A "COMMITTED and dedicated" apprentice with a bus company in Bradford has won a prestigious national award.

Seyed Nima Vakhshory-Kohi has received the Outstanding Technical Student - Bus and Coach accolade at the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) Outstanding Achievers Awards 2014.

The 22-year-old is an apprentice fitter at First Bus in Bradford, where he started in September 2012. His duties include engine work, maintenance and repairs.

Nima splits his apprenticeship between working for First Bus and studying at Manchester College. His programme is seven weeks' working, followed by one week of college.

He said: "This award was a great surprise and I feel very proud. I'd like to thank everyone at First and Manchester College, and look forward to taking on my full engineering role next year."

Nima is in his third year as an apprentice, after which he will qualify as a fully-trained fitter. He was nominated for the award by the college because of his "outstanding commitment and dedication", and won "due to demonstrating all-round ability"

Prince Michael of Kent, who is patron of the IMI group, presented Nima with his award at a ceremony in Warwick.

Stuart Eyre, engineering manager for First in Bradford, said: "We're delighted that Nima has won such a prestigious national award. This is recognition of all his hard work and demonstrates the commitment of all our apprentices and the success of First's apprenticeship scheme."

First in West Yorkshire has 22 apprentice engineers, with seven of those, including Nima, at Bradford.

Nima was one of nine winners, chosen from more than 120,000 IMI qualification learners and 30,000 IMI accreditation holders. Prince Michael of Kent described the winners as "future leaders and current role models in the sector".

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Bradford Council's portfolio holder for Employment, Skills and Culture, said: "I'm really pleased for Nima and congratulate First bus for their apprenticeship programme.

"Apprenticeships play a crucial role in supporting business and improving skills in our communities and I encourage companies across Bradford to consider how similar schemes can be introduced.