Apprentice Jon shows that he’s a class act

TOP trainee Jon Nixon is celebrating after becoming the second winner of a prestigious Tees Valley award for industrial apprentices.

TOP trainee Jon Nixon is celebrating after becoming the second winner of a prestigious Tees Valley award for industrial apprentices.

Jon, 18, won the 2005-2007 Tees Valley Production Technician Studentship award based on his efforts during his first two years of training at TTE in South Bank.

The former Nunthorpe Comprehensive student was among the second group to study for the four-year apprenticeship, sponsored by 10 chemical and power firms in the Tees Valley.

The class of 2005 will now spend the next two years at the premises of their sponsoring companies.

Jon, of Coulby Newham, has joined BASF at Seal Sands for two years of on-job practical training.

During his final year of training he will also begin a foundation degree with the option of progressing to an honours degree or chartered engineering status at a later date.

He said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have received this award. Industry in this area is really booming and I feel the apprenticeship offers me an alternative to the purely academic route into industry - I can earn as I learn.”

Keith Leslie, apprenticeship director at TTE, said: “Jon consistently achieved high grades in both practical and academic areas during his training and had an outstanding attendance record. He also showed individual initiative and worked well in a team environment.”

Sean Price, chief constable of Cleveland Police, presented Jon with his award in a ceremony at the Middlesbrough Teaching and Learning Centre in Cargo Fleet.

George Ritchie, of SembCorp Utilities UK, representing the 10 sponsoring companies, who welcomed all of the students to the awards ceremony, said: “The course has proved very popular and we have increased numbers steadily from our inaugural year in 2004. The practical and academic requirements of the course are demanding and the quality of the students reflects this.

“We anticipate we will need around 300 people like Jon on this programme over the next 10 years.”

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