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Brightest young spark

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An Ilminster apprentice, based at electrical contractor P&R Hurt in Yeovil, has won the ECA Edmundson Apprentice of the Year award, beating off strong competition from across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Matthew Williams, 21, fought off hundreds of other hopefuls to win the award, which recognises and rewards apprentices that have attained a high standard of academic and technical competence. It is presented every year by Edmundson Electrical, in conjunction with the Electrical Contractors' Association (ECA).

Williams was presented with his prize, a cheque for £1000, at a special awards ceremony, hosted by Douglas McNair, managing director of Edmundson Electrical, at the Copthorne Tara Hotel in Kensington.

Part of the prize will also be a familiarisation trip to Limoges in France, sponsored by manufacturer Legrand Electric.

Martin Bailey, ECA president, said: "Once again the standard of finalists for the ECA Edmundson Young Apprentice of the Year Award was exceptional. I never cease to be impressed by the level of commitment, energy and enthusiasm demonstrated by our young apprentices. I congratulate them all and particularly Matthew for his excellent achievement."

Douglas McNair, managing director of Edmundson Electrical, commented:  "Matthew has reached an exceptional standard in his studies and work with P&R Hurt, which really impressed our judges. Winning the ECA Edmundson Young Apprentice of the Year Award is a fantastic achievement. We wish Matthew the best of luck as he progresses his career."

Paul Hurt, Partner and Principal of P&R Hurt, said: "Matt's a brilliant apprentice; he's very enthusiastic and is always keen to get involved in new or different things to further his learning. The finalists this year were of a very high calibre so for Matt to win it was just fantastic, and very much deserved."

To be short listed Williams had first to gain a high-grade result in the City & Guilds examination for electrical work, and a mark above 95% in the industry skills test.  He then faced a regional interview, and subsequently was one of only eight candidates from all over the UK selected to appear in front of a final judging panel.


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