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Apprentice of the Year: Winner

Winner: Ashley Craig, Bourne Construction Engineering

All the finalists in this category impressed the judges and were a credit to their companies. But winner Ashley Craig stood out for his passionate and enthusiastic attitude.

It’s an attitude that is infectious at Bourne Group, where Ashley is in his third and final year of his welding apprenticeship.

He demonstrates an insatiable hunger to learn and improve both himself and Bourne Group.

Ashley completed his coursework seven months early to take an extra module on more complex welding techniques not included in his course at college.

He puts in extra time at weekends to practise and improve his technique.

He has now moved to working on more complex projects, in an area that has the greatest lifting capacity in the workshop: the first apprentice at the company to do so.

Projects Ashley has contributed to include large curved roof sections for the Leeds Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility and complex roof sections for the Midland Goods Shed.

“We were impressed by his enthusiasm and commitment to improving himself and the business. He has shown initiative and he consistently goes above and beyond”

Judges’ comment

Ashley strives for perfection in everything that he does, seeking out opportunities to both learn from his colleagues and pass on what he learns to them.

He sets an example for good practice within the business and is not afraid to question established practices or check that his more senior colleagues are wearing full PPE before they start working.

Ashley is developing his knowledge by undertaking a placement within Bourne Group’s engineering department to build his understanding of the design process, which leads to designs being turned into the fabrication drawings that he works from.

The judges praised Ashley’s dynamism and incredible energy.

They were also impressed that he was “pushing everybody to do better” as well as showing commitment to his personal development.

In addition to earning more responsibility on the workshop floor, Ashley is taking a leadership role among the apprentices.

He showed initiative in negotiating a new pay scheme to give apprentices pay rises as they progress through college and develop new skills.

He is also mentoring apprentices who are new to the business.

With his skills and attitude, the judges were certain Ashley will enjoy a successful career in the industry.


Chris Cameron, NG Bailey

Jamie Harper Ptolomey, FWA Conservation

James Malloy, Lafarge Tarmac

Paul Reilly, Keltbray

Alex Shaw, Billington Structures

Beth Thompson, AR Demolition

Maddie Wallace, AFI

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