An engineering apprentice, who studies qualifications with East Durham College, has scooped the top prize at a regional industry awards ceremony.

Martin Clutterbuck, 23, from Durham, took top prize in the Outstanding Apprentice of the Year category at the North-East, Yorkshire and Humberside EEF Future Manufacturing Awards held last week at Harrogate’s Great Yorkshire Showgrounds.

Alongside his studies at the college, Martin works for Newton Aycliffe-based engineering company Arlington Automotive who supply parts for the automotive industry, including Nissan and Bentley.

And it was a clean sweep for the college as they also took second place with another college engineering apprentice, and Breedon Group employee, Connor Duncan taking second place in the same category.

The geographical area they were competing in is the largest covered by the regional awards in the country and the win in the category means Martin is now up for the National Outstanding Apprenticeship award.

As part of the final Martin will have to take part in a presentation and interview day in Westminster, in December, before travelling back to London for the award ceremony at The Grand Connaught Rooms in London’s Covent Garden in January.

Staff from both the college and Arlington Automotive have praised Martin for his hard work and dedication since joining the apprenticeship programme.

Apprenticeship trainer and assessor at East Durham College, Dion Bowes, said: “It’s fantastic to see Martin win this award.

“It was a tough category but through Martin’s hard work and dedication in his apprenticeship he proved to the judges that he was a very worthy winner.

“It was great for us at East Durham College to have four students in the final of this award, especially after winning the category last year.

“We are now looking forward to seeing how Martin does in the national award and everyone from East Durham College wishes him the best of luck.”

Steve Dale, general manager of Arlington Automotive’s north-east plant added: “We are really proud of what Martin has achieved with this award.

“It’s been brilliant to see Martin’s development during his time on the apprenticeship with us. He has worked really hard and has been a great employee throughout his time at Arlington Automotive, this award is proof of that. 

“It has been refreshing to work alongside East Durham College and their great approach to apprenticeship programs, and we will most certainly look to train more apprentices with them in the future.”

For more information on apprenticeships at East Durham College, please contact the team on 0191 518 8294.