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Ashleigh Porter-Exley

Ashleigh Porter-Exley

Winner of the ‘Young Apprentice’ and Queen’s Young Leader award 2015

Lord Sugar and Now her Majesty the Queen….

Ashleigh won the final series of the BBC1 show the Young Apprentice and has recently been named as a Queens young leader and Apprenticeship & Enterprise Ambassador for the UK

Ashleigh who is currently only 20 years of age started work at the age of 13 and at one point worked 4 jobs alongside her studies. At school Ashleigh was never a naturally academic student but worked hard to achieve 14 GCSE grade C and above which enabled Ashleigh to secure herself an Apprenticeship in accountancy. She then moved on to an Advanced apprenticeship with the UKs Number 1 Letting agents whilst studying Business and administration.

At the age of 17, Ashleigh was chosen to be a candidate on BBC Young apprentice. A record number of 38,000 people applied for the show with Lord Sugar choosing Ashleigh as the winner down to her “Sheer and utter graft”. Since the show, Ashleigh has worked with thousands of young people across the country representing various organisations with vested interest in young people. These include Inspiring learning, Aspire Achieve Advance and The National Enterprise challenge. Ashleigh has more recently been named as a Queens young leader for her hard work and passion as an Apprenticeship & Enterprise Ambassador for the UK.

Ashleigh hopes to show students that its ambition combined with drive that gets you places. She didn’t achieve A* at school nor does she come from a wealthy background yet has gone on to achieve great things so far! It’s not about where you come from or how academically smart you are, it’s about where you are going and how much you want to achieve. Don’t let anyone hold you back!

Testimonials from Teachers

"The students were engaged and the story and message was good."

– Tony Marks, Assistant Headteacher, Carleton High School

"Ashleigh was fantastic! She really worked the room and the young people really engaged with her. By the time it came around to the Q&A section, we could have gone on for another hour. Thank you very much!"

– Seetal Jassal, Outreach and Widening Participation Co-ordinator, The University of Sheffield

"The event went really well thank you. Ashleigh's speech was fantastic - the kids loved her & it hit all the key points we were wanting to get across to them - I'd love it if we could make it a yearly thing."

– John Crofts, PSHE & Careers Coordinator/Teacher of PE, Forge Valley School

"Ashleigh was really very good. She is a confident individual that is a real natural in these types of situations. Her talk and various anecdotes were well received and she maintained the attention of all present with her interesting and amusing talk."

– Colm Kealy, Head of Business, Shrewsbury School

"Ashley was fantastic during the day, personable and enthusiastic, and worked well with our other business visitors and staff. She was very hands on and really enthused and motivated the students. We had tasked her with a tough day circulating rooms and she really took on board her role and was a credit to your company - showing excellent teaching credentials throughout the day too.

Finally, in our school assembly, though we had some minor organisational issues to contend with, when speaking to our audience Ashley had them all captivated for the time - so this was excellent!"

– Jake Collings, English and Business Studies, Wildern School

"I heard Ashleigh speak at an Apprenticeship celebration event. She is an inspiring young woman who has so much energy to share, that she can influence and coach other young people (and adults!) to take on the World."

– Di McEvoy-Robinson, Joint Owner of 3aaa Aspire Achive Advance

"Ashleigh proved to be very warm, funny and entertaining I think it's really appreciated hearing from a youngster who was only two years ahead of them but had a tale to tell. Thanks and kind regards"

– Peter Crowe, Tibshelf College

"I wanted to quickly email you to say thank you for your support at yesterday's conference. Your presentation was pitched perfectly for the audience and your willingness to involve yourself made such a difference - particularly the table drumming, award giving Entrepreneur section!"

– Cathryn Henry, North Hertforshire College

"The feedback from Ashleigh’s visit has been fantastic. The girls all felt that they were able to connect with her and really engaged in Ashleigh’s presentation. Comments of ‘how inspiring ’ and ‘look what she has been able to achieve in such a short space of time.’ They found the presentation original, inspiring, inventive and fun. High praise indeed! "

– Amanda Askew-Higgin, Queen Margaret’s School

"Last Friday was quite simply amazing! Ashleigh was such an outstanding speaker and the event could not have gone any better. She was fantastic with the children and really inspired them - they were all so inspired by her and delighted to meet her!! Having Ashleigh there created a buzz for the event and we would definitely love to her back again!"

– Robin Flack, Assistant Head, Warren Primary School

"It was fantastic, after a quiet start it was good to see the students become engaged in what they were doing. We would definitely contact you again in the future. I think the students appreciated and could communicate with you being just a little bit older than them – comments were they felt at ease with you and enjoyed that you weren't ‘a boring speaker’. It was nice to see them get involved and a few of them actually came out with good ideas."

– Alexandra Bailey, Administrator MC6

"Thoroughly enjoyed by the student’s it encouraged our students to handle uncertainty and respond positively to change, to create and implement new ideas and ways of doing things, and to take and manage risks. It helps them develop a 'can do' attitude and the drive to make ideas happen."

– Vicki Mee, Merchant Taylor's School​

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