MID Sussex MP Sir Nicholas Soames joined 150 apprentices, employers, friends and family and guests from the plumbing and electrical industries at a celebration.

They were there to congratulate the class of 2017 at the Steve Willis Training apprenticeship graduation evening held at the Kings Centre, Burgess Hill.

Sixty two young people received their certificates to mark the completion of their gas, plumbing and electrical apprenticeships.

Several special recognition awards were also presented including Apprentice of the Year in each trade.

The awards were sponsored by leading companies from across the industry including Worcester-Bosch, Intergas and Danfoss, who all sent representatives to present the trophies.

Sir Nicholas gave the opening address and in his speech he praised the achievements of the apprentices.

He said: “The graduates this evening are a fine example of young people receiving the training and experience that they need for the workplace which gives to them all fine opportunities for the future.”

He also expressed his support for apprenticeships and the strong position of training in Mid Sussex.

He said: “Skills and apprenticeships are something that I am truly passionate about.

“In Mid Sussex alone we have seen the success of vocational education and apprenticeships first hand as there have been 3,660 new apprenticeships since 2010.”

Steve Willis Training Centres has more than 17 years’ experience in providing gas, plumbing and electrical apprenticeships and short courses.

A company spokesman said: “We have courses to suit you, whether you’re completely new to your chosen industry or have experience of working with gas or electrics either in the forces or elsewhere.

“We also offer oil courses for service leavers with some experience of working with oil systems.”