Jake1A County Durham apprentice lightning protection engineer has won national recognition for his training and development.

Jake Caldwell, from Stone Technical Services (STS) in Darlington, was named ‘Best Lightning Conductor Engineer’ at the Steeplejack and Lightning Protection Training Group (SLPTG) Apprentice Awards, which recognise the achievements of apprentices in the sector.

Twenty two-year old Jake, from Darlington, beat off competition from dozens of other apprentices from around the UK who have recently completed their training and was singled out for his skills in his chosen area and commitment to his field of expertise.

Jake joined STS in 2012 and is currently a trainee lightning conductor engineer with the group working on projects including the Byker Wall redevelopment and for Mechtool Engineering.

Speaking about his award, Jake said: “I was really shocked to get the award as everyone has worked so hard to get this far. It’s a pretty competitive industry and we all strive to be the best. I’m learning such a lot from the team at STS as there are a lot of experienced engineers to work alongside and we get to work on some really magnificent projects and great structures.”

This is the second year running that STS has won SLPTG’s accolade as, last year, 24 year old Robbi Dickinson won the award for ‘Best Technical Application’.

STS is one of the UK’s leading high level maintenance and lightning protection companies, working on buildings such as the Royal Courts of Justice, St Paul’s Cathedral and Lumley Castle, as well as for organisations including English Heritage, INEOS, BSkyB, Sir Robert McAlpine and UK-wide local authorities.

MD of STS, Dave Stone, said: “We invest a lot of time in training our team to the highest levels and this continues throughout their career with us. Apprentices are vital to keep the sector thriving and we are incredibly proud to have such an exemplary member of our team as Jake- he thoroughly deserves this award as he always works hard and is committed to his job. It’s a real coup for us to get this award for the second year running and it is testament to the hard work that the whole team puts in to training our staff.”