Apprentice Kristina carves out a career in steel
A young Croatian woman who was unable to understand the accent in her new Sheffield home has gone on to become an award winning apprentice in the city’s steel sector.
Kristina Kolar works at Murray Steel, a stockholder which supplies specialist profiled steel plates to companies across the UK. She was highly commended as one of five finalists from across the UK in the National Association of Steel Services apprentice of the Year Awards last autumn and has now been nominated for Apprentice of The Year in the Made in Sheffield Awards.
Kristina said: “A career in the steel sector was never in my thinking, but I’ve found my dream career. Steel is an important part of the heritage of the city I now call home and I am proud to be working in it.”
Tammy Laws, Business Support Manager of Murray Steel, said: “We are tremendously proud of Kristina's achievements. She is an asset to the team and has a bright future ahead of her. To make the final five in our sector's apprentice awards was a huge achievement and very much deserved.”
Kristina came to Sheffield from Zagreb, Croatia, in 2014 as an EU citizen with her sister Petra after their lorry driver father secured work in Stockbridge.
“I didn’t want to leave my friends and my country. It felt very scary. I’d studied English from the age of seven but I found the South Yorkshire accent really difficult. I couldn’t understand anybody for months,” she said.
The Source Skills Academy, a training and development organisation providing dedicated support to South Yorkshire businesses invited Kristina for an interview at Murray Steel.
Kristina said: "The Source Skills Academy is a fantastic training provider. It changed my life. I now aim to take the skills I have learnt through my apprenticeship to develop my career with the company.”
Caption - Kristina Kolar at Murray Steel's Herries Road site