MP LUKE Hall met up with an award-winning apprentice to discuss opportunities for young people in South Gloucestershire.

Earlier this year, 20-year-old Ben Townsend from Rangeworthy claimed the top prize at a prestigious manufacturing awards.

Ben, who trains at BEMA in Yate, and works as an apprentice pattern-maker in Gloucester, won the Intermediate and Advanced First Year Apprentice Award at this year’s EEF Future Manufacturing Awards.

After hearing about his success, MP Luke Hall was keen to meet with Ben to hear about his achievements and to discuss the role apprenticeships play in the community.

The pair got together and chatted about the availability of apprenticeships, and shared thoughts on the best ways to get more people to take up the placements.

Discussing his own experiences, Ben said: "I would absolutely recommend an apprenticeship.

“Not only has my confidence increased, but I am learning skills no text book could ever teach; skills I will carry with me for the rest of my life.”

The MP said: “Ben is a terrific advocate for young apprentices and am grateful for all he is doing to encourage more people to take up apprenticeships in our local area.

"Here in Thornbury and Yate, the number of people entering apprenticeships has continued to grow, with over 2,200 apprenticeships starts in the last four years."