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Student named Apprentice of the Year


An apprentice from Hugh Baird College is celebrating after being named Apprentice of the Year at the Building and Allied Trades Joint Council (BATJIC) Apprentice of the Year Awards. Gary Parker, from Southport, also collected the Brick and Blockwork Apprentice of the Year Award at the annual ceremony on the 18th March at Accrington and Rosendale College in Lancashire.

Thirty three year old Gary has recently completed the NVQ2 in Brickwork at Hugh Baird College. Although he has worked in construction for more than ten years, he had never gained any formal trade qualifications. So, with the support of his employer, he decided to enrol as an apprentice, attending Hugh Baird College one day a week.

Lecturer and personal tutor at Hugh Baird College, Martyn Pearson, put Gary forward for the BATJIC award. He said,

I nominated Gary for the award because of his motivation and determination to succeed. As a more mature student, he already had a lot of experience on construction sites and he was always willing to help other students.

Accompanying Gary to the event was his proud employer Mahmood Salam, who said:

I started my career as an apprentice at Hugh Baird College and worked my way up to having my own business. I’m delighted that Gary’s won this award. He has a real passion for the industry and a natural talent for brickwork. His confidence has definitely grown since starting the course and he’s developed all-round skills that, in the long run, benefit my business as well as his career.

Speaking after the event, Gary said:

I was made up to get an award and it was good going to the ceremony. As well as taking my employer and my personal tutor with me, I was able to take my classmate, Tom Wright. He really helped me with the maths and English parts of the course and it was good to share the success with the people who supported me.

An apprenticeship is a training programme designed to allow the learner to train within both an academic and true working environment. As employees, apprentices earn a wage and work alongside experienced staff to gain job-specific skills from organisations operating within industry. They also work towards nationally recognised qualifications, often attending college one day a week. Apprentices can be integrated into an organisation whilst they study so that, on the completion of the course, they are fully prepared to become a well-rounded and adapted member of staff.

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