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Graduate wins prestigious apprenticeship award

Published: 4 March 2019 at 10:30

Vanessa Knowles and Danny Riley

Danny Riley named Apprentice of the Year by the Chartered Management Institute

An Anglia Ruskin University graduate has been named as Apprentice of the Year by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) – after originally having to leave university when he was 19 due to mental health issues.

Danny Riley, now 35, enrolled at Anglia Ruskin University in 2015, one of the first cohort to study for the Chartered Management Degree Apprenticeship, a partnership with his employer Barclays. He achieved a first-class degree and graduated in October last year. Danny now works as an Operational Learning Analyst with Barclays.

During a ceremony in Bishopsgate, London, he received the Apprentice of the Year Award from the CMI. Judges cited the impact he has had on both customers and colleagues as key reasons for their decision.

Danny, who lives in Salford, said:

“I went to university when I was 19 but had to leave due to mental health problems. This was an opportunity that came up at work by chance and I battled 5,000 other applicants to get on the programme. I have been able to exorcise my demons from back then. 

“The course has helped me to understand the importance of self-management and leadership before leading others. It’s also given me an ethical underpinning of the responsibilities of leadership and the work that needs to be done by leaders to lead a future of hope.”

Vanessa Knowles, Director of Corporate Programmes at Anglia Ruskin, said:


“I am delighted that Danny’s talent and achievements have been recognised by this award.  Danny always immersed himself in the learning process whilst completing his Degree Apprenticeship.  He read far more widely than required and applied this to his own self-awareness, development and conscious plan of what type of a leader he wants to be.  

“He is tenacious, overcoming personal challenges to be the best he can be. What really impressed me is Danny is deeply self-aware, honest and reflective; all great qualities of a leader.”