THE newly crowned St Helens Apprentice of the Year is hoping the award will help him pursue a long term career.

Pilkingtons apprentice Jack Bennett, aged 22, took home the accolade at an event at Lord Derby’s estate.

Jack, pictured left, an apprentice refraction engineer from Burtonwood, beat competition from Rachel Boon, of Blackbrook, from TLC Hair and Beauty, and fellow Pilkington UK apprentice Lee Dawber who, like Jack, studies at Waterside Training.

“It was fantastic. I was made up to get the recognition,” said Jack, who has been at Pilkingtons for four years.

“I didn’t know I had won until I found out on the night, it was a really good experience.

“I will finish my apprenticeship in August and, hopefully, will be able to have a long career with the company.”

The event’s main sponsor was Greater Merseyside Learning Providers Federation.

“The awards are a very important event for our region, as they bring the community together and allow us to celebrate the hardworking, high achieving individuals in our area,” said Debbie Lagoe, chairman of GMLPF.