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Josh in the frame after TCAT Apprentice of the Year award

Telford | Education | Published:

Josh Hopwood didn't know what to expect when he was hired as an apprentice at a Telford photo framing firm.

Joshua Hopwood, 18 who works at Maws Gallery, and has recently won Apprenticeship of the Year from TCAT

The former art and design student knew it was the direction he wanted to go in and impressed bosses at Maws Gallery on Tweedale Industrial Estate with his interest and keen attitude.

A year later, the 18-year-old has been named Apprentice of the Year by Telford College of Arts and Technology, and he couldn't be prouder.

Josh, from Broseley, said: "With it being picture framing, I didn't know a lot about it. I came into it open-minded. I was just going to take it as it comes.

"I had a letter sent that I had an award from my customer service qualification, then there was also the apprenticeship of the year. I didn't know I was going to get that. It feels amazing."

Josh said he's recommend an apprenticeship to his friends.

"You're not in college in classrooms, you're learning practically," he said.

"I'd definitely recommend apprenticeships over college. There's a lot of people my age who are just going with what they're told to do, they should be at college because that's what they're 'supposed' to do.

"I think if they were doing something more practical things would fall into place more."

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Josh said he felt an apprenticeship would mean he was more attractive in the job market than someone who had just done a college course.

Vicky Baker, 39, runs the company with her mother, and said Josh had helped them to change their mind about apprenticships.

"This has enlightened me about apprenticeships," she said. "This has opened my eyes to the idea that it can work.

"Josh had an initial interest in art, and also he had done customer work as well.

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"He seemed so keen as well, which is always nice in youngsters.

"We were told there was going to be an awards evening, but didn't know he was going to win Apprentice of the Year. We're very proud.

"It's a real bonus to the business that he's achieved that. It's great that our training that we do has gone towards it."

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