The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has launched an award looking for the best and brightest among apprentices and technicians.
The Apprentice and Technician of the Year Award is open in three categories for technicians, apprentices and Armed Forces technicians. The winner in each category will receive a £1,000 cash prize, two-year free membership of the IET and payment of their technician professional registration fees.
The awards, already in their second year, aim to raise the profile of UK apprentices and technicians and acknowledge their contribution to the engineering businesses. The candidates will be assessed based on their engineering and technical understanding and ability, or on their contribution to promoting their profession for example by taking on an ambassadorial role in schools and other voluntary work.
“Apprentices and technicians are essential to the success of engineering companies, but rarely receive accolades for their contribution to that success,” said the IET President Barry Brooks. “These awards provide an opportunity for all in the profession to celebrate the best apprentices and technicians.
The awards have the same goals as current initiatives of the UK government and industry to improve the quality and consistency of apprenticeships and to attract more men and women to become technicians.
One of last year’s winners, Andrew Knowles, a Project & Reliability Engineer at Merseyrail said: “I was not only delighted to have won the IET Technician of the Year award but in addition it has had a fantastically positive impact on my career. The award confirmed my decision to enter into this fascinating sector, something which I would urge other young people to consider.”
A spokesperson from GCHQ, which is sponsoring the awards said:
"The IET Apprentice and Technician Awards scheme is a particularly special scheme because it acknowledges the significant impact that young people are having on engineering businesses through boosting productivity and enhancing the skills base. Apprenticeships in particular are a genuine alternative to University education and lead to just as rewarding career path."
The awards are open for applications via the IET website until 30 May. Winners will be announced at the IET Achievement Awards Ceremony, which will take place in London on Wednesday, 19 November 2014.