GRASSINGTON 21 year-old Harrison Ward was named 'apprentice of the year' at the North Yorkshire Apprenticeship Awards.

Harrison, an apprentice at James Wilding Joinery in Rylstone and a student at Craven College, was named top engineering and manufacturing apprentice at the awards ceremony held at the Radisson Hotel, York.

His parents and employers, James and Emily Wilding joined him at the ceremony where he was also highly commended in the construction apprentice of the year category, and nominated for the intermediate apprentice of the year.

Harrison began working for James Wilding Joinery, which specialises in bespoke joinery for Skipton and Craven, as an apprentice bench joiner three years ago.

Business owners, James and Emily said they were overjoyed at Harrison's success in the awards that celebrate innovation and excellence for both apprentices and apprenticeship training providers.

“To say we are proud of Harrison’s achievements would be an understatement. To be shortlisted for three awards was brilliant. But to come away with a highly commended certificate in the construction apprentice of the year award, and to win the engineering/manufacturing apprentice of the year award was absolutely amazing," they said.

Nigel Spencer, lecturer in carpentry and joinery at Craven College, said: “Harrison is quite a lad. He works well individually or in a team setting, he is friendly and popular, and has just completed a very difficult practical task which is a gothic arched frame with curved glazing bars and made a very good job of it.

"Harrison should easily achieve his Level 3 if he keeps up his current efforts."

And, Anita Lall, principal and CEO of Craven College, added: “I am delighted for Harrison’s success which pays testament to his hard work and commitment.

"A big thank you must go to the staff who have supported Harrison throughout his time at Craven College, we are immensely proud of the high quality of our apprenticeships.”

James and Emily Wilding added they are proud to invest in the next generation by training apprentices and passing on skills and knowledge.

"Harrison has grown into an exceptionally talented young man. He continually goes above and beyond in all tasks he is presented with," said Emily.

"He is an extremely valuable member of our team, and contributes regularly with his own ideas on how we can overcome problems. He is always willing to learn new things, and works closely with all members of the team. Everyone who works with Harrison comments on what polite and conscientious young man he is.”