A single mum-of-two who was determined to set a positive example to her children has taken the top prize at an apprentice awards ceremony organised by Bradford College.

Apprentice plumber Lisa Thomas was named Apprentice of the Year at a glittering awards ceremony held by the Bradford College Group, one of the largest providers of apprenticeships in Yorkshire.

The 27-year-old lifted the evening’s top trophy having already taken the Level 2 Apprentice of the Year title in the construction category.

Lisa, who works for Leeds-based Connect Housing and combines training with raising her two children, aged seven and three, was shocked to take the overall title.

“Winning was overwhelming, I am so humbled” she said. “It means so much to me to win and to set an example to my children, other single parents and young women.

“I was interested in construction when I was young but I didn’t pursue a career within the industry as I feared it was too male dominated.

“After becoming a mum I decided I needed to pursue a career instead of being stuck in a part time job to set a good example to my children so I decided to follow my dream and pursue a career in construction.

“What I like about being a plumber is that it is a hands on job. I love to see progress, taking a job from start to finish and when you see satisfied customers it makes the job worthwhile.

“I think it is a great job for a woman and I would 100 per cent encourage more women to consider it as a career.

“Eventually I want to get into construction management and I would love to inspire more women to take on a trade.

“I couldn't have got through the past two years without the support of City Training Services, Bradford College and my managers John Bramall and David Luttrell and the rest of the property services team at Connect Housing. They have been amazing!”

Lisa was named Apprentice of the Year ahead of 30 other apprentices who had picked up prizes for being the best apprentice in their chosen discipline. The range of subject areas recognised included business, construction, engineering, dental nursing, pharmacy, childcare and hairdressing.

Judges praised Lisa, saying: “Lisa balanced the tricky demands of full-time study and family life exceptionally well. She completed her apprenticeship early and passed all of her exams with flying colours.”

Dawn Leak, the director of employer responsiveness at Bradford College Group, said: “The evening was an great opportunity to celebrate all things apprenticeships - to recognise the achievements of apprentices and trainees and to thank the employers and teaching staff who provide the apprentices excellent on-the-job training which sets them up for successful careers.

“We hope all the winners will look back proudly, in years to come, at their achievements and will be there supporting the next generation of apprentices.”

Bradford College is one of the largest providers of apprenticeships in Yorkshire. Details of the apprenticeships offered can be found on the college’s website or by visiting the Apprenticeship Open Day on Saturday March 3, 2018 at City Training Services, Chapel Street, Bradford.

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