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  Posted by: electime      11th June 2019

Thomas Lawson from Warrington has been named JTL’s ‘National Apprentice of the Year’ at a ceremony held on 6th June at One Moorgate Place in London. He was chosen from a cohort of more than 1,200 final year apprentices and was presented with an engraved glass award as well as a cheque for £1,000 by JTL Chief Executive, Jon Graham.

Registered charity, JTL – one of the largest work-based learning providers in England and Wales – runs its annual awards to celebrate the highest achieving young trainees in the building services engineering sector. Candidates – all in the final year of their apprenticeships – are nominated from each of JTL’s seven regions across England and Wales based on their outstanding performances throughout the four years of their training.

Thomas is employed by Picow Electrical Engineering in Runcorn. Commenting on his success, Thomas said: “I am feeling a bit overwhelmed to be honest. Winning the overall best apprentice award for 2019 has been a shock and the experience has been quite surreal. I’m not sure it’s sunk in yet. I’ve never won a national award before and I may never win one again, so this is very special. I thoroughly enjoyed the course and I am glad that I chose this career path and an apprenticeship with JTL who gave me the tools to complete the course. The future is looking good and I am looking forward to progressing my career within the industry.”

Thomas has just returned from his honeymoon in Mexico with his new wife Leanne, who was not surprisingly proud of her husband’s achievement: “It’s been a great day that I’m happy to have been able to share with him. Yes of course – I’m a very proud wife!”

Paul Allen at his employer Picow Engineering has been hugely impressed with him: “Tom has already moved on to the next stage of his career having achieved his qualifications in just three years – the quickest we’ve ever had anyone finish their apprenticeship. He’s now set the bar very high for all future apprentices. We are already looking at moving Tom to a new role as Junior Project Engineer whilst he studies for his HNC. I am genuinely looking forward to working alongside him as he strives to achieve his goal to get to the very top within this industry.

“This is a great day for Tom – we’re really made up for him. But it’s also a great day for Picow. About 30% of our workforce are or were apprentices, including myself and our MD. Tom has set the bar really high for other apprentices!”

JTL Training Officer, Ronald Ray is not surprised to see Tom standing on the winners rostrum this year: “Tom has given full commitment from day 1 of his apprenticeship, always willing to push himself to acquire new skills and knowledge. This willingness to stretch himself has paid off as he has achieved apprenticeship completion much earlier than his predicted final end date which is a great credit to him and this commitment has been reciprocated by his employer Picow Engineering, who have given Tom the opportunity to progress his career further, by gaining additional qualifications. Tom is currently studying for his HNC, and the Inspection and Testing qualifications will enable him to apply for supervisory and project management roles within Picow Engineering.

“I have nothing but praise for the way Tom has conducted himself throughout his training. He’s very professional and extremely polite when dealing with internal and external contacts.”

The JTL National Awards selection process began with a regional awards competition which saw JTL’s network of training officers and managers across the country nominate the apprentices they felt deserved special recognition.

JTL’s Chief Executive Jon Graham says: “Our awards are a great opportunity to recognise the excellence of the learners we work with. These are bright individuals, many of whom have had the opportunity to go to university but have made the choice to follow an apprenticeship and ‘earn while they learn’.

“In my conversations with this year’s finalists, I’ve been struck by the maturity of each of them is – they’ve carefully weighed up their options and then committed 100 per cent to their apprenticeship. We recognised and celebrated some brilliant young talent at our awards ceremony. It’s been a pleasure and an inspiration getting to know Thomas and the other finalists as part of this process.”

JTL is one of the UK’s leading training providers for young people in England and Wales, running apprenticeship schemes in partnership with colleges and workplaces. This year alone, more than 1,200 learners have completed apprenticeships with JTL and more than 2,650 have started courses.

Apprentices on a JTL scheme follow a four-year course, splitting their time between a college or training centre – where they study theory and gain underpinning knowledge – and their employer’s workplace, where they gain on the job experience. A JTL Training Officer works closely alongside each apprentice, their college and employer to provide advice and support, as well as to monitor and assess their work. To find out more, go to