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Celebrations at the National Construction College’s Annual Awards Ceremony

Apprentices from the National Construction College (NCC) celebrated their graduation and 40 years of training, last week at its annual awards ceremony. 

More than 800 people attended the event, including CITB-ConstructionSkills Chairman, Sir Michael Latham, world adventurer and motivational speaker, Miles Hilton-Barber and the families and employers of the apprentices.

Forty-six apprentices were recognised for their framework completions and 27 of these were presented with awards of achievement, including Apprentice of the Year, Health and Safety Award, and Best in Class for all trade categories.  Apprentice of the Year went to construction operatives apprentice, Jamie Picken (25), who is employed by John Thomas Construction Ltd.  Jamie also won the Construction Operatives Apprentice of the Year and Top Sports Person Awards. [Please see notes to editors for a full list of award winners]

Jamie said he felt very privileged to have won this award. “I was very surprised. This is just the beginning for me – I now plan to gain more qualifications to better prepare me for my future within the construction industry. I am grateful for the opportunities I have been given at NCC.”

During his speech, Sir Michael Latham said: “Again the National Construction College has delivered another first class group of graduates who will each individually make a positive contribution to our nation’s construction industry.

“We have the best qualified generation of construction workers that the UK has ever seen. Today we can celebrate this year’s entrants joining our industry’s workforce at a time when the construction challenges facing our country have never been greater or more exciting” he said.

Director of the National Construction College, David Boyden, said: “We are extremely proud of our students.  There has never been a more exciting time for young people to join the construction industry, with many large scale projects underway or on the horizon, such as the Kings Cross and Victoria station redevelopments, the Olympics and Thames Gateway construction programmes.“

Miles Hilton-Barber, who has been blind for almost 20 years shared words of wisdom with the students and teachers and challenged them to continue to strive for success. Mr Hilton-Barber has made a life of continually pushing his own limits, climbing the Himalayas and Kilimanjaro and man-hauling a sledge more than 400 kilometres across Antarctica.

The National Construction College is the largest provider of construction training in the UK and Europe, offering both young apprentices and adult students a wide range of specialist courses.  The college’s East campus in Bircham Newton is one of five sites around the UK, which, along with over 60 other locations, provide training for more than 35,000 people per year. 

For further information read the full press release

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