An apprentice plumber from County Durham has been awarded one of the highest accolades within his profession.

Stuart Brown, who works for Karbon Homes, has been awarded the prestigious JB Wilkinson award, which recognises outstanding apprentices, employers and education providers in the North East.

 The award was established in 1913 by the Master of the Worshipful Company of Plumbers John Bell Wilkinson, and is presented by the Newcastle and District Branch of the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE).

 For over a century, the award has recognised excellence by the colleges of the North East and the apprentices they train.

 Each nominee’s portfolio is assessed, which includes written and photographic evidence of their work and their understanding of plumbing and heating. The regional branch collects and assesses the information ahead of the regional awards.

 Stuart, 18 from Stanley is currently studying a Level 2 Plumbing and Heating course at New College Durham. Commenting on his success, he said: “It’s a great achievement for me winning the Wilkinson Shield. I have worked hard over the last two years and this award makes it feel like it has been worth it.

 “I have worked with a lot of good plumbers and gas fitters over the last two years but I would particularly like to thank my mentor, Peter Armstrong.

“I would also like to thank Karbon Homes for giving me the opportunity of the apprenticeship and hopefully I can carry on my career with this great company in the years to come.”

Alan Parker, Gas Services Manager and Stuart’s line manager at Karbon Homes, said: “This is a fantastic achievement and I am delighted for Stuart who continually strives for excellence and achieves high standards. The award reflects the quality of work that our plumbing and gas fitting team delivers.”

This is the second time the award has been presented to Karbon Homes – the first was awarded to Craig Milburn, Gas Fitter in its centenary year in 2013.