A Stoke-on-Trent teenager who creates metal sculptures has won the title of the West Midlands Apprentice of the Year 2010.
Jak Forester, 19, was the first apprentice at PM Training in Stoke-on-Trent. He has been busy making his mark via a series of metal art creations, including a smoking shelter, sculptures and signage. His work can be seen around North Staffordshire.
Jak was presented with his West Midlands Apprenticeship Award at a ceremony hosted by the TV presenter Suzanne Virdee at the Hippodrome in Birmingham. The Awards are organised by the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS).
Also on the stage at the Hippodrome was Keele University’s Stephen Lewis, who was Highly Commended in the Apprentice of the Year category, and Staffordshire County Council, which was Highly Commended in the Macro Employer category.
Stephen, 44, a member of the grounds maintenance team at Keele University, prepares sports pitches for students and other users such as the Football Association. Previously a chef at the University, Stephen was 43 when he started his Apprenticeship, studying at Reaseheath College alongside teenagers.
In 2009 Staffordshire County Council pledged to recruit 250 apprentices on a rolling basis. The move will upgrade the skills of its future workforce, from business administration roles to teaching assistants, grounds maintenance and ICT.
The West Midlands winners in full:
Young Apprentice of the Year: hairdresser Luke Jennings, 16, of Birmingham, who works at Burlingtons New ID
Apprentice of the Year: sculptor and metalworker Jak Forester, 19, of Stoke on Trent, who works at PM Training
Advanced Apprentice of the Year: care services worker Hayley Farr, 24, of Wolverhampton, who works at C&S Care Services
Micro Employer of the Year: hair salon Andrea Beers, of Kidderminster
Small Employer of the Year: Royal Air Force Museum, of Shifnal, Shropshire
Large Employer of the Year: Doosan Babcock Energy, of Tipton
Macro Employer of the Year: Telford & Wrekin Council
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Stephen Lilley, the West Midlands Regional Director of the National Apprenticeship Service, said: “All the winners are fantastic examples of the value of Apprenticeships to individuals, employers and the region. They all deserve enormous credit for their achievements.”
Will Nixon, Chief Executive of Jak Forester’s employer PM Training, said: “PM Training is extremely proud that Jak's efforts have been recognised in winning this award. Jak typifies the apprentices from PM Training and is committed, diligent, and incredibly talented and is looking forward to a fantastic career.”
The Awards are sponsored by City & Guilds, EDI, EAL, Skills for Care, BT, Unilever, Sellafield NDA and BAE Systems. Miranda Barnes, Territory Business Manager at City & Guilds, said: “The Awards are a fantastic way to celebrate the hard work and dedication of individuals and employers.
“We have supported the Apprenticeship Awards for a number of years and it’s always a joy to be at the ceremonies and celebrate these effective training programmes and talented individuals. The West Midlands has long-term success with Apprenticeships and this year has been no exception.”
You can find out more details about the Apprenticeship Awards or Apprenticeships in general by visiting apprenticeships.org.uk and employers can call the NAS free helpline for on 08000 150 600.
19 July 2010
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