JTL National Awards 2018

18 June 2018

Top apprentices from across the country win the prestigious JTL ‘Apprentice of the Year’ awards

Newly qualified electricians, Jack Varney and Joel Collins and plumbing and heating engineer Dale Turner, have come out on top at this year’s JTL National Apprentice Awards. 

The high-achieving trio all picked up awards at a ceremony held on Tuesday 12thJune at One Moorgate Place in London. Jack was chosen as ‘Overall National Apprentice of the Year’, whilst Joel walked away with the title ‘National Electrical Apprentice of the Year’ and Dale with the accolade ‘National MES Apprentice of the Year’. 

All three were chosen from a cohort of 1,665 final year apprentices and were presented with an award and a cheque by JTL Chief Executive, Jon Graham. 

JTL 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 on the basis of their outstanding performances throughout the four years of their training.

Jack, who completed his electrical apprenticeship at Hull-based Humber Electrical Engineering, now works for Inspec Systems Ltd – a leading electrical engineering company specialising in the food, pharmaceutical and chemical industries. Inspec is supporting Jack through an HNC in Electrical Instrumentation, Plant and Process and, longer term, he has his sights set on a degree and a career as a Chartered Engineer. Away from work, Jack is a keen rugby league player and a qualified diver.   

Commenting on his success in scooping the top award of the year, Jack said: “I am feeling a bit overwhelmed to be honest. I’m lucky to have been exposed to real diversity within the electrical industry and I’ve always been taught with the intention of reaching the highest possible level.”

Fellow electrician Joel was only 16 when he started his apprenticeship and now works for Pettit Singleton Associates - one of the North West’s largest building services engineering practices. Asked about his win, Joel said: “I was so surprised to get an award, especially as the other nominees were really good. Winning an award sets you apart and I hope it will help me to continue developing my career.”

Joel has put his electrical skills to good use by helping to build a school in Zambia. He’s also a keen drummer and has played at various venues, including London’s Royal Albert Hall.  

Dale, a plumbing and heating engineer who works for Kier North Tyneside – a joint venture between leading construction services group, Kier, and North Tyneside Council to provide construction, repair and maintenance services for the region’s council homes and public buildings – said: “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.

The selection process for the three award winners 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. 

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 – 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 Jack, Joel, Dale 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, nearly 1,300 learners have completed apprenticeships with JTL and almost 2,500 have started courses. 

Apprentices on a JTL apprenticeship generally 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. 

Winners Dale Turner, Jack Varney and Joel Collins

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