A FORMER gas apprentice from Renfrew has graduated with distinction after completing a foundation engineering degree with support from his employer.

Ryan Higgins, 28, joined gas network company SGN’s apprenticeship scheme in 2010.

After completing his training, he was promoted to his current role as a maintenance team manager.

And Ryan studied for his degree on a block-release basis at Aston University in Birmingham.

He said: “I enjoy learning and I thought getting a qualification could only be beneficial to my career.

“I initially spoke to my manager about doing an Open University degree but he suggested the foundation degree as it was much closer allied to what I was doing at SGN.”

The former winner of SGN’s Apprentice of the Year Award said he is grateful to the company for supporting him through his studies.

He added: “SGN not only financed my degree but also gave me time off work to attend college.

“I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t hard work, particularly as my second child was born while I was studying towards my degree, but my aim now is to work towards my Honours degree and, hopefully, progress further up the ladder with SGN.”