Billy Mitchell received Highly Commended recognition at the Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA) Stars of the Future awards this week, with four Wiltshire College & University Centre students nominated for prizes in total.
Billy, who is studying an apprenticeship at the College’s Lackham campus, was Highly Commended in the Plant Mechanic of the Year (South) category at the ceremony in Coventry.
Lee Ades, Michael Wood and Joby Payne – who are all also studying apprenticeships in land-based engineering at the College – were nominated for awards as well.
The Stars of the Future project is a national awards scheme for apprentices and trainees in the construction plant-hire industry and organised by the CPA – the leading trade association for the plant-hire sector in the UK. The awards are intended to recognise and reward outstanding apprentices and trainees who not only bring ability and commitment to their learning and their work but also possess those extra capabilities which mark them out as being the future of the industry.
Billy, who is fulfilling an apprenticeship at construction equipment specialist AmeyBriggs alongside his College commitments, said: “This is the second time I have been nominated for this award. I won it last year so there is no shame in not winning this year – you can’t expect to win it twice. I am really happy that the College and my employers are happy with what I am doing and feel I am deserving of the award.
“Being able to go to work and spend most of my time getting hands on with the equipment is great. It has given me that step forward. It is not taking me as long to get into industry, I’m moving along faster than I thought.
“If you know exactly the industry you want to get into, I think an apprenticeship is a brilliant option compared to just getting a qualification. It is your foot in the door, I couldn’t recommend it enough. I did A Levels and that didn’t make my mind up about what I wanted to do but getting this opportunity has really helped me decide that this is the industry I want to work in.”
Sharon Jarvis, Deputy Head of Engineering at the College, added: “All four students have performed outstandingly during their apprenticeships and it is wonderful to see them receive recognition in the form of nominations at the Construction Plant-hire Association Stars of the Future awards.
“We have received excellent feedback from their employers and we look forward to helping them continue their development both at College and in the workplace. I am sure successful careers lay ahead for all of them.”
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