Former Apprentice Wins National Young Signmaker of the Year Award


L-R: Joint winners of the The Young Signmaker of the Year award, Kirsty Donald from Owen Pilling Graphics and former Walsall College apprentice Damian Jacobs, now a Production Manager at Allen Signs

A former Walsall College apprentice has been named as one of the talented stars of the signmaking industry at the British Sign Awards, which took place on 3rd November.

Damian Jacobs, a Production Manager at Allen Signs, beat off competition from across the UK to be named joint winner of the ‘Roland DG Young Signmaker of the Year’ award, a title presented to rising stars of the industry who have made outstanding progress in their careers to date and made a real contribution to their employer’s business.

Damian joined Allen Signs as an apprentice six years ago and after completing Level 2 and Level 3 of the Apprenticeship, progressed to the role of Production Manager, taking on responsibility for scheduling work and the managing difficult production and installation jobs, including a huge roll-out to 150 sites.

Managing Director at Allen Signs, David Allen said he’s really proud of what Damian has achieved in a short amount of time: “To go from a trainee to a manager in six years is a massive achievement and a testament to Damian’s commitment and desire to not just meet but exceed our expectations.

“Over the years he has consistently done this, not least by becoming one of the first in the UK to complete the Sign Making Level 3 Apprenticeship course. Regardless of the size or nature of the client job he is managing, Damian always ensures everything runs to plan, often working long hours, and does so with a smile on his face.”

Damian said: “The Young Signmaker of the Year award means everything to me; it has been a long 6-year journey starting as out an apprentice and working my way up to my current role as Production Manager. It’s great to know my employers recognise my commitment and how much hard work I’ve put into the company to help them along the way.”

Trainer Assessor for Signmaking at Walsall College, Andrew Evans, commented: “Damian is a great credit to his employer and we are very pleased that he has received industry wide recognition for his work. He is a great example of the valuable contribution that apprentices make in the workplace.”

The awards ceremony took place at East Midlands Conference Centre in Nottingham and also saw three other Walsall College Signmaking apprentices, Dan Pickthall and Joshua Oliver from AST Signs and Sam Harris from HNS Signs awarded highly commended prizes.

Kirsty Donald from Owen Pilling Graphics was the other joint winner.

About Association of Colleges West Midlands

AoC West Midlands promotes and supports the interests of 38 general further education, sixth form and specialist colleges throughout the West Midlands region. The West Midlands is a diverse region and our colleges reflect this diversity. From small specialist colleges in rural locations to large inner city establishments, colleges reflect the needs of their local environment. Working closely with employers, learners and the local community, our 38 member colleges offer a broad range of flexible learning opportunities for individuals at all levels. They aim to give local people the skills they need for success and prosperity, tackling barriers to learning and providing opportunities that meet the needs of individuals and employers
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