George Autie from Helston is one of just three people in the running to be crowned national Apprentice of the Year.

George, aged 25, has been invited by the Association of Colleges (AoC) to attend a celebratory reception in Westminster and will find out if he has been victorious at the AoC conference in November.

Working as an electrician for Falmouth-based specialist overwater drilling and marine construction contractor, Fugro, George said he was “very proud” to be considered for the award.

“I was working at a supermarket having just come back from travelling when I started the apprenticeship with Fugro Seacore as it was named at the time,” he said. "Fugro is renowned locally as one of the best employers around, with great career opportunities so it was always something that was hugely attractive to me.”

George said the favourite part of the job is “without a doubt the opportunity to travel with work and see the equipment we build here in Falmouth being used all over the world.”

Skilled in workshop plant and industrial fixed installations and PAC testing, George has mentored work experience placements and is part of the 5S Group which was vital for the business attaining fit for nuclear status.

He has worked in Holland and Romania where he was the lead electrician for systems and overhauling rigs. George’s fast fault finding saved the company valuable time on site, where down time on vessels can run into thousands of pounds.

And George wouldn’t hesitate in recommending taking an apprenticeship to people. “From my own experience, it’s the best route into a skilled career,” he said. "With the advantage of being paid whilst training, I would advise anybody considering it to take an apprenticeship.

"My classes at Cornwall College are good and definitely challenging at times. I like the blend of hands on training with classroom learning and particularly at Cornwall College, the tutors have been very good for me and my education.”

Fugro workshop manager, Danny Worrall canno praise George enough. "He has consistently overachieved and the workshops are proud of his recent personal achievements,” he said. “He has been given the opportunity to develop which is important and he’s been taken out of his comfort zone on many occasions where he has demonstrated his technical ability and understanding of critical works and how to manage them.”

It has already been a successful year for George, who won CCB’s (Cornwall College Business’s) Excellence in Business Training Individual Achievement Award 2017.