Apprentice of the Year Awards inspires apprentice to reach new heights

A commitment to continual improvement has defined every winner of the AMRC Training Centre’s Apprentice of the Year Award, and this was no different of the 2018 winner, Ben Siddall.

His prize for winning the coveted title was a VIP tour of Boeing’s production facilities at Everett, Renton and Portland in the USA, and Ben – who is a Production and Perforation Department Manager at C&S Fabrications in Sheffield, a company that specialises in fabricated and perforated sheet metal – didn’t miss the opportunity to turn the grand tour of Boeing’s production facilities into a fantastic learning opportunity:

“The level of standardisation achieved by Boeing’s manufacturing processes is remarkable, especially in sites as big as Everett, with such a big operation to keep the manufacturing lines moving, it was great to see how efficient it was. I learnt a lot from it all, a lot about organisational expertise I have taken back to my own workplace and used to implement further improvements to our own processes.”

But the one thing that inspired him the most was seeing the Boeing staff at work: “Seeing the passion for success in the Boeing staff and their commitment to quality was really inspiring.”

Ben said experiences like this helped him on his path to become an ambassador for other young people thinking about a career in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

“Becoming a STEM ambassador has opened my eyes to how much of an influence I can make within the industry. It’s been fascinating to speak to younger people who are inspired by the work I do as an engineer and to see them take interest in this at an early age is fantastic,” he said.

“I’ve also had the opportunity to be involved in events where my experience will influence how those in government view apprenticeships, such as speaking to MPs visiting the Training Centre from the government’s Education Select Committee about the value of apprenticeship education.”

In February, Ben celebrated as one of the finalists of the GTA England Apprentice of the Year Awards which recognise exemplary apprentices working in engineering, construction and business services and the difference they have made to their companies, through commitment to personal development, outstanding contributions or success in their apprenticeship.

“I was thrilled and excited to make it to the finals of the GTA awards. I think it’s important to recognise the hard work of apprentices and the impact we have within the workplace. It’s a privilege to have my success recognised on a national level.”

All these accolades haven’t gone to Ben’s head though, he says his achievements have given him focus going forward to develop his career: “My plans for the future are to continue working hard to make a change in both my company and industry I work in, and over the next couple of years I aim to look at progressing my education further to a degree level.”

“Winning Apprentice of the Year was a valuable opportunity to show the manufacturing community the real difference apprentices are making to industry in the region and inspire more young people to show what’s possible with an apprenticeship,” said Ben.

Nikki Jones, Director of the AMRC Training Centre, said: “Ben’s success shows, that our apprentices all demonstrate the inspirational qualities and commitment to their companies that make them magnets to companies seeking the practical skills as well as the academic qualifications so in-demand by industry, making them a crucial part of the UK's future economy.”

Apprentice of the Year Awards inspires apprentice to reach new heights

Ben and Boeing Sheffield Senior Manager for Opertions, James Needham on the tour of Boeing’s production facilities.

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