Engineer Oliver Miller has been awarded the title of Rugby Apprentice of the Year at a special ceremony during National Apprenticeship Week.
The award, which is sponsored by Rugby Borough Council in association with Rugby College, saw 12 apprentices nominated from fields as diverse as motor vehicle maintenance, IT, business administration, professional cookery and engineering.
I would definitely recommend apprenticeships to young people – you get paid to learnApprentice Oliver Miller
And the 21-year-old is delighted with his achievement.
He said: “I’m so thrilled – I’ve never won anything like this before.
“It’s great to have my parents and employers here tonight to support me as well.
“I chose the apprenticeship as I didn’t feel that university would be right for me – I wanted to get my hands dirty!”
Oliver is part of the site services department at Jaguar Land Rover and is involved in maintaining machinery.
He spends one day a week studying at Warwick Trident College and he impressed the judges with his performance and attitude. As well as being recognised through the reward and recognition scheme at work and having a 100 per cent attendance record, Oliver studied maths to A-level standard in his own time so he could fulfil his ambition to study for a foundation degree - he is now enrolled on the Engineering foundation degree at Warwick Trident College. Oliver is also an Apprentice representative and has spoken at career events to promote apprenticeships to younger people.
He added: “I would definitely recommend apprenticeships to young people – you get paid to learn, get practical experience and at Jaguar Land Rover we get to give back into the community as well which is great.”
Two other apprentices were highly commended.
Emma Wilding is also a Jaguar Land Rover apprentice, and was unable to attend the ceremony as she was representing the company at an apprentice event at the House of Lords.
James Stanley is a professional cookery apprentice at Avon Park School. The judges were impressed with James’ attitude and application and his employer described him as “A real ambassador for the school… much more than an apprentice chef”.
Yousef Fouda, director of Rugby College, said: “The awards are an amazing celebration of our young people and I’d like to congratulate all the finalists on their fantastic achievements – they are a credit to their employers.
“I hope that events like this will inspire more people to consider an apprenticeship, and more employers to think about the huge benefits of taking on an apprentice.”
The other finalists were James Burrows, an apprentice with Citroen Peugeot Renault, Rugby, Emma Foster, who is with Morgan Sindall in Rugby, Danni Leadbetter from Orbit Heart of England, Daniel McGahey from Rugby Borough Council, Alec-John McLaren, from Morgan Sindall, Joe Owen from Cummins, Alice Rawlinson from Rugby Borough Council, Lauren Richards from South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust and Adam Yatesfrom Orscheln Europe.
Borough council leader Cllr Michael Stokes said: “I’m fully behind Rugby Borough Council’s support for apprenticeships which spans many years now and has benefited from the enthusiasm and energy apprentices bring to the workplace.
“Events such as this serve to highlight the benefits of apprentices and encourage more businesses to invest in apprenticeship schemes. I congratulate all the apprentices at this year’s a wards for their hard work and dedication.”