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Apprentice Shines: Gloss Measurement Achievements Bring Short-listing for Prestigious Award

Thomas McFadyen, from Hebburn in Tyneside, has beaten off stiff competition from hundreds of entrants to achieve his place as a North East finalist in this year’s National Apprenticeship Awards.

He faces tough competition to become the ‘Advanced Level Apprentice of the Year’ and now has an anxious wait until the regional winners are revealed – in a special Awards Ceremony in Durham on 18th September.

Steve Oxborough, Technical Director at AMECaL, Thomas’ employer, is thrilled that he is getting the recognition he deserves: “Thomas is an exemplary employee who deals with a range of very specialist technical work in the company’s Calibration Laboratory and has also taken supervisory / management duties in his stride”.

David Heppell, a Manager at the company, adds: “he’s an open and genuine member of the team and has a really positive approach to both his work and colleagues; while he’s been with us, he’s formed an excellent working relationship with everyone at the company from Managing Director to our newer Apprentices – and with the company’s clients”.

With workload in the Laboratory increasing, and a new state of the art laboratory recently opened at the company’s Walker Riverside site, Thomas has rapidly developed from a young apprentice to become Laboratory Supervisor – overseeing the work of five technicians and working closely with the commercial team – forming a crucial link between the administrative and production areas of the business.

Thomas is thrilled to have made it to the regional final and is certain that the training he’s received has been crucial to his success: “As well as the BTEC college work and NVQ assessments, which are part of the apprenticeship, I’ve trained on a variety of equipment at clients’ premises, at the National Physical Laboratory in London and I’ve had expert training from within the company”.

The Award is seen as recognition for the remarkable progress he has made in one of the company’s specialist fields, developing new processes for the production of high-quality Gloss Measurement reference standards. These are now being sold across the world by the company. His work has helped keep the company at the forefront of this technology and he has just become the technical signatory for the company’s ISO 17025 Accredited work in this discipline – making both him and the company unique in the UK.

Sue Husband, Executive Director Apprenticeships and Delivery at the Skills Funding Agency said: “Apprenticeships are thriving in England, and it’s not hard to see why. They offer unrivalled career prospects, and give businesses an exceptional route to grow a highly qualified and motivated workforce.

“The National Apprenticeship Awards recognise the best of the best and are an excellent opportunity for individuals and employers to gain the credit they richly deserve for investing in their own futures. I am delighted that Thomas has been short-listed, and would like to congratulate him on this success.”

The National Apprenticeship Awards, now in their eleventh year, celebrate the achievements of the country’s most outstanding apprentices and their employers. The North East Region Award Winners will be announced at a ceremony held at the Radisson Blu in Durham on 18 September 2014 (supported by NSAPI, Sembcorp and Nissan).

The regional winners will be put forward into a final, national, judging stage culminating in the National Awards – to be revealed at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham on the 13 November 2014 (sponsored by BAE Systems, BT, City & Guilds, Learndirect, Nuclear Decommissioning Site Licence Companies and Unilever).

Visit or call 08000 150 600 to find out more about Apprenticeships.

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