TOP grades, dedication and going the extra mile have resulted in 21-year-old Rhian Perrin being named as Airbus in the UK Apprentice of the Year 2012 for the Broughton plant.

Rhian was one of more than 400 members of staff recognised at ceremonies in Chester for a range of learning including apprenticeships and distance learning for a range of qualifications, including NVQs and degrees.

During her three-year higher engineering apprenticeship, completed in November, Rhian took a leading role in a design project which saved the company £850,000 and she has been described by managers as a credit to the apprenticeship scheme and Airbus.

Receiving her award from Welsh Deputy Minister for Skills, Jeff Cuthbert AM, Rhian said: “I’m really made up to receive this award. I’ve had a great three years as an apprentice and it has also developed me as a person.

“When I joined Airbus I had no experience of engineering, but the apprenticeship has given me experience of working for a major manufacturer and has also given me the opportunity to study for my degree and other qualifications.”

The former Lord Lieutenant of Clwyd, Trefor Jones CBE, presented the Freddie Roberts Memorial Trust awards for the best performing apprentice. These were won by Devon Sumner, 22, from Saltney, for her first year performance; Tom Sheils, 22, from Ellesmere Port, for his second year and Peter Olsson, 30, from Penyffordd, for his third year.

In addition to the Recognition of Learning awards, Airbus also presented a cheque to partner charity The Alzheimer’s Society for £5,000, representing the first two months of fundraising across both Airbus sites in the UK since the partnership began in January.

The cheque was presented to the Rt Hon Lord Barry Jones, president of Flintshire Alzheimer’s Society.

Paul McKinlay, head of the Broughton plant, said: “This has been a great event again this year. The people who have been recognised at these events are largely people who are just starting out on their careers, and no doubt many of them will go on to be leaders of the Broughton plant.”