Triumph for rising stars in gas distribution company apprenticeship awards
14 December 2017
Two striving engineers have been recognised for giving an outstanding performance by their employer, gas distribution company SGN, in their 2017 Apprentice of the Year awards.
After fighting off tough competition from their peers, Mark Walters, 25, was named the company Apprentice of the Year while Jason Wood, 21, won the award for Top Performing Apprentice in Scotland.
Mark joined three years ago and has just completed his apprenticeship, while Jason is now in the middle of his third and final year. Both have worked extremely hard by combining theoretical study at their local Develop Training facility with practical experience on-site under the supervision of an experienced engineer.
Mark, who is based at our West Kent depot and lives in Tunbridge Wells, applied for an apprenticeship with SGN after working in a retail jewellery store. He explained: “I had worked in my previous role for three years and decided that I wanted a fresh start somewhere I could make a career for myself. I researched SGN and their apprenticeship scheme seemed like a great opportunity which would offer me progression, so I went for it.
“I was really surprised to win. The apprenticeship has given me the motivation to advance even further and it’s great to have been recognised.”
Mark was presented with his award in November at our Horley office by HR and Services Director Kate Naylor.
Mark displays his award, alongside Kate.
Head of Operations for Scotland, Jim Small, presented Jason with his award at our Edinburgh office in November. Jason, who lives in the Edinburgh area, applied for an apprenticeship after studying Mechanical Engineering at university. He explained: “I wasn’t enjoying my university course as much as I’d hoped as there wasn’t much opportunity to do practical work. I decided I wanted to apply for a job where I could be more hands-on and make a career for myself. I researched SGN and their apprenticeship scheme seemed like a great opportunity which would offer me progression, so I went for it.”
Jason displays his award, alongside Jim.
Apprenticeship Scheme Manager Marc Gasson said he was delighted their efforts had been rewarded: “Both Mark and Jason’s attitude to their apprenticeship programme has been fantastic right from day one. It doesn’t matter what they get asked to do, they always give 100%. They also both work great in a team and get on well with everybody.
“In deciding who should win the company’s Apprentice of the Year award, we took into account the views of the apprentices’ mentors, their line managers and Develop Training, along with the progress they had made and the personal skills demonstrated over the past year.
“It’s not simply about which apprentice performed best academically, it’s more of a broad judgement about their attitude, behaviour, performance and how they get on with other people.”
Since launching our apprenticeship programme in 2008, we have recruited 115 apprentices for our six depots in Scotland and a further 191 for the South of England. We invest between £90,000 and £140,000 in each apprentice and that investment has been rewarded by the fact that the programme has a 97% retention rate.