HORN Cutting Tools Ltd apprentice Alex Brown has been awarded a top trophy.

He has been awarded the the ‘Best Program Led Engineering Apprentice’ First Year Achievement Trophy by Paragon, a training provider in based in Bournemouth.

Alex, who joined Horn in September 2010 after an introductory course with Paragon, is now in the second year of a three year apprenticeship programme.

This comprises a combination of in-house training at Horn’s Ringwood factory with day release at Paragon’s training facilities in Bournemouth.

He was selected for the award from a class of around 35 learners.

Alex said: “When I left school I did look into engineering apprenticeships but the number of companies offering them is small. The big advantage of the course operated by Paragon was that it gave me a basic grounding and offered an introduction to companies that were recruiting trainees.”

Paragon monitors the progress of learners closely, including at the employer’s premises and the trophy is awarded on the recommendation of the training officers.

Paul Churchill, training officer for Paragon said: “Alex actually started with us on a full-time course and then got the job with Horn three months in. From the outset he has applied himself pretty well and qualified for his NVQ2 in about half the normal two year spell.

“We’ve been very impressed by his enthusiasm, both to learn and to develop practical skills, hence the award.”

The training program that Alex is pursuing will ultimately provide him with an NVQ3 and an Advanced Vocationally Related Qualification (AVCR) with a skill set comprising general engineering knowledge, machine operation and CNC programming.

The AVCR will be tailored to the requirements of Horn Cutting Tools with a view to a career with Horn. The qualification can also enable the learner to pursue higher level qualifications, such as an HNC/HND or a University Degree.

Mike Green, general manager of Horn Cutting Tools, added: “We’re very pleased with Alex’s progress. We hope he can continue at the same level and help encourage others along the same road.

• For information about Apprenticeships with Paragon call 0800 783 2545 or see paragonskills.co.uk.

To find out how you can “Get with Apprenticeships” go to apprenticeships.org.uk or call 08000 150 600. For all other enquires email switchon toskills@dstpn.co.uk or call 0845 4747 039.