An electrical apprentice from construction giant Balfour Beatty has highlighted the vast array of opportunities that come with apprenticeships, by winning a six-week work exchange trip to Australia.

Thomas Hyland, 21, from Whitehaven, has been named the winner of the 2013 Tripartite Apprentice Exchange programme - which is organised by the Joint Industry Board - and will soon jet out to spend six weeks living and working in Queensland.

Hyland will learn new skills and be taught about how electrical contracting works in Australia. He will also act as an ambassador for the UK industry from the beginning of his contract in November this year.

Chairman of the JIB’s Further Education Committee, Ivor Williams, told Construction Enquirer: “For such a young man, Thomas’s achievements to date are impressive, ranging from mountain hiking and fund raising to studying for an ONC and HNC alongside his apprenticeship. I have no doubt he will be an excellent representative for our industry during the exchange.”

Hyland finished his AM2 Certificate of Electrotechnical Occupational Competence in June of this year, having initially joined Balfour Beatty as a JTL apprentice. As well as his latest achievement, he has already earned the title of Balfour Beatty Engineering Services Apprentice of the Year for 2011.

The apprentice, Thomas Hyland, told the publication that he was “honoured to be selected and represent Balfour Beatty, the JIB and the UK electrical industry.”

“Learning about the Australian industry is something I’m particularly interested in and my time there will allow me to explore how the industry differs from the UK. I’m mostly looking forward to then returning and sharing my experience and new skills to my colleagues and the industry here,” he went on to say.