ONE of the country’s top apprentices is set to begin his career as a mechanical engineering technician after graduating from a programme at Daresbury Laboratory.

Appleton resident Rhys Foster is one of the apprentices to have completed the programme at the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) site.

The 23-year-old graduated at the ceremony, while 11 others signed their deed of apprenticeship to officially welcome them to the scheme.

Rhys was not only named North West Training Council (NWTC) Apprentice of the Year in March, he is also a finalist for the GTA England Apprentices of the Year 2017-18 Award, which makes him one of the top four apprentices in the engineering and construction category for the national award.

Rhys said: “Working as an apprentice for STFC at Daresbury Laboratory has been fantastic in terms of gaining valuable experience in engineering and providing me with an academic framework to match.

“It differs from other higher level apprenticeships by providing an environment that is naturally synonymous with learning.

“It really helped me to progress my engineering and my projects at foreign institutes such as CERN and ILL have been very rewarding.”

There are currently 75 apprentices working for STFC across the laboratory, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and UK Astronomy Technology Centre sites across a range of fields.