Prime Minister David Cameron has personally congratulate apprentice of the year Robbie Powell after visiting Chipping Norton today (Friday).
Mr Powell works for Chipping Norton Builders and was recognised at the Oxfordshire Construction Training Group (OCTG) Awards in October. He has recently qualified with an NVQ Level Three in carpentry after studying at A.C.E Training in Kidlington.
Mr Cameron was attending a business event in the town hall and announced a government pledge to create three million apprenticeships by 2020.
He said: “The greatest asset any employer has is their workforce. And by investing in them, they are investing in the success and future of their business.”
Mr Powell received a cheque for £125 after winning the award and at the ceremony, the 21-year-old said he was surprised and shocked when his name was read out.
He added: “I hesitated a few seconds before standing up, just to make sure I wasn’t hearing things. After my colleagues and friends looked at me and congratulated me, I then realised I‘d heard correctly.
“My tutors Keith Smith and Matt Henson played key roles in my success at A.C.E , it’s support from people like them that makes learning fun and easy. Completing the course as well as winning this award has given me huge confidence when I’m out on site.
Chipping Norton Builders’ MD Joe Johnson was justifiably proud of his prodigy, having employed Robbie for three years.
He said: “Robbie has consistently proved himself to be an important part of the Chipping Norton Builders team.
“As a site carpenter, his skills continue to impress. But Robbie also brings to the team that rare gift in an apprentice: that of maturity beyond his years.
“Robbie has the ability to be understanding, knowledgeable and charming with clients, representing the company in a way any employer would be proud of. He has worked extremely hard at his training, determined to achieve the very best results.”