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Live wire David claims college apprentice award

By Alan Beresford

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A BUCKIE apprentice has proved to be something of a talented live wire after claiming a major award.

Live wire...GCS boss Sonya Warren congratulates David Watt on his Apprentice of the Year award. Picture: Eric Cormack
Live wire...GCS boss Sonya Warren congratulates David Watt on his Apprentice of the Year award. Picture: Eric Cormack

Gardenstown lad David Watt (20), who has been an apprentice electrician with Gateway Control Systems (GCS) just outside Buckie for the last two years, was sparking celebrations after claiming the Scottish Electrical Chairtable Trust Second Stage Apprentice of the Year award at the North East Scotland College) Nescol.

Like his fellow apprentices David's Modern Apprenticeship sees his time split pre-lockdown between work and college on block release.

The strictures of Covid regulations meant that in order to determine the destination of the Best Apprentice crown the top students in the year group were pitched against each other in a face-off where they had to complete a number of course-related tasks.

It was stiff competition indeed, as David recalled.

"The lecturers had been saying that we were the best year group Nescol has had for years, so even to get tio the final was an achievement.

"I was actually quite calm at the time, you just get on with it. The tasks were practical ones based on what we'd beeen doing.

"It's been a lot of hard work with the Covid restrictions on top of that, too but it's paid off. Special thanks go to Sonya and Alan [Warren, GCS owners].

"I'm delighted to have won, especially in such a tough year group, but I've a lot still to do before I'm a qualified electrician. Hopefully I'll have completed the course by 2022."

A career as an electrician was always on the cards for David, who spoke of his interest in things electrical during school and a two-year cpourse he successfully completed at Nescol after leaving school and before embarking onhis apprenticeship.

David would normally have been entered in the Scottish finals for apprentices in his year group but given the Covid regulations whether this will happen remains uncertain.

Boss Sonya Warren was full of praise for David.

She said: "We're really proud of him, it's great to see his hard work and commitment being recognised and rewarded.

"It's a great achievement for him, especially after all the extra work put in to the changed ways of working due to Covid.

"David is a reliable and enthusiastic apprentice with a desire to learn new skills. As a company we take pride in quality workmanship. This comes through having highly skilled tradespeople with a good work ethic who are also good at passing their skills and knowledge onto the apprentices."

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