Last year's top apprentice keeps on winning

Last year

Chris Hirsch reckons he has "struck gold" with his young apprentices Luke Smith and Betsy McKenzie.

Winning the 2016 Kingston Business Excellence Awards Apprentice Employer of the Year with Luke was the icing on the cake for his firm Holland, Hahn & Wills.

And he says the Hampton Wick wealth management firm is still winning thanks to the ongoing contribution of his young apprentices.

Twenty year old Luke is now on a Trailblazer apprenticeship and well on his way to becoming a fully qualified Paraplanner, while 19 year old Betsy is training to become the office manager.

"Luke is an asset to the firm and liked by staff and clients alike who admire his enthusiasm," said Chris, the firm's managing partner.

"The addition of our new apprentice, Betsy, is helping address the balance between youthful enthusiasm and experience. With Betsy we have once again struck gold and hope that in due course she will become our office manager."

Chris urges other apprentice employers to share their positive experiences by entering the 2017 Kingston Business Excellence Awards, organised by White Label, as a way of showing how much of an asset young apprentices can be.

"It just shows a commitment to having apprentices pays dividends," said Chris. "Not just for Luke and Betsy, but also for us as a team. It also makes us all feel younger!"

Luke Smith joined Holland Hahn & Wills in July 2013 and wants to qualify as a Chartered Financial Planner and Chartered Wealth Manager.

He said: "I love the fact that I am contributing to my firm's success and helping our clients rather than just sitting in a classroom."

Betsy McKenzie, who joined in February 2017, is on a Level 3 Apprenticeship in Business Administration, is developing a strong interest in customer service and figures.

Betsy said about apprenticeships, "It's the best thing ever! You get trained, you get qualifications and you get paid."

To enter the 2017 Apprentice Employer of the Year category sponsored by Kingston College, or any of the awards, go to