22 year old Zak Gates from Burton upon Trent has been named JTL’s ‘National Apprentice of the Year 2014/15’ at the training provider’s annual awards ceremony. Zak completed his apprenticeship with Staffordshire-based electrical engineering and contracting company, I C Electrical.
JTL – a UK based training provider for young people in England and Wales – holds an annual awards ceremony to recognise the hard work and achievements of the best of the best in the building engineering services sector. The event took place on Wednesday 25th February, at Drapers’ Hall on Throgmorton Street in the City of London.
Having proved himself to be an excellent apprentice, Zak passed all his City and Guilds electrical exams with distinction at Loughborough College and is currently working towards a Higher National Diploma in Electrical and Electronic Engineering sponsored by his employer. Zak has gained experience managing large industrial projects within the bio-energy and process industries.
Hearing of his win, Zak – now a young project engineer and a highly valued member of the project team at I C Electrical – commented: “I feel privileged to win this award, it is a great achievement. Like all the finalists at the event, I was secretly hoping I’d win but the announcement took me by surprise! It’s great to know that all my hard work has been noticed and I’m pleased my parents and employers were able to be there to share the moment with me.”
Managing director of I C Electrical, Chris Emmerson, added, “Zak may have been only hoping he’d win as the standard was higher than ever this year, but we were confident he would! He’s been with us for five years and has matured into a very confident and competent young project manager, who is liked and respected in equal measure by his colleagues. He was an exceptional apprentice, who progressed quickly and is now managing projects, budgets, staff and profit targets. We’re hopeful that Zak will continue to develop and grow within the company – the current senior management team isn’t getting any younger and we bring apprentices through the company specifically to fill our shoes. Zak’s an excellent example of how a young self-starter can achieve great things in a relatively short period of time, thanks to hard work and a positive attitude. We want to convey our deepest congratulations to Zak and feel that things can only get better with the same attitude and commitment he has shown to date.”
All the nominees at the London final were winners in their regions, with Zak seeing off competition from 570 apprentices who were on JTL apprenticeship courses in the West Midlands at the same time as him. To qualify for the regional events, candidates were nominated by their JTL training officers thanks to their exceptional classroom work, outstanding practical abilities and excellent employer feedback. The potential winners then attended formal interviews with JTL’s senior management team, after which an overall winner was chosen. Having made it to yesterday’s final, each candidate undertook further assessments before an overall winner was selected.
Industry and government approved training supplier JTL delivers apprenticeships in partnership with colleges and workplaces across seven regions in the UK. The not-for-profit organisation has around 6,000 young people on apprenticeship schemes at any one time and roughly 33,000 young people have completed apprenticeships with JTL. Almost one in two of all electricians in England and Wales now achieve their qualifications through JTL.
The organisation is a not-for-profit training provider and reinvests its resources for the benefit of the industry’s apprentices and employers.