He may have given up onsite working but former electrical apprentice (now qualified), Joe Cropper, 27, moved into his new post as a trainee commercial manager with Ameon, having already been shortlisted in the prestigious ECA Edmundson Apprentice of the Year Award, organised by the Electrical Contractors’ Association.

In a bittersweet irony, it is Joe’s new job that perhaps played a part in halting his progress from the shortlist to the awards night event in London, with the judges honest enough to inform him that they really wanted the award to go to an electrician still working tools-in-hand and on site.

Despite missing out on the award, Joe drew praise from judges, who said: “Joe proved he was an excellent candidate by making it to the shortlist stage, out of so many entrants in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, so we’re sure he will have a very long, successful and prosperous career in the industry.”

Despite missing out on a glitzy bash in London, Joe is delighted to have been in the top six, out of 600, and principal commercial manager, Steve McCourt, said: “It was a real honour for Joe to be shortlisted, so he should be proud of his showing in the awards, because it’s a tremendous achievement to get to that stage. Adding: “And any disappointment he may have felt has been tempered by his new post in the commercial team, which offers him great opportunities going forward.”

So now, it’s full steam ahead for the former Hodgson High School pupil of Lytham St Annes, who, as dad to twin 2-year-old boys, will have plenty to occupy his mind – juggling a new and demanding commercial role with an energetic home life.

Well done, Joe.