PARAGON Skills and Excelsior Coaches are joining in the celebrations after learning that Craig Adams is the Daily Echo Apprentice of the Year competition winner.

The great British public felt that Craig was deserving of the title after phoning, texting and emailing their votes.

Craig, an apprentice coach mechanic at Excelsior Coaches, was nominated by his managing director Kathy Tilbury.

Craig, 21, started out three years ago on a pre- apprenticeship course with Paragon, a local training provider based in Bournemouth.

He was disillusioned by his previous construction course and was keen to start a new career in the motor trade.

Vic Points, training officer for Paragon, felt that Craig had a lot of enthusiasm and drive and would be the ideal candidate for Excelsior coaches, who were interested in taking on a new apprentice at the time.

After a couple of weeks’ work experience he moved on to a full apprenticeship framework.

He has since progressed to advanced apprentice and has recently passed his PCV licence, which has enabled him to drive the coaches.

Andy McMinn, divisional director for Paragon, said: “Congratulations to Craig and Excelsior. This is a good example of an employer providing the opportunity for a young person to realise their potential following Craig’s success on a foundation programme with Paragon.

“This was supported by Victor Points, Paragon’s training officer, who recognised the potential in this partnership and has worked closely with Craig and Excelsior to progress through the apprenticeship programme.

“Craig has developed his skills to further secure his future which will ultimately benefit both himself and Excelsior.”

Excelsior Coaches managing director Kathy Tilbury added: “Working with Paragon, Craig is a shining example of how an apprentice can grow and develop with the business after their apprenticeship and we look forward to developing his skill set further in the future.”

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