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Newmarket apprentices Zak Baldwin and Mitchell Grant in the running for national awards





Two Newmarket apprentices are in the running for national awards.

Apprentice carpenter Zak Baldwin has reached the semi-final of Screwfix Trade Apprentice 2024 and is one of 33 now bidding for the title from an original entry of more than 1,800.

Zak, 18, who works for town firm Godfrey and Hicks, is studying carpentry at West Suffolk College.

Zak Baldwin in the semi-final of Screwfix Trade Apprentice 2024.
Zak Baldwin in the semi-final of Screwfix Trade Apprentice 2024.

“I can’t believe I’ve reached the semi-finals,” he said. “For me, an apprenticeship isn’t just about learning new skills, it’s helped me unlock a passion.

“To reach the semi-finals is a result of my dedication and determination to embark on a successful career in the trade. I’m really proud to have made it to the semi-finals.”

This year’s final will be in London next month, where the top 10 apprentices will face a panel of industry experts to showcase why they believe they should be this year’s champion.

The winner will receive a career-boosting £10,000 trade bundle made up of tools, tech and training so they can excel in their chosen trade.

“In the second year of my carpentry apprenticeship, I won apprentice of the year at West Suffolk College which was a massive achievement,” said Zak.

“I am currently completing an optional third year of studying, as I’m keen to embrace any opportunities to learn and become an asset to my company. I will always try my hardest to stay current with new skills and the tools available to me.”

Mitchell Grant who has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Apprentice of the Year category in the Hire Awards of Excellence.
Mitchell Grant who has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Apprentice of the Year category in the Hire Awards of Excellence.

Mitchell Grant, who is branch hire manager for Travis Perkins, in Newmarket, has been shortlisted as a finalist in the apprentice of the year category in the Hire Awards of Excellence which will be held in London next week.

He began as an apprentice at the branch, but six months into his role he was appointed branch hire manager, taking on the mantle of an apprenticeship as well as branch management.

During this time, he maintained the balance of running a busy department, attending seminars, as well as completing his projects. Throughout this he was able to complete his apprenticeship in June last year, gaining a double distinction.

“Just to be nominated is an achievement in itself and it would be fantastic to win the award,” said Mitchell.

“My role is important to me and I am passionate about doing everything I can to further Tool Hire and improve the branch.