Appris Training Centre Awards 2021

Whilst we all endured months of pandemic uncertainty, Appris staff, apprentice / students and their respective employers showed true Yorkshire grit, and dug their heels in to get the job done. The result was a positive outcome with 95.5% success rate for our students, with a 99.7% achievement rate.

Programme Director, Mark Butcher, commented, “We are very proud of the work put in by all students at our training centre. It’s been a tough year with furlough, isolations, a couple of redundancies and so on, but everyone has pitched in to show their mettle and succeed. The skills and knowledge gained this year is testament to the processes we have in place. Additionally, I’d also like to give high praise to Appris staff who have gone above and beyond.”

On Friday 16th July, nominees, employers, and proud parents came along for the 7th Annual Appris Training Centre Awards. Recognising the best performances, the awards ceremony celebrated the apprentices who pushed themselves further and demonstrated a zest for learning.

Awards included:

  • Mechanical Learner of the Year
  • Electrical Learner of the Year
  • Welding & Fabrication Learner of the Year
  • Level 4 HNC Learner of the Year
  • Personal Achievement Award
  • Overall Learner of the Year

The calibre of apprentices has once again been superb. So much so, that it’s been a really close competition to select winners from our 350+ annual student body.

So, without further ado, let’s meet this year’s winners…

Farhan Ahmed, Magma Combustion Engineering Ltd, Huddersfield


“This chap came to us straight from school with anything but a school mentality. From the word go, he was self motivated and showed a massive desire to learn and understand all things electrical. He was always asking and answering questions in class, and when the open tutorial was in session he attended almost every one, once again trying to improve his knowledge and understanding. His assignments have been extensive and well researched but always in his own words, another good indication of his desire to understand what he was writing.” – Gary Spowage – Electrical Tutor


Electrical Learner of the Year (Joint Winner), James Hair, Cummins Turbo Technologies, Huddersfield

“This student has been exceptional from the start, a very quiet, unassuming, modest man who delivered some of the best assignments I have ever seen. His ability to work unaided and still come up with excellent work is a credit to his attitude both in the class and his own commitment  to research. He is and will be a very successful individual. Rarely has an award been more deserved.” – Gary Spowage – Electrical Tutor


Mechanical Learner of the Year (Joint Winner), Andrew Steel, AETC, Leeds

“This learner has a completely professional mindset: hardworking, organised and always rising to the challenge of more difficult topics. He takes a leading role in class discussions and helps to keep lessons lively. His work is always first class and faultless.” – Sarah Tilbrook – Mechanical Tutor

Mechanical Learner of the Year (Joint Winner), Michael Shepherd, Calbee (Seabrook Crisps), Bradford

“This student has been a consummate professional from day one, showing great autonomy with his project, organisation and determination, showing his ability to manage projects. He’s always helpful to his peers and eager to share his understanding. He’s also an all-rounder, this award is for his achievements in mechanical but as a mechatronics expert he’s equally at home with electrical.” – Bob Buxton – Mechanical Tutor

Level 2 Fabrication & Welding Learner of the Year, Blake Kerrigan, Graham Hart Technologies, Bradford

“This learner deserves this award because of his shear commitment to the course. He is totally enthused with what he’s doing, and this really shows with the quality of work he’s doing. This learner will always pick up work he’s missed and go out of his way to help others. He’s truly been a joy to have in the classroom.” – Ben Pearson – Fabrication & Welding Tutor

Level 3 Fabrication & Welding Learner of the Year, Miles Smith, Craig Engineering, Halifax

“This learner has come to Appris to continue his level 3 with us this year and has put in some serious work to come away with Distinctions throughout this year. I always tell learners I would give them £50 if they 100% their exam, and this learner made me sweat when he missed it by 1 mark. Truly an outstanding performance this year and well deserved.” – Ben Pearson – Fabrication & Welding Tutor

Personal Achievement Award, Jenna Town, Fan Systems, Halifax

“This learner is conscientious and gets on with their work to a high level asking good questions when they are not sure. They had big shoes to fill, as a sibling had already attended the training centre in the past. But they proved to us that they are their own person and have the makings of a great engineer.” – Sarah Tilbrook – Mechanical Tutor

Personal Achievement Award, George Would, Sulzer, York

“At first this learner seemed to be quiet, but we have since learnt they have a wicked sense of humour. At the start of the year all the written work involved in the course was a struggle for them. They listened and took on board the advice given to them by their tutors, and never gave up and through the time here have kept improving and has produced lots of good work.” – Sarah Tilbrook – Mechanical Tutor

Personal Achievement Award, Madeline Pennock, LBBC Technologies, Leeds

“When this young person started in the training centre, there were some self-confidence issues. However, as the year progressed, the self-confidence levels grew. As a result, this year, the same young person is at another level. It is beautiful to see her blossom and grow. Her self-confidence has transmitted into her studies, where she has excelled both in the classroom and assignments.” – Brian Hamilton – Mechanical Tutor

Personal Achievement Award, Holly Mahmood, Borg Warner, Bradford

When students start at Appris, they generally quiet and reserved. This is not unusual and generally the students get more animated as time progresses, but as Corona hit and the centre went online, I noticed a general dip in this students’ demeanor. This student went very quiet.  I later learnt that some this person had an awful lot on their plate. With this in mind, this student has always done the best work possible and handed assignments in on time. This student is always striving to do better with a determined attitude to carry on. A personal achievement award for this student is well deserved .” – Marc Osborne – Mechanical Tutor

Personal Achievement Award, Austin Smith, Hydrotech, Bradford

“This learner has come to Appris and gone the extra mile with making sure he’s on track and to a high standard. There’s nothing better than learners coming to you with pictures of work they have completed in the workplace, showing just how proud they are of their own work. This learner needs recognition for his dedication to the course and I’m so pleased he has had his break in life and can now pursue something he truly enjoys.” – Ben Pearson – Fabrication & Welding Tutor 

Personal Achievement Award, James West, Wrights Recycling Machinery, Baildon

“This learner has always given his apprenticeship 100%. Having already won apprentice of the year last year I still want to give this learner the recognition he deserves for his complete dedication and commitment and let it be known that this never goes unnoticed. I hope he keeps up these efforts and I have big hopes for his future.” – Ben Pearson – Fabrication & Welding Tutor

Personal Achievement Award, Craig Milner, EPTA, Bradford

“This student has been a pleasure to have in class. He has always had a ‘can do’ attitude, and any set- backs he has had with his work he has always overcome with this positive attitude. He sometimes worried about his ability to cope with some of the technical subjects we were dealing with, but he always did cope and produced some very good assignments, which were always handed in on-time. During his time with us I have seen his knowledge and confidence grow and I would like to wish him every success.” – Gary Spowage – Electrical Tutor


Personal Achievement Award, Reece Cook, Ipsum Utilities, WakefieldNo alt text provided for this image

“This person began his journey with us on the level 2 foundation qualification and is currently about to conclude his level 3 studies. Throughout, he has been both a good and a diligent student with a very mature attitude. He has consistently tried for higher grades, attended his classes on time and has participated well in the classes. He has progressed well through his studies.” – Rob Wegg – Mechanical Tutor 

Level 4 HNC Mechanical Learner of the Year (Joint Winner), Cara Kelly, ATB Morley, Leeds

“I have had the pleasure to know this young person for three years. From the first year to this final year, her nature, attitude, commitment, and standard of work has never changed. She has always given her best and consistently produced work of the highest standard.” – Brian Hamilton – Mechanical Tutor

Level 4 HNC Mechanical Learner of the Year (Joint Winner), Liam Jolly, Spooner Industries, Ilkley

“This student completes work to perfection, submits it early – he actually handed one assignment in before we’d officially started it, and his understanding level is simply beyond HNC. He’s also a very nice guy helping others out, and a pleasure to teach for the last 2 years.” – Bob Buxton – Mechanical Tutor

Level 4 HNC Electrical Learner of the Year , Liam Walker, 600 UK, Elland

“This person has worked well throughout the year to produce his coursework to a consistently high standard. He has the ability to work independently and to rapidly understand what he has been shown and this is a testament to his ability to listen and retain information well.” – Rob Wegg – Electrical Tutor 

2021 Overall Training Centre Learner of the Year – Rob Ward, DC Woodhead, Leeds

“This person has been consistently excellent since they day they started at the training centre almost 5 years ago. With their excellent attitude, consistently outstanding standard of work and positive outlook, this person has been without doubt an absolute pleasure to work with and have in all the groups they have been in. This person is an absolute credit to themselves and their employer.” – Mark Butcher, Programme Director


John Igoe, Managing Director – “The high standards of engineering apprentices is of vital importance to the UK economy in creating a rich heritage and strong future for manufacturing and its related sectors. We’re immensely proud to work with the finest businesses to shape their engineers of the future. The resilience, hard work and commitment shown over recent times, by all Appris apprentices, is an indication to the next generation of innovators and leaders in this country. From all the staff and board of trustees at Appris, we congratulate every apprentice and this year’s special winners. A marvellous achievement from all involved!

An additional thank you to all nominees and attendees on the day. It’s been another successful 12 months at Appris, and we’re looking forward to another academic year that will yield more fantastic engineers and award winners.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *