ELECTRICIAN Matthew Smallbone can officially say he is top of his class after winning a best apprentice award.

Mr Smallbone came third in the JTL South East Regional Awards last month.

The 23-year-old was one of 12 apprentices shortlisted.

Mr Smallbone, from Wensum Crescent, Bicester, joined LKT Electrical Services in December 2008 as an electrical apprentice and went to Oxford & Cherwell Valley College, which nominated him for the award.

He said: “Just to be nominated for an award honoured me let alone to come third. I couldn’t have wished to end my apprenticeship and training in a better way. I have really enjoyed my experience as an apprentice because it is hands-on and a jump into the deep-end, which puts you in a position of responsibility and learning at the same time.

“I would recommend an apprenticeship to anyone.”

Mr Smallbone, who completed his apprenticeship in September, was presented with a glass plaque and £1,000.