Kimpton resident named Apprentice Champion of the Year at national awards in London

Kimpton resident Neil Cain has been night named the City & Guilds Apprentice Champion of the Year at

Kimpton resident Neil Cain has been night named the City & Guilds Apprentice Champion of the Year at the National Apprenticeship Awards - Credit: Archant

A dedicated and hard-working operations director has been named Apprentice Champion of the Year at a national awards ceremony.

Neil Cain, 52, of Kimpton, beat over 100 nominees to take home the National Apprenticeship Service accolade in a ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House.

He was recognised for his outstanding contribution to apprenticeships since starting his own in 1980.

It was while working for a contractor on the Royal Parks estate in Bushey that Neil’s talents in training and staff development came to the fore and he established a site-based training programme for staff as well as continuing to support the park’s apprentices.

He currently works as an operations director for St Albans council’s grounds maintenance contractor John O Conner.

Neil explained: “My progression from apprentice to operations director is a testament to the potential of apprenticeships and my biggest achievement. “It’s evidence a university route is not the only option to exceptional careers, hence why I champion apprenticeships in addition to my job role within JOC and externally.

“I always have an open door for anyone not just new young apprentices but existing staff.”

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Hitchin and Harpenden MP Peter Lilley commented after the award ceremony: “This award acknowledges a long career that should be an inspiration and an encouragement to all those embarking on, or thinking of embarking on apprenticeships now. His dedication to helping those on the same journey as him deserves to be celebrated.”

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