THE achievements of dozens of apprentices have been celebrated at much anticipated awards ceremony in the city.

The Bradford College Group Class of 2017 Apprenticeship Awards, were held at the Advanced Technology Centre and honoured apprentices, trainees, employers and assessors in a range of subject areas.

They were jointly sponsored by the Telegraph & Argus, Car Empire, CognAssist, Northern Dental Education Centre and Witt UK Group.

The evening’s big prize, Apprentice of the Year, went to Lisa Thomas, a single mum of two and apprentice plumber.

The 27-year-old, who works for Connect Housing and has two children, aged seven and three, was shocked to take the overall title.

“Winning was overwhelming, I am so humbled” she said. “It means so much to me to win and to set an example to my children, other single parents and young women.

“I was interested in construction when I was young but I didn’t pursue a career within the industry as I feared it was too male dominated.

“After becoming a mum I decided I needed to pursue a career instead of being stuck in a part time job to set a good example to my children so I decided to follow my dream and pursue a career in construction.

“What I like about being a plumber is that it is a hands on job. I love to see progress, taking a job from start to finish and when you see satisfied customers it makes the job worthwhile.

“I think it is a great job for a woman and I would 100 per cent encourage more women to consider it as a career.

“Eventually I want to get into construction management and I would love to inspire more women to take on a trade.

“I couldn’t have got through the past two years without the support of City Training Services, Bradford College and my managers John Bramall and David Luttrell and the rest of the property services team at Connect Housing. They have been amazing!”

Among the nights other big winners was Amy Pullan who is an apprentice childcarer working at Ark Day Nursery on Halifax Road, Bradford.

Amy was named Level 3 Apprentice of the Year in the Childcare and Supporting Teaching and Learning category and she also collected a Special Recognition trophy.

Amy said: “I want to carry on working in the nursery. It is lovely to see children grow and develop.”

The Level 2 Apprentice prize winner in the same category was Benn Milner who works at One in A Million Free School in Bradford.

He was praised by judges for “showing outstanding practice throughout his apprenticeship, rising to every challenge and showing maturity beyond his years”.

Wishing Well Nursery in Bingley was named Employer of the Year in the childcare category.

In the business category Muhammad Khan, who works for Capita Plc, took the title of Level 3 Apprentice of the Year while Bayley Sutcliffe, who works for City Training Services, took the Level 2 prize and First Bus was named Employer of the Year.

Aaron Porter from Keighley, who works for JCH Electrical in Keighley, was named Level 3 Apprentice of the Year in the construction category in which Charlestown was named the Employer of the Year.

In the dental nursing category Amy Broadbent collected the Apprentice of the Year gong while 57 Dental Care walked away with the Employer of the Year trophy.

Matthew Cooper and Evan Dunn were the engineering Apprentices of the Year at Level 3 and Level 2 respectively. Matthew works for Bradford Council while Evan works for Wicks Engineering. The Employer of the Year winner for engineering was Produmax.

The awards in the motor vehicle category went to Edward Hammond as Light Vehicle Apprentice of the Year and Connor Blackwell as Heavy Goods Vehicle Apprentice of the Year. Headlands Garage won the honour of Employer of the Year.

In the pharmacy category, Melissa Byrne on the Level 2 prize while Niyla Mahmood of Sahara Pharmacy won the Level 3 award and Haxby Group Pharmacy took the employer title.

The Service Industries category saw Imogen Gillespie of Hairavanti named the top Level 2 apprentice and Joe Smith took the Level 3 title while Pinnacle Hair proudly accepted the Employer of the Year trophy.

Ms Gillespie was also the recipient of a “special recognition” trophy.

Steven Demkowicz, who works for Anchor Care Homes, won the award for Trainee of the Year.

A special recognition trophy was also presented to Jordan Rhodes of Centa Transmissions in Shipley.

Dawn Leak, the director of employer responsiveness at Bradford College Group, said about the event: “The evening was an great opportunity to celebrate all things apprenticeships and to recognise the achievements of apprentices and trainees and to thank the employers and teaching staff who provide the apprentices excellent on-the-job training which sets them up for successful careers.”