GastroNorth apprentice claims local award

GastroNorth’s James Blanchard celebrates his Apprentice of the Year trophy win.

GastroNorth’s commitment to developing its staff has paid off, as its apprentice James Blanchard was presented with an accolade at New College Durham’s Apprentice of the Year Awards.

The apprentice cad technician, who completed his apprenticeship with the Gateshead-based distributor last year, accepted the Advanced Engineering (Technical Support) Apprenticeship Award at the event, which took place on 19 June.

This award demonstrates recognition from the college and his employer, GastroNorth, for the progress he has made following the completion of his apprenticeship and education at New College Durham.

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The 2-year course combined study with practical learning ‘on-the-job’, and involved Blanchard attending college on day release while working at the distributor.

Tim Whitfield, director at GastroNorth, said: “The team and I are extremely proud of James and what he has achieved in the last 2 years since starting his apprenticeship; he thoroughly deserves his award.

“James is confident, hardworking and driven, and has worked to the highest standards possible while studying for his apprenticeship. His passion and enthusiasm for what he does has seen him elevated to a significant full time engineering design role within GastroNorth, and he should be proud of his continued efforts and dedication which he has shown throughout this course.”

New College Durham boasts an advanced engineering programme in the North East, supporting apprentices from the area and helping to them into employment with local business.

Working with over 700 employers, including GastroNorth, the college helps apprentices earn while they learn, and has teaching staff who are experienced in the industry sector in which they teach.

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