Wednesday, February 26, 2014

News: Rotherham apprentice up for national award

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Christopher Bruney, an electrician from Aston, is attending the final of JTL's National Awards tonight, where he will be up against 12 other regional winners from across England and Wales, all hoping to be named JTL's National Apprentice of the Year.

JTL is a charity organisation offering advanced apprenticeships in electrical, engineering maintenance, and mechanical engineering services.

Chris completed his apprenticeship whilst working for Lilleker Bros Ltd in Rotherham and was named JTL's Apprentice of the Year for the Yorkshire and Humberside region at the Royal Armouries in Leeds in October last year.

With offices on Moorgate, Lilleker Bros is an electrical engineering and contracting company that specialises in the industrial and commercial sectors with particular emphasis on electrical installations and process control within the food industry.

Having always been interested in electrics, Chris knew it was a career he wanted to pursue. In his teens he spent a lot of time returning damaged or faulty goods to full working condition, which he then sold online. He started a theoretically-based electrical course at college but soon decided that a more practically-based route would be a better way to learn the trade and successfully applied for a JTL apprenticeship.

Having particularly enjoyed learning new things every day whilst he was an apprentice, Chris also loved the opportunity to travel all over the UK visiting different places and meeting new people. As a qualified electrician he continues to enjoy the same variety, working across industrial and commercial projects.

"Sometimes I start work in the early hours of the morning, depending on the job, and I only finish when the job's done so there's no routine to my day and I really like that," says Chris. "Often I'm working in a mucky industrial environment, at other times in a spotlessly clean food factory and then sometimes we could get an urgent call out in the middle of the day because a crucial piece of factory machinery has broken down. That variety makes the work really interesting. Currently, I've been on the same site for four months because the client we're working for is extending an existing office block and building a second new one; other jobs involve a quick fix and can be resolved in a few hours."

Chris says he wouldn't hesitate to advise current school or college leavers to take up an apprenticeship. He feels that learning a job practically and benefitting from other people's experience is a big plus, as is the chance to gain real work experience whilst you're still learning. He points out that there's still an opportunity to get additional qualifications once an apprenticeship is completed. Chris is eager to focus on programming and, with the support of his employer, is currently investigating the opportunities to develop his career in that direction.

He added: "I felt like all my hard work had paid off when I won the regional award. I know how much effort everyone puts into their apprenticeship and I knew I was up against the best candidates in Yorkshire and Humberside, so I was very happy to win! My parents were incredibly proud too. It would be such an honour to get the national title - I can't quite put it into words. It would also be great for my CV of course!"

Lilleker Bros website
JTL Training website

Images: JTL

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