The winners of the annual Best Apprentice of the Year Awards have been announced, with Mike Crotty from Quinn Glass in Chester named as Best Apprentice of the Year 2013-2014.

Reuben Allonby from Cumbria Crystal and Nathan Herring from Saint-Gobain Glass were recognised as Highly Commended runners-up by the judging panel. All three received trophies and Mike Crotty was awarded a £1,000 travel bursary to allow him to visit some overseas glass factories to help broaden his glass knowledge.

The awards recognise those apprentices who have demonstrated exceptional ability and commitment to their training and skills development, as well as the significant impact apprentices make to their employer’s business development and growth.

The three finalists were invited to the event along with representatives from their respective companies. Mike joined Quinn Glass as an apprentice maintenance engineer in 2010 and was nominated due to his significant achievements at Quinn Glass and the dedication he has shown throughout his apprenticeship programme.

The Centre for Economics and Business Research published a report concluding that the impact of apprenticeships is significant and forecast that in the next 10 years to 2022, apprenticeships will contribute £3.4billion to the UK economy a year in productivity gains, particularly in the engineering and manufacturing sectors.