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Locks and Security News: your weekly locks and security industry newsletter
21st October 2020 Issue no. 530

Your industry news - first


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First ever winner of the Golden Key Award!

Award4.jpgAmy Pass was a well-deserved winner of the inaugural Golden Key Awards, sponsored by Lockdecoders. The unanimous vote went Amy's way following nomination by her employer Tim Hart at Citylocks.

I would like to nominate Amy Pass for the golden key award set up by Lockdecoders. Amy is 24 years old and is a trainee locksmith with us at Citylocks, starting with us after completing her A levels. Amy is based at the retail shop we operate but does perform key programming tasks etc in our customer parking area outside the shop, and our vehicle workshop.

I have personally found Amy to be an excellent trainee in all areas of the work that we cover at Citylocks. She is able to complete a wide range of jobs and is always enthusiastic even with those repetitive tasks that are less than glamorous. Amy has attended quite a few MLA, an ALA meeting, and other training classes in subjects from car key programming, access control eologic, car lock picking with Mr. Li from Lishi lock tools, first aid, lock fitting, to name a few. I quite often get feedback from the trainers on her courses telling me that "it makes a nice change to have someone on the course that listens, takes in the information and is enthusiastic" the rest is in Amy's own words:

"I like this job because it is a very varied job with many different aspects to it, there is usually something different to do every day. I enjoy the vehicle work, especially building up vehicle locks and key programming.  I also enjoy working with padlocks, cylinders and mortice locks, keying them alike or master keying them. Sometimes is nice to pick up a file and make a key to a mortice lock by hand when the key turns and smoothly operates the lock it's a job well done, when it doesn't that's another story!  :)

"I enjoy the interaction with the customers in the shop and always try to offer the best advice based on the knowledge I have learned so far. I enjoy the satisfaction when a job goes well and the customer is pleased with the outcome. I still think it will be a while until I will be able to call myself a qualified locksmith even after I have completed my BLI exam; i have taken the written test module and the lock opening module already, and passed those two modules.I still have a lot to learn about the work. And as i go along, I now know that it is impossible to know everything.  I am finding the bit i really do like is that this is a job where you are always learning. Though sometimes you have a really good day and you think I'm really getting the hang of this! And then you have a rubbish day to knock you back down again, where it all doesn't go quite to plan as it should. But I suppose that is the same with any job, and I will be honest and say probably my least favorite tasks are the repetitive ones, the worst one being engraving padlocks, but you have to take the rough with the smooth. I try hard to be a continuously improving locksmith, and perhaps in the near future with a few more years of experience a under my belt I will be pleased, and proud to call myself a qualified locksmith." 

Tim Hart, Citylocks
We had two finalists, Aaron Hammond and Jack Fagan, who were both 'Highly Commended' by our three judges. Here's what the nominations had to say:

Aaron Hammond

I would like to nominate my apprentice Mr Aaron Hammond, aged 19, for the Golden Key Award which I think is a great way of highlighting the need for the correct training for young people coming into the locksmith and security industry.

As a company we were looking to take on an apprentice back in May 2011 to train as a bench locksmith in our main branch, but as you are aware there is no formal apprenticeship in place for locksmiths so we were able to take Aaron on under the umbrella of a one year retail shop apprenticeship with us adding our own bench locksmith training schedule of tasks for him to complete on a day to day basis. 

In May 2011 I interviewed Aaron among seven other candidates for the job and I could see a spark in Aaron although he was very shy at the time. After leaving school Aaron went to college to learn plumbing and he completed a year but he felt that there was no chance of a job at the end of the course and decided to sign up for the young apprenticeship scheme so that he could earn a wage whilst learning a trade. 

Since joining us I have notice a big change in him as he has become more confident and he takes a pride in his work and he works well in the team environment and it is for that reason that he became a full employee in May of this year as our training and investment in him had paid off. 

On a day to day basis Aaron is now capable of master keying the full range of Mul-T-lock cylinders, making keys to old mortice locks, producing keys to code, and making a cast key to a chuch lock and many other bench locksmiths jobs under the guidance of my branch manager and myself, and the great thing is that he is alway willing to listen and absorb information from experienced members of staff and put this into practice.

He also makes a very good cup of coffee which is also very important as an apprentice!! Aaron still has a lot to learn but training in a busy locksmith shop is the best training that you can have as there is such a wide variety of jobs to be completed and he has also learnt to deal with the general public on the phone and at the shop counter and also work with other more experienced locksmiths as part of a team. 

Regards Nick Williams, Managing Director, Brinnick Locksmiths and Security Ltd

Jack Fagan
Jack Fagan was nominated by his father, Andy, who wrote:

I would like to nominate my son Jack who has been working with me for just over a year now.

The reasons I would like to nominate him are that he has learned many skills in the short time he has been working with me including, lock picking of most automotive locks. Pin code extraction and Key programming, and eeprom work. He has an excellent knowledge of all equipment used in the trade including key cutting machinery, cloning equipment, and all aspects of computer work.

At 21 he is virtually at the stage where he would be ready to go out by himself and be better than a lot of “established” locksmiths in my opinion.

Andy Fagan & Son (A.L.A.)



We think you'll all agree that the final selection was truly excellent. In addition to the kudos of winning, Amy gets to keep a smaller version of the trophy (a mounted replica of a Lockdecoders Miraclone) and was presented with a cheque for £300. Her employer Tim hart was presented with a cheque for £200. Both other finalists received a Certificate.

Please consider nominating a hard-working and keen to learn trainee that you have working with you, and who know, maybe this time next year it could be you up there!

All nominations to: [email protected] 

6th March 2013

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