National recognition for work of plumbing apprentice

A plumber from North Shields has been named JTL’s ‘National Plumbing Apprentice of the Year’. Dale Turner, who works for Kier North Tyneside, won the award at a ceremony held in London, in front of industry representatives, fellow finalists, family and friends. He was chosen from this year’s cohort of fourth year apprentices and was presented with an award as well as a £250 cheque by JTL Chief Executive, Jon Graham.

Training organisation and registered charity JTL runs the 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 on the basis of their outstanding performances throughout the four years of their training.

Dale, who has been described as perfectionist and determined to succeed, comments: “Receiving the award was really exciting but the other nominees sounded so good that I didn’t think I’d be the winner! It’s great to have been able to share the moment with my family and the team I work with, who all came to cheer me on. Throughout my apprenticeship I’ve worked towards being the best tradesman I can be and receiving the award is definitely a bonus!”

With A’ Levels in Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Psychology, Dale decided he wanted to become an apprentice but struggled to find a position. Eventually he applied for an administrative role in order to get a foot in the door at Kier. His strategy proved successful and as soon as an apprenticeship became available, he was snapped up. Outside work, Dale volunteers for national homeless charity, Crisis.

JTL Training Officer, Ian Ramsey, who assisted Dale throughout his apprenticeship, adds: “Dale is a determined and intelligent individual who was a model apprentice to mentor.”

The 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. The young people who made it through to the final have been chosen from more than 7000 apprentices currently working with JTL.

Jon Graham says: “Our awards are a great opportunity to recognise the excellence of the young people we work with. These are bright individuals, many of whom have had the opportunity to go to university but have instead 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 how considered and mature 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 Dale and his peers as part of this process.

Three other regional winners competed with Dale for the national title: Jamie Aldridge (North West regional winner), Daniel Dunsby (Midlands) and Liam Walsh (London & East of England).

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, 1300 learners have completed apprenticeships with JTL and a further 2500 have started courses.

The picture shows Dale (centre) alongside JTL Chairman Geoffrey Russell (left) and CEO Jon Graham.

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