A MENTOR to hundreds of apprentices in the North-East finds himself nominated for a national title on the 40th anniversary of the start of his own apprenticeship.

Dave Thompson first entered the world of apprenticeships aged 16, learning the value of having a trade first hand, before going to to spend four decades training the next generation of engineers and construction workers in the region.

The father-of-two- from Normanby, Middlesbrough, now works in Stockton and will be travelling to London for the grand final of the National Apprenticeships Awards after being shortlisted as Apprenticeship Champion for the North-East in September.

“From my own experience I know that apprenticeships are a great way to start a career,” he said. “It is a great foundation block for anyone wanting to progress.

“I was delighted to win the North-East award in what is my 40 year anniversary since I started my apprenticeship, but also the fact that 2018 is the year of engineering.

“To even be in the running for national award is an honour, and here at NETA Training, everyone has their fingers crossed that we can bring the award back to Stockton.”

The National Apprenticeship Awards put the spotlight on those who champion apprenticeships, which then find their place in the industry.