Each year MGTS celebrates the achievements and talents of apprentices with awards evenings at our Coventry and Redditch Technical Centres. For 2023 we decided to combine the celebrations and were delighted that apprentices and employers travelled far and wide to attend. Adrian Simkiss, MGTS Customer Engagement Manager, comments: “It was great to see such a large scale turn out from the employers we work with celebrating their apprentices successes and pledging support to continue to develop young engineers.”

Comments from guests included:

“The MGTS Apprentice Award ceremony in Coventry was a wonderful evening and a privilege to be a part of. It was a pleasure to spend time in the presence of genuine engineering talent alongside those in training and those who attended in support, guidance, and teaching. The event was both inspiring and rewarding.” Simon Oxendale, Regional Head of Engineering at Pro-Pak Foods.

“Clearly so many talented, hard working apprentices on show last night, it was heartwarming so see that the apprenticeship system is alive and well and absolutely thriving.” Martin Tompkins, CAD Manager at IPS-Integrated Project Services LLC.

Winners are decided by the MGTS delivery team and considerations include application to tasks, quality of work, ability to follow instruction, timekeeping and motivation. Here’s what they had to say about the winners.

Apprentice of the Year (Coventry) – Jamie Hurst, Quartzelec

Jamie is a quiet unassuming character who can adapt to any training scenario and produce work of the highest quality. He is thorough in his approach to all practical and theoretical aspects of the programme. He understands and knows what is expected of him, he picks up new processes and practices quickly which accelerates his ability to develop competence. His sustained level of engagement, application, motivation and interest has served him well throughout the first year of his training and enabled him to develop a focus and determination to succeed at all he undertakes.

Apprentice of the Year (Redditch) – Harry Giddings, UK-NSI

Harry has a fantastic approach to his apprenticeship and the opportunity that UK-NSI have given him. He is dedicated, enthusiastic, motivated, and fully understands what is expected of him. His positive attitude and overall application is excellent and he has an eye for the attention to detail required to produce work of the highest order. He has remained fully engaged from day one and has been a pleasure to teach and train. He is in fact a role model to others as to what the perfect apprentice should look like.

Mechanical Apprentice of the Year (Coventry) – Conor Bevan, Mapal

Conor has an exceptional mechanical aptitude. He developed knowledge and skills quickly which enabled him to produce an excellent standard of workmanship very early on in his training. The level of application, motivation and effort applied by Conor never wavered throughout the whole of the first-year training period, even when being faced with and exposed to new engineering disciplines.

Maintenance Apprentice of the Year (Coventry) – Vitalie Andrusca, Expert Tooling & Automation

From the outset Vitalie performed consistently well above average, demonstrating an ability to quickly grasp new subject matter and apply the new skills and knowledge to produce tasks of the highest quality. His methodical, patient, and thorough approach enabled him to maintain that level of competence throughout the training year, performing exceptionally well in the fields of electrical maintenance, fluid power and mechanical maintenance.

Most Improved Apprentice of the Year (Coventry) – Muaaz Shaikh, Pneuride

Muaaz made relatively slow progress at the start of the training year, achieving only average grades, but once settled his perseverance and endeavour enabled him to grow in confidence and ability. He undertook many additional tasks to cement his level of understanding and subsequently produced work to a consistently high standard. Muaaz excelled in CAD, where he had a real flare.

Most Improved Apprentice of the Year ( Redditch) – Louis Evans, Heller

Louis had a somewhat average start to the academic year recording only satisfactory grades. It wasn’t until half-way through the year that we saw the new focused, engaged and committed Louis who’s full potential was now starting to shine through. The distance travelled from where he started to where he is now is testament to Louis’ hard work and determination to succeed.

Apprentices’ Apprentice of the Year (Coventry) – Nathan Locker, Cembre

Nathan was nominated by his peers because he’s just a really nice person who got on well with everyone in the Centre, probably due to his slightly extrovert and warming character. Everybody just likes Nathan!

Apprentices’ Apprentice of the Year (Redditch) – Morgan Goode, Thorlux Lighting

Morgan was nominated by his fellow apprentices because they thought he was an outstanding talent and good at everything he turned his hand to. He was always willing to offer support and guidance to his peers when needed. Morgan was a role model for all other apprentices to follow in the Centre.

Advanced Apprentice Graduate Award (Coventry) – Teresa Jones, Dennis Eagle

Teresa is a perfectionist in everything she does and always completes tasks to the best of her ability.  She has a passion for her work and an unrivalled drive to succeed. This was recognised very early on within Dennis Eagle and as a result of her hard work and dedication, Teresa was promoted into a Technical Sales role. This was achieved before her apprenticeship had even concluded, a rare accomplishment and a testament to her skills and abilities. Teresa obtained a distinction for the HNC qualification, as well as passing her End Point Assessment of the apprenticeship, despite going through a tough period in her personal life. Teresa displayed great resilience and determination and did not let this impact on her work. I have no doubt that Teresa will continue to achieve great things and have an extremely successful career.

Advanced Apprentice Graduate Award (Redditch) – Tom Smith, Fuelwood

During his apprenticeship, Tom has consistently met or exceeded all his deadlines and has produced high-quality work. Because of this Tom was able to complete his apprenticeship seven months ahead of schedule. Tom then went on to complete his HNC qualification, achieving a Merit grade. I am particularly impressed with Tom’s willingness to go above and beyond what is asked of him. He is a true asset to the team at Fuelwood and will be a great role model for future apprentices.

Food & Drink Maintenance Engineering 1st Year Apprentice of the Year (Coventry) – Ryan Shepherdson, Cranswick Foods

Ryan is exceptionally focused in his approach. He demonstrates a positive attitude, remaining enthusiastic and motivated at all times. He has good attention to detail which then translates into producing workmanship of the highest quality. His ability to maintain this high level of dedication and commitment is a credit it to him and he will undoubtedly flourish as the programme unfolds to become an excellent engineer.

Food & Drink Maintenance Engineering 1st Year Apprentice of the Year (Redditch) – Daniel Cook, Pro-Pak Foods

Daniel produced an exceptional performance throughout the 20-week block of learning, consistently producing work of the highest standard. His application to every area he worked on was exemplary, coupled with a mature professional approach and a positive attitude.

Food & Drink Maintenance Engineering 2nd Year Apprentice of the Year – Harvrill Brown, Greencore

Harvrill demonstrated a real flare and thirst for knowledge in the second year of his apprenticeship. He demonstrated a fantastic work ethic whilst attending the Centre, being fully focused on his work with good attention to detail. The quality of work produced has been excellent.

Food & Drink Maintenance Engineering 3rd Year Apprentice of the Year – Antony Smith – Morrisons

Antony has performed extremely well over all three phases of training, demonstrating a real understanding of the engineering principles and occupational role requirements for the Food and Drink industry. He is enthusiastic, applies himself well and produces good quality work, plus he is always willing and happy to support others.

Food & Drink Maintenance Engineering Graduate Award – Miranda Poskitt, Heineken & Tommy Andrews, Saputo

This award is for apprentices that have successfully completed all the mandated elements of the Apprenticeship Standard and performed exceptionally well in this particularly challenging four-year apprenticeship programme. We have two clear winners out of this cohort of 47 learners who have achieved Distinctions in both the Level 3 City & Guilds Diploma and End Point Assessment which is an outstanding achievement.

BTEC 1st Year Recognition Award (Coventry) – Maisie Robe, Bachy Soletanche

Maisie has worked hard all year with a consistent attitude to her learning. Where it clearly hasn’t come easy she has achieved really well, having the persistence to take any referrals on assignments and turn them into Distinctions. Maisie is really supportive of her peers, always helping her classmates when they are struggling.

BTEC 1st Year Recognition Award (Redditch) – Kevin Wackrow, UK-NSI

Kevin delivered assignments that were in-depth and he questions things which came out of the teaching to further his understanding. He helped the younger apprentices and was so organised everything was handed in before the due date.

BTEC 1st Year Apprentice of the Year – (Coventry) – Paul Crook, PepsiCo

Undertaking an apprenticeship as a mature learner comes with a set of challenges that the younger apprentices coming from school or college would have little appreciation for. Somebody joining an apprenticeship programme and then undertaking a year in the Technical Centre environment (which is halfway between school and the workplace) will certainly have a massive life adjustment. Also, returning to classroom study after being away from it is not an easy undertaking, however, Paul has been a consistent hard worker and high achiever on the BTEC first year – a really massive achievement, well done!

BTEC 1st Year Apprentice of the Year – (Redditch) – Sian Bowman, LEAR 

Sian has really applied herself well this last year and the effort she has put in is evident in the grades she has achieved over the year. She quietly gets on with the work requiring minimal help or support and does not get distracted by others.

BTEC Programme Recognition Award (Coventry) – Damon Bayliss, Siemens

It was widely agreed amongst the tutors that Damon was always an absolute pleasure to teach and was always known for having a smile on his face. We feel sure that this will continue as he progresses to study with us at HNC level.

BTEC Programme Recognition Award (Redditch) – Daniel Wild, Heller

Daniel has worked really hard over the two years on the BTEC and is deserving of this award for the effort he has put in. He achieved a total of 9 Distinctions and 2 Merits on the Diploma. The fact he has now progressed onto the HNC with us is a real pleasure.

BTEC Programme Apprentice of the Year (Coventry) – Adam Percival, PepsiCo

Adam has been an apprentice who is quietly brilliant, completing everything that has been asked of him without question and to a really high standard. All the tutors were in complete agreement that this award is well deserved by Adam. It’s great to see that he has progressed on to the HNC with us and we hope to see him up here collecting more awards in the future.

BTEC Programme Apprentice of the Year (Redditch) – Harry Keen, Thorlux Lighting

Harry is an apprentice that we’ve never had to speak to about plagiarism or late assignments or pushing a bit harder to get the level of quality up, he has just worked solidly, producing work to an excellent quality. Harry achieved 9 Distinctions out of 11 units.

BTEC Block Release Award – Jamie Power, Warburtons

Block release is for our second year National apprentices, involving six solid weeks of learning spread across the academic year. It’s intensive and there’s a lot to learn in a short space of time. The assignments come thick and fast and you have to show real determination to get the work completed between each block of learning. Jamie produced a great standard of work and was very capable throughout the block release. He achieved great grades on the Diploma with Merits in Project and Design and Distinctions for everything else.

HNC 1st Year Recognition Award – Pavan Dhaddy, Ardagh Group

Pavan works really hard, listens to instructions and follows them, puts in tremendous effort with his assignments and following on from his success with the BTEC is now carrying on in the same vein with the HNC. Pavan is polite, pleasant and always contributes to every lesson…even when he had Covid he couldn’t bear to miss out and zoomed in!

HNC Programme Apprentice of the Year (Coventry) – Meral Irkan, PepsiCo

Meral is an absolute star. She produces excellent work on her assignments by really making sure she has the level of understanding required to produce the highest standard of work. When the tutors were asked for feedback about Meral it was all very high praise: “When Meral writes an assignment you get a book not a report!” Another said: “Outstanding and consistent quality of work – I think she is quite possibly after my job!”

HNC Programme Apprentice of the Year (Redditch) – Andrew Matheson, William King Group

Andrew was always an absolute pleasure to teach and really did work hard to produce the highest quality of work, from BTEC Year 1 right up to completion on the HNC.

Mentor Recognition Awards

The role of the Mentor is of paramount importance to the training and development of apprentices in the workplace. Employers that achieve the greatest success with apprenticeship programmes are those that have dedicated staff who work with and manage the apprenticeship training plan at site. These people are the unsung heroes of apprenticeships and have the responsibility for developing the next generation of our engineers. Voted for by MGTS Training & Development Advisers we recognise and celebrate the efforts of the following apprentice Mentors:

  • Terry Bishop – Cranswick Foods
  • Chris Gilbert – Warburtons
  • Martin Tompkins – IPS-Integrated Project Solutions
Employer Recognition Awards

These awards are to recognise employers who have consistently supported the apprenticeship programme, recruited apprentices year on year and really value what the apprenticeship programme can bring in the form of developing the next generation of engineers to ensure their businesses are effective, efficient and productive.
Congratulations to:

  • Ardagh Group
  • Molson Coors
  • Morrisons
  • Warburtons

Thank you to everyone that attended and supported our 2023 Apprenticeship Awards to make it such an enjoyable evening.

Photography: Dave Warren – Pictureteam