CRC student announced as BESA Apprentice of the Year

Cambridge Regional College student, Joe Smith is announced as the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) Apprentice of the Year 2022 in the category of Heating and Ventilation. 

Early 2022, four CRC apprenticeship students were internally interviewed for the BESA Awards, with two, Joe Smith and Jay Naylor, being put forward for the Heating and Ventilation Award and Overall Apprentice Award 2022.

Following an interview process, Joe and Jay produced a reference for the BESA panel and both were announced as finalists shortly after judging and in May 2022 the pair made their way to Newcastle to attend the BESA Awards ceremony. 

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The event was attended by the President of BESA and industry giants alongside 30 finalists, and their employers, from across the North-East region. The CRC duo were given the red-carpet treatment by employers Munro, who treated them to suits for the black tie event, alongside a hotel stay and refreshments throughout as the Munro team celebrated being finalists and hoped to be taking home a trophy or two.

There were five student awards in total, Heating and Ventilation Apprentice of the Year, Electrical Apprentice of the Year, HNC/ HND Building Services Apprentice of the Year, Facilities Management and Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pump Apprentice of the Year. In addition, there was an Overall Apprentice Award up for grabs and a Lifetime Award to celebrate services to the industry. 

Joe Smith said, “I was expecting a room of hundreds of people, but it was actually quite an exclusive event and that got me thinking that maybe one of us could win. When I was announced as Heating and Ventilation Apprentice of the Year, I felt really happy. 

Munro Building Services have been good to me. That coupled with the support from Gareth Bamford at CRC has been a huge contributor to my success. I am pleased that the hard work I have put in over the last 4 years has been recognised. It was a proud moment.” 

Jay Naylor said, “It felt amazing that I had come close to winning in the category and coming second to my colleague is a great thing. It has been a real confidence boost. I didn’t realise we were up against so many people.”

Jack Munro, Mechanical Project Manager, and mentor to Joe commented, “I am pleased for Joe. Munro put in a lot of time and commitment to the apprenticeship scheme and to see our Apprentices winning awards is clarification that what we are doing is working. 

Munro Operations Manager, Andrew Cocksedge added, “Munro have changed the way they deliver the apprenticeship programme so that apprentices are mentored by Project Managers. Many of our Project Managers have worked their way up from the apprenticeship programme themselves meaning they are aware of the process and the work that goes into doing an apprenticeship with Munro. We have a good partnership with Cambridge Regional College and the PMs work closely with the Assessor, Gareth Bamford. We have also changed out recruitment process to allow us a longer lead time in recruiting apprentices, with vacancies going out in March ready for apprenticeship start dates in September.

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The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA), formerly known as Heating and Ventilating Contractors’ Association (HVCA), has a primary focus on supporting and serving members in the building sector, encompassing design, installation, commissioning, maintenance, control and management of engineering systems and services in buildings.

The BESA Awards recognise apprentices and employers within the building services industry who have had outstanding achievements over the past year.  A number of regional awards take place throughout the UK and winners from each region will be automatically entered into the National Awards. 

Explore Construction Apprenticeship opportunities at Cambridge Regional College. Find out more about Building Engineering Services Association (BESA)

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