Lewis Frew, who works for Onestop Access in Motherwell, was awarded Plant Mechanic Apprentice of the Year and Sandy Coull, who works for Billy Miller in Elgin, was named Plant Operator Apprentice of the year.
Christopher Blake, Curriculum Manager at CITB Plant, put forward Lewis and Sandy due to their work ethic and the impressive skills they demonstrated. Christopher explains: “The 2023/2024 award winners, Lewis and Sandy, were unanimously chosen by their respective tutors in both England and Scotland.
Des Clarke, John Sibbald, Lewis Frew and Gary Cumiskey
“Lewis has a first-class work ethic; he always strives to learn more and no challenge seems to faze him. He is always the first to college in the morning, even if he has attended a breakdown before college starts, and he is usually the last one to leave. This young man has been a standout apprentice at Inchinnan all year.
“Sandy was noted as being exceptional. A diligent learner, executing tasks after being demonstrated or explained them just once. Always on time for both practical and theory sessions at college in Norfolk, this trend continues when back home at work where he displays natural plant operator skills on every job.”
Des Clarke, John Sibbald, Sandy Coull and Gary Cumiskey
Rob White, Division Manager at Construction Kubota UK, adds: “We are proud to sponsor the SPOA Apprenticeship awards and support the young talent coming through in our industry. We feel it's important to acknowledge and encourage such great work and determination and congratulate Lewis and Sandy on what I'm sure will be the first of many achievements within their careers. We look forward to welcoming them at our Kubota UK Headquarters later in the year.”
Lewis: “I am extremely thankful for this award. I would like to thank everyone I have worked with who has helped me hone and develop my skills and given me the opportunity to progress. I would also like to thank the colleges and tutors for their continued support and also the SPOA for this recognition.”
Chris Findlay, Service Manager at Onestop Access, said: “Big congratulations to Lewis for achieving this award. He has proved from his hard work and effort that he is worthy of this. I look forward to assisting him in his journey. Always a pleasure!”
Billy Miller, Managing Director, said: “I am delighted for Sandy who is a conscientious and hard-working individual. He takes all his training seriously and understands the importance of learning his skills.
“We are keen to get more young people involved in the construction industry in an attempt to address the shortage of labour and ageing workforce. There are many directions to go forward in, all leading to the potential career progression option of site management in the future.”
The Apprentice of the Year Awards have become a highlight of the SPOA’s Annual Dinner. Speaking about the winners, John Sibbald, President of the SPOA, said: “The SPOA is working hard to attract young people into our industry, and the annual Apprentice of the Year Awards play a really important role in this. My congratulations to Lewis and Sandy, both worthy winners and I hope that they inspire others to follow a career in plant.”