A HUMAN resources assistant at Komatsu UK's Birtley plant has picked up a college award.

Tutors at New College Durham nominated Charys Urwin for her excellent academic results and the enthusiasm she has displayed in her HR role with the construction and mining equipment manufacturer.

The 22-year-old, who attended the college from 2017 and recently completing her CIPD Level 3 in human resource practice, was named Advanced Human Resource Support Apprentice of the Year.

Miss Urwin, from Whickham, said: “It was such an unexpected honour to win. I had worked hard and thoroughly enjoyed the course, but never for one moment thought I’d be getting an award for it. It’s been an excellent two years at Komatsu and it feels like it’s flown by. The working environment at Komatsu is brilliant. Everyone is really supportive, and there are the additional benefits we enjoy via the Sports and Social Club, which organises days out and various events for employees. I love it here.”

Tracey Bowman, HR director at Komatsu, said: “It is great to see someone as dedicated and hard-working as Charys gaining recognition for her efforts. It’s a real pleasure working with apprentices and helping them develop and grow, but it is especially rewarding when someone like Charys comes along and grabs every opportunity that comes her way with genuine enthusiasm.

“Komatsu is committed to apprentices because we know the benefits they can provide to almost every area of the business. The majority of our apprentices stay with us, progressing into permanent roles in everything from welding to HR, with many previous apprentices progressing to more senior roles too.”

Miss Urwin added: “When I spotted the apprenticeship at Komatsu, I grabbed it with both hands and haven’t regretted it for a single moment.

“The job is so varied. I can be helping to organise a factory event in the morning, speaking to people on the other side of the world at lunchtime and helping introduce a new time and attendance system in the afternoon.

“I would encourage anyone to look at opportunities in Komatsu. There’s a perception that it’s all factory-based, but there are also many roles in the office, equally important to the business. Finance, Purchasing, IT – we all receive training to the highest standard.”