A TEENAGE apprentice currently leaving his mark on a Whitley Bay site has been rewarded for his hard work in the construction industry.
James Thatcher has gone to the top of the class after picking up the Apprentice of the Year award from construction group Robertson.
The 19-year-old, from Sunderland, is currently working on the company’s Whitley Bay Joint Service Centre, in York Road, Whitley Bay.
James started is joinery apprenticeship in 2010, completing his second year of training, combining studying on block release with his day job.
He was presented with his award, trophy and cheque, by Mayor Linda Arkley at the JSC site.
James said: “I was pleased to find out I had won, I wasn’t expecting it.
“Robertson is a great company to work for and it’s great to be rewarded for something you’ve worked hard to achieve.
“I’ve applied myself at every level so it’s nice to be recognised for my efforts. It’s given me a lot of confidence for the future.”
Mrs Arkley said: “First can I say well done James. I am delighted that Robertson are able to use the Whitley bay Joint Service Centre as a learning opportunity for James and his fellow apprentices.
“As a council we are very committed to encourage employers to take on apprentices and help them build their skills and develop expertise that means they can take on future employment opportunities and contribute to the local economy.”
Andy McLeod, managing director for Robertson, said: “James is an outstanding employee and a role model for all apprentices, willing to go the extra mile and ready to help co-workers in different trades when the need arises.
“He has shown commitment and dedication throughout his apprenticeship. His achievements are particularly impressive when you consider he is only 19.
“I wish him the very best of luck with successfully completing his apprenticeship and I’m confident his future career in joinery will go from strength to strength.”