Published: 05 Aug 2009

One of Jennings Ford’s apprentices has scooped a national award.

Dean Richardson, 22, from Farringdon in Sunderland, has proved he’s a cut above the rest after being crowned ‘Outstanding Student of the Year’ at the (IMI) Institute of Motor Industry’s Annual Outstanding Achievers Awards.

One of 14 students selected from 60,000 candidates, Dean scooped the ‘Outstanding Student’ title for a non-technical discipline at an awards ceremony which was held in Hertfordshire.

Dedicated Dean who works as a parts advisor at Jennings Ford’s service department based on Parsons Road in Washington, is in his final year of the three-year Ford Masters Apprenticeship Programme. The Apprenticeship Programme is managed and co-ordinated by Ford automotive training provider, Skillnet Limited.

James Miller, who has worked closely with Dean over the past couple of years as his Ford Assessor, was responsible for nominating Dean for the award.

James said; “Dean has shown great determination throughout his programme. Due to circumstances beyond Dean’s control, he fell behind with his studies but was determined that this would not delay his qualifications any longer than necessary. Dean completed 60 percent of the full framework in just five months, an outstanding achievement for such a technically demanding programme.”

Dean said; “I am absolutely over the moon about winning the award. It’s been hard work achieving so much in so little time, but every minute has been worth it.”

Awarded for the work he has completed on Level 2 of the Apprenticeship Programme, Dean is looking forward to completing Level 3 in September of this year.

In addition to receiving a certificate and a plaque, Dean also received a cheque for £200 which he intends to spend on his motorbike.

After leaving school at the age of 16, Dean started working as a fitter for Flair Blinds in Sunderland, but always had a burning ambition to work within the motor industry.

At the age of 18, he was given the opportunity to embark on the Apprenticeship Programme at Jennings Ford and hasn’t looked back since.

Dean added; “The Apprenticeship Programme has allowed me to gain practical hands on experience and at the same time work towards extra qualifications, which is great. I am delighted to have been given this excellent opportunity at JenningsFord and look forward to progressing with my career at the company in future years.”

Already Dean has been looking into additional courses he can complete when his Apprenticeship comes to an end in September.

Alan Davison, service manager at Jennings Ford’s service department in Washington, said;

“We are absolutely delighted with Dean’s progress. He is a dedicated and committed individual who has worked extremely hard and truly deserved to win the award. Beating national competition is a truly commendable achievement.”

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