AN apprentice who has made a major difference to how his firm operates has been nominated for a national award.

Michal Halamicek, 30, only started working for Barrowford-based lighting specialists acdc after embarking on a Level 2 Engineering Apprentice course with Nelson and Colne College.

But his can-do attitude has seen the Gisburn Road company put his name forward for a National Apprenticeship Award.

He suggested introducing a new purpose-built inspection room with clearly-defined progress areas - and the percentage of defective products going out has dropped to an all-time low.

This has seen improvements on their most popular product line of between 50 and 66 per cent, they say.

Michal was also behind the adoption of new soldering irons, which melt the raw material at a lower temperature and are said to provide a better connection.

And as a result acdc has seen no returned products due to soldering defects in 2019.

Since his arrival he has been promoted to post of quality controller and is keen to encourage others to consider following the apprenticeship. Bosses have also given him an after-sales role.

He will be one of the college's main advocates when they stage a series of summer workshops for apprenticeships on August 7.

Michal said: "I chose to do my apprenticeship because I was given the opportunity to progress at acdc.

"I love working with the products and looking at innovative ways to improve them and I always want to learn more, and improve the business.

"I would like to complete a HND and then a full electrical engineering degree. I'm currently learning testing and compliance which will lead to working with standards and specifications from all over the world and my aim is to become an expert in this field.

"Through my apprenticeship, my confidence has improved, my computer skills are better and my English is now good. My problem-solving, analytical skills and report writing have developed, and I have a better understanding of customer service and relationship management. My engineering drawing skills and tooling skills are also much better.

"A big part of my role is motivating others. I'm seen as a mentor within the business which I like. I would encourage others to do an apprenticeship as I would not be where I am now without mine

"I want to be the example others follow and it is great that colleagues who have seen the progress I have achieved through my Apprenticeship are now considering the same pathway.

"My biggest achievement so far is overcoming my fear of heights by working on the roof of Tottenham Hotspur’s new £1billion football stadium.

"acdc supplied the lighting for the roof and exterior, and this was a big contract requiring good relationship management. The stadium had a successful launch in March and it was satisfying knowing that I had played my part."

Hattie Wrest, quality manager at acdc, added: "Michal is a valued member of the team here at acdc and his proactive approach enables him to interact positively throughout the business.

"His attitude is of the highest level, offering support and guidance to those around him. He constantly strives to learn and improve and is very much the 'go to' person when seeking solutions or innovation for the manufacturing processes.

"Michal’s tenacious standpoint on quality earns him the respect of his fellow workers who follow his lead and ensure a 'right first time' approach.

"He is integral in the development of our engineering skill set and it is a pleasure to have him in the team."