Paul Folks, who made the brave decision to retrain as an electrician at the age of 28 to secure his family’s financial future, has been named “Construction Apprentice of the Year” at this year’s Gloucestershire Apprenticeship Awards.
Clarkson Evans nominated Paul for the “Construction Apprentice of the Year” award as he was a first-class electrical apprentice who not only passed all his exams first time but also demonstrated excellent practical skills, a stand-out professional attitude and determination to progress quickly once qualified.
The Gloucestershire Apprenticeship Awards are highly contested in all categories, none more so than the construction category, which champions excellence across the construction industry.
Paul, a former nightclub manager, was presented with his award at a glittering awards ceremony at Cheltenham racecourse, as his proud parents Graham and Mary and partner Sophie Brammer looked on.
Clarkson Evans is passionate about offering career changers the opportunity to retrain as electricians. Before Paul joined Clarkson Evans, he was manager at the former Subtone nightclub in Cheltenham.
The father-of-three said: “I used to be a nightclub manager and although that’s not the natural route into becoming an electrician I’ve managed to use the communication, negotiation and organisational skills I learnt in that role in my current job. Winning this award is one of the highlights of my career and I’m grateful to Clarkson Evans for putting me forward.”
Andy Wilson, Head of Apprenticeships & Development at Clarkson Evans was one of the first to congratulate Paul on his award win. He said: “From day one Paul stood out as an apprentice to watch, both academically and practically, he was top of the class. We’re delighted that he has been publicly recognised in this way.”
All electrical apprentices at Clarkson Evans are trained in-house at the company’s own training academy. The business has been steadily expanding in the last five years and now has 18 branches nationwide, including its Gloucester branch.
“It’s only by employing apprentices and training them in-house that we’ve been able to develop a dedicated workforce with the right skills,” said Nathan Evans, Managing Director.
“We always look for people who are keen to forge long-term careers with Clarkson Evans and many previous apprentices have grown with the company, taking on more responsibility and helping us maintain high levels of customer service as we continue to expand.”