CITB Inspirational Apprentice of the Year 2018

A Cheshire bricklaying apprentice has won top prize at the 2018 Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) Apprenticeship Awards. 

Mason Andrews, 24, from Buckley, employed by Barratt and David Wilson Homes North West, was named Great Britain’s Inspirational Apprentice of the Year at the ceremony which took place at Merchant Taylor’s Hall in London this November. 

The CITB Apprentice Awards celebrate the achievements of CITB apprentices, and their employers. The winners were presented with their awards at a ceremony hosted by the BBC Amazing Spaces presenter, George Clark.  

After conquering significant hurdles in his personal life, Mason jumped back into education and started to pursue his career in construction.  

Mason said: ‘’The entire experience has been overwhelming. I was nominated out of 14,000 apprentices across the UK, so I was never expecting to gain the award.  

‘’I have loved every moment of my apprenticeship and with the support from the College, I have been able to progress quickly through various levels. I am now exploring what management opportunities are available to me.  

‘’I was ecstatic when I got the job at Barratt and David Wilson Homes North West. Everyone is so friendly and supportive, it’s a great environment to be in. When I got into work the day after I won the award, everyone was cheering and congratulating me, it was heart-warming.

‘’The College has been great, especially my tutors Mark Nowell and Christopher Holland, they have been a crucial part of my development.

‘’I now know that anything is possible if you believe in yourself.’’ 

Mark Nowell, Apprenticeship Co-ordinator and Christopher Holland, Lecturer in Brickwork, tutored Mason throughout his College journey. They said: ‘’Mason was always keen and enthusiastic about his studies and was always striving to go the extra mile, ensuring his work was ‘just right’.

‘’He represented the College and Barratt and David Wilson Homes North West on several occasions out in local schools and the community, talking about the benefits of apprenticeships and the importance of maths and English in the industry. 

‘’Mason was always polite and friendly, and his positive attitude was infectious and inspiring. We wish him the best of luck in the future.’’ 

Mason joined Barratt and David Wilson Homes North West in September 2016. He is currently in his third year working towards completing an NVQ Level 3 Supervisor and Management qualification. During his time with the company, he has excelled in every project and has even taken the time to advance his skills and knowledge by undertaking his own projects, such as confidently building an extension for his Mum.

Stephen Cosgrove, Construction Director at Barratt and David Wilson Homes North West, said: ‘’Mason has overcome significate barriers within his personal life, and his background has enabled him to set long term goals not only to further his career but to provide a better life for him and his family. Having been faced with difficult situations in his younger years Mason has adopted many life skills that others don’t achieve in a lifetime. This has provided Mason with knowledge, skills and the tools he needs to succeed. Mason has a passion to succeed, which he demonstrates daily and continues to remain focused on site.  His belief in his own ability is what not only drives Mason to succeed but empowers others around him.

‘’Mason is top of the class when it comes to his punctuality, attendance, motivation, and enthusiasm.  He is a team player and has a great relationship with his team and management. This is not only on site but also on the field, where he has represented the Division in our annual cricket match, and as well as showing great sporting ability, was a respected member of the team standing shoulder to shoulder with the Managing Director and other Directors and not being phased by this experience.

‘’Mason has received several awards, including the Ancient and Worshipful Company of Bricklayers Apprenticeship and Advanced Apprenticeship in Bricklaying (Trowel Occupation), and recently he was named as the CITB Inspirational Apprentice of the Year, which is a prestigious award, and one which is richly deserved. He should be extremely proud of his achievements. He has a bright and successful career ahead of him and it’s a great pleasure to have Mason as part of our team. He is one for the future here at Barratt and David Wilson Homes North West!’’

Maria Davison, Director of Business Development and Apprenticeships, commented: ‘’This is a remarkable achievement for Mason and is truly well deserved.

‘’Mason has always demonstrated a can-do attitude and is highly self-motivated, which has enabled him to quickly excel with his studies.

‘’We are incredibly proud of Mason’s achievements and his enthusiasm to inspire other young people.’’

‘’We deliver high quality apprenticeship programmes that make a valuable contribution to both our Apprentices careers and the employers we work with.’’

If you are interested in studying at Cheshire College – South & West, or for more information, call 01270 654654 (Crewe Campus) 01244 656555 (Ellesmere Port & Chester Campuses) or visit

Celebrating 50 Years of successful partnership with the Freemen and Guilds

Cheshire College – South & West are honoured to announce that this year marks 50 years of The Freemen and Guilds Awards at College, by hosting their historic annual awards ceremony at its Ellesmere Port Campus.

The Freemen and Guilds Awards Evening celebrated the academic and personal achievements of 15 learners and Apprentices from across the region, studying at the College.

The Freemen and Guilds Awards which take place annually at College began in 1968. For centuries, the medieval Guilds have been associated with recruitment and training of Apprentices. The prizes are seen as a renewal of a historic bond between the Guilds and Education and symbol of encouragement and esteem for young people.

The Freemen and Guilds is made up of 23 companies including the Joiners and Carvers Company, Saddlers and Curriers, Cappers, Pinners, Wierdrawers and Linen Drapers and Barber Surgeons, Wax and Tallow Chandlers Company.

Travis Lannin, 18, from Chester, who won the Saddlers and Curriers Award and is currently studying an Apprenticeship and Advanced Apprenticeship in Vehicle Maintenance and Repair, said: ‘’I am so proud to have won my award, it was a great honour to be nominated by my tutors, it was an incredible feeling when I received the news.

‘’The College has given me endless opportunities and encouraged me right from the start. It has been hard work, however, the support from everyone at College has been incredible and it massively improved my confidence. I have secured a job in JCB and look forward to progressing in my career.’’

Tony Walker, Lecturer in Motor Vehicle, former learner at West Cheshire College, won the same award in 2010. This year he had the opportunity to nominate one of his current learners, Travis Laninn. Tony said: ‘’Travis completed his Level 2 Apprenticeship by displaying a very high level of skill and competence, despite some significant difficulties he had to face during the course.

‘’Travis’ talent was deservedly recognised by his employers at JCB, who offered Travis an exciting new career as a full-time Technician.

‘’The Motor Vehicle Team would like to wish Travis great success and all the best for the future.’’

Peter Thompson, Assistant Secretary to the Freemen and Guilds City of Chester said: “It has been great celebrating the Freemen and Guilds 50thAnniversary with Cheshire College – South & West. The winners of tonight’s awards should be extremely proud of themselves and their achievements. We wish them huge success in their careers and areas of study.”

Dhesi, Principal and Chief Executive Officer at Cheshire College – South & West, said: ‘’This is a very special evening for Cheshire College – South & West. These Awards are a long-standing tradition that recognises the historic link between our College and regional businesses.

‘’It is an honour to be celebrating 50 years of partnership with the Freemen and Guilds and a wonderful opportunity for us to celebrate the achievement of our learners. We are immensely proud of the winners who have demonstrated that through hard work and dedication, you can achieve your academic and personal goals.’’

If you are interested in studying at Cheshire College – South & West, or for more information, call 01270 654654 (Crewe Campus) 01244 656555 (Ellesmere Port & Chester Campuses) or visit


Tony Walker, Lecturer in Motor Vehicle and Travis Lannin, Winner of the Saddlers and Curriers Award

Young student wins national community award

Cheshire College – South & West student Niamh Ross, 16, from Crewe and former pupil at St Thomas More Catholic High School, has won the Dorothy Day Award at a Celebrating Young People event in London.

The Celebrating Young People Awards, organised by youth action group Million Minutes, honour the achievements of remarkable young people who make their communities a better place.

St Thomas More teacher Donna Brown, who nominated Niamh for the Dorothy Day Award, which recognises young people engaged with those around them, making their community a better place for all, said: “Niamh was part of our school’s Faith in Action group for five years, tirelessly attending weekly meetings and supporting events.

“She was also part of the Lourdes group, joining the fundraising to ensure all the pupils get there. Niamh has planned and helped to run cake sales, petitioned against social injustice and against homophobic bullying, supported events for CAFOD, Good Shepherd, and Christian Aid.

“We are all extremely proud of Niamh for winning this award which shows how much everyone thinks of her and the vital work she has done for the community.”

Niamh, who joined Cheshire College – South & West in September 2017 to study A Levels in Classical Civilisation, Government & Politics and History, said: “It was a huge honour to win this award for my volunteering work and my community activities whilst at high school. I have now moved onto study A Levels at College and I am really enjoying my time here; especially making new friends and getting involved in a much larger community.”

Dhesi, Principal and Chief Executive at Cheshire College – South & West, said: “This is an amazing achievement and an inspiration for all our students at College. It really shows how young people do make a difference to the communities around them and can be role models to us all.”

Student becomes Apprentice of the Year

West Cheshire College’s Engineering student, Daniel Sullivan, aged 28, from the Wirral, surpassed the competition at this year’s Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) 2017 Awards to become ‘The Most Improved Student/Apprentice 2017’.

Faisal Saeed, Engineering Lecturer at West Cheshire College said: “This is a remarkable achievement for Danny and is truly well deserved.

“Danny has always demonstrated a positive attitude and is highly self-motivated, which has enabled him to excel in his academic achievements.  He is currently working towards distinction grades, having completed his BTEC Level 3 and is now underway with his HNC.”

The IMechE Awards are a highly prestigious and established awards scheme, recognising exceptional engineering students and rewarding the efforts of some of the region’s most deserving students and apprentices.

The Institution believe their Vision of “Improving the world through engineering” will only be achieved by appropriately educated and trained engineers, hence their desire to recognise and encourage up and coming talent. This enables them to demonstrate the key role that engineers play in society, making major contributions to our health, wealth, security plus encouraging further young people to select engineering as a very worthwhile and rewarding professional career.

Faisal went onto say: “Danny is a great example to his fellow students and a credit to the College. His commitment and dedication is second to none and he has really displayed that he is an all-round achiever.

“His recognition at the awards just highlights the calibre of students we have progressing through our courses and we are really proud of Danny.”

Dan, who is from Rock Ferry, also said: “I’m thrilled to have won this award as it was completely unexpected. I feel as though my hard work has paid off and it is great to have been recognised by the IMechE.

“I hope that this will also help boost my profile in the sector and I’m looking forward to this next year of studying for my HNC qualification, as well as the hands-on experience I am gaining, which is equally invaluable.

“I would also like to thank West Cheshire College for all their help and support along the way, as well as my workplace, the engineering team at Farmers Boy Deeside, who have been immensely supportive.”

Dan’s award will also be celebrated at the IMechE’s Annual Dinner in March next year.