A TOP apprentice at Ferguson's shipyard has been shortlisted for a coveted national award established by the Queen's father 75 years ago.

Jennifer McKay is one of six people throughout the UK who are in the running for the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights Silver Medal — and with it a cash prize of £1,500.

Jennifer, 24 — a draughtsperson at the yard — told of her pride at being up for the prestigious Shipyard Apprentice of the Year award, also now known as the Queen's Medal.

She said: "I'm honoured to be considered for the prize and am proud to have made it into the final six.

"I now have to travel to London to be interviewed on December 5 and the winner will be announced afterwards."

Jennifer and fellow Ferguson's apprentice Brendan Conway, a welder, made it to the final 17 contenders who took part in a leadership development course at Kielder Water in Northumberland recently.

She said: "From that they've picked six people for interview, which luckily I've been chosen to go to."

Both Jennifer and Brendan were congratulated on their progress by finance secretary Derek Mackay who recently stepped in to nationalise the previously troubled yard.

His Majesty King George VI instituted the Silver Medal in 1944.

The competition is run by calling for nominations from every known shipyard in Britain, with the best selected from around 100 candidates for a week-long evaluation course at Kielder Water.

Jennifer said: "I'm a draughtsperson so I'm in the drawing office, working on structural designs and modifications of the ferries and vessels that we're working on right now.

"The award is open to all departments within shipbuilding.

"It's an exciting time to be part of the yard moving forward."

Detailed reports on the outstanding contenders for medals are made by the course directors to the shipwrights' educational sub-committee whose members choose the winners of first, second and third prize medals, who also receive cheques for £1500, £1000 and £750 respectively.