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The Corporation

Posted: 07/06/18

Apprentice Ketan crowned best in the East Midlands

A West Nottinghamshire College plumbing student has been named Apprentice of the Year at the coveted Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) East Midlands Awards 2018.

Ketan receives his award from Jill Allcoat, joined by (left) Paul Parkinson, director of housing and assets, and (right) Cllr John Wilmott, cabinet member for social and council housing, and CIH regional chair Emma Lindley.

Ketan Pearce, an apprentice in Ashfield District Council’s repairs and maintenance section, was chosen by a panel of expert judges as the best trainee the region has to offer.

Judges commended his continuous positive attitude and commitment to his duties, and were impressed by the fact he has already been picked out as a future mentor for other aspiring apprentices.

Ketan, of Sutton-in-Ashfield, continues to grow and develop and is trusted to work on wide-ranging, and often sensitive, projects such as properties used for the temporary accommodation of homeless people and for the victims of domestic violence.

The 21-year-old has now been offered a permanent positon with the authority once he finishes his intermediate-level plumbing and heating apprenticeship in July. He plans to pick-up his studies in September and complete his gas training, making him a fully-qualified technician in both disciplines.

Being the winner of the regional category means Ketan has been automatically entered for the national Housing Heroes Awards 2018 at Manchester Central’s Exchange Hall on 25 June.

Ketan said: “I am delighted to have been given this award. I never expected when I joined the council that I would be in this position. I enjoy my role and hope to have many happy years doing the job I love.”

Before starting his apprenticeship, Ketan gained his level 1 and level 2 plumbing qualifications at the college, where he began his studies in 2014.

He continued: “I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for West Notts. I’ve had some great tutors who taught me a lot, and even gave me additional work whenever I asked for it, to help me get me to the standard I want to be at.

“I really enjoyed my time at the college and it’s given me the experience-of-a-lifetime. I want to go far in my career and this will only be possible through the skills I’ve developed throughout my studies.”

College plumbing and heating specialist Andy Fox, who assesses Ketan in the workplace, said: “We’re really proud of Ketan’s success in these prestigious awards, which recognise his skills and abilities as a talented plumbing apprentice.

“He’s a driven young man and a very committed learner, having begun on the level 1 plumbing diploma four years ago and progressed through the levels to an apprenticeship and position with the council.

“It’s great to see him apply the skills and competencies he’s gained at college into a proper working environment. He’s clearly made a significant impact within the organisation.

“Ketan has done fantastically well to win the regional title and we’re now hoping he can go one better in the Housing Heroes Awards.”

CIH regional manager Jill Allcoat said: “Ketan’s determination and drive is evident, with his passion and enthusiasm shining through. It’s fantastic that he has been identified as a future mentor to other apprentices; this is clearly a great reflection of his attributes and the trust his organisation has in his abilities and potential. He is a true inspiration.”

Councillor John Wilmott, cabinet member for social and council housing, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for Ketan and for the repairs and maintenance team. We wish him the best of luck at the national finals.”