Fergus is top apprentice

Fergus Stewart.
Fergus Stewart.

A STUDENT from Jewel & Esk College in Dalkeith has scooped a coveted UK oil and gas industry award for the third year in a row.

Fergus Stewart, who studies Measurement and Control Engineering, has just been named the 2011/2012 Apprentice of the Year by the industry body OPITO.

The award acknowledges outstanding ability and attitude during the college phase of the national apprenticeship scheme, which has brought more than 1,100 young people into the oil and gas sector in the last decade.

Fergus (18) is the third Jewel & Esk College student in a row to win OPITO’s top apprentice award, following Mark Wigginton in 2009 and Sarah Coull in 2010, who was also the first woman to win the title.

He said: “This is an amazing award to win, as the modern apprentices are highly sought-after by employers across the industry in terms of their skills and training, so having this additional award is a fantastic achievement. I am extremely proud to be awarded the OPITO Apprentice of the Year 2011/2012.

“My ultimate aim is to become an offshore installation manager and be in charge of a platform. I believe the practical skills that I am learning at the moment will benefit me and help achieve this aim.”

Mike Edgar, Measurement & Control Curriculum Leader at Jewel & Esk College, said: “We are absolutely delighted that another one of our students has been named as OPITO’s Student of the Year. Fergus is an extremely conscientious and capable student with a bright future ahead of him, we wish him all the very best with the rest of his studies and for the future.”

John Fraser, modern apprenticeship scheme manager at OPITO, said: “Fergus should be very proud of his achievement. It was a very hard decision for the judges, with all the candidates of an exceptional calibre this year. However, Fergus is a worthy winner who strives to do his best at every opportunity.

“There is a real need to bring appropriately skilled people into the industry in order to secure the skills needed for its future success.”