2 apprentices from Leeds win top prizes

The Leeds College of Building civil engineering apprentices have battled off competition from thousands of entries in the ninth annual BTEC Awards, which are all about celebrating exceptional BTEC students and apprentices.

BTEC Student of the Year 2019, Christopher Meredith (centre).
BTEC Student of the Year 2019, Christopher Meredith (centre).

Christopher Meredith was crowned winner of the BTEC Award for 19+ Apprentice of the Year at this year's Pearson BTEC Awards.

The judges were so impressed with Chris that he was chosen as the recipient of the coveted overall BTEC Student of the Year 2019 Award.

Jordan Woods won the bronze award for the Construction Student of the Year.

LecturerJoanna Elvy also won the bronze award for the Teacher/Tutor of the Year.

The apprentices received their awards during a formal ceremony held in the Great Hall following a lunchtime reception at Central Hall with winners, guests, and local MPs.

How the BTEC Student of the Year turned his life around

BTEC Student of the Year 2019, Chris Meredith, left school very disillusioned and without GCSEs, having been frequently suspended. He was one of eight siblings and desperately wanted to change his life around.

Meredith achieved a BTEC Level 1, enrolled onto a BTEC level 2, and thrived so much he progressed onto the Level 3. Following a successful work placement, he was offered an apprenticeship, and has never looked back.

This June, Meredith, who works for Jacobs, will achieve his Level 5 and progress onto a degree apprenticeship.

“I didn’t have the best start in life, but I am now a successful person and role model, and it is all thanks to BTEC. I am so grateful,” he said.

“Alongside my apprenticeship, I applied and was successful at the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Technician Professional Review, and now have letters after my name, so I am academically, vocationally and professional qualified.

“Recently I was awarded the ICE QUEST Technician Plus Scholarship, which is given to exemplar apprentices who demonstrate exceptional potential. My employer and lecturers were there to see me receive my award. I was very honoured.”

Jordan Woods, who works for BAM Nuttall and is sitting his Technician Professional Review in July, was delighted to take the bronze award in the Construction Student of the Year category.

“From being very young, it has always been my dream and ambition to work in the construction industry,” he said.

“I am passionate about the benefits of BTEC, as their course structure suits me perfectly. I cannot tell you how much I have enjoyed the last four years of my life.

“I feel proud every day, and that is my biggest achievement.”

Leeds College of Building’s civil engineering apprentices have won one of the National BTEC Apprentice awards for the past six years.

Vicky Patterson, curriculum manager for Technical and Professional Apprenticeships at Leeds College of Building, said: “I am incredibly proud of our apprentices. We continually try to go above and beyond our normal duties to enhance the apprentices’ experiences and ensure that we produce the most creative and brilliant young technicians and engineers of the future.”

Find out what ICE can offer apprentices

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