The search is on for Plymouth’s construction apprentice of the year


Leader of Plymouth City Council Ian Bowyer, along with key partners from the Building Plymouth network have officially launched the search to find Plymouth’s construction apprentice of the year 2017.

The award acknowledges and celebrates an apprentice’s exceptional contribution to their workplace, and recognise their commitment to the apprenticeship experience.

Cllr Bowyer said: “Not only is this award a celebration of our apprentices achievements, it also recognises the real importance of the construction and built environment to our city.  This Council is working extremely hard for our city by investing in construction jobs with real prospects for local people.  We support local people who are trying to make our city great.”

Emma Hewitt - Building Plymouth Skills Co-ordinator and Council Leader Ian Bowyer

Emma Hewitt – Building Plymouth Skills Co-ordinator and Council Leader Ian Bowyer

The annual award is known as The Ron Simmonds Construction Apprentice of the Year trophy. Ron Simmonds was a former Alderman and Mayor of the City and trained as an apprentice bricklayer, the trophy pays tribute to the contribution he made to Plymouth. The award in his memory seeks to acknowledge and celebrate an apprentice’s exceptional contribution to their workplace, and recognise their commitment to the apprenticeship experience.

Matthew Evans won the 2016 Award after completing his Level 2 Trowel Occupations, with Elmes Construction Ltd and City College Plymouth. He said: “Since winning Plymouth’s Construction Apprentice of the Year, I have felt both a renewed interest and enthusiasm for my chosen craft, with a personal ambition to pursue a future career in site management. Alongside working with my company, I have had the pleasure of assisting Building Plymouth at events to promote the virtues and importance of apprenticeships.
“Through engaging with these events I have discovered a flair for public speaking and noticed a distinct boost to my confidence, something before pursuing my apprenticeship I had severe problems with. Deciding to undertake an apprenticeship was something I had not previously considered but after an indefinite period of misfortune and with the prompting of my mother, I decided to bite the bullet and have never looked back.”

Highly commended finalists last year were Lizzy Berna, undertaking a Higher Level Professional apprenticeship with AECOM and City College Plymouth, and Liam Willsher, who has completed a Level 2 and 3 in Plastering with Zibest Plastering and Building Contractors and the Skills Group.

Entries are open to nominations of Plymouth residents (with home post codes within the Plymouth City Council boundary), employed within the local construction and built environment sector who are working towards an Apprenticeship Programme (any level), or who have completed an Apprenticeship during the calendar year 2016. There are no age restrictions.

Entrants will be judged on:

  • Significance of the apprentice to their employer:
  • Commitment to the Apprenticeship:
  • Enthusiasm and motivation

The judges will give additional consideration for any other stand-out performance that particularly merits this award such as acting as a role model and apprentice ambassador.

All entries must be received by 5pm on 16 January 2017. Nominations can come from employers or training providers.

The winner of which will be announced by the City Leader at the Building Plymouth Apprenticeship Jobs Fair as part of National Apprenticeship Week on Saturday 4 March.

For full terms and conditions and to download an entry form go to www.buildingplymouth.co.uk