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Thatcham Research announces Apprentice and Mentor of the Year winners in social media ceremony

Press release   •   Jul 27, 2020 09:00 BST

Oliver Morton, Paint Apprentice of the Year 2020
  • Physical graduation ceremony cancelled due to Coronavirus
  • Thatcham Research committed to apprentice development, whatever the circumstances
  • Three winners announced in Paint, Panel and MET (Mechanical Electrical and Trim)
  • Vital role of mentorship also recognised with award

Thatcham Research took to social media on July 24 to announce its Apprentice and Mentor of the Year winners for 2020. Hosted on LinkedIn and twitter, the ‘social ceremony’ kicked off with a video address by Dean Lander head of repair sector services, Thatcham Research before award winners were announced throughout the day.

The ceremony would have taken place during Thatcham Research’s yearly graduation ceremony, at the Body Repair Industry Apprentice Awards (BRIAA) on June 16 in the Ricoh Arena, Coventry. However, the event, organised by ABP Club, was cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Dean Lander, head of repair sector services, Thatcham Research comments: “We couldn’t let our 2020 class graduate without recognising their success.

“Achieving excellence in their disciplines was made all the more challenging by lockdown, so we are especially proud of this year’s winners.”

And the winners are…

Chosen by instructors and staff at Thatcham Research, the Apprentice of the Year 2020 award winners are (with comments from Lander):

Paint = Oliver Morton, DLG

Oliver is a true example of where hard work and determination can get you. When he started his paint apprenticeship, he had two challenges; completing his functional skills in Maths, English and ICT and learning the skills required of an accomplished paint technician.

His grit and never-give-up attitude really stood out throughout his apprenticeship as did his excellent paint work. Well done Oliver, your tenacity and drive are a tremendous asset to the sector.

Panel = Daniel Harper, Autotech ARC

From day one, his instructors reported that Daniel was a joy to teach, always giving 100 per cent. His willingness to learn new skills and expand his knowledge, combined with a positive attitude, really impressed the instructors.

Congratulations Daniel, the industry has gained an extremely talented panel technician. The skills you possess and attitude you display will see you go far.

MET = Cameron Holland, DLG

Cameron is a truly outstanding and inspirational MET apprentice,who was a pleasure to assess and instruct. He demonstrated maturity beyond his years, taking a solutions-based approach to problems.

In addition to focusing on his own learning, when on site at DLG Stechford he supports his apprentice peers and skilled colleagues who do not specialist in MET.

A very well-deserved award, for a real rising star.

Lander continues: “We are delighted to present our Apprentice of the Year awards to Oliver, Daniel and Cameron, who are shining examples of strength of character, determination and commitment. These personal qualities will now compliment their hard-earned technical skills and competencies.

“Everyone at Thatcham Research looks forward to following their careers.

“Congratulations to all our 2020 graduating apprentices. It has been an honour to watch you grow and develop in your chosen fields. There’s an exceptional pool of talent here, with a very bright future ahead.”

Mentor of the Year 2020

In recognition of the vital role mentors play in nurturing talent and supporting apprentice progression, Thatcham Research also announced the winner of the Mentor of the Year 2020.

The award went to Edmond Cassells, MET Technician, Solus.

Lander comments: “A great mentor has a huge impact on the personal and professional growth of an apprentice. Edmond is one such mentor. His nomination was incredibly heart-warming – and spoke of a generous, dedicated, good humoured, knowledgeable and kind man who went the extra mile to support his apprentice through some challenging times.

“The standard set by Edmond is one we can all aspire to, and we are very pleased to present such a deserving individual with this award.”


Thatcham Research is the independent voice of automotive safety, security & repair, advising motorists, insurers and vehicle manufacturers to help reduce accident frequency, severity and costs and to realise the vision of ‘Safer cars, fewer crashes’, while driving standards in vehicle security.

As well as its world leading crash and track research, Thatcham Research develops repair methods amongst a number of other products and services within the collision repair industry for insurers, motor manufacturers, equipment manufacturers and suppliers.

In addition, Thatcham Research has administered the Association of British Insurer’s (ABI) Group Rating system for the past 50 years. Group Rating is an advisory system intended to provide insurers with the relative risk of private cars and light commercial vehicles.

A founder member of the international Research Council for Automobile Repairs (RCAR), Thatcham Research has also been a member of the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) since 2004.