A Hinckley-based apprentice from North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College (NWSLC) is celebrating after reaching the shortlist of a regional awards scheme designed to showcase the achievements of young professionals. George Archer from Lutterworth, quality co-ordinator for OceanLED, has been named as finalist in the Apprentice of the Year category of the East Midlands Chamber Generation Next awards. The awards ceremony is due to be hosted on 4 July 2024 in Derby.


George spent five years in the Army within the Royal Artillery and left to become an apprentice in the engineering sector. He joined marine lighting business Ocean LED as apprentice quality co-ordinator in 2021 and quickly stepped up to look after the business’s quality management system reporting. Now lead auditor, George works on maintaining accreditation of the ISO 9001 quality standard. Daniele Todaro, managing director of OceanLED saw that George had enormous potential and put in place the necessary support so that he could take on the challenge.


Daniele said, “George has been very proactive in his new role and has already seen considerable of success. Within three months of taking on his new responsibilities, George was tasked with preparing for an ISO 9001 audit, developing his ability to lead auditors around the documented online management system. He continues to learn every day and has shown that he is not daunted by problem-solving and can take the initiative to meet challenges head on.


“George’s strengths lie in forensic attention to detail and an ability to consider problems from every angle taking input from others before putting processes in place. He has also built excellent working relationships with colleagues in the production team and with external suppliers.”


George said, “I enjoy every aspect of my apprenticeship and I’m committed to completing my college qualifications by the end of this year. I want to learn more about management and eventually train an apprentice myself in the future. Winning this award would mean a great deal to me and would be a fitting acknowledgement of the support that OceanLED has given me to support my success so far.”


James Rushton, Lecturer in Engineering at NWSLC said, “I teach George as part of his apprenticeship and help him to gain knowledge the competence in the technical theory of his qualification including mechanical principles, maths, and quality control which he follows at the college’s MIRA Technology Institute campus. George has taken a highly studious approach to his qualification; he is always positive and professional and is able to demonstrate how he has used his skills in practice in the workplace.”







Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, Principal and Chief Executive of NWSLC said, “Congratulations to George on reaching the shortlist for these prestigious awards. We’re immensely proud of George’s progress in his apprenticeship and delighted that he has been recognised in this way. George has benefited from some fantastic support from his tutors who consistently go the extra mile to help our apprentices. We wish George the absolute best of luck for final of the Generation Next Awards.”


In January 2024, George was named as ‘Apprentice of the Year’ at NWSLC’s annual Celebration of Achievement.