An inspirational Cornishman is celebrating being a finalist in a national Apprentice of the Year competition.
George Autie, an apprentice at integrated geotechnical, survey, subsea and geoscience services company Fugro, attended the Association of Colleges (AoC) gala Student of the Year awards in Birmingham, having risen to the top of more than 130 nominations across the UK.
“It’s a great feeling to be a finalist for Apprentice of the Year and I’m very proud of the achievement,” the electrical apprentice said.
And while he narrowly lost out on the top prize, George, 25 from Helston, said “the evening was great, with good entertainment and food, and it was nice to meet and talk to other students, to hear about their stories and celebrate the occasion”.
George, who attends The Cornwall College Group (TCCG) for his training, said he hopes to become “as much of a well-rounded and knowledgeable electrical engineer as possible”.
His employer and College certainly feel he has the talent and work ethic for an incredibly successful career.
“George is based in the workshop at Falmouth, however, he has recently been sent to sites all over the world in the last 12 months,” according to Danny Worrall, workshop manager at Fugro.
“We are very proud, George consistently does everything asked of him to a high standard to strict deadlines,” he continued.
“George has picked up qualities from all the workshop staff, although he has had the recent recognition with awards he represents the best of Fugro workshops ability and is an asset to the company.”
Danny also added that George has the potential to climb the company ladder and has already “demonstrated leadership qualities when stepping in as an acting supervisor”.
“He has a calm professional approach which breeds confidence among his team and others around him,” he added.
TCCG Principal and CE Raoul Humphreys, who was at the awards, tweeted his support of George, calling him “an amazing young man who is one in a million and an inspiration to us all”.
Electrical Lead at Cornwall College, Stephen Forwood said George “quickly established himself as a highly commendable student, and was a leading example to others within his peer group”.
The electrical department had no hesitation in recommending George for the highly sought after apprenticeship on offer with Fugro, where George quickly became a valuable asset to the organisation.
“Our electrical assessor stated that George is one of the very best apprentices he has worked with during an apprenticeship, this culminated in George passing the extensive three day external competence assessment at the first attempt, several months in advance of his peers,” Stephen explained.
“The electrical team is extremely proud to have supported George through his chosen career path to date, and look forward to supporting him further in the future.”
David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, said the Student of the Year awards “showcase the very best of college students across the country”.
“They celebrate exceptional students who stand out from the crowd. The finalists are more than deserving of the recognition,” he added.
Lucie Daluiso, Head of FE at Reed Specialist Recruitment, who supported this year’s category, said they were “delighted to be the sponsors”.
“Apprenticeships offers the opportunity to transform people’s lives and this award is evidence of the good work that George has done,” she added.
And George said he would “without a doubt” advise people to explore apprenticeships as a route into a career.
“In my experience I can’t recommend the apprenticeship route enough to people,” he said.
“I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.”