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Teenage carpenter from Manchester nails highly commended spot in VQ Learner of the Year awards

Wythenshawe teenager Adrian Wetton – a trainee carpenter with Altrincham-based national affordable housing specialist Lovell – has been highly commended in the VQ (Vocational Qualifications) Learner of the Year Awards.

Skills Minister Matthew Hancock MP presented Adrian, 19, with a certificate to mark his achievement at the high-profile national awards, at Portcullis House in Westminster, London.

The awards mark outstanding achievement by vocational students, with Adrian – from Greenbrow Road, Wythenshawe - commended in the North West region for his success in gaining a Level 2 Diploma Carpentry and Joinery qualification with Distinction, the highest achievable grade.

Lovell and The Manchester College, where Adrian studied for his Carpentry and Joinery Diploma, nominated him for the award.

Lovell craft trainee supervisor Paul Woby says: "Adrian has shown exceptional skills and maturity beyond his age, demonstrated by his commitment to learning and high level of interaction in class and the top grade he secured in his Diploma. He has amazed us all by constantly pushing his boundaries to fulfil his potential, showing great team working skills and a hunger for new knowledge."

Maggie Karwat, head of The Manchester College's Wythenshawe Campus where Adrian studied, comments: "Providing young people with technical, practical and vocational learning has never been more important, giving them opportunities to succeed in today's job market. During his time at College, Adrian has proved himself to be a very competent student, developing the skills which have set him on road to success and we are delighted to be celebrating his achievements."

Adrian originally joined Lovell through a jobs fair organised by Parkway Green Housing Trust, now part of the Wythenshawe Community Housing Group.

He is part of the Lovell team working on the New Foxfield housing development – close to his Wythenshawe home - for Parkway Green. Victoria Mcdowell, employment and skills development manager for the Wythenshawe Community Housing Group, says: "Our jobs fairs are a great opportunity for local people, like Adrian, to access employment and training opportunities. Adrian took the opportunity to make a good impression on Lovell, and he has not looked back since. I am really proud of his hard work and success and hope we have many more like him in the future. "

This is Adrian's second major award achievement this year. It comes after Lovell named him the company's Apprentice of the Year in the North West earlier in 2013.

He says: "Gaining my apprenticeship with Lovell has made a major difference for my career and really opened doors. I've gone from never having worked on site to getting the chance to develop a wide range of joinery skills and build up my technical knowledge, acquiring my Diploma Level 2 Qualification alongside a great deal of invaluable practical experience."