Liam Gill, former Bridgend College apprentice, was crowned Apprentice of the Year at a high profile ceremony in the Celtic Manor on Thursday 29th October 2015.

He was one of four finalists competing for this prestigious award. One of the other finalists in his category was also a former Bridgend College apprentice, Megan Wilkins.

Having changed career from personal trainer to mechanical engineer with Ford Motor Company, Bridgend, Liam, 26, from Swansea, attended Bridgend College to learn workshop skills, maintenance techniques and more. He then went on to his second year of his apprenticeship in the training department at the Bridgend Engine Plant, with one day a week in college.  He saved the company more than £80,000 a year with one of his ideas.

Liam completed his Apprenticeship in Mechanical Maintenance and Level 3 Extend Diploma in Engineering Maintenance with distinctions in all modules.

“I started my apprenticeship with Ford at the age of 24, older than most others on my course,” he said. “I have always given my best efforts to achieve high standards and as well as this I wanted to set a good example for the younger apprentices. I want to build the best career that I possibly can out of this opportunity and have always shown willingness to learn, enthusiasm and initiative.

“The Apprenticeship has been the best thing I have ever done, the training techniques and fault diagnosis have been superb and I will be able to use these experiences to take with me when I qualify. I have developed skills specific to my career in engineering as well as other, broader skills that will benefit my career.”

His manager, Gary Fender, said: “I have been in engineering for 33 years and Liam is one of the best I have ever seen. His effort and commitment are outstanding, as is the quality of his work.”