An apprentice from Cheltenham-based plumbing, heating and electrical specialists, Shackleton, Wintle & Lane (SW&L), has been announced as the winner of the Rising Star Award at the South West regional finals of the National Apprenticeship Awards 2018.

One of nine regional ceremonies, the South West regional final took place last month with Henry Crosby, 25, receiving The Lloyds Banking Group Award for ‘Rising Star’. Henry is currently working towards a Higher Apprenticeship to become a fully qualified Plumbing and Heating Engineer at SW&L.

Now in their fifteenth year, the National Apprenticeship Awards showcase the diverse and growing range of sectors engaged with apprenticeships, whilst celebrating outstanding apprentices, employers and individuals who go above and beyond to champion apprenticeships across England. The awards were open to apprentices, individuals who promote apprenticeships and employers of all sizes from all sectors.

Henry said: “Switching careers to begin my plumbing and heating apprenticeship meant I had to make sacrifices, but I’ve never looked back and winning this award further reinforces that I made the right choice. My apprenticeship at SW&L has given me many opportunities and I’ve worked hard, even completing my Gas Safe certificate ahead of schedule.

"I’m really pleased to be recognised as a Rising Star and am looking forward to an exciting future in the plumbing and heating industry.”

Keith Smith, Director, Apprenticeships Group at the Education and Skills Funding Agency, said: “We know apprenticeships enable businesses to grow their own talent, and also allow individuals to start or progress their careers. The talent presented by winners and highly commended finalists really does showcase the impact of apprenticeships on individuals and employers alike.

“There really were some outstanding applications and great apprenticeship stories, all highlighting the many benefits apprenticeships bring. I wish all winners the best of luck as we progress to the national stage of the competition and I want to personally thank everyone who took time to enter the awards this year.”