An electrical apprentice from Uckfield has sparked a double celebration after scooping two prestigious industry awards.
Graham Reynolds, 23, was named South East Region Apprentice of the Year by training provider, JTL, and has also won the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) Edmundson South East Region Apprentice of the Year award too.
The 23-year-old picked up the titles in recognition of his excellence and high standard of work.
And the prizes have topped off a fantastic couple of years for his firm Strange Electrical.
The JTL win is the second in a row for the Tunbridge Wells firm and is a tribute to their commitment to quality training.
Graham fought off hundreds of hopefuls across the region to win the prestigious ECA Edmundson South East Region Apprentice of the year title and a place in the national finals.
He was chosen as the South East Region JTL apprentice of the year after displaying “exceptional knowledge” and being a “very gifted young man” by the ECA and JTL representatives.
For this he was awarded a trophy, cheque for £700 and a glass plaque, and goes on to the national awards, which will be held in March 2011. Now he hopes his achievements will be ‘a building block' for future success.
Graham, who lives in Uckfield, said: “It’s the kind of thing you never think will happen to you and I can’t explain how pleased I am to have won. It’s certainly been quite a year – I’m not sure how I’m going to follow it.
“I came into the industry fairly late so was conscious I had a lot of catching up to do but with the help of my company I’ve been able to fulfil my potential and get where I want to be.
“The help and support I’ve received here at Strange has been second to none – it’s the Rolls Royce of training and I’m really grateful for all the guidance I’ve had. I feel very lucky to be doing something I enjoy so much – and I hope both awards will be the start of a great career.”
The ECA Edmundson Apprentice of the Year South East Region award is presented by Edmundson Electrical and the Electrical Contractors Association (ECA), and the regional awards recognise apprentices throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland that have attained a high standard of academic and technical competence within the electrical profession.
Graham was presented with his award, together with a cheque for £500 and an electrical testing kit by Edmundson Electrical.
Gordon Love, managing director of Edmundson Electrical, commented: “The ECA Edmundson Award is highly regarded within the electrical industry, and to have reached the final stages of the competition really is an achievement.
“Graham was one of 11 finalists invited to go before a panel of judges in London with the chance to win the title of National Apprentice of the Year. He narrowly missed out on winning the national award, but he should be justly proud of his performance throughout the competition and the standard he has reached so far in his career.”
Strange Electrical’s director, Phil Hamblett, said the win was fantastic bonus for the whole firm.
“It reflects well on us but also on all of our apprentices,” he says, “they’re raising the bar and showing the great results you can achieve. We couldn’t be more pleased for Graham and we hope he’ll be with us for a long time to come.”
Pictured (from left) Pat O'Brien, Managing Director of Strange Electricals Ltd; Angus Falconer, Regional Director of Edmundson Electrical Ltd; Graham Reynolds, and ECA President Di Johnson.