Top accolade for Castlederg apprentice

SOUTH West College (SWC) Level 3 site carpentry apprentice Luke Emery was crowned the coveted 2021 ‘Apprentice Award’ winner at the Federation of Master Builder Awards (FMB) after showcasing craftsmanship excellence.

Hw praised SWC and Lowry Building & Civil Engineering for their amazing support and encouragement throughout his career.

Talented Luke, from Castlederg, obtained his GCSE’s at Omagh Academy but decided A-Level study wasn’t for him.

In pursuit of alternative post-16 courses, Luke attended a SWC Open Day and enrolled on a Level 3 BTEC in Business and commenced employment in a building company’s office, gaining valuable work experience directly related to his course.

Luke said: "As summer approached, I was keen to take on more full-time work and my employer offered the option to work on-site rather than in the office.

"This unique opportunity further increased my experience within multiple different workplaces. After working on construction sites, I quickly figured that I enjoyed working within a practical environment more, forcing me to reconsider the direction I wanted to take within my education.

"So, I attended another open day at South West College, prompting me to change direction and enrol on a more practical level 2 NVQ in wood occupations.”

The course allowed Luke to learn for work through work whilst gaining qualifications that would enable progression within his chosen occupational area.

He enjoyed exploring and developing his practical skillset but was eager to learn more and progress via a level 3 NVQ in site carpentry which incorporated a mix of working, earning and learning allowing him to develop and perfect his skill as a joinery tradesman.

Hardworking Luke’s practical talent didn’t go unrecognised and he successfully went onto achieve one of the most highly regarded awards within his trade - the coveted ‘Apprentice Award’ at the FMB Builder Awards 2021.

Luke was overjoyed at achieving such an impressive accolade and hailed SWC and Lowry Building & Civil Engineering, for giving him the skills, confidence and opportunity to achieve his goals.

Luke said: “My experience with South West College was outstanding. I enjoyed the learning environment throughout all my courses and have gained vital skills which have helped me carve out a rewarding joinery career.

"I would highly recommend South West College to others, particularly for learners interested in a slightly more independent style of education and those who want to pursue a more practical or pragmatic type of education with a multitude of courses on offer to be taking advantage of.

"My career plan is to continue learning and increasing my knowledge in my chosen trade and down the line I would like to pursue construction management.”

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