A Weymouth apprentice says it 'means the world' to have beaten off more than a thousand others to triumph in a national competition.

Jack Martin surged to victory in the final contest of the 2018 Trade Apprentice competition, held at Google HQ in London on Friday, April 27; he reached the final 10 after being chosen from more than 1,200 entrants.

Jack, 19, is a former Budmouth College pupil now studying towards an NVQ while working as an apprentice at a Weymouth firm of electricians, Tristan G. Murless.

He won the competition, organised by trade retailer Screwfix, after a gruelling final contest that involved a group task followed by an interview with a panel of judges including representatives from Screwfix, Google and other major apprentice-employing firms.

"It means the world," Jack told the Echo, explaining that he had been encouraged to apply for the contest by the engineer he works for - who, he said, usually takes an 'old-school, tough-love' approach to his apprentices. As the competition's winner, Jack was awarded a business and trade bundle worth £10,000, including a laptop with accessories, Screwfix products and funds for future training courses - as well as tickets to a London music festival.

"It will make people much more aware of apprentices, and of the trade," Jack said of the contest. He revealed that during the judges' panel section, he had called for greater publicity for apprenticeships and similar schemes.

"My point was that people [in school] are not made aware enough that there are alternatives to university," he explained.

Jack's ambition over the next year, alongside his NVQ and apprenticeship, is to attend night school to study electrical design. "The trade needs better plans," he said, explaining his vision of more detailed plans for electrical installation, along the lines of architects' plans.

Jack was born in Weymouth but moved around often during his childhood, spending spells in Bath and Salisbury before returning to his native town. He studied at Budmouth College's secondary school and sixth-form, and it was during his A-Levels that he first began to take an interest in electrical engineering and design. He lives in the Lanehouse area with his two younger brothers, a step-brother and a step-sister.

Jack added that he would like to thank his family, friends and boss for their support during the contest.

Caroline Welsh from Screwfix praised the Weymouth winner. “Jack is an example of a motivated individual who will be an integral part of the electrical industry and a successful future tradesperson," she said. "I’d like to wish him the best of luck!”