A Dudley Council apprentice has won a national award for his work in helping to repair and renovate homes across the borough.
Trainee carpenter Matthew Watkins was crowned National Apprentice of the Year in the Building Skills category at the National APSE Apprentice Awards 2021.
The craft apprentice has been working with the local authority since 2019, combining classroom studies at Dudley College with on-the-job training and experience alongside experienced tradesmen at homes across the borough.
The council’s housing management team also received an award recognising the authority’s investment in apprentices over a long period of time and commitment to offering local jobs to local people. Councillor Laura Taylor-Childs, cabinet member for housing, said:
"I was delighted to hear of Matthew’s award win and send him my personal congratulations. These awards have been running for close to 20 years and are known to be fiercely competitive, with organisations putting forward apprentices from all over the UK.
"To be shortlisted in itself is a great honour, but I am absolutely delighted Matthew went one stage further and was crowned the winner.
"It is also a great reflection on our housing management team and in particular his mentor Stephen Wood, who has carefully overseen his progression and his work and been on hand to offer help and advice.
"It is an indication of our desire as a council to invest in the young people of our borough and give them opportunities to step into the world of work, and we hope for many more successes in the years to come."