship Awards have received many inspirational applications and the level of applicant in all categories was very high and gave the judges a challenge. All those who entered can be proud of their achievement.”

Picture caption:

Aaron- Left to Right: Geoff Warde MBE of GWA, Aaron Corbin of Marsham Court Hotel, Vincent Boni of The Daily and Dorset Echo and Rod Davis of DSTPN

For more information on this story please contact Debbie Granville at Deep South Media on: 07884 657782 or email: debbie.granville@deepsouthmedia.co.uk


*sponsored by Voip Unlimited.