Thomas Hughes Wins National Construction College Apprentice of the Year

The next generation of construction apprentices are recognised every year at the National Construction College Apprentice Awards – this year a CPA’s (Construction Plant-hire Association) ‘Stars of the Future’ Award Winner, Thomas Hughes, won the overall Apprentice of the Year at the NCC (East) Awards.
Thomas Hughes, 22, a Volvo Construction Apprentice, based at the Warrington depot, has recently scooped two major awards at the NCC East (National Construction College) Apprentice Awards 2014, held at Bircham Newton last week. He beat 100’s of other candidates for the NCC Level 2 Apprentice of the Year and also secured the much coveted overall Apprentice of the Year Award.
Thomas was nominated by Willie Watson, Volvo’s customer support centre manager at the Warrington Depot, he said, “I am delighted Thomas has won yet another two awards! We were extremely pleased when he won the CPA’s Stars of the Future, level 2 Apprentice Award. But winning the level 2 at the NCC and the overall Apprentice of the Year really is the icing on the cake – this young man is going on to great things!”
Willie continued, “Thomas is a pleasure to manage, he is very keen to learn, constantly questioning the engineers as to why they are doing things, why that particular way and how do they know which area to investigate. Having a real thirst for knowledge and the determination to succeed is a real positive when it comes to developing yourself and these are traits that Thomas regularly demonstrates.
Thomas takes pride in everything he does and is not afraid to challenge when he sees things that are not as they should be. There is no doubt that he will become a very successful engineer with Volvo and has the potential to go very far in the industry in the coming years.”
Thomas’s college lecturer, Ian Maloney at the NCC East said, “I first met Tom 2.5 years ago in the subject of Engineering. He stood out amongst his fellow learners as someone who wanted to exceed at everything possible. He got straight into the making of his test piece in order to complete it and gain time to make other items. He puts maximum effort into all his studying, he participates fully in lessons, making welcome interesting contributions to discussions, always asking questions and making comparisons to things he has experienced in his work place. I cannot think of a better deserving candidate for winning these awards – well done Tom!”
Thomas said, “To win the CPA’s Stars of the Future level 2 was a shock. I was also named one of the finalists for the national stars of the future award, which in itself is a huge achievement for which I am very proud.  Then I went on to win level 2 at the NCC awards, there were two other candidates in the running for the award so I had no idea who would win it. After the Stars of the Future awards I was not conscious that I would be nominated for anything else so it was a complete surprise.
Then came the overall Apprentice of the Year Award – before the winner for the award was announced we heard a speech of why who had won deserves to win. When you hear the things that people have said about the winner and the fantastic compliments you think to yourself ‘nah it’s not me, it can’t be’. Then my name was called! I was astonished and lost for words, my table was ecstatic! It all happened rather fast; afterwards a lot of people were shaking my hand congratulating me and asking for a picture. To be honest I just remember thinking ‘WOW!’
“Winning awards is a very gratifying feeling and it is recognition of the work and effort an individual puts in. I may have won awards but all the people nominated must be doing a top job as well so they all won something! Just being nominated is something to be proud of. I think it will help a huge amount with my career with Volvo because it shows that I am prepared to put the work in and I always want to get better! I set my sights and I will not stop till I have got what I want, and anything you want you have to work for and earn!”
Thomas concluded, “I hope to be entered into the level 3 Stars of the Future Awards next year and the NCC Awards – but I will not become complacent because I have won awards and let up on my training. As I say I have a way to go yet and I have intensions of making every effort to become better at my job.
I am hugely grateful for any awards and nominations. I would like to say though, that my success is down to the hard work not just of myself, but of the people I work with,
The people who train me and anyone who takes the time to help, whether that be recognising success or passing down their knowledge.”
The National Construction College is the largest training provider of its kind in Europe – supporting over 26,000 individuals every year including over 700 apprentices, and enjoying achievement rates well above the national average.
Each year, at its annual Apprentice Awards ceremonies, it celebrates the success of those apprentices who have made an outstanding contribution to their studies and have demonstrated a real commitment to kick starting their successful careers in the construction sector.
The Stars of the Future competition is an annual award scheme, now in its 3rd year, devised by the CPA to recognise talented youngsters on plant mechanic apprentice schemes in colleges across the UK.
There are separate prizes for Level 2 and Level 3 trainee plant mechanics and college tutors monitor their students throughout the academic year both in their college and working environment from this assessment they select their two ‘Stars of the Future’ apprentices for the regional award, and these students automatically are entered for the National Award.
Haydn Steele, CPA’s training manager and organiser of the Stars of the Future Awards said, “The CPA awards, are in line with the National Construction College Apprentice Awards, and recognise and reward outstanding apprentices, on plant mechanic apprenticeship schemes, who not only bring ability and commitment to their learning and their work, but who possess additional capabilities that mark them out not only being the foundations of the future of our industry, but also potential leaders. We are very much looking forward to seeing Thomas Hughes back next year competing at Level 3 – we wish him the very best of luck.”
The 2015 Stars of the Future Awards will be held at Plantworx Construction Equipment Exhibition 2015 at Hanger 42, Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome on 4th June. Presenting the awards is Richard Noble OBE, pioneer of the Bloodhound SSC 1000mp land speed record project.
For further information on the Construction Plant-hire Association, contact Haydn Steele, CPA Director on 020 7796 3366.
Source: CPA (Construction Plant-hire Association UK)