Leadership skills and positivity make Saint-Gobain’s apprentice, Samantha, a star

Leadership skills and positivity make Saint-Gobain’s apprentice, Samantha, a star

June 16, 2017
Samantha Coollegde collects the Glass Focus Award for Apprentice of the Year

An electrical maintenance apprentice from Saint Gobain’s Eggborough has won the Glass Focus Award 2017 for Apprentice of the Year. Samantha Coollegde picked up the award – which is supported by the Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers of London – for her handling of important projects and an outstanding contribution to her employer’s business.

The annual Glass Focus Awards 2017 – organised by British Glass and supported by Glass Worldwide – was held in Leeds, at the centre of our country’s great east-west glass manufacturing corridor, where nine out of ten of the UK’s largest glass manufacturers have production sites.

Apprentice of the Year was one of seven awards presented at the black-tie dinner and ceremony. In this category the judging panel was looking for a winner who had shown great achievement, contribution to their organisation and continuing development during their apprenticeship.

Samantha Coolledge won the award for her positivity and ability to be proactive in every task she undertakes. In the entry Samantha’s employer, Saint-Goabin, described her as excellent project leader who takes a leading role in meetings on a weekly basis, ensures actions are followed through to completion and that work is clearly documented.

Samantha, who will complete her electrical maintenance apprenticeship this June, has been working on the magnetron coating line and has already secured a full-time job as an electrical trade operator on the float line.

Apprentices from two other companies also received commendations at the ceremony. They were Adam Curry of Ardagh and Colin Beggan of Encirc.

Apprentice of the year is a dual award – made both by British Glass and the Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers of London – which works to stimulate interest in all aspects glass and has a special emphasis on education. Samantha will also be invited to the Glass Sellers banquet at Mansion House in London to receive the Worshipful Company’s Apprentice award in the autumn.

Peter Rawlinson, master of the Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers of London says:

“The Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers of London has supported the Apprentice of the Year award for a number of years and is delighted to do so again. It is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the achievements of apprentices and the commitment of employers to apprenticeships in the glass industry. Developing skills and retaining talent is vital to the future of our industry which is why we are delighted to support the award once again.”

The award was presented by Barbara Beadman, a member of the Worshipful Company who was part of the Glass Focus Awards judging panel. During the event Barbara emphasised how impressed the judges had been by the calibre of all the entrants. However Samantha’s leadership and project management skills – crucial in today’s world of work – made her stand out.

British Glass CEO, Dave Dalton said:

“British Glass is proud to recognise and celebrate the achievements of Samantha – a worthy winner. She and her contemporaries are the up and coming talent in the glass industry and its they who will ensure the future prosperity of glass manufacturing in the UK.”

Find out about the other winners.



British Glass is the industry’s representative body – providing insight, intelligence and leadership. It works with all parts of the supply chain to ensure that glass manufacturing, particularly in the UK, has the resources, influence and skills to remain commercially successful, innovative and sustainable.

The Glass Focus Awards are an annual event organised by British Glass and supported by Glass Worldwide. Each year the awards recognise and celebrate excellence across the glass industry. 

Saint-Gobain Glass, part of the Saint-Gobain Group, is Europe’s leading manufacturer of flat glass for the UK market. It offers a range of float, coated and laminated products designed for a wide variety of domestic and commercial applications. It operates from Eggborough in the East Riding of Yorkshire. uk.saint-gobain-glass.com/about