A Bolton-le-Sands man has been named EDF Energy's apprentice of the year.

Joe, 22, was up against 60 others who had completed the four-year training programme.

“I was surprised and shocked to hear my name called from the ten finalists, but also very proud to pick up this award,” he said.

Joe got on to the EDF Energy training scheme with Heysham 1 power station after dropping in to a talk on apprenticeships four years ago.

Since starting as an apprentice in 2012, Joe has spent two years at the HMS Sultan training centre, near Portsmouth, and the final two years getting on-the-job experience in Heysham 1’s control and instrumentation department.

He said: “My friend was going along to find out about the power station apprenticeship scheme and I went with him to keep him company. When I finished my A levels, I knew I didn’t want to go university after being in school for 14 years, so I applied to EDF Energy.

“I enjoyed my two years at HMS Sultan, but when I got back to site I was given real tasks and projects. I have been involved with making plant improvements and we have also built some new manometers to use in the reactor building.”

Both of these projects were cited as Joe took the apprentice of the year award – he also won Heysham 1’s apprentice of the year trophy.

Joe’s mum, dad, sister and girlfriend were all at the EDF Energy apprentice graduation ceremony when he received the top award from the company’s CEO, Vincent de Rivaz.

Richard Bradfield, station director at Heysham 1, was also at the awards and was one of the first to congratulate Joe.

Richard said: “We are all very proud of Joe, who thoroughly deserved this award. He has pushed himself hard and been well supported by his team, his assistant team leader and his team leader.

“I like to spend time with the apprentices throughout their four years of training. They really want to learn and do well in their careers, and we all know that once they finish as apprentices they take many different paths into the power station and the business.

“Whether that is technical or into leadership and management. In short the apprentices are the future of our business and who knows just where Joe might move onto from this fantastic start to an exciting career.”

In November, the application process for EDF Energy’s 2017 intake starts. Applications will be through the EDF Energy careers website. http://www.edfenergy.com/careers/