When Ryan Kenny enrolled on an apprenticeship at Warrington & Vale Royal College, he had no idea just how much his life was about to change. Now, the 18 year old has the world at his feet and an exciting career ahead of him with Stanley Black & Decker, after being named BTEC Apprentice of the Year.
Ryan, from Runcorn, was one of 24 winners recognised at the 2018 BTEC Awards this week a glitzy ceremony in London.
An expert panel of 52 judges considered each nominee for the eighth annual awards, with Ryan’s hard work and dedication earning him the title of BTEC Apprentice of the Year (16-18).
Ryan received the prestigious award in recognition of his hard work and dedication during his apprenticeship with Stanley Black & Decker, provided through the Winwick Road college.
It is the latest in a series of accolades for the talented teen, having already been named ‘Apprentice of the Year’ at the Warrington Business Awards, as well as at Warrington & Vale Royal College’s own annual FE Awards Ceremony.
Ryan said: “When I found out I had been named BTEC Apprentice of the Year, I was blown away. I just see myself doing what I love, truly living my dream and to find out that I had been recognised, it’s been phenomenal.”
Ryan’s incredible success comes less than three years after first walking through Stanley’s doors as part of a high school work placement. He soon wowed his employers, with Stanley’s Manufacturing Continuous Improvement Manager, Russell Lodge, seeing the potential in him.
After high school, Ryan attended an open evening at Warrington & Vale Royal College, enrolling on a level 3 IT Software, Web & Telecoms apprenticeship with Stanley.
He went on to create a cutting-edge digital solution to meet the needs of Stanley’s business. Ryan’s training and succession software – Centurion – tracks staff development, alerting management ahead of time when they need to puts plans in place to replace staff.
Ryan, who is based at Stanley’s Woolston site, is now travelling the world implementing the software as part of the European Business Services Team, having been promoted to Business Systems Analyst. He has already visited Miami, where he demonstrated the system to Stanley Black & Decker’s senior management, as well as receiving $10,000 in Stanley shares in recognition of his hard work.
He said: “Choosing to do a BTEC apprenticeship through Warrington & Vale Royal College has been massive in getting me to where I am today. An apprenticeship gives you the opportunity to get experience in the workplace whilst also gaining the theoretical knowledge in the classroom, which you can then go and apply in your workplace.
“People have told me that I need to slow down a little bit, that I’ll burn out, but I just want to keep going. In 10 years’ time, I’d like to be pushing the boundaries of digital excellence.
Ryan was nominated for the BTEC Apprentice of the Year by his college assessor, Lisa Spencer, who described Ryan as one of the greatest students she has ever had.
Tim Evans, Curriculum Manager for IT at Warrington & Vale Royal College, added: “The achievement that Ryan has made is testament not only to himself but also to the team and the hard work and effort that we’ve all put in collectively. Winning this award will have a huge impact on his future.”
Nichola Newton, Principal & Chief Executive of the college, said: “We are very proud of Ryan – he exemplifies the very best of what apprentices can do.”
Stanley’s Russell Lodge added: “I’m very proud of Ryan. The world is at his feet and I really truly believe that Ryan will do great things and have a fantastic career.”