Luke Watson as ‘Learner of the Year 2015

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Award_presentation_smallICON is delighted to announce that Parkwood employee, Luke Watson has been named ‘ICON Learner of the Year 2015’. At the beginning of the week, during our Apprenticeship Workshop in Mountbatten Leisure Centre, we surprised Luke with the ‘ICON Learner of the Year 2015’ award as well as an iPad mini. Luke came in to give a talk to attendees about his experience of completing a Traineeship and moving onto employment.

Luke faced some tough competition from other ICON learners, however, it was his dedication and positive attitude which made him stand out as the most deserving winner. Luke is an inspirational person who has turned his life around and demonstrates exactly why Traineeships are so important for young people.

Luke’s story is one of determination and strength of character. He had previously fallen in with the wrong crowd, getting in trouble with the police and had been on a tag for almost a year whilst facing 2 to 8 years in prison for a drug-related incident. In a bid to change the way his life was heading, Luke enrolled on a Traineeship with ICON in October 2014 where he thrived completing his employment preparation Level 1, Functional Skills and NPLQ; the first qualifications he had passed.

At the end of the programme, Luke had his hearing where the court ruled that because he had enrolled on the Traineeship he would not need to complete community service as long as he continued. Luke’s employers at Mountbatten were impressed with his dedication and hard work on the Traineeship and offered him employment, which changed to full time after only 4 weeks. The ambitious Trainee has now progressed on to the Customer Service Level 2 qualification with the aim of working his way up through the company.

Luke has not only become an excellent employee, he is an inspiration to others. The hard work, determination and energy he has put into his studies and work demonstrates just how motivated and driven he is and is a great example of what you can achieve.

For more pictures of the event, please visit our Facebook page.

To find out more about ICON and funded learning in the leisure industry visit