A COMPUTER systems whizz-kid working at a top independent school has landed a prestigious award from software giants Microsoft.
Robert Hughes, an apprentice with Saltney-based information technology specialists Solex Systems who works on the sophisticated wireless communications network at Howells School, Denbigh, is the Microsoft IT World Skills Apprentice of the Year for Wales.
The 20-year-old from Borras Park, Wrexham, won the North Wales award with Solex colleague Josh O’Brien second and the pair went on into the national final where as well as Robert winning, Josh, 19, from Bersham, came fourth.
Robert, a second year apprentice with the Saltney-based company, said: “The work we do at Howells has been key to winning the award.
“As a company we have been involved in upgrading all their IT systems and they really are very advanced now which is brilliant in terms of giving you a good grounding in an industry which changes on an almost daily basis.
“The competition at the final down in the Sony Theatre in Bridgend was very intense. We had four hours to assemble and configure a PC and the people we were competing against could just walk round and watch what you were doing which was a bit nerve-racking.”
The Solex apprentices are on a work-based assessment programme with Deeside College and Solex director Mark Hill said: “They spend two days every week at Howells and it’s been a very important part of their learning process.
“I’m very proud of them both, they’re doing an excellent job for us and for Howells which as a school has really embraced new technology in almost every field.”