A bright spark at motor retailer Lookers has walked away with two of the country's biggest apprenticeship honours in the same week.
Rob Pallent Bright, a Lookers apprentice based at Lookers Ford Braintree, won the Automotive Technology category in the 2019 WorldSkills UK finals, which saw the best apprentices in the country compete across a series of practical challenges across the day.
Almost 600 apprentices and students competed in 70 different disciplines, from bricklaying to beauty therapy, all of which showcased the country’s wealth of apprenticeship talent.
The competition was part of the WorldSkills UK Live event, which saw 72,000 people visit the NEC Birmingham to visit 150 exhibitors, all heavily involved in the Apprenticeship programme.
WorldSkills UK is a partnership between businesses, education and Governments that accelerates young people’s careers, giving them the best start in work and life.
Rob didn’t take long to follow up the win, as only a few days later he was crowned Ford Apprentice of the Year at a ceremony in the Henry Ford Academy in Daventry.
The talented 25-year old beat off competition from Ford apprentice technicians from across the Country at the Skillnet-hosted awards.
Rob said: “To win at WorldSkills was amazing but to follow it up with Ford Apprentice of the Year absolutely blew me away. I’ve worked so hard over the last year, so to be recognised in this way, from both a training body and Ford themselves, is a phenomenal way to end the year. I’m now looking forward to completing my training and starting out on my career as a qualified technician.”
The awards also represent a huge win for the Lookers apprenticeship programme, which has gone from strength to strength over recent years. This year saw the group welcome another 150 trainees to the programme, bringing its current total to over 500.
The new cohort also includes 10 female apprentices, bringing this total to 23, as the group strives to build a more diverse workforce.
Matt Clay, Group Qualifications Manager, said: “We are immensely proud of what Rob has been able to achieve. Winning both awards in the same week is unheard of and just illustrates how talented he is. Everyone at Lookers wishes him the very best of luck as he embarks on his career, which I’m sure will be hugely successful.”