A TRAINEE chef from Ellesmere Port has been crowned the UK’s Young Apprentice of the Year.
Todd Lowndes, 16, who works as a trainee chef at Grosvenor Pulford Hotel and Spa, received the accolade at the National Apprenticeship Awards ceremony in London.
The announcement was made by the winner of the BBC show The Apprentice, Tim Campbell.
A delighted Todd said: “I was so shocked to win the national award, it was such a great feeling. My mates won’t believe it!
“It is amazing to think I have been picked from all the young apprentices in the country who entered the awards.
“My apprenticeship has given me a head start in achieving the career and future I really want and has been a great boost to my confidence.
“I have learnt lots of new skills and can’t believe I can now call myself a multi award-winning chef.”
Todd’s mum Vikki Jones added: “Proud doesn’t begin to describe how I feel. We are all absolutely ecstatic and will be here to support Todd as he continues to progress towards the career of his dreams.”
The awards, which are now in their seventh year, received a record 1,300 entries. Todd reached the final by winning the North West category.
Sue Price, regional director of the National Apprenticeship Service, said: “Every day individuals and businesses are discovering the many benefits of apprenticeships and I am delighted that out of the eight category winners, four hail from the North West.”
Hazel Elderkin, national apprenticeship coordinator from Unilever UK, sponsor of Young Apprentice of the Year category, added: “It’s really important to recognise and celebrate when an individual or company has achieved something great with Apprenticeships.
“This is particularly important for young apprentices who are just starting out in their careers and show plenty of promise for the future.”