This year’s winner, David Spiers (22), from Glengormley has been with the company for four years and not only has he recently completed his apprenticeship, but he is also now employed as an electrician with William Coates, the Mallusk-based mechanical and electrical engineering company.
The awards, which have been running for over 40 years, and are rated among the premier awards in the electrical installation industry, recognise industry talent across the UK and feature a rigorous assessment overseen by an independent panel of judges.
Established in 1961, William Coates has focused on developing and nurturing talent via its apprenticeship programmes, which have been running for a number of years. The company currently has 12 apprentices, who have the opportunity to work on high profile accounts, such as the new National Stadium at Windsor Park alongside the main contractor O‘Hare & McGovern.
Northern Ireland ECA Edmundson Electrical Apprentice of the Year, David Spiers is currently working with the team on the Windsor Park project, which includes full mechanical and electrical installations.
David said, “It’s an honour to receive this prestigious award and recognition. This would not have been possible without the support, encouragement and belief of all the team at William Coates. The training the company has provided has been first class and it is a privilege that I am now employed as a full time member of this brilliant team.”
Gary Coleman, Senior Electrical Contracts Manager from William Coates, who was also a William Coates apprentice, added, “William Coates is delighted that our apprentice David Spiers has won this prestigious award. He is talented and committed, and we are delighted he is now a qualified electrician. This is the third time in a row that one of our apprentices has achieved this award. This reflects the commitment we have to our apprentices and the programme, which has been running for a number of years. We currently have 12 apprentices who are committed to encouraging and nurturing their talent.
“Apprenticeships are an excellent opportunity to gain skills and learn on the job, and it something which I have particular connection with, as I too started my career as an apprentice with William Coates. The company gave me the opportunity to grow and progress to where I am today.”
ECA Northern Ireland Regional Manager, Alfie Watterson, commented, “We’re delighted that David Spiers has won the Northern Ireland ECA Edmundson Award for Best Apprentice – a real indication of the talent that exists in our industry in Northern Ireland. Congratulations also to William Coates, which has been a leading advocate of apprenticeships across the electrical and electro-technical sector.”
As part of his award, David received a £500 prize, a contractor’s tool kit and a certificate of commendation.